May 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

NCSY Bergen County Breakfast Honors Dedicated Staff, Donors and Volunteers

NCSY held its annual scholarship breakfast on Sunday, June 21. NCSY presented four awards to dedicated NCSY stakeholders: Ayelet and Rabbi Michael Hoenig, Reva and Danny Judas, Caryn and Yigal Marcus and Denise and Dr. Leonard Schrieber.

At the event, which was hosted graciously by Alissa and Shimmie Horn, Rabbi Ethan Katz gave a rousing presentation of why NCSY’s work is important and how he works to engage students in New Jersey. “We open their mouths and we feed them coffee, and we feed them pizza, and we feed them ice cream, and we feed them Torah, along with the ice cream and the pizza and the frozen yogurt.

“And we keep feeding them food and feeding them Torah, so much to the point that our weekly ice cream bill from Haagen Daaz in Fair Lawn is over $250 a week. Our expense at Lazy Bean for our Yeshiva kids who come to ask incredible questions is about the same price, $250 a week. But that isn’t enough,” Katz said.

Although NCSY has served over 2,000 NJ teenagers and spent over $1 million, Rabbi Ethan Katz said he is still concerned about the Jews they are not reaching.

“What is the best thing we can do? When should we teach the school? When should we do NCSY? When should we do other crazy stuff? There is always the question about how you can be more impactful, and how you can teach ‘klal Yisroel’ more.”

Michael Hoenig was presented with the “Ahavat Torah Award.” He spoke about what makes NCSY unique and magical, and shared his understanding of the pirkei avos lesson to loving your neighbor, noting that our directive is not to love people in order that they be taught Torah. “Love people because you love them as a creation of ‘ribono shel olam,’ with an unadulterated pure love. And when you have that love, what happens, what transpires, is that they will be brought close to a life of Torah and Mitzvot as a result of this great love that you shower upon them.”

“Every single time they enter the door they are literally showered with love by an advisor, by a fellow staff member,” Hoenig said. “Many of the participants are brought closer to Torah, to light a connection with ribono shel olam. This is a lesson to all of us to have this unadulterated love,” he said.

By Amanda Leifer

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