July 12, 2024
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Congregation Beth Aaron’s 51st Dinner Marks Close of Jubilee Year

On Sunday, March 12, a gala dinner will be held at Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood to mark the 51st anniversary of Congregation Beth Aaron in Teaneck. This dinner will not only mark the Congregation’s entry into its second half-century, but will celebrate the completion of a year-long multi-event Jubilee Anniversary celebration.

Guests of Honor at the upcoming dinner are Esther and Josh (Shuie) Klavan, who spearheaded many of the Jubilee activities of the 50th celebration. Esther and Shuie Klavan moved to the Beth Aaron community as a married couple in 2002, joining both sets of parents nearby. Esther’s parents, Rabbi Benjy and Aviva Yablok, were longtime members of the shul, and Shuie’s parents, Miriam and Irv Klavan, were associate members of Beth Aaron, having raised their children in the community.

A major reason for the young couple’s selection of the Beth Aaron community in which to raise their family was the blend of generations and diversity of membership. The Klavans are parents to Izzy and Leah, newly married and living in Washington Heights; Moshe, studying at YU; Aura, graduating from Naaleh High School; and Rina, graduating from RYNJ.

Professionally Shuie is an audit partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Esther is the director of Sinai at TABC. In addition to their family and demanding professional careers, the Klavans have been extraordinarily involved in Beth Aaron and the Teaneck community. Shuie has served as a board member, treasurer, VP of finance and shul president. He has served as a treasured shaliach tzibur on Yomim Noraim for the past 15 years. In addition, he co-founded Shearit HaPlate of Bergen County, providing extra food from smachot to families who needed temporary assistance. Esther has provided the support for Shuie’s many activities and can always be counted on to come to the fore in the many ongoing chesed activities of the shul.

During last year’s Jubilee celebration of Beth Aaron, Shuie oversaw the many initiatives that took place throughout the year and are still in the process of coming to light, such as the Torah Journal representing divrei Torah from members of the congregation. During the year, the newsletter presented spotlights on member families; special interviews were conducted by Esther Schnaidman with some of the 100 olim families from Beth Aaron. A special Shabbat Kiddush was held, as was a Day of Chesed in May, during which members packed food for the Bergen County Kosher Food Pantry and clothing for Yad Leah. A supplies donation drive/letter was established for Ukrainian refugees with Baranova 27.

The Klavans shared: “We cherish our beloved Rabbi Larry and Chaviva Rothwachs. We appreciate the warmth of Beth Aaron and the Teaneck community and the opportunities to get involved and contribute. We treasure the diversity of the multigenerational membership, which has enabled our children to daven not only among peers, but alongside grandparents as well. We wish all of our co-honorees a hearty Yishar Kochachem!”

For this year’s Shelly Leffel Service awardees, Zivi and Kovie Wagner, their move to Beth Aaron in 2009 was confident and intentional as they were already close friends of Rabbi and Chaviva Rothwachs, about whom they shared, “We continue to be inspired by them each day.” The Wagners also immediately appreciated the multigenerational community offered by Beth Aaron, as it allowed their children to be involved as well in the kehillah. From a young age, their four children were active participants in the chesed activities of their parents.

Zivi is an educator who currently serves as an assistant teacher at the SINAI program at TABC with Esther Klavan. Kovie works in sales and marketing for assisted Living communities. Zivi has served on sisterhood and shul boards and has been active in the Mishloach Manos project as well as Tomchei Shabbos and iShine. Kovie serves as gabbai sheini in the main minyan and in the respected position of head of Beth Aaron’s chevra kadisha. He is a talented baal koreh and teaches bar mitzvah leining. Their family has recently grown with the marriage of their son. They have a son learning in Israel, a daughter in nursing school and a daughter in RYNJ.

This year’s awardees for the prestigious Eitan Shapiro Young Leadership Award are two lovely young ladies who actually were born into the sphere of Beth Aaron. Lila Greengart’s family moved to Beth Aaron shortly after she was born. During her 17 years, she has been attending youth groups at the shul and, for the last four years, leading them. As a senior at Ma’ayanot High School she is referred to as a “drama queen,” referring to her love of acting which she has done in different plays and productions, as well as in filming videos. Her outgoing personality has made her a beloved group leader as well as a responsible substitute youth director when needed. During COVID, she was a source of comfort to her young members. As for her selection for the Eitan Shapiro Award, she is delighted, and being the actress she is, Lila shared that she is looking forward to getting “dressed up” and being the “center of attention.”

Racheli Wechter, the second of the Eitan Shapiro Young Leadership awardees, began attending Beth Aaron 17 years ago, as a 1-year-old. Currently a senior at Naaleh High School, she hopes to attend seminary in Israel next year and then return to Touro College. For the past six years, Racheli has been a youth group leader at Beth Aaron in addition to volunteering with her family in delivering mishloach manot and other activities. A devoted soccer player, she follows the sport here and in England and even works as an assistant soccer coach at RYNJ as well as a youth coach for the Teaneck Junior Soccer League. Racheli has volunteered at Yad Leah and heads REACH, the committee at Naaleh that involves each student in a chesed activity. Among her other chesed activities was her participation in the NCSY Houston Chesed Mission.

Regarding Beth Aaron, Racheli shared that she loves the shul for its diversity in ages and types of people who attend, and its warm and wonderful environment. A source of pure joy to Racheli is that recently her grandparents, Rhona and Abe Flaumenholtz, became new members of Beth Aaron. When asked how she felt about her honor, she simply replied, “It’s an honor to be honored!”

As in many years past, Nechama Pudell and Moishe B. Singer have been busy for months planning every detail of the event. They are proud to announce innovations to this year’s dinner. A new caterer has been engaged who will fete attendees to a new and elegant cuisine. Entertainment will be provided by mentalist David Lawrence.

David Fisher, who heads the Raffle Committee, is excited to announce this year’s Grand Prize consisting of two round-trip tickets to Israel, which can be purchased for a $100 donation. In addition, six raffle packages that can be purchased for $10 for a single ticket and $25 for three tickets will offer exciting prizes. They include a Restaurant Package consisting of gift certificates to six local restaurants; a Delectable Delights Package that offers gift cards to local bakeries and candy stores; a Simchat Shabbat Package offering gift certificates to local food and clothing businesses; a Self-Care Package, which offers skin care, hair styling and personal training services; a Tech Bundle offering a variety of techware and consulting; and a Teaneck Professional Package offering sessions in computers, design, crafts, sports and challah baking from local experts.

Raffles can be purchased by going to bethaaron.org/dinnerraffle

Please join the upcoming Beth Aaron 51st anniversary celebration on Sunday, March 12.

Dinner Buffet at 5 p.m.

Program at 6:15 p.m.

Congregation Ahavath Torah

240 Broad Avenue

Englewood, NJ 07631

To register and for further information go to www.bethaaron.org/dinner  or email [email protected]

By Pearl Markovitz

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