June 17, 2024
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June 17, 2024
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Shalva Gala in New York Highlights Emotional Resilience and Hope

(Credit: Shalva)

(Courtesy of Shalva) The Shalva gala held in New York City witnessed a stirring display of emotional resilience and hope as Yoav Engel, father of Ofir Engel, who endured 54 days in captivity after being kidnapped to Gaza, made a poignant appearance. Yoav, also the manager of the Shalva sports center, expressed profound gratitude, acknowledging the unwavering support of Shalva’s community during his son’s ordeal. “Without the wonderful people of Shalva who stood by me the whole time my son was in Gaza, I wouldn’t have made it,” said Yoav Engel.

Standing beside his father, Ofir Engel recounted the harrowing experience, shedding light on the challenges faced during captivity. “They told us that they don’t want us in Israel, that the families don’t want us, and that we won’t be back even in another year,” shared Ofir Engel.

(Credit: Shalva)

Engel, a resident of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, vividly recalled the moment of his abduction from the Sharabi family home in Bari on October 7, expressing the sheer terror he experienced. Reflecting on his ordeal in Hamas captivity, he shared the physical and emotional toll it took, including the heart-wrenching loss of Yossi, the father of Ofir’s girlfriend, who was tragically murdered in captivity.

The “Color Our World with Hope” 34th Anniversary Dinner of Shalva, held at the iconic Gotham Hall in Midtown Manhattan, brought together over 500 cherished friends and supporters for an evening replete with hope, unity and love. The event underscored Shalva’s profound impact, not only in providing care for children with disabilities and their families but also through its National Crisis Center in Israel.

The gala honored notable individuals, including Debbie and Steven Shapiro as Guests of Honor, Esther and Nachman Goodman and Alyson and Rafi Goodman as L’Dor V’Dor Honorees, and Marion and Stanley Bergman as Pillars of Hope.

(Credit: Shalva)

Yoav’s poignant message resonated deeply, urging all to hold onto hope for a brighter tomorrow. “We need to believe that anything is possible, and to never give up hope for a bright future,” he emphasized.

The evening began with a delightful cocktail hour, followed by heartfelt remarks from Norm Alpert, Chairman of the AFOS board, and Kalman Samuels, Founder and President of Shalva, expressing gratitude for the unwavering support. The highlight of the night was the presentation of the “Spirit of Hope Award” to the Engel family by Shalva’s CEO Yochanan Samuels, accompanied by a moving tribute to Israel performed by The Shuk Band, evoking tears from attendees.

The festivities continued with a lavish dinner, poignant award presentations, and concluded with an enthralling performance by The Shuk Band, leaving an indelible mark on all present.

(Credit: Shalva)

Shalva extends heartfelt gratitude to all who contributed to the success of this extraordinary evening.

Shalva remains steadfast in its mission to inspire hope and transform lives. As Ofir Engel passionately declared, “We will keep our spirits high. We will never give up hope. We will stay united and be strong. B’Yachad Nenatzeach. Am Yisroel Chai!”

(Credit: Shalva)

 

(Credit: Shalva)

 

(Credit: Shalva)
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