(Courtesy of NCSY) On Sunday, March 17, NCSY will be hosting their second annual gala celebrating over 60 years of inspiring teens about Judaism. NCSY, which this year reached over 28,000 teens across the US, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Israel, is the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union. Dedicated to connecting, inspiring and empowering Jewish teens and encouraging passionate Judaism through Torah and tradition, NCSY provides informal Jewish education, leadership training, retreats and summer programs that foster positive Jewish identity and connection to Israel, preparing the next generation of committed Jewish communal leaders. NCSY programming includes Shabbatons, chesed missions, Jewish Student Union clubs in public schools, weekly Latte-N-Learns and more. Over the summer, NCSY runs 22 programs in Israel, the US and Europe, which have over 1,500 participants. For more info, please go to www.ncsy.org.
At its upcoming gala, NCSY honors Gershon and Dr. Aviva Distenfeld of Bergenfield, alongside Rabbi Elie and Naama Weinstock, and Genie and Stephen Savitsky. In addition, NCSY’s Ben Zakai Honor Society is honoring the sacred legacy of Rabbi Ralph Pelcovitz z”l.
Gershon M. Distenfeld holds a BS in finance from the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University and is a CFA charterholder. He is Senior Vice President, Co-Head of Fixed Income, Director of Credit and a Partner at AllianceBernstein, where he has worked since 1998.
Dr. Aviva G. Distenfeld graduated summa cum laude from CUNY Queens College with a bachelor’s degree in History. She then earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from SUNY College of Optometry in 2002. She has been an associate physician at the office of Alden Leifer MD & Associates since 2006.
Since 200, Aviva and Gershon have resided in Bergenfield, New Jersey where they are raising their four children, Shoshana (18), Talia (14), Esti (11) and Aryeh (2). They are active members of Congregation Beth Abraham of Bergenfield where Aviva serves on the board of directors. Their children attend The Frisch School, the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey and Yeshivat He’Atid. Aviva serves on the Frisch Parent Association, and Gershon is a former executive board member of RYNJ and initiated NNJKIDS, a community-wide education fund for Bergen County. Together, Aviva and Gershon were founding members of Yeshivat He’Atid where Gershon served as chairman of the board for the first several years and Aviva currently serves on the education committee. They are passionate about educating and inspiring children both in and out of the classroom.
Over the past several years, Aviva and Gershon have partnered with NCSY to support its humanitarian disaster-relief projects, a major priority for them. In fact, Gershon recently returned from a NCSY relief mission in Puerto Rico.