300 people celebrated the 27th anniversary dinner of Congregation B’nai Avraham of Brooklyn Heights, led by Rabbi Aaron and Shternie Raskin.
It was a beautiful day as the 300 guests arrived at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on the tip of lower Manhattan for Congregation B’nai Avraham’s 27th Anniversary dinner.
The ballroom offered breathtaking panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Hudson River, the Jersey skyline and beyond. The guests were also afforded the rare scene of snow and ice floating down the East River.
The hall was brilliantly set with a dazzling array of foods. First the crowd hit the open bar; they enjoyed to sushi, lamb, charcuterie and a mouth-watering display of side dishes. During this time, the guests were treated to a tour of the museum below.
By eight o’clock it was time to file downstairs to the auditorium for the more official part of the evening, but already some were wont to remark that the mood had escalated to a kind of spiritual high at seeing so many people at so joyous an occasion.
The M.C. of the evening, the Honorable Steve Cohn, started it all off by introducing Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, spiritual leader of CBA, to address the audience.
The Rabbi spoke about hakhel and that each person has inside of them, the man(Torah study), women (prayer) and child (action).
All this was followed by the Honor Roll, with CBA honoring Rebbetzin Devorah Plotkin with the Kiddie Korner Award, Mr. Sanford Rubenstein, Esq. with the Ba’al Teshuvah Award, and Mrs. Roberta Weisbord with the Mara Emet Trager Chesed Award in her daughter’s memory. There was a short introductory film after which they all gave a short address, all heartwarming and beautiful.
Long-time Brooklyn Attorney Sanford Rubenstein has been a member of the congregation for the past 10 years. He spends his time – when not representing his clients and appearing on T.V. and in newspapers as one of the nation’s top attorneys – learning Torah with Rabbi Yankel Raskin. His fascination with the study of the Torah led him to honor his late parents this past year, by donating a Torah to the synagogue. The synagogue, the board, and Rabbi Aaron Raskin honored Mr. Sanford Rubenstein with the 2016 “Baal Teshuvah” award for Mr. Rubenstein’s dedication and hard work for the community, and particularly those less fortunate, as well as his pledge to sponsor at least one child per year at the new Brooklyn heights Jewish Academy.
Rebbetzin Devorah Plotkin is a long time member of the Jewish community of Brooklyn. Before meeting her husband Rabbi Shmuel Plotkin, she escaped the grips of Nazi occupation of Europe and started a life in the United States. When she arrived in America she was penniless but continued to fight and always coming out triumphantly. She would go on to being a well respected and idolized teacher within the community and in schools all across Brooklyn. In 1996 she would go on to joining the staff of Kiddie Korner in Brooklyn Heights, dedicating her life’s work to educating and raising children. Now at the age of 75, working hand in hand with her daughter Rabbetzin Shternie to make Kiddie Korner one of the most respected and renowned preschool within the community.
Mara Trager lived her life to the fullest extent. She was as much of a hard worker as she was kind, loving and dedicated to her family and her community. She was admired and respected by all of those who knew her. As a lawyer in New York City, Mara Trager she worked in a top and rigorous law firm and later working for the US Attorney’s office. She believed in what she did and was fully committed to her life’s work. Her friendships deep, her outlook positive, and her love for her children never-ending. Mara was surrounded by the love of her children Nathaniel Soloman and Hannah Clara, her husband Isaac, and her parents David Trager and Roberta Weisbrod. As well as her community and everyone at the Bnai Avraham congregation. In memory of Mara Trager Congregation Bnai Avraham honored Mara Emet Trager her commitment, life’s work and involvement in the community, her mother Roberta Weisbrod accepted the award on her behalf.
“We extend a big thank you to the honorees and all our supporters for all the wonderful work you do in helping keep Judaism alive in Downtown Brooklyn. Without your assistance and support CBA’s exciting programs and institutions such as Gan Menachem Kiddie Korner, Heights Seniors Kluger Klub, Heights Hebrew School, Mei Menachem community Mikvah and all the learning classes and programs would not be the same,” Rabbi Raskin said.
Despite the loveliness of the setting, the warmth of the candlelit room, a keen, unspoken longing was felt by all for a change of locale: “May the next year’s Annual Dinner be held, not on the edge of the Hudson but in the city of Jerusalem, with the coming of Moshiach. May he not tarry!”