April 12, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 12, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

400 Enjoy 21st Annual Max and Ruth Schwartz Sderot Hesder Institutions Dinner

On Tuesday evening, May 9, the Max and Ruth Schwartz Sderot Hesder Institutions celebrated its 21st “Ach Tov V’Chessed” Anniversary with a gala dinner at Terrace on the Park. Over 400 attendees came together to support and pay tribute to the miracle of the Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot and the community of Sderot. The mood at the dinner was one of warmth and filled with good feelings, reuniting family, friends, supporters and colleagues from many different communities. The evening began with a pre-dinner reception, which gave the honorees an opportunity to meet each other, greet the Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Duv Fendel, and reflect on the important cause of the Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot.

Following the pre-dinner reception, all the attendees entered the grand ballroom for a sumptuous and delectable buffet dinner catered by Main Event-Mauzone. The menu was quite varied with top-of-the-line delicacies. The open seating format allowed all to sit comfortably with whomever they wished. Displayed on the plasma televisions and screens in the ballroom was the virtual Dinner Journal, which included all the ads submitted in support of the Honorees and the Yeshiva.

The dinner program opened with the singing of the Hatikvah and the Star-Spangled Banner, followed by the prayer for the welfare of the state of Israel. Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer, rabbi of the Young Israel of West Hempstead recited a perek of Tehillim and greeted the crowd with words of chizuk. Rabbi Fendel expressed Hakarat Hatov to Rabbi Kelemer for his continued refuah sheleima and presented him with a Sderot mezuzah cover made from the fragments of the Iron Dome.

Rabbi Fendel also took the opportunity to present the yeshiva’s benefactor, Mr. Henry Schwartz, with a Sderot mezuzah cover. These Mezuzah covers are created specifically to show Sderot’s brave determination in response to terrorist attacks.

The master of ceremonies, Nachum Segal, welcomed the crowd and introduced the Sderot Dinner video, which gave an inspiring overview of life at the yeshiva, as well as the integral role it plays in the vibrant resurgence of the city of Sderot. The Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot continues its ongoing plans to develop, construct and expand the yeshiva and the community of Sderot. Following the video, Rabbi spoke passionately about the progress the Yeshiva has made over the last year, and the new and exciting plans for the future, including a girl’s yeshiva program starting in September. He reemphasized the yeshiva’s commitment to continue to succeed by stating, “Let our neighbors in Gaza see for themselves how we turn their hate and terror into a beacon of light, hope and devotion.”

The videos of the guests of honor were shown and the guests of honor were then presented with their special gifts: Keter Shem Tov Award: Dr. Abraham Peller, West Hempstead, New York; Young Leadership Award: Dr. Jonathan and Jessica Landa, Bergenfield, New Jersey; Parent of the Year: Mr. Yaakov Shama, Brooklyn, New York; Rabbinic Leadership Award: Rabbi David Eliach, New York, New York and Rabbi Yotav Eliach, Woodmere, New York, both in memory of Professor Yaffa Eliach, a”h. Each of the guests of honor received a tabletop replica of the Kassam Rocket Menorah that stands on top of the Beit Midrash of the Hesder Yeshiva in Sderot.

The Swish for Sderot Education Achievement Awards were presented to the 16 yeshiva day schools who participated in the First Annual Swish for Sderot Basketball Tournament, raising awareness and funds for the Hesder Yeshiva and community of Sderot, while at the same time participating in a Basketball Tournament: ASHAR, New City, New York; HAFTR, Lawrence, New York; HALB, Woodmere, New York; HANC, Uniondale, New York; HILLEL YESHIVA, Deal, New Jersey; JEC, Elizabeth, New Jersey; Magen David Yeshivah, Brooklyn, New York; Manhattan Day School, New York, New York; North Shore Hebrew Academy, Great Neck, New York; RPRY, Edison, New Jersey; SAR, Riverdale, New York; Westchester Day School, Mamaroneck, New York; YCQ, Queens, New York; Yeshiva Derech HaTorah, Brooklyn, New York; Yeshivah of Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York; Yeshiva Har Torah, Queens, New York. Commemorative plaques were presented to each representative from each yeshiva.

The guest speaker at the dinner was Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who gave an uplifting, passionate and encouraging address, emphasizing the importance of supporting Sderot and all of its efforts. Minister Shaked pointed out that throughout the bombings and threats from the terror tunnels, the students in the yeshiva, the largest Hesder yeshiva in the country, continued to learn and assist the residents of Sderot, and, in addition, were a great source of support to Tzahal. She was cheered enthusiastically and received rounds of applause. She reaffirmed Israel’s right to exist and Sderot’s right to defend itself. She received a rousing standing ovation as a true friend of Sderot.

During the evening a special raffle took place for a Grand Prize of a tabletop Kassam Rocket Menorah. The two lucky winners were Mr. Alan Eisenstein of West Orange, New Jersey and Ms. Blair Muss of Englewood, New Jersey.

The evening concluded with a lavish Viennese dessert table featuring a wide variety of sweets, fruits and special, delicious creations of cookies and cakes.

Yasher koach to the American Friends of Sderot team: Rav Ari Katz, director of PR; Chaim Liebtag; Devorah Berger; Israeli resident Aaron Tirschwell; and Dinner Chairmen and Directors of AFS Judah and Carol Rhine; as well as the dinner reception staff.

Thank you to Ira Thomas Creations for the photography, Gary Wallin for AV and sound production, Mrs. Rina Schachter for the virtual journal design and Daniel Finkelstein for the video productions. Most of all, special thanks to all the attendees, supporters and friends of AFS who helped to make this dinner so successful because they recognize what Sderot means to the global Jewish community. We are already looking forward to next year’s dinner.

When you are planning to be in Israel, please put Sderot on your list of places to visit. Tours of the yeshiva, meeting with Rabbi Fendel and seeing the city of Sderot can be arranged.

The Sderot Menorah Campaign offers schools and shuls the opportunity to purchase and dedicate a Kassam Rocket Menorah like the one that stands on the rooftop of the Beit Midrash of the Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot. For more information about the Menorah Campaign and the Mezuzah Cover Campaign, and tours to Sderot, please contact Judah and Carol Rhine at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles