An evening in the company of a maestro …. Alan Gampel with his two sons Elliot and Leo, the hosts Doreen and Alan Gainsford and Cynthia Maresky (top row) and Bess Hoffman (front row)

Story and photo by Brenda Katten

It is not often that one has the opportunity of listening to an outstanding internationally renowned pianist in the comfort of a beautiful home.  Such was the good fortune of 76 guests who crowded into the Herzliya home of Doreen and Alan Gainsford.

The evening, arranged by ESRA Herzliya, came about because of the close friendship between one of its members, Cynthia Maresky and pianist Alan Gampel.

The fortunate audience listened spellbound to the performance of this outstanding artist.  On the very night when Americans were glued to their TV screens in order to watch the, once in 90 years, eclipse of the sun, we in Herzliya were privileged to listen to the amazing rendering of Scarlatti, Schubert, Chopin and Gershwin where Alan Gampel’s sensitive and expressive playing moved us to another planet.

ESRA Herzliya Co-chairperson Dena Laufer opened the evening by welcoming all and then invited me to say a few words about ESRA’s flagship project Students build a Community - the beneficiary of funds raised at this recital.  ESRA Herzliya is exceedingly proud of the scholarships it has donated and, thanks to this event, will continue to donate to the students serving the communities in deprived areas. This will enable them to contribute additional hours in support of the youngsters they mentor.

Cynthia Maresky formally presented the maestro to the audience whose introduction of each piece, prior to playing, added a special informative dimension.  

The enthralled audience simply would not let the artist go; as a result we were treated to a superb rendering of a Chopin encore.

Co-chairperson, Bess Hoffman, expressed heartfelt appreciation to Alan Gampel as well as to the host and hostess, Alan and Doreen Gainsford, for the warmth of their hospitality. 

The evening concluded with refreshments served in the Gainsford’s picturesque garden where guests had the chance to socialize and reflect on a memorable experience.


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Brenda Katten

Brenda Katten was born and educated in London, UK.  She was a member of Bnei Akiva and the Federation of Zionist Youth (FZY). Professionally she worked as a Relationship and Educational C...

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