May 28, 2024
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Beit El Dinner Draws Over 1,000 Attendees

Nestled in the hills in the Shomron region of Israel’s West Bank, north of Jerusalem and east of Ramallah, is the settler city of Beit El. Its current population is approximately 6,500.

Beit El, which means “House of God,” was established in 1977 when 17 families settled near an Israeli Defense Force base. The Torah recounts a famous happening in Beit El (Bereishit 28:16-17); Jacob slept and dreamed that he saw angels going up and down a ladder. Jacob awoke and proclaimed, “God is surely in this place and I did not realize it; how awesome is this place, for this is the House of God and here is the gateway to heaven.” God then promised Jacob to give him all the land surrounding the place he was lying on.

For 34 years, the American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva Center has made an award dinner in New York, honoring those who have committed both their funds and time to building the city of Beit El and its Yeshiva Center. As the years have passed, the numbers of attendees have grown by leaps and bounds. With over a thousand guests at the Marriot Marquis on Sunday, December 20, this year’s dinner was a record breaker and also a statement of the importance of Beit El to the Jewish community. The dinner and the support of the Beit El Yeshiva Center ensure that the city of Beit El remains a vibrant place to live and to study Torah.

Beit El is not only of religious significance but is crucial to Israel for its strategic and security significance. Its location in between Ramallah and Jerusalem puts it at the top of the list for making sure that a strong Jewish presence exists in that region. Beit El is also the home to Arutz Sheva, the famed Israel National News media network, which offers online news, video and radio broadcasts and a weekly newspaper supporting the ideologies of Religious Zionism.

As David Friedman, President-elect Donald Trump’s Israel adviser, has stated, “Beit El stands as permanent proof that no portion of the Land of Israel will ever be Judenrein, and the Jewish people will live on their God-given, tiny portion of the globe for eternity.”

This year’s dinner honorees included many dedicated members of the Jewish community.

Ken and Nira Abramowitz, Beit El Dinner Guests of Honor, are well-known to the Jewish community. They are ardent supporters of Israel and have been involved in many institutions in both America and Israel. Ken, managing general partner at NGN Capital and a worldwide expert on healthcare investment, is involved on a daily basis with his passion for protecting Israel and America from jihadism and the radical left. He has published many position papers on this subject and has spoken in many venues. Nira, born in Israel, is an architect, Hebrew teacher and a historical curator.

Larry Gordon received the Builder of Beit El Award in memory of his father, Rabbi Nison Gordon, z”l. Larry, born and raised in Crown Heights, is a veteran journalist, has written extensively about Jewish issues for over 30 years, has hosted a radio show and is publisher of the Five Towns Jewish Times. Larry comes from a famous journalistic family. His father, Rabbi Nison Gordon, was a famed Yiddish writer who wrote for the Day Morning Journal and was deeply involved with Rabbi Gershon Jacobson in the creation of the Algemeiner Journal. Rabbi Gordon, an accomplished Torah scholar, wrote extensively about Israel and the Jewish people.

Mark and Alan Berger received the Shomer Eretz Yisrael Awards. Mark and Alan are both physicians, Mark residing in New Rochelle and Alan in Englewood, New Jersey. They have been deeply involved with many Jewish causes, including NORPAC, AIPAC, the Republican Jewish Coalition, ZOA, Ateret Cohanim and Shaare Zedek Medical Center. They have close relationships with many congressmen, governors and members of Knesset.

Pinny and Yael Farkas received the Young Leadership Award. Pinny, a licensed clinical social worker, is a graduate of Touro College and Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Yael is a teacher and businesswoman and has a graduate degree in Jewish education from the Azrieli School.

Pinny and Yael are the grandchildren of Beit El Honorary Chairman Eugen Gluck and the niece and nephew of Beit El president David Friedman. They have been deeply involved with their families in the growth of Beit El.

Dinner speakers included former United States U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon.

John Bolton, speaking about the new incoming administration in Washington, offered words of hope, stating, “There is a sense of real optimism looking forward to the U.S.-Israel relationship. There has to be the closest possible cooperation between the U.S. and Israel, no hint of daylight whatsoever. There is discussion in the U.N. Security Council regarding the recognition of the existence of a Palestinian state. For a long period since the Six-Day War, it has been a bipartisan agreement in Congress that peace had to come from discussions by both parties in the region.” There is a fear that “President Obama, in the waning days of his presidency, will not veto nor lobby actively against resolutions that are harmful to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship. We have to make it clear as American citizens that we oppose any action by this lame duck administration. We expect the president will follow in the tradition of all his predecessors, that he will not shape the environment internationally.”

Ambassador Danny Danon spoke about his experiences as Israel’s U.N. ambassador. He similarly warned about possible U.N. resolutions against Israel to return to the indefensible 1967 borders. He stated, “These resolutions would be very dangerous to Israel.” He thanked the dinner attendees: “It’s people like you who support Israel and the land of Israel; we know we can count on you, that Israel would not be pressured to make concessions that would endanger its people.”

By Tzvi Allen Fishman


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