June 21, 2024
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June 21, 2024
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Bergenfield’s Beth Abraham Celebrates 26th Annual Dinner

More than 300 participants gathered in person on Wednesday evening, June 2, to celebrate the 26th Annual Dinner of Congregation Beth Abraham. Joined by many additional participants online, the dinner marked not only a celebratory milestone for the shul but an inaugural community event after a year and a half of restrictions on social gatherings. It was evident that the shul community was delighted to be together once again.

Beth Abraham’s president, Dr. Michael Wiederkehr, opened the program by acknowledging the government representatives sending best wishes. Congressman Josh Gottheimer extended congratulations via video to the honorees and expressed his pride in representing the Beth Abraham Community. Online greetings were also offered by Assemblyman Chris Tully, Assemblywoman Lisa Swain and Senator Joe Langana. Attending the dinner in person were Mayor Arvin Amatorio, who presented a proclamation on behalf of the town of Bergenfield;  Council President Hernando Rivera; Councilman Buddy Deauna; Councilman Thomas A. Lodato; Councilman Rafael Marte; Councilman Marc Pascual; and Councilwoman Ora Kornbluth, a member of Congregation Beth Abraham. Commissioner Tracy Zur offered an additional formal proclamation at the event.

Dr. Wiederkehr went on to praise those in the shul community who head various initiatives including the Youth Committee, the Shidduch Project and the Shavuot Night Learning Program. A special shout-out went to the Medical Committee, which devoted many hours in consultation and in sharing their expertise during the COVID pandemic

In introducing the guests of honor, Jen and Simmy Friedman, Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Weinberg, mashpia at Congregation Beth Abraham, conveyed a message in the name of the Aish Kodesh regarding the sin of the meraglim, spies. He suggested that the spies reacted too realistically and pragmatically in the face of the residents of Canaan whom they saw as their opposition. Caleb and Yehoshua reacted with reflection and patience to the same situation. For us and the world over, the pandemic required patience and reflection as we fought off the virulent virus, and most of all true belief in Hashem who has the community’s best interests in mind.

Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger, morah d’asra of Congregation Beth Abraham, praised the Friedmans for their tremendous dedication to the shul through serving in multiple roles. Simmy, in his humble yet highly efficient manner, served on the shul board, as vice -president and treasurer, and Jenny is a fixture on the Yomim Noraim seating committee and editor of the shul announcements. The Friedmans are active members as well in local schools attended by their children, Eliana, Shai and Adina. Rabbi Neuburger praised the Friedmans for utilizing their expertise and skills in the support of hubs of kedusha.

Honored with the Max and Magda Midor L’Dor Community Service Award were Miriam and Mayer Sabo. In presenting the Sabos for their honor, Rabbi Tanchum Cohen, assistant rabbi of Congregation Beth Abraham, held up a long, orange extension cord as a symbolic prop. He offered that the Sabos, ever since their arrival in Bergenfield in 2003, have served as “generators” of light, warmth and support to the community. Mayer is a wellspring of creativity and “gushes with goodness, compassion and empathy” compounded by a “zany sense of humor.” He is known as the “go-to guy” whenever anything needs to be done. He serves as the official/unofficial photographer for Beth Abraham as well as many other community organizations. He has served as the warehouse manager of Tomchei Shabbos for over five years and is a member of Chaverim of Bergen County. Miriam has served on countless Sisterhood and shul committees including the welcoming committee, mishloach manot committee and dinner committee.She has served as parent ambassador of both MTA and Bruriah and is currently co-president of the RYNJ PTA as well as a Sharsheret “Link-a-Peer’’ supporter. As their parents set examples of community involvement for them, the Sabos are setting examples of chesed and commitment for their children, Tzvi, Yael, Aryeh and Shai.

Rabbi Neuburger presented Aliza and Dr. Roniel Weinberg, the Tomchei Torah Award honorees, as displaying passion and wise judgement. Rabbi Cohen referred to the Weinbergs as elegant and full of grace. For Rabbi Weinberg, they represent commitment and dedication. Roniel’s role as gabbai during COVID was fraught with major dilemmas and challenges, which he handled with good judgment, humility and an appreciation for what is important. He gracefully ushered the shul back into its premises with sensitivity and provided skilled and precise leining on Shabbos and Yomim Tovim. He is a member of the shul’s executive board. In his professional capacity as an anesthesiologist, Weinberg served the community during COVID with an open heart, concern and compassion. Aliza is a gifted Tanach educator, currently teaching at Frisch and offering shiurim to shuls and other communal organizations throughout Bergen County. She has served on the shul board and youth committee. She has also served and chaired the board of education at Yavneh Academy and served on the board of education of TABC. The Weinberg children, Yonina, Sam and Alex, join their parents in serving as Torah role models in the community.

Dr. Wiederkehr expressed sincerest wishes of gratitude to the dinner chair, Ora Kornbluth, as well as to the journal chair, David Greenberg, who did a yeoman’s job in putting the festive evening together.

By Pearl Markovitz

 

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