Contact:

      Marjorie Kaufman

      The Hilltop Cares Foundation 

      (646) 637-2964

      info@hilltopcares.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 1, 2016 

HORACE MANN ALUMNI MUSICIANS TO PERFORM FOR HILLTOP CARES

Benefit Concert Brings School Community Together to Support Abuse Survivors

MAY 1 2016, BRONX, NY:   The Hilltop Cares Foundation is pleased to announce that on Saturday May 14th, Broadway conductor  and Tony award winner Ted Sperling, Grammy award nominated pianist Claudia Knafo, acclaimed jazz musician Jon Seiger, and other Horace Mann alumni will perform at the Fisher Recital Hall on the Horace Mann campus as part of a benefit concert for survivors of abuse at the school.

Proceeds from the concert will support The Hilltop Cares Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization which assists alumni survivors and their families who are in need of therapeutic treatment. The concert is being held in memory of 1982 Horace Mann alumnus Dominic Kulik who passed away earlier this year.  Kulik’s classmate, writer Amos Kamil, author of the 2015 book Great Is the Truth covering the history of abuse at Horace Mann, will share reminiscences of Dominic with the assembled guests, who are expected to include alumni, students, staff members and parents.

Marjorie Kaufman, Chair of the Hilltop Cares board, said the concert will be “an incredibly powerful and emotional evening of music and camaraderie in support of a great cause: helping fellow alumni in need and letting them know they are not alone.” Kaufman is a 1978 graduate of Horace Mann as well as the parent of two boys currently at the school.

Pianist Claudia Knafo, who is credited with the idea of having alumni musicians perform in support of Hilltop Cares  remarked “Bringing together exceptionally talented alumni to share their music on campus is a small step on the road to healing the Horace Mann community, which has been so profoundly affected by revelations of abuse.”

Daniel Miller, a lifelong friend of Dominic Kulik, member of the board of Hilltop Cares and current parent, said, “Dominic was an inspiration to us. He was a friendly, caring classmate and his work as a member of the Horace Mann Board of Trustees paved the way for constructive dialogue between a group of abuse survivors and the school.

The event, the second such undertaking for Hilltop Cares, will begin at 6:30 pm with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres sponsored by the school.  Alumnus Cantor Gregg Luchs ’78, a board member of Hilltop Cares, will conduct a pre-concert spiritual service at 7:30 pm. The concert itself will begin at 8:00 pm and include performances by alumni Ted Sperling ‘79, Claudia Knafo ‘82 and Maryl Cannon ‘79 and remarks by Dominic Kulik’s classmates Amos Kamil and Daniel Miller.  The event lineup includes two survivors of abuse: Steve Fife, Class of 1971, who will read selections from his poetry collection, “Twisted Hipster”, and Jon Seiger, Class of 1979, who will perform jazz numbers with his band, The All Stars. The concert will conclude with a reunion of the Horace Mann Jazz Band from the late 1970’s, featuring Jon Seiger, David Kahn ’77, Dr. David Silbersweig ’78 and Dr. Steve Odrich ’80.

Tickets beginning at $10 for students are available at the Hilltop Cares website, www.hilltopcares.org.

About The Hilltop Cares Foundation:  Hilltop Cares was formed by Joe Rose, a 1977 graduate, and other Horace Mann alumni to help survivors of abuse at the school and to promote healing.  Led by Marjorie Kaufman, a 1978 graduate and parent of two children currently at the school, Hilltop Cares funds therapy for survivors and their families who are in need of assistance, provides resources on sexual abuse of children through its website, www.hilltopcares.org, and seeks to bring together the Horace Mann community in a spirit of healing.

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On May 1st, Horace Mann alumni, parents, students and faculty came together to celebrate their shared connections through music and raise funds for Hilltop Cares.

Please see articles covering the event in the Riverdale Press and The Horace Mann Record.

Over 150 were in attendance.

See photos at the Hilltop Cares website of participants Claudia Knafo, Jon Sieger, David Kahn, Rob Kahn, David Silbersweig and other Horace Mann alumni.

MGK at HTC

Marjorie Kaufman greeting guests at the May 2015 Hilltop Cares concert

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Pianist Claudia Knafo performing on campus

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Rob Kahn and Jon Sieger at the Hilltop Cares Concert May 2015

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Jon Seiger, David Silbersweig and David Kahn at the Hilltop Cares Concert May 2015

In this season of giving back, I’m proud to lead the Hilltop Cares Foundation in helping survivors of abuse obtain therapy. Here is a recently published article in the Horace Mann Record about the work we’re doing.

Hilltop Cares Foundation brings school community together

Over 70 alumni, administrators, parents, and students gathered at Hilltop Cares Foundation’s kick-off event earlier this month to discuss ways to promote communal healing in light of the revelations of sexual abuse at the school.

Hilltop Cares strives to “provide support for alumni who suffered abuse at the school years ago, to support their therapy, as well as to bring about some healing to the whole Horace Mann community,” Chair Marjorie Kaufman ’78, P’18,’19 said.

The event, which took place at the home of Vice Chair Joe Rose ‘77, provided a way for participants and Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly to “get together in a constructive and mutually supportive way,” Rose said, which included discussing Hilltop Cares’ mission and ways to get involved with the organization.

Attendees especially appreciated the support of Kelly and Director of Institutional Research and Enrollment Management Lisa Moreira P’19, P’21, as it created a “strongly felt but understated sense of community,” Rose said. 

The fact that Hilltop Cares is now able to directly raise tax-deductible contributions “creates a moment to take an affirmative first step,” Rose said.

All donations the foundation receives go towards confidentially funding psychological therapy for victims of the sexual abuse that occurred at the school who may not be able to afford the support otherwise.

Hilltop Cares can serve as an especially useful outlet to alumni and survivors due to the fact that it exists independently from the school, Kaufman said.

“There are significant negative sentiments held by some alumni in the wake of the revelations of sexual abuse at the school. As an independent entity we don’t get involved with that at all, and we are here to directly help people that were hurt.”

Being involved in Hilltop Cares offers many benefits that are especially relevant at this time of the year, when giving back is important, Kaufman said. 

“The HM community is almost like an extended family to many people,” she said. “When members of your family need help, it’s good to be there and to stand by them and say ,‘I’m here to help you.’”

The organization is about strengthening, affirming, and helping, Rose said.

“Giving all the members of the Horace Mann community a way to do that in a way that’s not within a legal context or in an adversarial context but in a caring, mutually beneficial way – that’s the goal,” he said.

The organization is currently planning a benefit that will take place on campus in May.

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