Sunday, 23rd Mar-Cheshvan marked the 77th Annual Awards Dinner of the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE).
The atmosphere was electric as hundreds turned out to fill the Espace Ballroom in Manhattan, to show their support for the NCFJE 77th Annual Awards Dinner. The elegance of the venue was a fitting backdrop for the philanthropists, dignitaries and community leaders that have become regulars at the NCFJE events.
The Dinner honored New York Congressman John Faso with the Distinguished Leadership Award, Ann and Mitch Lowenthal as Guests of Honor, and entrepreneur and startup guru Lavie Popack as ‘Man of the Year’. Ms. Nechama “Cham Cham” Reichman was honored for her 10 years of volunteering for Camp Emunah’s Sunshine Bunk for ‘special’ children.
A chilling video presentation highlighted the scourge of opioid drug abuse, tearing its way through the nation and the Jewish community, and the urgent work of Operation Survival, an abuse prevention program working in local yeshiva and public schools, to blunt the rising tide of opioid-related deaths. Operation Survival is spearheading an effort to make the life-saving, opioid antidote Naloxone available to households who live with the specter of drug abuse.
“Over the years, we’ve dealt with many different types of crisis affecting the Jewish community,” said NCFJE Chairman, Rabbi Shea Hecht, “but there is no doubt in my mind that opioid abuse is the most immediate and dangerous crisis] we’ve seen.”
The dinner was also the perfect spot for a surprise celebration for NCFJE President Sholom Jacobs, who celebrated his 40th birthday that night. Singer Mendy J took to the stage, uplifting the atmosphere and crowd with energetic song, as his vocal talents crackled with the spirit of celebration.
Breathtaking jewelry was donated by Diamond International, owned by philanthropist Mr. Morris Gad; Beny Sofer and Sofer Jewelry, and Jewels by Sam, long-time friends and supporters of the Hecht family. Raffle tickets were a hot item, as the elegance and allure of the diamonds made for an exciting way to support the organization