By COLlive Staff
Over 400 alumni, parents and friends gathered Monday, December 17 for the first Gala Dinner and Auction event to benefit Chabad at UF in Gainesville, Florida.
The event awarded supporters of the Chabad Center at the University, and recognized 12 years of leadership of the Chabad Student group presidents.
Event Chairpersons Eric Stein and Andy Fiske led the program, and introduced Chabad at UF directors, Shluchim Rabbi Berl and Chanie Goldman.
Prayers for Israel were then led by Oklahoma Shliach Rabbi Ovadia Goldman.
Special video greetings were screened from Florida Governor Rick Scott and from Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos.
A special tribute presentation was made to Moshe and Lillian Tabacinic Chief Patrons and Lamplighter Award recipients.
The evening’s honorees were then presented with awards, Stephen and Denise Fiske – Alumni Pillar of Leadership Award, Murry and Anne Drescher – Exemplary Parents Award, Ronnie and Rachel Antevy – Jewish Gator Award and Adam Mait – Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Each recipient received a stunning one of a kind Torah sculpture.
The Lubavitch-Chabad Student Group Presidents, representing 12 years of leadership, received magnificent award tributes in honor of their dedicated service to Chabad at UF.
Awards were presented to Orli Ben-Horin-Sasson, Myriam Kramer, Amy Yehudis Rumbak-Smith, Jacquelyn Ginzburg-Farzad, Davita Mabourakh, Eric Bassan, Rachel Benson, Elias Benarroch, Esther Benchimol, Gil Ben-Ezra and Ernesto Mandowsky.
A video of the Lubavitcher Rebbe speaking about the significance of building new Jewish structures was then shown.
The magnificent evening closed with inspirational remarks from Bal Harbour Shliach Rabbi Sholom Ber Lipskar and the auction drawing.
“The overwhelming success and response to the gala dinner and auction in South Florida is humbling,” Rabbi Berl Goldman said. “We give our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the honorees, chairs, committee members, 400 guests who attended, all the sponsors, as well as those who couldn’t make it, but attended in spirit,” he said.
The gala’s focus was to benefit the new Center for Jewish Life and Learning at UF currently under construction. The 23,000 square foot Center is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2013.
For more information visit www.JewishGator.com.