Last week, 150 guests gathered together at Woolston Manor Golf & Country Club, Essex UK, for the Annual Fundraising Dinner of across Essex.
Opening the evening with the welcome speech was Mrs. Katie Soraff, herself taught in school by Rabbi Sufrin and who subsequently officiated at her wedding.
Highlights of the evening were Ted-style talks, with representatives from each of its three Centres, Ben Saltman of Gants Hill, Laraine Warren of Buckhurst Hill and Steven Klein of Epping, reflecting on their own experiences with Chabad and the positive impact that Chabad has made on their lives as a result.
Rabbi Odom Brandman together with his wife Henny, who are Directors of the Buckhurst Hill branch of Chabad, then delivered a meaningful Dvar Torah while highlighting some of the accomplishments during this past year of their Chabad House including some 20 Bar and Bas Mitzvah celebrations and the ongoing success of the summer day camps which they run.
The Guest Speaker, Lord Daniel Finkelstein, Conservative Peer and Leading Journalist, gave a fascinating talk spanning the corridors of Whitehall and his interaction with all those who walk its influential corridors.
Chavi Sufrin, a therapist and psychotherapist working in the specialist field, sees the inside Chabad story through her parents and how Chabad cares for each and every person. She touched the hearts of the audience by reflecting on the need for funding in order to maintain the vital services that Chabad NE London and Essex provides. She highlighted the symmetry between her practice which seeks to give those seeking support a feeling of belonging, as is exemplified within the essence of Chabad.
Executive Director Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin MBE shared an inspirational message to serve, develop and grow and never being satisfied with past achievements but rather as is the focus of Chabad to always look forward and get ready to start the next project.
He thanked all those present and beyond for their vision in believing in Chabad and what it represents. It is that belief which assists our growth, highlighted this year with the opening of our newest Chabad House in Epping within the past month, making it the third Chabad House in Essex.
This coming year the highest priority is to secure additional Shluchim families to the wider area, to ensure Chabad’s success and growth can be sustained.
Mandi Dobias the Dinner Co-ordinator, closed the evening with a vote of thanks to Lord Finkelstein, Guests, Patrons and Sponsors, CST and Chabad’s leadership for their incredible and most valued work.