July 13, 2024
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Annual Teaneck JNF Evening to Be Held at Beth Sholom

Jewish National Fund has consistently held annual events in Teaneck since 1964 when Senator Matthew Feldman was the first honoree. JNF, however, is not “just about trees.” In addition to the Blue Box, afforestation, reservoirs and providing infrastructure for roads and settlements, the group preserve, historic sites throughout Israel. These past years we have been involved in transforming and updating the current Visitors’ Museum in Gush Etzion. JNF is now involved in building a Boys Promenade in memory of the three boys who were murdered at Gush in June 2014—Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah. This memorial will be a mile-long promenade helping to secure the safety and security of that area.

On Monday night, December 14, this annual event will be held at Congregation Beth Sholom, 354 Maitland Avenue, in Teaneck, from 7-10 p.m. and will introduce guest speaker Shani Abrams Simkovitz, director of the Gush Etzion Foundation.

Supporters of the event will be Reuben and Joan Baron of Cong. Beth Sholom, Joyce Bendavid of Cong. Rinat Yisrael and Cong. B’nai Yeshurun, Millie Leben of Cong. Rinat Yisrael and Cong. B’nai Yeshurun, Rabbi Steven Penn of the Young Israel of Teaneck, and Friends and Family of Gush Etzion.

Among the honorees and supporters of this event are Joan and Reuben Baron of Cong. Beth Sholom of Teaneck who have visited Israel many times, starting with their honeymoon in 1964. Their last trip was in June 2015 when they spent a week of study at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem along with their rabbi, Joel Pitkowsky, and 12 other members of the congregation. At Beth Sholom, this dynamic duo are members of the Adult Education Committee, frequent presenters at the annual Shabbaton, chairpersons of an annual endowed lecture series in the visual arts, and recent honorees at the annual Beth Sholom Gala.

Joyce Bendavid, a resident of Teaneck since 1984, is a frequent visitor to Israel and has spent time in Gush Etzion since 1976 watching the many adjustments to the area and the overall development of Gush. Of her four children, one married daughter made aliyah and the other three are married and live locally. As a child, Joyce always remembers buying trees for Tu B’shvat and learning to love the land from her parents, Minnie and Moishe Rubenstein. Professionally, Joyce is an occupational therapist giving classes as a Feldenkrais Practitioner, a movement program for pain and posture.

Millie Leben has lived in Teaneck for over 30 years where she has been involved as dinner journal chair for Yavneh Academy, president of the Ayelet Hashachar chapter of Amit women and the Teaneck Holocaust Commemoration Committee. Her deepest passion (other than her two new grandchildren) are am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael, where all of her immediate and extended family reside. Millie, an admirer of JNF and its projects, is so proud to be involved in this wonderful organization.

Rabbi Steven Penn has been involved in Jewish education, informally and formally, for over 25 years. Rabbi Penn, an undergraduate of Yeshiva University and the David J. Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and RIETS, is so pleased to be involved in the Gush Etzion Boys Promenade. Today, Rabbi Penn is the assistant principal at Yavneh Academy, supervising the Judaic Studies department in grades 1-5.

Rabbi Penn lives in Teaneck with his wife and three sons. They have lived in Teaneck for 20 years and are important members of the Young Israel of Teaneck. His love for the land of Israel and the activities of JNF are strong. After the Carmel forest fire, Rabbi Penn helped bar mitzvah boys collect money for better fire equipment for the Israeli firefighters.

For further information about this event, please contact [email protected] or 973-593-0095 x823.

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