Brazen Brazil at the YAD Gala

Far from hitting the home stretch, the other Montreal marathon that is the city's fall social calendar reached a frenzied and fevere...

Far from hitting the home stretch, the other Montreal marathon that is the city's fall social calendar reached a frenzied and fevered pitch last week as 700 determined partygoers showed their true charitable colours, and brought their brightly dressed best to the event halls of the Montreal Science Centre for the fourth annual YAD Gala Brazil in support of the Combined Jewish Appeal Campaign, a critical driving force in the city's Jewish community.

Now in its fourth year, the gala has grown into a mainstay among the 25-45 year old age bracket of connected young philanthropists who heed the call to provide relief to the community's most vulnerable members, specifically the 17,000 Jewish Montrealers living below the poverty line, all while supporting initiatives that contribute to a more vibrant Jewish community overall.

Vibrant (we're talking flavour, texture, and spirit!) was certainly the buzzword of the evening as VIPs were greeted with Caipiroskas, Belvedere vodka's version of the classic caipirinha, and posed for photos with gorgeously decked out carnival dancers before making their way into an event hall transformed into a Amazonian rainforest, complete with captivating video footage played on a giant screen.

Equipe Capoeira Brasileira doing their thing.
Here, guests mingled and networked over themed food stations by Paradise Kosher, followed by infectious, Rio-worthy carnival performances by Chicaboom Entertainment and Equipe Capoeira Brasileira, both so raucously good that one could feel they were part of a nationwide World Cup victory celebration (2018 perhaps?).  Not easy acts to follow, except of course if you're Ross Paperman, who emceed the live auction with his usual quick wit and candour, netting a tidy sum for the fundraiser with standout items like VIP treatment at a Habs game Bell Center loge, and a two-night stay at the Ritz Carlton.

From there, it was on to a another space where they were joined by after-party ticket holders for an open bar, and a special performance by singer-songwriter Lukay, whose sharp choreography, on-step back-up dancers, and infectious beats got the dance floor full fast, when DJ YO-C's then took over with ever-masterful work at the turntables had us moving and grooving until the proverbial wee hours.

We had a chance to catch-up with Federation CJA YAD Campaign Chair Karen Aflalo who summed things up with a reinforcement of purpose. ''This event is all about connecting with community and is a wonderful engagement gateway in to the world of philanthropy.”  Of course, hitting all the right notes with colourful carnival rhythm, A-list entertainment, and a memorable evening is certainly the right way to go about it.

Flanked by feathers and sequins, the event's team of dedicated dynamos!
From left to right:
Steve Sebag, Ron Nessim, Emily Deane, Karen Aflalo, Meghan Weinstein,
Michael Nehemia, Valerie Abitbol, Elana Minz
. Not pictured: Yossi Ohana (DJ YO-C)

And for a taste of LUKAY's infectious jam that launched an
after-party of serious moving and grooving...



YAD Gala Brazil 8327092684502216780

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