June 20, 2024
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BPY Dinner: Community, Resilience and Gratitude

(Courtesy of BPY) Ben Porat Yosef (BPY) held its annual dinner on March 9. This year’s dinner focused on the resilience of the BPY community and on thanking those who have made this year of in-person learning possible for BPY’s students: BPY’s dedicated and inspiring faculty, administration and staff; its medical committee, Dr. Jennifer Chester and Dr. Maureen Nemetski; and its school nurse, Dara Silverstein. The event was held virtually, streaming live from BPY’s campus.

The day’s celebrations began early with the president of the BPY Board of Trustees, Rachel Barber Schwartz, greeting BPY’s faculty, staff and administration on campus and presenting each with a personalized award to mark the occasion. Later in the day, the faculty and staff enjoyed a catered boxed lunch in their honor.

The virtual dinner was held in the evening. Using an interactive online platform, guests were able to greet and thank the honorees and socialize with one another both before and after the formal program. The evening’s program began with a video showcasing BPY’s faculty, staff and administration. Adam Groveman, chair of BPY’s development committee, who served as master of ceremonies, then opened the event with a combination of heartfelt gratitude to the honorees and signature humor.

Rabbi Saul Zucker, BPY’s head of school, addressed the gathering, noting how exceptional BPY’s faculty and staff are: “We have a group within the BPY family who are true heroes. They are people with more than professionalism and responsibility. They are people with devotion. The BPY faculty are driven. They give of themselves with every fiber of their being. I am inspired daily by the miracles that they do.”

Continuing on this note, throughout the event, guests heard from members of the BPY Class of 2021—Lia Hendlish Lemberger, Ian and Noah Toporovsky and Eliana Douek—who shared student reflections on the themes of the evening. Each described how this year’s honorees have gone above and beyond to ensure that students are happy, healthy and learning.

In her remarks, Schwartz commented on the work and dedication of BPY’s school nurse and medical committee. With respect to Nurse Silverstein, she noted that “there is no one more compassionate, more caring, and more skilled at her profession than Nurse Dara.” Schwartz shared how BPY’s medical committee, Dr. Nemetski and Dr. Chester, were instrumental in developing guidelines for COVID-safe operations across every possible area, ensuring that our children could attend school in-person this year and noted that “Maureen and Jen continue to be an unstinting source of expertise, advice and strength.”

The evening’s program featured a powerful and poignant documentary video entitled “Ben Porat Yosef—A Year of Resilience,” detailing the school’s journey over the past year and showing how the BPY community pulled together to address the challenges of COVID and give our children a wonderful year of learning and growth. In addition, guests were treated to a virtual concert by Grammy winning Israeli violinist, Miri Ben-Ari.

The feeling of community was palpable throughout the virtual celebration. Just before the conclusion of the program, a recorded message of thanks to all of the honorees from BPY’s students and families was shared.

BPY is grateful to all of its honorees, as well as to the entire community of family, friends and supporters for making this year a success and enabling BPY to continue to thrive and be a place of learning, love and support for our children.

BPY would like to thank Jodi Cohen and Cori Robinson, dinner co-chairs; Anna Grady and Adam Groveman of BPY’s development committee; development professionals Blake Bradford and Nako Ishii; PTO co-presidents Jacky Cohen and Ari Harary; Tamar Moche; and the many members of BPY’s staff who provided critical support and assistance in the production of the virtual dinner. As well, BPY would like to thank the vendors who made the event so memorable: Ari Grunzeweig and his team at Imagination Creations, Grand & Essex, On the Table, Fruits by Pesha, Popinsanity and Butterflake Bake Shop. Finally, a special thanks to Hummus Elite for its support and generosity.

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