Guarding the Sanctuary: New Initiative to Provide Protection for Israel's Synagogues

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COMMUNITY CHEST





ICRF Evening of Inspiration
in Deal Raises More than $500,000
for Cancer Research in Israel

On July 12th, the Jewish community of Deal, New Jersey paid tribute to the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) at an “Evening of Inspiration,”which was attended by more than 500 guests. Hosted by Eli and Rina Cohen, the event
raised over $500,000 for
cancer research in Israel.
Charles Ben-Dayan, Ariela Ben-Dayan, Lisa Oved, and Samantha Harary served as chairs of the evening. Harry Adjmi was the emcee. Sponsors were Investors Bank (Platinum), Mercantil Commercebank (Silver) and Safra National Bank (Silver). Rosie Assoulin’s designs graced the runway fashion show. 

Founded in 1975 by American and Canadian researchers, oncologists, and philanthropists, ICRF is the only North American-based
charity focused solely on supporting cancer research in Israel, and has provided over $56 million in grants to fund Israeli researchers.

Over the years, the research ICRF has funded uncovered mechanisms that led to the development of several cancer treatment drugs, including Velcade, Doxil and Gleevec. Dr. Avram Hershko and Dr. Aaron Ciechanover, scientists funded by ICRF, received the
2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering the Ubiquitin System, the mechanism used the body to remove damaged proteins. 

According to Ken Gabel, New York Director of Development for ICRF, “With the support of ICRF’s generous donors, it is our hope that the outstanding Israeli researchers will find a cure to eradicate cancer forever.”

Lev Aharon Backgammon Tournament
is a Huge Success

Although there are numerous fundraising events that take place throughout the summer, one event stands out from among the rest: the annual Lev Aharon Backgammon Tournament (LABT).

The LABT has become an integral part of summer for community men of all ages, who come in droves to support a cause that is near and dear to everyone’s heart – Yeshiva Lev Aharon of Jerusalem. 

This year’s event was hosted in Congregation Ohel Simha (The Park Ave. Synagogue) on July 12th, and featured 256 players who competed for the ultimate title and reward. Beginning at 5:30pm and extending well into the wee AM hours, the crowd of nearly 1000 enjoyed an elegantly catered affair with a delicious buffet, handcrafted ma’azaand refreshments. The hall was abuzz with sounds of laughter and excitement as players advanced to the next levels. Chef extraordinaire Nechemia Katz masterfully served up mouth-watering dishes to the delight of the attendees, while event founder and host Mr. Jack “Box” Dayon worked the crowd, ensuring that all participants were comfortable and enjoying themselves. 

Each year, event chairmen Mr. Dayon and Mr. David M. Haber set a target goal, and through a variety of creative methods, and with Gd’s unmistakable assistance, they have succeeded each year in raising the bar by nearly 25 percent. The annual event raises substantial funds to alleviate the burden of the yeshiva and its leader, Rosh Hayeshiva Harav David Laniado, so the yeshiva can continue its vital work educating our community’s young men and preparing them for a life of sincere devotion to Torah.

Yachad Birthright: A Trip to Remember

“I wish the whole world was like this. I don’t want to just be a person with a disability. I want to be accepted, like I was on this trip.”

These moving words were spoken by one of the participants in a unique trip to Israel sponsored by Taglit Birthright Israel and run together with Yachad/National Jewish
Council for Disabilities. On May 31st, a remarkable group of
40 individuals from across the United States and Canada embarked on a 10-day journey which proved to be a formative experience for participants and staff members alike. The group included 24 young adults with various disabilities, many of whom had never been to Israel before. It did not take long for their dreams to become a reality.

Equipped with a wheelchair-accessible coach bus, devoted staff members, and an awesome attitude, the group experienced Israel like never before. They traveled throughout the country – beginning in the North with a boat ride on the Kinneret, jeep riding, nature walks, water hikes, a chocolate factory, and a visit to Tzfat. The energy was palpable – every activity was replete with song, dance, and cheer. They then traveled to Jerusalem, where they explored their Jewish roots by spending time at the Kotel, visiting a farm, and meeting with Israeli soldiers. The group also scaled Masada, where they held a very special celebration for participants who had never celebrated their bar and bat mitzvahs. 

