June 6, 2024
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Ahavath Torah Names Honorees for Annual Dinner

Members of Netiv Ha’Asara visiting with the Israel Task Force at Cong. Ahavath Torah in Englewood a few months ago. (Credit: Cong. Ahavath Torah)

(Courtesy of Cong. Ahavath Torah) This year’s Cong. Ahavath Torah Annual Dinner will be held on Sunday, June 16, at which the congregation will recognize outstanding individuals in their community. Honorees will include guests of honor Drorit and Michael Ratzker; Renee and MB Klyman, recipients of the Sephardic Leadership Award; and Ashley and Raviv Gailor, recipients of the Young Leadership Award. Emily Jacobs and Talia Katz, two impressive youth leaders, will be recognized for their dedication to the kehilla, and a group of shul members will be honored for their commitment to Am Yisrael.

The Ratzkers consider themselves quite fortunate to have been living in Englewood for the past 26 years, where they raised their four daughters, Alex, Gabrielle, Emily and Sophia. They have been active in various communal organizations and institutions including Moriah, Chabad, Amit, Friendship Circle, MacKay Park and Ahavath Torah. Drorit was on the Sisterhood board and chaired several CAT dinners as well as the Yom HaZikaron/Yom Ha’atzmaut program. Michael was a board member, an officer and ultimately served as president. As president, Michael successfully implemented changes that continue to benefit the community.

The Klymans moved to Englewood soon after they married in 2008. Their three boys, Abie, Izzy and Maurice, all attend Ben Porat Yosef in Paramus and happily join the Sephardic children’s groups each week in shul. MB is the proud owner of Underground Training, a personal training and fitness studio located in Tenafly. He is a two-time Maccabiah medalist, national finalist and New York State champion for wrestling, and also serves as the wrestling coach at The Frisch School. Professionally, Renee works at Ben Porat Yosef where she is the director of admissions. Renee began getting involved in the shul by joining the welcoming committee in 2012. She has coordinated Sisterhood events, worked on catering affairs and joined the board of trustees in 2019. MB has been active in many different aspects of the shul by serving on the catering committee and the Benaroya Sephardic Center rabbinical search committee. He has served four years on the BSC board and is completing his second term as BSC president.

The Gailors moved to Englewood in July of 2020. They have three children, Sienna, Mason and Seth. Ashley is a special education support service teacher and Raviv is a real estate lending broker, both working in New York City. Since Ashley grew up in a Persian home and Raviv in an Ashkenazi home, they felt that Ahavath Torah would complement both familial traditions. In the past four years, Ashley and Raviv joined various committees and took leadership roles at CAT and the broader Englewood Jewish community. Ashley is an active member of CAT’s Sisterhood, organizing and helping to spearhead different programs throughout the year. Raviv is a member of the CAT Daf Yomi chevra and one of the founding members and gabbai shlishi of the Etz Chayim minyan. Many nights he can be found working with Bergen Hatzalah. Raviv has served on the CAT board for the past year and is regularly involved in planning events and shiurim in CAT, Etz Chayim and the BSC. Raising their family in a Sephardic-Ashkenazi home, Ashley and Raviv have enjoyed the unique achdut at CAT with the most beautiful blend of Sephardic and Ashkenazi customs under one roof.

Emily Jacobs is an alumna of Moriah and a senior of the Frisch School, where in addition to her studies, enjoyed the Robotics Club and playing on the girls ice hockey team. Having spent last summer in Jerusalem doing an internship at a tech start-up, she is looking forward to her year in Israel, followed by four years at Cooper Union in New York City, where she was recently accepted for mechanical engineering. Emily has been attending groups ever since she was 4-years-old when her family moved to Englewood and has been a Shabbat morning group leader and special events leader for the past six years. Emily volunteers for various organizations within the community. Ahavath Torah has been an integral part of Emily’s life and she feels very fortunate to be a part of this Englewood community.

Talia Katz is a senior at Ma’ayanot and has been working as an Ahavath Torah group leader for over six years. She is a loving sibling to six brothers and sisters and a proud aunt of three nieces and nephews. Talia is currently a dance head for her school’s fundraising production, “Heartbeats,” and is an editor-in-chief of several publications, including Ma’ayanei Torah. Talia is an avid babysitter and spends her summers working as a head morah at Camp Regesh and an infirmary assistant at Camp Kaylie. She will be spending her gap year at MMY in Yerushalayim and looks forward to attending Stern College starting fall 2025. Talia intends to pursue a career in medicine.

Since Oct. 7, the Englewood community has been at the helm in every facet of involvement and engagement with the ongoing war in Israel. The annual dinner will recognize the following individuals for their commitment to Israel and their dedication to fostering special bonds with Israeli communities:

Rabbi Willie Balk, BC Lev Echad

Aliza Black, BC Lev Echad

Evan Borenstein, CAT Israel Task Force and Netiv Ha’Asara

Marcy Cohen, CAT Israel Task Force and Netiv Ha’Asara

Yoni Cohen, CAT Israel Task Force and various initiatives

Dr. Chagit Hadar, BC Lev Echad

Elad Hibsher, CAT Israel Task Force and Netiv Ha’Asara

Jeff Jacobs, CAT Israel Task Force and various initiatives

Jason Langer, BC Lev Echad

Daniel Malka, BC Lev Echad

Brian Nave, BC Lev Echad and various initiatives

Arielle Setton, BC Lev Echad, Kol HaNearim and various initiatives

Sandy and Alex Solomon, CAT Israel Task Force and Netiv Ha’Asara

Shevy and Eddie Solomon, Netiv Ha’Asara and Yatari Israel

Lara Szlamkowicz, Boots for Israel

Karen and Eddie Weiss, Netiv Ha’Asara and various initiatives

These hometown heroes are shining examples of how individuals can make an enormous impact. Over the last seven months, these community members have spent countless hours and made dozens of trips to Newark airport. They have collected goods, services and dollars for displaced families and IDF units in need; sourced boots for soldiers and miluimniks; and, along with their Englewood neighbors, created and nurtured a partnership with Netiv Ha’Asara, an Israeli moshav located near the Gaza border. The projects and Israeli communities involved will be featured at the annual dinner.

The community is invited to wish these individuals a warm mazel tov and Mabrook on their well-deserved honors. Ahavath Torah looks forward to celebrating these remarkable people and their dedication to the Englewood community and klal Yisrael.

For details, to send a tribute or to make a contribution in honor of the event, visit www.ahavathtorah.org/dinner.

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