April 16, 2024
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April 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Jewish Link to Host First Annual Dinner for Dinner Organizers

Each and every year, while couples grouse and complain that they have to go to “yet another annoying annual dinner,” whether it is for their schools, their shul or a chesed institution they support, they forget the superhuman efforts made by overworked, emotionally battered heroes to get them there.

“I have to write 400 personal, heartfelt emails and then sign them in the name of my boss to get people to even agree to be honored, and I keep a list of what kind of drinks everyone likes so I can bring each person one at the dinner,” said Charity Chesed, who has overseen every detail of the last 18 Project Shmuel dinners. “Sometimes, after people agree to be honored, I have to remind them 25 times that they have to actually show up at the dinner as well. I had to drive to our honoree’s house last year after he and his wife ‘almost forgot’ to show up to be honored,” Chesed said.

“It was really tough for me to get through film school, but MITZRAYIM really needed me to up my game with the dinner videos,” said Moshina Hoogle-Goodle, who manages the 1,000-plate dinner for MITZRAYIM Schools every year. “But after attending pastry school to learn just what temperature our attendees need their warmed cookies to be, it was not so bad,” she added.

“It’s really hard to come up with new things to say about how great people are,” said Sarah Seraphina, who noted that she has never even met most of the people she writes about in dinner journals. “It’s like putting my hand in a hat and coming up with a bunch of random adjectives.” Seraphina, like many school administrators, is overqualified for every job she has ever held and is often left to take care of details best left to the students. “But it’s all material for my next personal essay in The Forward,” she noted, the most recent of which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize.

“The whole dinner disaster is why we never run traditional dinners in the first place,” said Rivka Tangoman, the co-director of Kosher Yomtov of Hudson County. “But of course, that’s why we have to ask people for emergency funds every Pesach, creating panic in the community by telling them we need to collect $600,000 and 14,000 boxes of matzah in three days. Everyone has their own approach that works best for them,” she added.

“I’ve tried for years to get The Herzl School to allow me and my friends to do the entertainment at my school and shul dinners,” said Luis Aryeh, a marketing manager at the school, who sings in the a capella group The Yevanim. “But they always insist on getting a ‘real act’ with more experience, like the YU-Macs,” he complained.

The first annual dinner-organizer annual dinner will be held on Motzei Shabbat, February 30, and will honor Chesed, Hoogle-Goodle, Seraphina, Tangoman and Aryeh, noting that the work they do in putting up with The Jewish Link and our special meshugas is over and above their pay grades. They even don’t mind being skewered in our paper’s Purim section.

If you don’t like these dinner organizers but are still itching to attend a dinner, there are many upcoming options that you can choose from. See the articles on pages 21, 24, 26 and 30 this week.

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