Ateret Cohanim Gala Dinner 2018
Ateret Cohanim celebrated its annual dinner on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at Terrace on the Park in Queens, New York. Braving the inclement weather, over 400 people came to celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday, the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and 40 years of Ateret Cohanim. Chaim Liebtag introduced the program with the recitation of the Prayer for the State of Israel. Next we recited Shir Hamalos and then the Prayer for the Soldiers. Gershon Veroba sang the Hatikvah and the National Anthem. And we were ready to go. Mr. Veroba then introduced his new melody for Im Eshkacheich. It will not be long when this melody will be played at Jewish weddings. We were also treated to a sumptuous dinner and dessert buffet.
Two themes were paramount at this year’s dinner. President Donald Trump was recognized and applauded for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem this past week. Other presidents promised but did not deliver. President Trump delivered because he recognizes Israel’s historical connection to the land and he is a man of his word. A video of President Trump on May 14th emphatically announcing the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem played to great applause. Anthony Scaramucci, a former White House Communications Director in President Trump’s administration, accepted the Menorah award on the president’s behalf.
The other overarching theme of the evening was a celebration of the Jews living in Yemenite Village, also known as Silwan, and in the rest of East Jerusalem. Yemenite Jews came to Jerusalem in 1882 and lived outside the wall because inside was too crowded. Shani Hikind in her address paid tribute to the awesome and brave woman, Nira Rabinovich, who received the Aishes Chayal award. She and her husband and children are living the dream in Yemenite Village under very trying conditions. Yemenite Village has gone from 9 to 21 families. They are attacked on the streets, especially since the moving of the embassy, and still feel that it is a privilege to live there. Their aim is for full sovereignty in all of Jerusalem. Every Jew should be able to live wherever they want to in Israel in complete security.
The Boneh Award went to Joseph and Jennifer Hoenig. Also, a Hakarot Hatov to Executive Director Daniel Luria and to Moti Dan for being the lifeblood of this organization. Also, when in Jerusalem, please contact Daniel Luria for an unforgettable tour of Jerusalem. The memory will stay with you forever.
Ateret Cohanim makes all this happen with our support and contributions. It should be imperative for every Jewish family to support the holy work of this remarkable organization. Ateret Cohanim is purchasing homes, restoring the Yemenite Synagogue and making the Old City new again. Please visit the American Friends of Ateret Cohanim website. Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people and please remember that without Jerusalem there is is no Israel for the rest of us. Jerusalem must remain undivided forever!
Austin Rybstein, Editor New York Jewish Guide