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A DAY OF FRIENDSHIP AND INSPIRATION

By: Frieda Schweky



The 24th annual Day of Friendship and Inspiration took place at Congregation Ohel Simha on July 17th, 2018. Hundreds of women eager to learn about this year’s topic turned out for the event.

Twenty-four years ago, Terry Dweck lost her daughter, Rachel, at the young age of two-and-a half. Ever since then Terry and her daughter Rose Hazan host this Day of Friendship and Inspiration for community women in memory of Rachel Dwek, A”H.

In response to this tragedy, a beautiful day for women has evolved, wherein participants get together during the nine days and learn a significant Torah lesson. This year’s speaker was Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, who spoke about the topic of relationships.

As the years go by, the number of attendees at the Day of Friendship and Inspiration consistently climbs. This year the numbers were record breaking. Approximately 400 women turned out. This event is highly anticipated by those who attend each year. The hostess finds that regardless of the weather, individuals come to sit indoors at the event, and listen to the speaker and learn about the featured topic.

Previous years’ topics have included the causes of the destruction of the Temple and why we mourn and accepting life's challenges in difficult times. There is always a valuable life lesson to take away from this day.

At this year’s event a small book titled Relationshipswas set at each participant’s place. The author of the book was this year’s guest speaker, Rabbi Yaakov Hillel. The attendees listened intently to Rabbi Hillel, while enjoying a dairy lunch. The rabbi spoke about relationships and the variables that determine the success of specific relationships. He addressed the various factors that may stunt growth within a relationship as well. For example, Rabbi Hillel discussed that before having a relationship with another person, one first must have a good relationship with Gd. When individuals understand that there's a proper way that a Gd fearing person behaves, and they must in the end of the day answer to a higher power, they are then generally more likely to behave appropriately in their relationships with other people.

Rabbi Yaakov Hillel also warned about the dangers of social mediaand the harm it can cause in relationships. A world where people are constantly looking at what their friends and neighbors have can be a dangerous one
to navigate.

“The topic was definitely a great one,” said Terry Dwek. “It’s amazing to see the number of women who came out to learn and grow together.”

The event also featured an exquisite Chinese auction. The packages included a $1,000 Amex gift card, a choice of furs, a choice of jewelry, a home package with various small kitchen appliances such as a coffee machine, Vitamix blender, a Bosch mixer, and the two Dare to Be Different cookbooks, amongst various other packages as well.

Every woman who attended took home a special gift, a custom-made clear water bottles with moving blue glitter on the interior with the phrase “wake up, be awesome, pray, repeat” printed on the outside of the bottle.

The Chinese auction helped raise money for Bet Yaakov of the Jersey Shore. Bet Yaacov is a community girls school located in Long Branch, NJ and is dedicated in memory of Rachel Dwek, A”H.