April 23, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 23, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Project Ezrah Honors Community Helpers

At this year’s Project Ezrah Dinner on this motzei Shabbat, December 9, the community chesed honoree is the Keter Torah Community Security Service (CSS) team, along with five other special couples known for their community dedication and involvement.

Why does the CSS Keter Torah team feel that Project Ezrah is important? “CSS, like Project Ezrah, offers a way for volunteers to give back to the community, by protecting Jewish lives and our way of life. The CSS Keter Torah security team believes it is our collective responsibility to protect and help each other. Project Ezrah is the gold standard in this field and we are honored to receive the Community Chesed award from such an organization.”

The CSS Keter Torah Security team began operations in 2012 with an original team of 11 who went through a boot-camp cadet training, and the team has grown to over 50 members and counting. These 50+ dedicated and selfless individuals have trained with CSS on various levels of security, counter surveillance, counter-terror and situational awareness. Team members give up countless hours week after week, Shabbat after Shabbat to stand in the sweltering heat, freezing cold, pouring rain and stormy, snowy weather, ensuring that the members of the Keter Torah Congregation can pray in peace.

Also being honored at the dinner are longtime Teaneck fixtures Nechama and Tuly Polak. “When friends notified us that they were making a contribution to Project Ezrah in our honor, they summed up succinctly why there are many supporters for Project Ezrah, by saying, ‘This is easy.’ In a sense Project Ezrah is doing our job.” The Polaks noted that the Gemara specifically outlines the responsibilities every community has to set up a systematic safety net for those in need. “The Rambam, in his inimitable style, comments that a community not organized to support the needy is unheard of. Thus Project Ezrah is clearly fulfilling Bergen County’s religious responsibility,” they told The Jewish Link.

“Halacha describes those in charge of identifying needs, collecting resources followed by proper distribution as talmedei chachamim (Torah scholars), meaning, in this context, people infused with dedication and professionalism. We have been privileged to know both Robert Hoenig and Rabbi Yossie Stern, z”l, for many decades and feel great pride in how Project Ezrah has evolved. Nechama, from personal experience in her line of business (as the “Nechama” from Vera & Nechama Realty), has seen first hand the profound help Project Ezrah offers.”

Chana and Lee Schwartz, from the Englewood community, are also being honored by Project Ezrah. Both are extraordinary, lifelong, dedicated workers on behalf of the Jewish community, Chana at the Moriah School and Yeshivat Noam, and Lee at AIPAC, Israel Bonds the NJ-Israel Commission and Congregation Ahavath Torah. “Chana and I support Project Ezrah because it helps members of the Jewish community through the process of finding meaningful employment. They receive professional and confidential counseling on the interview process, writing resumes, providing financial assistance and planning, to get families through challenging times and give them hope for a better future where they can fulfill their dreams and aspirations. Project Ezrah provides them the opportunity to give back to and strengthen their communities,” they told The Jewish Link.

A few words about the other special Project Ezrah honorees: Lauren and Zvi Adler are a Congregation Rinat Yisrael/Teaneck “power couple,” who never stop in all that they do for their shul and community, whether it’s on behalf of Renewal, Mesorah/Yachad or many other organizations. Dossy and Leo Brandstatter, of Congregation Shomrei Torah, are a couple known in Fair Lawn for always being available when called and for their many quiet acts of chesed. “‘Quiet’ is the operative word here. The Brandstatters want no accolades for all that they do. Their acceptance of this year’s Project Ezrah’s Ezrah Award was only because of their deep commitment and belief in the organization,” said Ezrah’s Susan Alpert. The Brandstatters are also wonderful supporters of SINAI Schools.

Aviva and Harold Nussbaum from Teaneck’s Congregation Beth Aaron are very active and involved in coaching and sports leagues locally and with programs for their children. “If you want to play ball, the Nussbaums must be on your team; they are known for always stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run. They are truly team players who are special to so many members of Beth Aaron and our community,” said Alpert.

It’s not too late to attend the dinner and support these wonderful honorees. Please visit http://www.ezrah.org/dinner to donate.

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles