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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Beth Emeth to host Mecklinger family tribute

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Seated, from left, are Alan Mecklinger; Brooke, granddaughter, daughter of Kailee and Shawn; Elise Mecklinger, and Dylan, grandson, and son of Kailee and Shawn. Standing, from left, Pam and Jordy Mecklinger, daughter-in-law and son of Alan and Elise; Dave Mecklinger, son of Alan and Elise; Kailee, daughter-in-law; Corey, son of Kailee and Shawn, grandson of Alan and Elise, and Shawn Mecklinger, son of Alan and Elise.

TORONTO — Torontonians Harold and Esther Mecklinger left a legacy of philanthropy. Now in its fourth generation, the family continues to contribute to the community, locally, in Israel and internationally.

The community will have an opportunity to pay tribute to the Mecklinger family on May 9 at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue.

Alan Mecklinger, Harold and Esther’s son, is a developer and landlord of industrial commercial plazas, and Alan’s wife, Elise, is the author of several award-winning cookbooks. Both are active volunteers, and now their children are following in their footsteps.

“The Mecklinger family has made their mark in the Toronto community,” said Mike Feldman, chair of the Mecklinger family tribute committee.

He added that the family has contributed “their hearts and resources” to many worthy causes, among them, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Baycrest, Mount Sinai and Princess Margaret hospitals, the Breast Cancer Foundation, Koffler Centre of the Arts, the Jewish National Fund and many others.

For generations, the Mecklingers have been active members and supporters of Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue.

A highlight of the tribute will be the screening of the 90-minute documentary, A.K.A. Doc Pomus, on the extraordinary life of Brooklyn-born Jerome Solon Felder (1925-1991), a son of Jewish immigrants who used the stage name Doc Pomus.

Alan and Elise Mecklinger, along with Honey and Barry Sherman, are the executive producers of the documentary, and Will Hechter is the producer.

Doc is credited with writing more than 1,500 popular songs, including Save the Last Dance for Me, This Magic Moment, Viva Las Vegas, Can’t Get Used to Losing You and Teenager in Love.

 The documentary follows young Jerome, who was paralyzed by polio as a child, as he became a blues singer and then a songwriter and lyricist of some of the greatest hit songs recorded by top stars, including Elvis Presley.

A.K.A. Doc Pomus opened the New York Jewish Film Festival at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 9.

Doc was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and he was the first white person inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.

Elise and Alan said they became involved with the film because it makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge about the impact that Jews have had in shaping American art and culture.

The host for the evening is former sports broadcaster Terry Leibel, who was on the Canadian national equestrian team in the 1970s.

The honorary chairs of the Mecklinger tribute evening include Paul Godfrey, Harry Gorman, Will and Linda Hechter, and Tom and Anna Koffler.

For more information or to make reservations, contact Claire Horowitz at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue, 416-633-3838, ext. 242, or visit www.beby.org.

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