Chabad of Midtown marked 18 years at the heart of New York with a gala celebration at the historic Cunard Building. Like Chabad of Midtown – which brings traditional values to the world of commerce and culture -the evening combined a contemporary big city crowd with an old-world setting, under frescoed quintuple-height ceilings.
Dinner attendees were greeted by a red carpet and a group of NYPD bagpipers – a surprise treat organized by event host Jona Rechnitz. Guests enjoyed a dinner reception in marble-pillared rooms under maritime paintings depicting New York’s historic trade port and the Cunard ship company.
Music mix-master DJ Irie was honored with the Humanitarian Award. Yoron Cohen – a prominent leader in the Manhattan real estate industry was honored as Dinner Journal Chairman.
Dinner co-chairs Mendy Chudaitov and Srully Wolfson both spoke passionately about Chabad’s flagship building campaign at 509 Fifth Avenue. The center hosts hundreds daily and will soon be renovated to better serve the multitudes who visit from all over the world.
Srully Wolfson also marked the first anniversary of his miraculous survival from a car wreck and in keeping with Jewish tradition, publicly thanked G-d for his survival.
The audience was treated to a magnificent piano performance by musical genius Elew.
Brocha Chana Metzger shared a moving poem tribute to her sister Rivkie Barber a”h – shlucha to Australia – who had just passed away. She spoke emotionally about her big sister’s pride in her Manhattan shlichus – later to be joined there by their brother Rabbi Noach Heber and her children – Rabbi Levi and Perel Shmotkin. Rivkie’s wit, warmth and charm were noted – and the audience was asked to honor her memory by simply smiling, laughing and cheering up others.
Brocha Chana Metzger stated:
“This celebration is in recognition of the hundreds of thousands of prayers recited at Chabad over 18 years… an appreciation of the tens of thousands of holiday and Shabbat meals shared and of the countless strangers who became friends by meeting through Chabad of Midtown. It’s a celebration of a place where the UPS delivery man sits alongside the high-powered business mogul, the tourists alongside the locals. Where the young befriend the old….where September 11th survivors came to give thanks while others came to mourn…where Hurricane Sandy and Food Drive volunteers gather to help the needy…where the work that we do is a labor of love that made my big sister so proud.”
Rabbi Yehoshua Metzger, Director of Chabad Midtown joined his wife in thanking the entire Chabad Midtown team for their dedication and devotion. They both expressed their profound appreciation to all the attendees and supporters who made the event a success.