A highly-charged crowd of over 300 attendees, including prominent dignitaries, rabbis, supporters and friends, recently gathered at the Terrace Banquet Hall in Vaughan to celebrate the inaugural benefit gala dinner of Chabad Youth Network of Ontario.
As the guests strolled in, some exchanged greetings at the palate-pleasing wine tasting stations, while others sampled from the sumptuous gourmet cocktail and vegetable display, or viewed the artwork, sports memorabilia and jewelry on display at the “Bid for the Kids” silent auction.
Guests were enthralled at the striking decor, and the complimentary gift bags and Celebration Journal stacked neatly on each individual chair. Included in the Journal were greetings and best wishes from Rabbi Z. Ahron Grossbaum, Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Southern Ontario, greetings from the Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, and a message from the Consul General of Israel, Mr. Amir Gissin.
The evening opened with greetings from the Regional Councillor of Vaughan, Joyce Frustaglio, and a warm welcome speech from Master of Ceremonies, Josh Kast. Heartfelt words from Helene Meyers, a parent of the Torah 4 Teens program, were then delivered to a receptive audience. When Rabbi Shmuli Nachlas, Director of CYN, was called to the podium to relay his message, the crowd rose to their feet with resounding applause in acknowledgment of the work Rabbi Shmuli, as he is affectionately known, has done for teens across the GTA.
While enjoying a lavish dinner against a background of elegant music, guests were treated to a video presentation depicting the various initiatives of CYN, and paid tribute to the three Young Leadership Honourees, Mallory Starkman, Daniel Goldhar and Avi Charney who received awards in recognition for their exemplary volunteerism for the Jewish Community.
Each honouree spoke passionately about their involvement with CYN, their affection for Rabbi Shmuli Nachlas and his wife Chani, and how they hope to take their positive experiences and education from CYN with them as they ponder a vision for their future. Said honouree Mallory Starkman, a senior student at Westmount Collegiate Institute, “The reason for the success of the programs run through Chabad Youth Network is because of the positive atmosphere. Regardless of religious observance levels, Rabbi Shmuli has always been open to newcomers looking to get involved with any program.”
As dessert was served, the crowd enjoyed entertainment from featured musical performer Yoel Sharabi.
CYN, an acronym for Chabad Youth Network, is a pioneer, charitable organization teeming with dynamic and innovative programming catered to Jewish youth across the GTA. CYN stems from the need to inculcate today’s Jewish teens with a strong sense of identity, and offers them an opportunity to re-connect with the timeless traditions of their heritage. Its goal is to empower Jewish youth with a greater sense of morality, benevolence, and responsibility to their respective communities by means of Jewish education combined with pro-active community involvement.
Being that CYN is unaffiliated with any synagogue or particular community, its funds are raised solely from the charitable giving of individuals, organizations and /or corporations. For more information on programs, please call CYN at 905-889-7592 or email [email protected]