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Passge to Israel: Opening Exhibition & Concert
The Bnai Zion Foundation along with The Israel Project launched the ‘Passage to Israel’ book and exhibition on November 17th. The opening night exhibition was held at the acclaimed Anderson Contemporary. The highlight of the evening was a special acoustic performance by Matisyahu with guitarist Aaron Dugan. Featured speakers included Benny Kashriel, Mayor of Ma’aleh Adumim, and Galit Peleg, Consul for Public Diplomacy at the Israeli General Consulate in New York. Best-selling author, Bruce Feiler, served as the Master of Ceremonies. This event kicked-off #MyJerusalem — an action-packed series of events including a Chanukah candle lighting, a spin-a-thon, a bowling tournament, and a video competition — celebrating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
From Remembrance to Independence: Two Special Events
On Wednesday, May 11th, Bnai Zion joined with The New York Board of Rabbis, America-Israel Friendship League and the Consulate General of Israel in New York for a Special Flag Ceremony at Bowling Green Park. Binyamin Segal sang the national anthems and select special guests, representing the organizations, shared greetings. Ambassador Ido Aharoni gave moving remarks explaining how Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day) in Israel is always preceded by Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers. The connection is clear Israelis independence and the existence of the state is due to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it. The flag was then raised to half mast to honor those who gave their lives to protect Israel. Following this moving ceremony, the group continued to the 2nd
annual community celebration at Park Avenue Synagogue. For American Jews, celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut has been a way to express solidarity with the state of Israel and to strengthen their alliance with the people and land of Israel. Bnai Zion was proud to be represented and organize these important events..
Private Shopping Event at the Elie Tahari Showroom
On May 12th, Elie Tahari on 5th Avenue and Bnai Zion staged an exclusive designer shopping event featuring full access to the new Spring and Summer collections. Guests enjoyed delicious refreshments by Filicori Zecchini while stylists shared fashion tips and
assisted in coordinating clothing selections. Jill Savedoff won an Elie Tahari gift card, with
personal shopper included. Alicia Post, Northeast Director spoke of the importance of funding the new Therapy Center at Ahava Village, and CoChairs, Ilene Tannen and Sharon Kaplan helped make the evening a great success with their dedication and hard work. Proceeds benefited Ahava Village.
Succesful Art Event with Michael Arad
On March 10th we hosted an event at David Benrimon Fine Art, located on Fifth Avenue. The exclusive gallery specializes in Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art. Their world-renowned collection includes magnificent works from Fernando Botero, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
Michael Arad, whose design for the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site, titled “Reflecting Absence,” was selected by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation from among more than 5,000 entries submitted in an international competition held in 2003, shared about his inspiration and experience, “For two years nobody talked about anything other than the name arrangement. There was no fund-raising and no progress being made on construction and design.”
Dr. Amnon Rofe of the Bnai Zion Medical Center was in attendance along with National Board Members: Cheryl Bier (Executive Vice President and National Secretary), Alan V. Schwartz (Vice President), Donald H. Vogelman, Esq. (Treasurer), Jan Kiderman and Rabbi Joe Potasnik. Alicia Post, Northeast Region Director, opened the evening by welcoming everyone and reminding the crowd that Bnai Zion supports humanitarian projects in Israel that improve the lives of thousands in need. For over a century, Bnai Zion’s history includes numerous accomplishments; and today is constructing a ‘Hospital in a Hospital’, a protected underground emergency facility to protect the citizens in northern Israel.
Generously sponsored wine (Israel Wine Producers Association) and food (Pitopia) were provided and an excellent evening was had by all.
