July 18, 2024
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YIPC to Honor Rabbi David and Yael Pahmer

(Courtesy of YIPC) It was West Coast meets East Coast. And among the beneficiaries for nearly the past quarter-century has been the Young Israel of Passaic-Clifton.

Rabbi David and Yael Pahmer are being honored at the annual YIPC dinner on Sunday, March 6. YIPC is where the Pahmers have raised their 10 children, contributed through shiurim, helped lead services and volunteered in countless ways.

For David, the Young Israel was a natural fit. His parents helped start the Young Israel of Plainview. And from there, he continued a vibrant path across Modern/Centrist Orthodoxy’s pillars, attending HANC for elementary and high school, Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh (KBY) in Israel and then Yeshiva College, where he earned semicha from RIETS and a Master’s in Jewish Education from Azrieli in the early 1990s.

Upon earning his degrees, David continued learning at Yeshiva University’s Kollel Elyon. For the past 25 years, he has been a fixture at Stern College for Women, teaching Gemara, Halacha, computers and math— an embodiment of Yeshiva’s motto of Torah uMadda (the marriage of religious and worldly knowledge).

Asked about his years at Yeshiva University, David feels privileged to be working there, calling it, “the most important Jewish educational institution of our time,” and deep pride over the many “talmidot” who now reside in the Passaic-Clifton community.

Born in Los Angeles, Yael moved with her family to Bloomington, Indiana, where she lived for five years before the family relocated to Fair Lawn, New Jersey. “It was definitely an adjustment for me,” she said. “In Bloomington, we were the only Orthodox Jews. In Fair Lawn, I had many more options for friends and social outlets.”

After attending Yavneh Academy and graduating high school at Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central), Yael spent a year in Israel learning at Orot in the Shomron before matriculating at Stern College. Later she attended Teachers College of Columbia University, earning a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, which she has put to good use in her role in the Passaic public school system.

Yael and David spent their first years of marriage living in a 2-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights. But with their 4th child, the need for more space, along with a backyard and driveway, brought the Pahmers to Passaic, where they would be joined just a few years later by Yael’s two siblings and their spouses—Miram and Mayer Weiner and Miriam and Ely Bacon.

With the Pahmers now planning aliyah, their absence will be felt, particularly at the Young Israel of Passaic-Clifton, where they’ve been active members for more than two decades and have raised their 10 children. And of course, Purim will not be the same without the multiple hues and shades of spray paint coloring their van and punctuating a new and imaginative theme each year.

“At this point, some of our children have married and moved away,” said David. “Still, our son, Moshe and his wife, Elisheva, have become members of YIPC; and our daughter, Aura, and son, Hudi, are working as group leaders.”

David and Yael will not be the first in the family to make Israel their home. The Pahmers have 2 daughters, a son-in-law and new grandson who have made aliyah over the last year. In addition, their son Kovi was drafted into the Machal Hesder Unit of the IDF with his Yeshiva Lev L’Chayal.

The upcoming Young Israel dinner is both a thank you and a farewell to the Pahmers, who plan to make aliyah this summer. For their part, this dinner is an opportunity for the entire Pahmer family to express their tremendous hakarat hatov to Rabbi and Rebbetzin Glasser and the YIPC community for creating a shul that is welcoming, warm, growth oriented with ideals that embrace openness, the centrality of Torah, importance of ben adam l’chaveiro, and love of Eretz and medinat Yisrael.

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