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SINAI Schools to Hold Annual Dinner February 27

(Courtesy of SINAI Schools) SINAI Schools will hold its annual campaign and benefit dinner on Sunday, February 27, at 5:15 p.m. at the Marriott Glenpointe Hotel in Teaneck. This year’s honorees are Tova and Shai Gerson, Micah Kaufman, Dr. Lisa Kotler and Edwin H. Ruzinsky. The dinner will also mark the establishment of The Norbert & Liesel Schloss z”l Scholarship Fund by their children, Marsha and Tom Friedman and family.

Tova and Shai Gerson have been dedicated supporters and champions of SINAI Schools for many years. Specifically, Shai currently serves on SINAI’s investment committee, and Tova is working with SINAI to further develop its growing ambassador initiative, which is cultivating a new generation of SINAI supporters and leaders. The Gersons are active members of Congregations Ohr HaTorah and Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, and have assumed leadership roles within other organizations. Shai serves on the executive committee of the board of American Friends of Yeshivat Har Etzion and volunteers extensively at Yeshivat Noam, and Tova is a past Yeshivat Noam board member, past Emunah chapter president and an avid bike rider for Chai Lifeline’s Tour de Simcha.

Micah Kaufman, a longtime SINAI supporter and board member for 15 years as well as a kidney donor, is an inspirational role model for SINAI students. A little over two years ago, Micah suffered a catastrophic accident, but has continued to pursue his life’s mission of modeling the value of chesed by speaking over the past year at metropolitan area day schools and organizations. One group of SINAI middle school students was so inspired by him that they created “Micah’s Mindset,” a project aimed at seeking out community chesed opportunities and finding the good in their everyday life experiences.

Dr. Lisa Kotler, an active member of East Hill Synagogue in Englewood, has been generous with her time, expertise, and professional guidance to SINAI for a number of years. She has practiced as a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist for 25 years, and is the medical director of the NYU Child Study Center at its Hackensack office. She is also an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. She works closely with SINAI staff to identify ways to address the developmental and psychological needs of students with particularly complex psychiatric profiles.

Community leader Edwin H. Ruzinsky has provided introductions that have proven transformational for SINAI, including one connection several years ago that facilitated SINAI’s exceptionally strong partnership with Holy Name Medical Center, and another that resulted in a generous legacy gift to SINAI. He continues to sit on Holy Name’s Board of Trustees, where he previously served as Chairman and is currently Treasurer. Other organizations that have benefitted from Ed’s leadership include Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley, Family Service America, Jewish Theological Seminary, Israel Bonds, and Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern NJ.

Norbert and Liesel Schloss, the parents of Marsha Friedman and longtime Fair Lawn residents, were ardent supporters of SINAI, with Norbert serving as gabbai of Congregation Shomrei Torah’s tzedakah fund. Their children chose to honor them with the establishment of The Norbert & Liesel Schloss z”l Scholarship Fund.

At the dinner SINAI Schools will premiere its newest feature documentary, “In the Blink of an Eye,” about a young boy who miraculously survived a devastating car accident while sustaining severe traumatic brain damage. Even after years of surgeries and therapies, there was only one place that could meet his needs. This is why SINAI is here.

SINAI, which operates eight inclusive special education schools across New York and New Jersey, has worked with children with a wide range of developmental, intellectual and complex learning disabilities for four decades. SINAI is recognized for its excellence in special education, providing highly individualized programming and extensive therapies to meet each child’s individual needs, paired with a Jewish education. The costs SINAI takes on each time it accepts a new student are extraordinarily high.

For more information and reservations, visit www.sinaidinner.org or call (201) 833-1134, ext. 106.

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