Ateret Cohanim Gala Dinner
By Austin Rybstein
The Ateret Cohanim / Yom Yerushalayim program held on Tuesday, May 31, 2015 at Terrace on the Park was celebrated by over 400 people. The dinner marked 37 years of Ateret Cohanim. This organization is in the bulwark of our defense and in redeeming homes in Jerusalem. Shani Hikind, the Executive Vice President of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, did a marvelous job of introducing this year’s honorees. Dr. Joseph Frager, an esteemed member of the Executive Council introduced this year’s Bonai Yerushalayim Awardees.
The Honarable Bruce and Sigal Blakeman were the deserving recipients for their much appreciated efforts in raising funds, reclaiming, restoring and buying homes in Yemenite Village. Dr. Paul Brody, who is also an esteemed member of the Executive Council, and who led us in a rousing performance of Hatikvah, was also commended for developing Yemenite Village. The videos shown, some narrated by Daniel Luria, the Executive Director of Ateret Cohanim in Jerusalem, reflect the vibrant life, heroism and bravery of the residents of the Old Yemenite neighborhood. He also spoke at the dinner, telling us that the best response to Arab terror is moving, building and adding more Jewish life to Jerusalem. “This is the Zionist response,” he maintained. The overarching theme of the evening was that Jerusalem must remain undivided and what the world says is irrelevant. The new melody which was introduced for Im Ishkachech Yerushalayim, reminds us that we should each do our part in building, reclaiming and developing Jerusalem. Remember, that without Jerusalem, there is no Israel for the rest of us.
The keynote speaker, Governor Mike Huckabee, demonstrated again that he is as talwart friend and advocate for Israel and a true friend of Ateret Cohanim. He is wise enough to understand and elucidate the fact that the title deed to the land of Israel is under the hand of G-d who chose to give the land to His People. He knowingly said that all attempts to eradicate the Jewish people are futile because of G-d’s covenant with the Jewish people. He surely knows and understands Jewish history. He left us with his impression of the BDS movement. “Remove the D and you are left with nothing more than what it is: BS.”As a journalist and a supporter of Israel, I am privileged to attend many Jewish events. But this one stands out. Redeeming and resettling Jerusalem is a national, individual and holy prerogative. Looking forward to next year’s dinner.
New York Jewish Guide