July 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

RPRY ‘Undinner’ Attracts Hundreds of Attendees

The RPRY Yeshiva dinner on May 31 was designed to be the ultimate “undinner.” There was a mixology stand offering a variety of drinks, a virtual reality station, a photo booth, multiplayer games, artisanal pizza made on the premises, and an expansive range of dairy dinner options selected to make walking about and talking easier. Yet that alone wasn’t what made the event so successful and created such a buzz in the spacious and full Rutgers Hillel building where it was held.

For many attendees, it was also a long-sought opportunity to get together with friends, neighbors, school staff and community members in a large setting, after years of precautions. School President Tova Renna noted in her remarks that “we’re so pleased to host our first in-person event since 2019,” and dinner planning committee member Judy Schwarzberg, asked what aspect of the dinner she found most rewarding, stated: “People getting together again!” Asaf Shmuel said he appreciated “the very inclusive, and very chill, atmosphere,” and RPRY teacher Nitza Adler stated that she valued “the casual atmosphere, the camaraderie, and the palpable sense of community.”

Tali Becker summed up the feelings of many when she said that what she enjoyed most was simply “hanging out with my friends.” Mindy Berman echoed this sentiment, stating, “It was a great way to see people we haven’t seen for a long time and to support our school.”

Yet the evening also managed to include the requisite parts of a “standard” dinner that help a school meaningfully mark the milestone of another successful year. Honoree Rebecca Cypess spoke movingly, saying that, like the counting of Bnai Yisroel at the start of Parshas Bamidbar, “in RPRY, all children count” and this was especially evident in the work of STEM program coordinator Sari Shalom, a”h. Departing Head of School Rabbi Daniel Loew, who is making aliyah with his family, received a standing ovation and a lovely artistic mezuzah from the school, in recognition of his service and leadership in challenging times.

Many attendees, speaking to The Jewish Link, delighted in the opportunity to celebrate the young couple being honored, Yaakov and Avital Rosenberg, who both grew up in town and attended RPRY. And others expressed a view akin to that of Barry Katz, who shared: “What’s great about this dinner is being together with a group of people who want to continue to build a diverse Jewish community by supporting RPRY.”

Milton Erfarb stated: “It’s wonderful to see such a broad cross section of the community, coming together to celebrate our lovely yeshiva.” Having witnessed the “undinner,” The Jewish Link certainly agrees with this view.


By Harry Glazer

 As you can tell, Harry Glazer really, really likes being invited to cover organizational dinners. He also enjoys writing reviews of new kosher restaurants. Picking up a theme here? Harry can be reached at [email protected]

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