April 13, 2024
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Am Echad B’Lev Echad: SAR Holds 55th Anniversary Dinner

Hallel Hershkovitz, daughter of Yossi Hershkovitz, z”l, joined the SAR High School String Ensemble in its moving performance of a composition her father wrote while on the frontlines.

 

(Courtesy of SAR Academy and High School) Last Motzei Shabbat, the SAR community in Riverdale, New York united for a profound gathering marking SAR’s 55th anniversary. Themed “Am Echad B’Lev Echad” (One Nation With One Heart), the evening celebrated the SAR community’s enduring dedication to Israel.

As the culmination of SAR’s anniversary campaign, the program placed Israel at the forefront, showcasing the many ways the SAR community has been actively serving, safeguarding, aiding, and advocating for our brothers and sisters in Israel and Jews worldwide through acts of service, chesed, tzedaka, advocacy and education.

The event paid tribute to SAR alumni and community members courageously defending Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael in Israel, on college campuses and beyond. Through musical performances and presentations, the evening honored SAR alumni reservists, advocates, the generous and selfless spirit of its community, and its faculty, all of whom model the SAR mission and values it strives to instill in its students every day.

 

(l-r) Rabbi Jonathan Kroll, principal, SAR High School; Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, founding principal, SAR High School and dean, Machon Siach; Rabbi Binyamin Krauss (AC ‘84), principal, SAR Academy.

 

A solemn moment was dedicated to remembering fallen soldiers, among them former SAR faculty member Yossi Hershkovitz, z”l and the nephews of SAR president Jack Bendheim, Sgt. First Class (res.) Ben Zussman, z”l and Sgt. Major Yosef Malachi Guedalia, z”l. Hallel, daughter of Yossi Hershkovitz, z”l who was killed in Gaza in November, accompanied the SAR High School string ensemble in its moving performance of a composition her father wrote while on the front lines. Guests joined in reciting Tehillim and tefilot for the chayalim and hostages while being uplifted by stirring performances from the SAR Academy and High School choirs, as well as from the parent and faculty community.

Rep. Ritchie Torres addressed the audience, underscoring the SAR community’s inspiring ties to Israel and its students’ readiness, knowledge and empathy.

Congressman Ritchie Torres addresses the audience.

 

“What gives me hope is that places like SAR are cultivating the next generation of leaders and defenders of one of the most important friendships humanity has ever seen, the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Torres remarked. “SAR is preparing its students by instilling in them a readiness to fight for the rights of the Jewish people and Israel without fear of harassment, hate, intimidation, or violence. By supporting SAR, everyone in this room has played a part in empowering these students, nurturing their voices, and ensuring they have the tools to carry the torch in defending Israel for generations to come.”

Speakers representing the community showcased its proactive support for Israel spanning active, educational, political and financial contributions, including the SAR Supports Israel Fund, which has raised over $1 million in grants for Israel to date.

Dinner co-chairs (l-r): Etan (AC ‘98) Bendheim, Sarah Roer Bendheim, Michelle (AC ‘91) Zellner and Robert Zellner.

 

The gathering, attended by nearly 1,000 guests including parents, grandparents, alumni, community leaders and dignitaries such as Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, and City Council member Eric Dinowitz, affirmed the community’s unwavering support for Israel through presence and solidarity.

For those who missed the event or want to relive the evening’s program, it can be viewed at bit.ly/SARprogram.

SAR administrators, event performers, local government officials, dinner co-chairs and more gather together on stage to sing “Acheinu.”

 

SAR High School Choir, led by Rabbi Kenneth Birnbaum, chair, Performing Arts Department, sings “Aluf HaOlam” by Hanan Ben Ari.
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