April 19, 2024
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Ben Porat Yosef Plans 21st Annual Dinner

(Courtesy of BPY) Ben Porat Yosef (BPY) will hold its 21st Annual Dinner on Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. at Edgewood Country Club in River Vale, New Jersey. The Annual Dinner is a special opportunity for the school’s supporters to gather as a community to celebrate its beloved yeshiva and show appreciation to those who have done so much to make BPY a special “home away from home.”

This year, BPY is privileged to recognize the contributions of four Guests of Honor, each of whom is a true model of communal dedication: Daniel and Tzippy Cohen, and Josh Drazen and Susie Helft. In addition, the school is delighted to recognize the outstanding educational leadership of Morah Jean Meyers, Faculty Award Recipient.

Tzippy and Daniel Cohen are the proud parents of Orli, Adam and Lily. Throughout their years as BPY parents they were actively involved in a multitude of ways. Tzippy served on the Board of Trustees and multiple committees, and was the annual dinner chair for several years. Daniel spearheaded the capital campaign to purchase the current BPY building, led the head of school search committee, and served on the Board of Trustees as VP and president (2017-2020). The Cohens are proud of their Sephardic and Ashkenazic and Israeli and American heritages, and they’re thankful to have BPY, a school with aligned values, for their children to spend their day-school years. The Cohens especially loved the BPY Hebrew immersion program, the high level of Hebrew, and the special bonds that their children formed with the shlichim over the years.

Susie Helft and Josh Drazen have been proud BPY parents for the last 10 years. They have three daughters, Danielle, Erin (ninth grade) and Kayla (seventh grade) who have been at BPY since Pre-K and kindergarten. Josh grew up in St. Louis. He attended The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, Josh has worked at various financial institutions and currently is a managing director at The Blackstone Group. Susie grew up in Englewood, attended Barnard College and studied archaeology, earning a PhD from the University Pennsylvania. For the last 10 years she has taught ancient history and archaeology at Bryn Mawr College, Rutgers and Fordham Universities. They currently live in Tenafly and are members of Kehilat Kesher Synagogue, where they are very active in many programs and events. Susie and Josh chose to send their children to BPY because of its focus on Israel and the Hebrew language, and its diverse student body. They love the warm atmosphere and family feel that the school provides. During their time as BPY parents, Josh served in multiple leadership roles for the school. He served on the Board of Trustees, the executive committee as board secretary, chaired the development committee, and was a member of the capital campaign committee.

Jean Myers proudly tells everyone she has the best job at BPY. She sees her role as a facilitator of inquiry, where she guides students to learn through experimentation and hands-on modeling to figure out how the natural world works. Her classroom is appropriately named the Discovery Room. Jean is especially proud of the development of the outdoor classroom and trails next to the school. She values helping students develop a sense of wonder and awe of nature. She and her students can be found searching for evidence of active winter animals, performing water chemistry tests in the brook, searching for evidence of erosion and of course, swinging on the vine. Her love of nature carries over to the animals in her classroom, where students learn compassion, courage and respect for living creatures. Jean is inspired every day by the curiosity and insight of her students. Her passion for teaching science began in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer. Following that, she taught high school in NYC and earned two master’s degrees from Teachers College at Columbia University. Jean’s commitment to developing young women of courage and character is seen in her volunteer efforts with Girl Scouts. She was awarded the Mitzi Golbek Spirit of Girl Scouting Award. Jean is the mother of three children, Nicky (23), Mandy (20) and Ella (18). It is in large part due to the support and encouragement of her children and husband, Elmer, that she has been able to be dedicated to her teacher’s life.

BPY strives each day to develop each child’s ahavat Hashem and yirat Hashem; inspire, challenge and engage each learner; celebrate and transmit Sephardic and Ashkenazic identity and love of Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael; empower and connect students through Hebrew-language fluency; and build a warm, caring and devoted community dedicated to nurturing empathic, happy and self-fulfilled human beings.

The Annual Dinner benefits BPY’s Annual Fund, which provides essential support for all aspects of the school’s operations, including curricular enhancements, learning support, professional development, investments in technology, and the scholarship fund. Philanthropic support of BPY is essential to the continued success of its exceptional programming and represents an investment in the future of its community.

Please join in supporting BPY on March 29, and thanking the wonderful honorees for their dedication and service to the yeshiva. For more information about the annual dinner, please visit www.bpydinner.org or contact Ari Greene, director of development, at [email protected].

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