Business Leadership Breakfast Reception
On March 9th we sponsored a breakfast receptionattended by over seventy New York business leaders. Attendees included: Jan Kiderman and Alan V. Schwartz, both National Board Members of Bnai Zion, Cheryl Bier, Executive Vice President of Bnai Zion as well as representatives from preeminent law, accounting, insurance and real estate development firms. Aaron Kaiser CPA Partner, Real Estate Services Group, EisnerAmper LLP, and Seth Pinsky, Esq., Executive Vice President of RXR Realty discussed “Real Estate Outlook - Opportunities and Challenges in the Greater New York Market Place”. Dr. Amnon Rofe CEO of the Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa, Israel spoke about the “The Business of Running a Public Hospital in Israel.” After the meeting, Aaron said, “I enjoyed participating in this great event. I thought Seth’s comments were interesting and insightful. I support the wonderful work of Bnai Zion and am happy to play a part.” Seth added, “It was a pleasure to participate in the Bnai Zion Foundation’s business leadership breakfast. I wish the Foundation great success in the forthcoming years in its important humanitarian work”.
Mr. Schwartz stated that, “it is an honor for the Bnai Zion Foundation to host this meeting which provided a wealth of information about the current and future prospects in the New York real estate market as well as the cutting edge work of the Bnai Zion Medical Center, in Haifa, Israel.”
Bnai Zion Lights the Bowling Green Menorah
On Thursday, December 10th, Bnai Zion had the honor of lighting the famous Bowling Green Menorah, where the very first Hanukkah in America was celebrated back in 1654. The Bowling Green Menorah is miraculous and a fitting tribute to those first 24 American Jews because back in 2005 without an adequate Menorah to place in Bowling Green, with one week until the beginning of Hanukkah, two Irish American electricians, Tom Cummings and Andy Carson volunteered that they could design and build a perfect Menorah simply from electrical parts available from their standard catalogs and install it within time for the First Night of Chanukah. With the blessing and the funding of their employer Forest Electric Corp. of New York City they did just that, and in so doing used hundreds of small LED lights for illumination and creating the world's first Menorah ever lit with this 21st century technology.
Ma’aleh Adumim Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall
Bnai Zion would like to take this opportunity to thank you for attending our Ma’aleh Adumim Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. The concert was an incredible success and on behalf of our team, we would like to thank you for spending the afternoon with us. We were all blown away by the talent we witnessed on that stage. Benjamin Shapira, did a remarkable job of conducting his orchestra. Our gratitude goes out to Helen Fox for being the lead sponsor of this event. Kudos to George and Irina Schaeffer for their continual support of all Bnai Zion’s efforts. Thank you to David Eisenberg and his wife Fran, who flew in from Texas. David discharged the emcee duties with his warm Southern drawl. Ms. Galit Peleg, Consul for Public Diplomacy at the Consul General of Israel in New York made a powerful speech addressing issues in Israel and around the globe. Benny Kashriel, the mayor of Ma’aleh Adumim, was present to cheer these talented young people from his city. On the stage Benny said he has three children at home, but really, he has 12,000 children, including all the children of Ma’aleh Adumim, and the closeness of the group was palpable. Thank you to our Northeast Region Director, Alicia Post, for being an essential part of the concert’s success. We are very proud to have been a part of this special day. This event would not have been successful without your support.
Alan Schwartz , President of the Northeast Region
The northeast region is increasing fundraising, cultivating new board members and expanding its roster of educational and fundraising events.
The expansion of this region calls for more direct involvement by our supporters in planning and recruiting for our fundraisers and promoting Bnai Zion in the northeast communities.
The northeast board is committed to supporting Bnai Zion projects in Israel. Consisting of members from the tri-state area, we are looking to increase the scope of volunteer opportunities for board members and greatly enhance our presence in the region. If you're interested in charity work and would enjoy serving on a committee to help plan and promote events and raise funds to benefit our projects, there are many opportunities at Bnai Zion.
We have exciting educational, promotional, fundraising and FUN-raising events coming up - please see our Regional Events page.
Northeast Board of Directors
Alan Schwartz, President
Shelley and Marty Kilcoyne
for more information about the northeast region, email