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Meet Elaine Atlas and Helen Besen 


Elaine Atlas and Helen Besen both moved to Allentown in the 1960s, and met because their children were in the same Hebrew school class. They teamed up for a major project at Congregation Sons of Israel, where they help people weave their own tallit. They have woven over 800 tallitot since the 1970s, and are energetic to continue the project with new community members. In addition to their work with Sons of Israel, Helen was the chairperson of Nearly New at the Allentown JCC, and both Helen and Elaine were active at the Hebrew school when their children attended; Elaine was president at one point, and Helen was treasurer. Their other community involvements include the Women’s Auxiliary and JCC programming.


Mazel tov, Elaine and Helen, two of our 8ish Over 80 honorees.


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