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Trumbull shul to honor two couples at Chai dinner

TRUMBULL – Two Trumbull couples will be honored at the Chai (Life) Award Gala Dinner hosted by Congregation B’nai Torah on Sunday, May 31. Edward and Elaine Bader and Robert and Debbie Velthuizen will be recognized by the Trumbull synagogue for their many years of commitment to both the congregation and the community.

The Baders are long-time members of B’nai Torah, where both have taken an active role. Ed Bader has served as vice president of House and vice president of Ritual, and as synagogue president 1976 -1978. A retired school teacher, he continues to teach at Merkaz, the community Hebrew High School, specializing in Holocaust studies, and he remains involved in B’nai Torah’s adult education movie programs. Elaine Bader has served as Sisterhood president and as vice president of Ways and Means. She has also participated in many fundraising activities, hosting numerous events. Recently retired from her career as a pharmacist, she has served as B’nai B’rith youth group chapter leader, and she continues to serve on the Kiddush Committee.

The Velthuizens moved to Trumbull in 2005, after having lived in Florida and New Jersey. Robert began his involvement at the synagogue with the scrip fundraising program. He has served as a member at large of the Board of Directors and as Board president 2008 – 2010. He has also served on the Nominating Committee, co-chaired the President’s Gala, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Board of the Jewish Center for Community Serivces (JCCS) and on its Merger Committee. Professionally, Robert is a scientist at Unilever, specializing in skin care research.

Debbie revitalized B’nai Torah’s Sisterhood and became its president in 2006. She has helped foster community-wide Sisterhood inter-synagogue joint programs, such as the women’s seders and “Vashti’s Feast.” Debbie also launched the Kiddush Fund and works diligently on the Kiddush Committee, spending hours on food preparation and catering. A recipient of the synagogue’s Muriel J. Frankel Award, she currently serves as a Board member of Merkaz. She is an active member of Hadassah, and together with her husband has helped with food drives and community clean-up efforts at St. Mary’s By the Sea.

“Synagogues need outstanding couples like the Baders and Velthuizens who devote so much of their time and energy to our community. Kol hakavod to them,” said Rabbi Colin Brodie, B’nai Torah’s spiritual leader.

The Chai dinner will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail party, followed by dinner and entertainment. For more information, call (203) 268-6940.

CAP: Debbie and Robert Velhuizens (left) and Elaine and Ed Bader.

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