The elegant reception hall at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel was filled with buoyant good cheer as Shluchim, community leaders, family and friends arrived for Chabad of Nashville’s gala celebration, led by the Shluchim Rabbi Yitzchok and Esther Tiechtel.
The event began with an elaborate reception, where L’Chaims were flowing, as many bid on the wide array of luxurious items at the silent auction. Everyone were then ushered in the Ballroom as Jewish country music was being played by the orchestra. Copper colored tablecloths topped with rose and lily centerpieces adorned every table; with tribute journals and Shabbat Table Companions as a gift favor were at each place.
Mr. Tommy Bernard, the president of Chabad of Nashville, warmly welcomed the many guest from all spectrums of the Nashville community, including Nashville’s Mayor Karl Dean, leaders from the business community, the Jewish Federation, the JCC, Rabbis of various congregations, and 300 friends of Chabad of Nashville.
Amongst the guest were a representation of a respectable group of Shluchim from neighboring states, including; Rabbi Yossi Posner, from Birmingham, Alabama; Rabbi Leibel Berkowitz, from Huntsville, Alabama; Rabbi Mendy Weinberg, from Kansas City; Rabbi Levi Klein, the head Shliach to Tennessee from Memphis; Rabbi and Mrs. Ovadia Goldman, from Oklahoma City, OK; Rabbi and Mrs. Dovid Tiechtel, from Champaign, Illinois; Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, from Lawrence, Kansas; and Rabbi and Mrs. Shlomo Rothstein, from Vanderbilt University. Rabbi Levi Klein opened the evening with reading a letter of blessings from the Rebbe to another Chabad Dinner, and shared greetings on behalf of Chabad Lubavitch International.
Rabbi Yitzchok Tiechtel, Shliach of Chabad of Nashville gave an inspiring keynote address. He spoke about what is the role of a Shliach, and what is the mission of Chabad of Nashville. He said, “Just like in the Beit Hamikdash mourners and people that were searching entered opposite the entrance of the regular worshippers, and came to face with people who could offer solace, so to for all those in Nashville who are lost or searching, Chabad is there to give support and a helping hand to all who are searching and are on their spiritual journey.” He also recognized Rabbi and Mrs. Zalman Posner for their work in Nashville beginning n 1949.
A beautiful video showed the programs and events of Chabad over the past decade, and included footage of the pouring of the foundations for the new building. The video included interviews with members of the Nashville community, who were quoted as saying, “Once you come to Chabad, I know you’ll come back a second, third and fourth time. Because that’s what happened to me,” and “It’s a place you can really feel the joy, and you want be a part of.” It was a true Kiddush Hashem.
The evening highlight was the presentation to the honorees. The first honoree of the evening was Mayor Karl Dean, the mayor of Nashville and a supporter of Chabad’s work. The Mayor reminisced about lighting the menorah at the Riverfront with Chabad for the past three years, and how he looks forward to it every year. He spoke how Nashville is special because we care about one another and that what touched him after the floods was our effort to help one another. He was presented with a gold leaf painting of Jerusalem by Artist Michoel Muchnik.
Simone and Colin Meyerowitz – the next honorees, received the Keter Shem Tov award. Colin was the president of the Chabad Shul for the past ten years. They were presented with a painting of the marriage ring, symbolizing their Jewish home, which was the foundation on which they built the shul.
Esther Tiechtel, co director of Chabad of Nashville introduced Rebecca Climber, the next honoree. Rebecca was presented with the lamplighter award and a painting of Avraham’s tent for her everlasting acts of Chesed and support of Chabad.
Mr. Boaz and Tali Ramon, the final honorees of the evening, were presented with the Couple Of The Year Award. They were presented with an original artwork commissioned by Michoel Muchnik, of a 3D cup of blessing, inscribed with the names of the honorees. This artistic cup was presented as an appreciation for their significant support of Chabad, and that that their cup overflows with personal blessings in return. “Everything I give is Hashem’s, and I feel good giving,” Said Mr. Boaz Ramon.
After the awards, famous mentalist Mark Salem got the crowd mesmerized and laughing. When asked how he does his amazing tricks he replied, “he said, “I’m not the miracle worker, you are! You’re the ones who are making miracles by donating to and supporting Chabad.” With great applause all of the volunteers of the TGIS communal Shabbat celebrations were presented with awards of appreciation. The blessings of the One Above could be felt in the room, and the crowd were inspired to look to Chabad of Nashville for further joy.