Hundreds of friends and supporters, parents, faculty and community members joined the annual gala dinner of the Queens Gymnasia – Jewish Institute of Queens in New York.
Held on Chanukah, the event celebrated the quality Jewish education that the institution, directed by Shluchim Rabbi Zalman Zvulonov, Rabbi Yitzchak Wolowik and Rabbi Shmuel Kogan, offers to children of the Bukharian Jewish community.
Emceeing the event was businessman Dudi Farkash who invited Simcha Elyashiv, president of the community center, to light the Menorah accompanied by the singing of the Atid choir and singer Lipa Schmeltzer.
Praising the institution’s academic accomplishments was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. He pointed out the subsidies the city provides to the JIQ’s 8 preschools.
De Blasio was thanked by Greg and Chagit Sofiev for his support and was awarded a plaque on behalf of the Ohr Avner Chabad educational network in the USA, Israel and the former Soviet Union.
Mrs. Sofiev is the daughter of Lev Leviev, the known Jewish philanthropist who founded the institution and generously supports Chabad and Bukharian institutions around the world.
The evening’s program included the reading of the Rebbe‘s chapter in Tehillim, remarks by Knesset member Yoav Ben Tzur and a video message from Mr. Leviev.
Participants of the dinner were told about a family of 3 children who study at the Gymnasia’s institutions. As their father battles cancer, the school has been a ray of hope for the wife and the children. “The Rebbe’s message of ‘think well and it will be well’ is my mantra that helps me each day,” the father said.
During the evening, awards were handed to supporters and staff members of the schools.
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