Thursday, June 24, 2021

Dedication of The Donny Hain (z”l) Yachad Center Lounge

Ask anyone who grew up in Teaneck or anyone who ever attended a Yachad shabbaton over the past 30 years if they know who Donny Hain is, and the answer is sure to be, “Of course I know Donny!”

On March 30, 2020, the world lost a very special person—my dear friend, Donny, z”l. I met Donny when I was just a teenager, attending Yachad events and shabbatons. His bright personality and enthusiasm for making new friends was like no other. If you met Donny at a Yachad event then you know exactly what I am referring to. He was not shy in any way, always making it a priority to introduce himself to everyone in the room.

While many of us tend to be hesitant in new situations with people we do not yet know, Donny made it look easy. His approach looked something like this: “What’s your name? Where do you live? Can we be friends?” He made it all so simple—just be nice to someone and ask them to be your friend.

During the past few years he came to programs even more prepared with his special signature cards that he would hand out to his new friends. The card read, “Donny Hain—The Guy You Want to Know” with “A call from you would make my day” at the bottom. This card pretty much sums up Donny. For one, he was definitely the guy you wanted to know! Who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone so kind and genuine? He craved meaningful socialization and showed us each and every day that being your best self was what mattered. He taught that to me personally and to everyone he interacted with at Yachad. I have no doubt that he brought that message to all the communities he was a part of.

On behalf of everyone at Yachad, we miss our friend and are grateful for all the special moments we had. Donny will always be remembered for his warm smile, big heart and of course—being “the guy you want to know.”

On January 9, Yachad New Jersey will be dedicating The Donny Hain (z”l) Yachad Center Lounge, located at the Yachad Center in Teaneck. The lounge will be a place where friends gather, laughter is in abundance and friendships blossom. It will be a place where those who visit feel instantly welcomed and included.

If you would like to donate in memory of Donny and to the dedication of The Donny Hain (z”l) Yachad Center Lounge, please go to www.yachad.org/njgala20.

By Chani Herrmann,
associate director, Yachad

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