2009 Annual Awards Dinner Recap

Yeshivat Hesder Sderot
2009 Annual Awards Dinner Recap Newsletter
Despite horrible weather conditions and traffic gridlock, more than 400 friends and supporters of the Max and Ruth Schwartz Yeshivat Hesder of Sderot made their way to Manhattan's Puck Building on Tuesday June 30, to attend the Hesder's 4th Annual Awards dinner. The event was described by those in attendance as being a truly festive and exhilarating celebration honoring those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in demonstrating their dedication and support for the more than 500 Hesder student/soldiers who are modern day Jewish heroes on Israel's front lines.
The event began at 6PM with a mouth-watering buffet dinner which included some of the finest kosher delicacies available. Some of the guests mingled throughout the hall while others took their plates and sat at their assigned seats at the tables provided.
Following dinner at approximately 8PM, Dinner Chairman and Master of Ceremonies Mr. Shlomo Gottesman called on the attendees to find their places and opened the awards program with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and the Hatikva. Keeping the crowd entertained with light humor, Gottesman then proceeded to introduce each award presenter respectively. Following their short remarks, video clips were screened in which the awardees respectively praised the Hesder for their tremendous dedication towards spreading Torah and Zionism throughout the city of Sderot, and ensuring that Sderot does not become a ghost town as is the goal of our enemies. The awardees also thanked the Hesder for what all agreed was a tremendous honor to receive recognition from such a prestigious institution.
This year's Guests Of Honor included: Englewood Mayor Mr. Michael Wildes, Dr. David and Mrs. Tamar Schwalb of Monsey New York, Mrs. Ruth Simon, of Lawrence, New York, and Mr. Dov Matz, of Mt. Kisco New York.
Special awards were presented to: Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider of Mt. Kisco New York (the Hesder's Rabbicial Award), The First Stalwart of Zion Award was presented in loving memory of Mr. Irving D. Liberman z'l by his family, while the most prestigious award of the evening known as the Pioneers of Zion Award was accepted by Rabbi Daniel and Mrs. Debbie Moskowitz on behalf of their parents Dr. Irving and Mrs. Cherna Moskowitz.
Dr. and Mrs. Moskowitz have been unwavering supporters of the Hesder for many years, and this year's dinner tribute was a small token of our deep appreciation for all of their endeavors on behalf of the Yeshiva and on behalf of Klal Yisrael.
Following the awards presentation a moving video was shown which highlighted how the Hesder campus has physically grown over the past year with the completion of our new stunning "rocket proof" Beit Midrash, and the near-completion of our "rocket proof" dormitories on campus. Building in Sderot, while providing our students with the essential protection needed to focus on their studies and live a normal life despite the rocket fire from Gaza, is also the ultimate Zionist response to the attacks, and shows our enemies that the Hesder will insure that Sderot does not fall.
Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi David Fendel concluded the program with a powerful speech in which he emphasized that the mood in Sderot is more optimistic than it was a year ago thanks to the bravery of the Israel Defense Forces in their operation aimed at destroying the Hamas terror infrastructure in Gaza this past January. While the rockets continue to fall from time to time, the Rabbi said that for each rocket, the Hesder adds a new floor, or a new dorm room, and that our enemies in nearby Gaza can't believe their "binoculars" when they see that instead of fleeing, the Hesder which is located in the center of town, continues to build and flourish despite the attacks. The Rabbi also remarked that he planned on returning to Sderot to tell his students that the outpouring of support shown at the dinner proved that American Jewry has not abandoned their brothers and sisters living under the harshest of conditions.
The evening concluded with an exquisite Viennese dessert table prepared in an adjacent room, as guests continued to mingle well into the evening. The Hesder is confident that everyone will once again show their support at next year's 5th Annual Dinner, which G-d willing will be a successful milestone event.
Here are a select group of pictures from this year's event:
Guests mingling during the delectable buffet dinner
The more than 400 attendees rise for Hatikva and the National Anthem 
Our benevolent Honorees: Dr. David and Tamar Schwalb who are longtime friends and supporters of the Hesder Guest of honor, Mrs. Ruth Simon with her family
Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi David Fendel being presented with the "Key to the city" of Englewood New Jersey, by Guest of Honor Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes as honoree Dr. David Schwalb looks on Dinner Honoree Mr. Dov Matz (stading right) with family and friends

Please visit our Website at www.sderot.org  
American Friends of Yeshivat Hesder Sderot
49 Dakota Street
Passaic, NJ 07055

To contact us by phone in Israel please call (+972) 08-661-1360  or  (+972) 52-607-1348
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