By COLlive reporter
Photos: Baruch Ezagui
Hundreds of Jewish and other business, political and communal leaders filled the elegant Hall of the Americas at the prestigious Organizations of American States (OAS) on June 18th for the Lamplighter Awards Dinner of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) in Washington, DC.
The dinner followed a seriously impressive reception, which drew some of the most prominent figures of the capital, and featured a display of Kosher cuisine not normally experienced by many in attendance, created by the one and only Table One. Among the members of the diplomatic corps in attendance from countries as diverse as Israel, El Salvador, China, Armenia, Argentina, Venezuela, and many others, was Yousef Al-Otaiba, Ambassador of the UAE to the United States.
Mrs. Nechama Shemtov, senior shlucha of the Rebbe to Washington, DC, welcomed everyone, sharing thoughts on the concept of the Menorah, especially in the face of challenges such as those following the Poway shooting.
Mr. Louis Mayberg, President of Profund Advisors, Trustee of the Mayberg Foundation and, together with his wife, Manette, major supporters of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) in Washington, DC, presented his thoughts on why they support the mission of Chabad.
Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Agudas Chassidei Chabad International and National Director of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) gave the evening’s invocation.
International Advisory Board member and major philanthropist and Mr. David Messer of Greenwich, CT, then kicked off dinner with Hamotzie.
Ms. Arielle Stephenson, a student at George Washington University who is co-President of Chabad GW, related her Jewish journey and how her interaction with Rabbi and Mrs. Shemtov helped her realize the crucial importance of a strong Jewish identity as part of her career and life development.
Stephenson then helped introduce Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General (Anti-Trust) and himself a GW Law School Alumnus. He received the Lamplighter Special Friend Award.
Mr. Howard (Tzvi) Friedman, Chairman of the Board of the OU, President Emeritus of AIPAC and longtime Jewish communal leader, helped introduce Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, who made the special presentation to the Lamplighter Awards Honoree, Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Leader of the US House of Representatives.
Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Executive Vice President of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad), related the Rebbe’s teaching about the Energy Grid, which comprises energy producers and consumers, who are paid and pay based on their production or consumption. “They most often don’t even know each other,” he said. “Our role is to be robust good energy producers, helping to bring light and spiritually good energy to the world, though we often might not even know the actual beneficiary.”
He then introduced Hon. Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy, who received the Lamplighter Public Service Award. Secretary Perry gave a passionate speech in appreciation, in support of Israel and the Jewish people, and the need for the Jewish people to stay strong and be strengthened by others. He also enjoyed a video clip played showing a delegation of Shluchim celebrating Chanukah with him while he was Governor of Texas.
Special Assistant to the President Paul Teller presented greetings from President Donald Trump especially for the event, in which the President praised all the honorees.
The message read: “As the largest Jewish network of educational and social services worldwide, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement truly embodies the doctrine of service over self. In the United States, the American Friends of Lubavitch helps to raise awareness of issues facing the Jewish people, while also giving back to their communities and supporting national and international humanitarian relief efforts. Though your efforts, millions of Americans and individuals around the world know the resilient story of the Jewish people.”