The trip enabled the participants to forge a special, meaningful bond with their land, and with each other. According to staff member Diana Haddad, “Yachad Birthright is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for so many young adults. It is a reminder that with the right combination of kindness, excitement, logistical organization, passion, and sensitivity, anything is possible.”

Yachad is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities by providing inclusive educational, recreational, and social opportunities. To volunteer for Yachad, or to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact Nicole Bodner, LMSW at bodnern@ou.org, or visit www.njcd.org.

Hillel Yeshiva Captures 2015
MYHSAL Varsity Softball Championship

Hillel Yeshiva captured the 2015 High School Varsity Softball Championship with a 1–0 victory over Mesivta Ateres Yaakov (MAY) on June 19, 2015, led by Captains Elliot Saka and Jacob Wasser. 

Utilizing their many years of experience, coaches Jackie Ashkenazi, Jackie Picciotto and Morris Shamah focused on ensuring the boys respected each other and had fun. They felt that with good sportsmanship and great defense, winning games would follow. This proved correct as great defense formed the backbone of the team and ended up being the key factor in securing the championship.

After finishing the regular season at 6–2, the Hillel team began to find their chemistry. Robert Tobias emerged as the starting pitcher, Nathan Bibi adapted to the outfield, and Saul Ancona became the team slugger. With these few adjustments, the team was ready for a playoff run.

Hillel started the first round on the playoff road against HAFTR. Hillel jumped out to an early lead and emerged victorious with a
7–3 win that sent them off to the semi-finals. 

In the second round, crosstown rivals Magen David came to the Jersey Shore for their opportunity to reach the finals. Coming off a 3–2 win over Shaare Torah, Magen David was hungry and very athletic. Once again, the Hillel defense held its own, and a 2–1 triumph punched Hillel’s ticket to the finals.  

Hillel embraced the chance to face last year’s Varsity champions, MAY. After four scoreless innings, Saul Ancona hit a blast for a triple and Jacob Wasser drove home thefirst run to give Hillel a 1-0 lead.

But in the bottom of the 6th inning, MAY started their rally. With the bases loaded and one out, the Hillel coaching staff made a visit to the pitcher’s mound to encourage Robert Tobias. Robert then settled down and got the next batter to hit a grounder to Jacob Wasser. Jacob threw home to Isaac Alboucai for the force out at the plate. The next batter popped up to Saul Ancona, as the game MVP, Robert Tobias, got out of the inning without surrendering a run, securing the championship title. 

Hillel Yeshiva expresses its gratitude to Rabbi Howard Bald, Stanley Rishty and Sammy Saka for their constant, tireless support of the team. It was truly a joint, school-wide effort that landed Hillel this spectacular achievement.

Sarah Dabah School’s First Graduating Class

Sarah Dabah Elementary School proudly salutes its first graduating class, a remarkable group of 11 eighth graders who shone in their maroon gowns as they walked down the aisle to their seats. 

The 150-student elementary school opened eight years ago and is named for Sarah Dabah, mother of benefactor Victor Dabah. 

Rabbi Schneur Mendelsohn addressed the students, and described each of them as a “shining star.” He said, “When we were planning this momentous graduation, we decided not to pick one girl as valedictorian but to highlight all of you, because each of you has special talents and each of you should be recognized for them.”

Rabbi Ari Azancot spoke of the importance of a woman, how she brings Jewish values into the home and passes them onto the children. Rabbi Azancot told the story of Caleb, who, when entering Eretz Yisrael with the other spies, went straight to Hebron to pray and connect to the patriarchs and matriarchs. He went with a “ruah aheret” – “different spirit” – and this saved him from falling prey to the peer pressure exerted by the other spies. 

“Girls, each of you have the power to be just like Caleb,” Rabbi Azancot exclaimed. “You each can have that ruah aheret, that strength to overcome obstacles that may come your way. It is the power of tefilah [prayer], emunah [faith] and emet [truth] that will differentiate you from others and will help you stand strong and succeed in life.”

The Sarah Dabah School follows a unique educational approach, granting its students time and attention in a loving and warm environment. The devoted staff works to cultivate the students’ talents, while offering them assistance in the areas where special help is needed. 

