By COLlive reporter
Photos: Israel Bardugo
More than 300 guests streamed into the Orient Hotel in Jerusalem to honor trailblazing educator Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz at the Steinsaltz Center’s Gala Dinner on Sunday evening, June 10.
The elegant affair was attended by Israeli politicians and public figures, as well as rabbis, educators, and Steinsaltz Center supporters from across Israel and around the globe.
In addition to marking Rabbi Even-Israel’s milestone 80th birthday and celebrating the culmination of his life’s work, the event also served as a platform to introduce the Center’s newest initiatives, including a digitization project that will provide global access to all of his commentaries and translations.
The gala evening began with a reception featuring a display of all 360 titles produced by the Steinsaltz Center, an on-premises Koren book sale, and a multimedia presentation detailing all of the educational institutions, programs and projects that will directly benefit from the center’s month-long crowdfunding campaign.
The dinner program included a heartfelt keynote address by Rabbi Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, a close friend of Rabbi Even-Israel, a very moving tribute concert by singer Avraham Fried, words of blessing from Member of Knesset Ze’ev Elkin, a video greeting from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and award presentations to long-time Steinsaltz Center supporters Leo Noe, Israel Klabin, Tomas Gorny, Yitzchak Miralashvili, and the Matanel Foundation.
Israeli media veteran Gilad Adin served as master of ceremonies.
Rabbi Meni Even-Israel, Executive Director of the Steinsaltz Center, concluded the evening by sharing the Center’s vision for an easy-to-use platform that will bring core Jewish texts into the modern age and make them uniquely accessible.
In just over a year, the Steinsaltz Center’s entire expansive library will be accessible from anywhere in the world, and it will be searchable, printable and shareable, allowing for profound and creative engagement with the texts. This platform is already in development, and the beta version will be launched by the end of 2019.