On Sunday June 11th 2017 Chabad at The Beaches commemorated 14 years of commitment to Jewish life in the Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beaches communities with its annual Gala Dinner and Celebration. Actor and Comedian Mendy Pellin entertained the crowd.
This year’s honorees included Rabbi Eli and Esther Wilansky and Mr. Todd Bernstein. The honorees made great contributions locally and to the broader Jacksonville Jewish community.
The Wilanksys have been with Chabad at the Beaches for nearly 7 years, with Rabbi Wilansky serving as program director and Mrs. Wilansky serving as a teacher in a local Chabad Preschool. They have recently accepted an offer to join the Pittsburgh, PA community.
Mr. Todd Bernstein, a Vice President and financial advisor at BB&T Scott & Stringfellow, was honored at the Gala for his longtime friendship, financial support and involvement in the Beaches Jewish community.
The evening featured a lavish dinner replete with first class entertainment, Chinese and silent auctions and multimedia presentations.
The Gala was timed to coincide with the yahrtzeit Mr. Aaron Scharf. Mr Scharf and his wife Blanche of blessed memory are Chabad Beaches’ namesake.
The dinner highlighted the vast educational and social work of Chabad around the world and Chabad at the Beaches in particular; all of which is testimony to the vision, passion, and leadership of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. In Florida alone there are 185 Chabad institutions, 6 of which are in the Jacksonville area. This year 12,000 children attended Chabad’s 16 schools, 48 preschools, 70 Hebrew Schools, and 24 summer camps in Florida.