July 19, 2024
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Vogels, Richters and Sperber Sisters to Headline at Congregation Beth Aaron’s 43rd ‘Mega’ Dinner

Forty three years have flown by since the establishment of the shul “on the other side of Route 4” which has served as a model of community involvement for the many other shuls and community organizations within Teaneck. Emanating from Congregation Beth Aaron are major local chesed projects, involving JLE, Shearit HaPlate, PeniNote Women’s Choir, Rinat Chaim Gemach and others.

The upcoming 43rd Annual Dinner, to be held at Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood on Sunday, March 3, is being planned as a “mega” event, not only featuring the dinner itself, but including pre-Shabbat festivities. On the Friday night preceding the dinner, Rabbi Larry Rothwachs will present a theatrical production entitled, “Night at the Shul: If the Walls Could Talk.” After davening on Shabbat morning, the shul will host a celebratory kiddush, and Shabbat will conclude with a musical Havdala.

Morah D’asra of Congregation Beth Aaron, Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, together with Rebbetzin Chaviva, have led the shul since August 2002. They have imbued the shul with warmth and created a welcoming atmosphere. Under their leadership, the shul has expanded its opportunities for learning on all levels, youth to adult, and has brought in programming for every age and interest.

Rabbi Rothwachs shared, “I feel a tremendous sense of pride and admiration for our honorees, all of whom are being recognized for their extraordinary efforts and accomplishments. Our community is profoundly fortunate to have such wonderful individuals who really exemplify the ideals and values of our shul.”

Guests of honor Lorraine and Rabbi Sam Vogel, Shelly Leffel service awardees Elissa and Joel Richter, and Eitan Shapiro young leadership awardees Rachel, Aliza and Talia Sperber personify the chesed and commitment of Beth Aaron members.

The Vogels moved to Teaneck in 1966. Within their first week, Sam initiated a Friday night minyan which continues today. The Vogels have six children: Sharona, Rachelle, Yonina, Avi, Chanan and Chava.

Professionally, the Vogels were teachers both at NYC high schools as well as local yeshivot and Hebrew schools. Sam served as the founding secular studies principal at TABC.

For many Teaneck residents, the name Vogel immediately brings to mind the memorable summers that their children spent at Ma-Tov Day Camp, a successful summer camp run by the family. Ma-Tov provided summers filled with Torah, sports and creative activities to thousands of local and not-so-local youngsters for 27 seasons.

Sam, known as a gifted baal tefillah, talented athlete in the Beth Aaron softball league, and the “candyman,” served as president of the shul nearly 40 years ago. Among the numerous committees and initiatives that the Vogels were involved in over the years were decorating the shul for Shavuot, leading the singing on Simchat Torah and making dozens of peanut butter sandwiches for the children’s lunch on Yom Kippur.

Over many years, Lorraine and Rabbi Sam have been involved in numerous community organizations from shuls to yeshivas to the mikvah and, most recently, Lorraine’s involvement with Shearit HaPlate.

Elissa and Joel Richter are being honored with the Shelly Leffel Service award. The Richters moved to Teaneck almost 29 years ago and joined Beth Aaron in 2000. Elissa is a preschool teacher at Yeshivat Noam. Coincidentally, she also worked as the director of the program for staff children at Ma-Tov Day Camp. Joel has served Beth Aaron in many capacities. He has been the gabbai at the main Shabbat minyan for close to 10 years as well as for the early morning weekday minyan. Joel also served as the shul’s rental coordinator and is an active member of the Men’s Club and seuda shelishit committee. He has been responsible for the monthly printed calendar for close to 20 years. The Richters are proud parents of Ari, an IT network engineer for the Garb Consulting Group; Eitan, currently learning in Israel; and Ayelet, attending Stern College.

Rachel, Aliza and Talia Sperber can truly say that they “grew up” at Beth Aaron. Their mom, Joy, brought them to shul on Shabbat, first as toddlers and subsequently as participants in Shabbat groups and activities. In their early teens, they became devoted Shabbat group leaders. They enthusiastically worked alongside their parents in shul activities such as cooking chesed meals, packing mishloach manot and arranging the Shabbat Project dinner. They were often seen with their dad, Robert, dishing out cholent at kiddush. All three girls are graduates of Yeshivat Noam. Aliza and Rachel are graduates of Frisch where Talia is a current 10th grader. Rachel is studying psychology at Stern College and hopes to pursue a degree in law. She recently interned with The Honorable Judge Ruchie Freier. Aliza is studying engineering at Rutgers University.

For the Sperber girls, being part of Beth Aaron has nurtured their love for Israel and has encouraged them to participate in chesed activities within their community. Rachel and Aliza both volunteered with the Friendship Circle. Rachel taught youngsters with little Jewish background through the Jewish Youth Encounter Program. Tali coached children for the Teaneck Youth Soccer League. Rachel spent a summer at Camp Szarvas in Hungary, teaching Jewish youngsters about their Jewish roots. Aliza is very active in Chabad and Hillel on her Rutgers campus. Tali is on the art track at Frisch and is a valuable player on the JV soccer team. The Sperber sisters are honored to be the recipients of the Eitan Shapiro Young Leadership Award.

Please join the shul for its upcoming dinner, which will take place at Congregation Ahavath Torah at 240 Broad Street in Englewood, on Sunday, March 3, beginning at 5 p.m..To place an ad in honor of the honorees or to make reservations for the dinner, go to Bethaaron.org/dinner. The deadline for the journal ads has been extended to Tuesday, February 19.

By Pearl Markovitz

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