The school also develops thestudents’ team building skills and sensitivity awareness, helping them to work together as a family and learn to cope with different situations. Teachers serve as inspiring role models for the students, living and embodying the values they teach. The school’s uniquely warm and loving atmosphere engenders
self-confidence and self-esteem, and the students learn to be respectful of others and to obey boundaries and rules. 

The school proudly congratulates the graduates on their outstanding accomplishments, and wishes them much success as they proceed onto the next leg of their exciting journey toward a life of achievement and self-fulfillment.

Legislature Passes Bill to Help Parents Care for Adult Disabled Children 

Senator Simcha Felder and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle joined forces to pass legislation that will ensure parents have the support and resources they need to care for a chronically ill or disabled adult child.

“There are many special needs children who live with their parents after reaching adulthood,” said Senator Felder. “These parents are often presented with a significant dilemma. Many times, in order to help with household expenses, a parent must work outside the home, while a personal assistant cares for their adult child’s needs. These personal assistants may not always provide the same level of nurturing care that a parent can give their child.”

“This new legislation will expand the language in the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) to include ‘parents’ among those who qualify to provide personal care services for an eligible individual,” concluded Senator Felder.

Renown CHOP Doctor Honored on the Misameach Cruise for Sick Children

Dr. Craig Alter, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was presented with a special tribute by Misameach, a New Jersey-based organization that provides respite and entertainment for seriously ill children and their families.

On June 28th, the organization held its annual cruise for the families they service. Dr. Alter was invited as an honored guest on the cruise in recognition of his devoted service to all of his patients, many of whom are Misameach members. The award was presented by Dr. Daniel Lapidus, a pediatrician from Pediatric Affiliates, the largest pediatric office in Lakewood, NJ.

“Though I have never met Dr. Alter face-to-face, we’ve communicated through email, through phone, through however he possibly can be reached,” said Dr. Lapidus. “He’s available for his patients, however, and whenever they reach out to him.” He concluded, “I am honored to have the opportunity to present this plaque to him.”

Dr. Alter graciously accepted the plaque, which read in part, “This award is an acknowledgment of your professional care for our children. Your true devotion to the community is unparalleled. We are forever indebted to you for all that you have done.”

After expressing his admiration for the extensive efforts invested in making this cruise the remarkable event that it was, Dr. Alter said, “I have to say that my only secret is that I enjoy meeting all of the children who come to me. I am interested in their family; I look forward to seeing them. I am honored to be here on behalf of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and I thank you for placing your faith in us. We strive to do the same in return.”

The members of the audience, which included many current and former patients of Dr. Alter, responded with resounding applause, a testament to the profound impact he has had on so many lives.

SUMMER IS ALL ABOUT
EATING LIGHT AND HEALTHY 

This is life. Period. It’s Norman’s theme for healthy living during the upcoming summer season. 

Norman’s Dairy’s is helping customers create the summer experience they dream about. With the sun shining and temperatures rising, it is only natural to want to eat lighter and go easy on the calories. Norman’s aims to help you do that without feeling deprived. Whether you find yourself this summer on the road, at the beach, in the country or at camp, there is nothing like Norman’s yogurts, which are protein-packed, healthy and convenient, and a great low-calorie option. 

During the summer, many find themselves swapping heavy wintery meals for lighter meal choices. Yogurt is made for summer eating, as the protein satisfies hunger, which keeps stomachs from growling for salty, high-calorie snacks during long summer days. Yogurt is no longer just eaten from the cup, but can be jazzed up with summer fruits and berries, mixed into a smoothie, or popped into the freezer in homemade popsicles.

“Norman’s yogurt is not simply something that lurks around your refrigerator,” said a spokesman for Norman’s. “It is part of your life, a healthy staple that comes along with you, stays with you during all your summer fun-filled moments.” Committed to providing the highest quality yogurt, Norman’s delicious yogurt lines include Taste,
Low-Fat, 80 Lite, and Poppers in an extensive range of delectable flavors. Their award-winning Greek yogurt lines include Greek Original, Light, Creamy Blends, and Kids, and are available in all kosher supermarkets around the country and abroad. 

No summer is complete without Norman’s yogurt. Just grab a cup before you leave the house and you’re ready to face the day!

For more information about all of Norman’s delicious products, check out www.normansdairy.com.