(PRWEB) January 25, 2017
Celebrating 29 years of engaging, inspiring and educating Jews, NJOP (http://www.njop.org) will hold its Annual Dinner at Lincoln Square Synagogue on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. Highlights of the dinner include a special presentation by the Honorable Ambassador Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations; an introduction to NJOP’s new CHANUKAH ACROSS AMERICA program; and several special honors presented to prominent supporters for their outstanding contributions to NJOP and their unwavering commitment to enhance Jewish life.
“This year’s honorees embody our commitment to spreading the joy of Jewish life and enriching Jewish communities,” said Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald, NJOP Founder and Director. “Our programs and the positive and joyous experiences we share with Jews worldwide would not be possible without the support of these passionate and committed individuals.”
Longtime NJOP supporters Amy and Mitchell Kase will receive the Elli and Israel Krakowski Memorial Award. Amy’s family has had a special history with Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald and NJOP that began with Amy’s late brother, Leslie Nelkin, z”l, who used to sign his sister up for Shabbat dinners on the Upper West Side. Rabbi Buchwald’s deep connection with Les eventually extended to the entire Nelkin family, and grew stronger as he stood with them through Les’s tragic, fatal illness. In addition to their close personal connection, the Kases admire the fact that NJOP has always had a warm and welcoming approach to people of all backgrounds and all levels of Jewish knowledge and practice.
NJOP is thrilled to present the Carl and Sylvia Freyer Young Leadership Award to Tova and Assaf Alster. Through their involvement with NJOP, the Alsters were able to increase their connection to the beautiful community of the Lincoln Square Synagogue Beginners Service where Tova, who grew up in Kyoto, Japan, was able to learn about, explore and embrace the Orthodox Judaism in which Assaf had been raised. After attending Rabbi Buchwald’s Beginners Service, the Alsters discovered that NJOP represents an ideal of what Judaism is all about: Jewish engagement, kindness and dedicating oneself to the well-being and growth of the Jewish people.
Receiving the Leslie Nelkin Special Service Award are Beverly and Dr. Leonard Davidman. Beverly, a much-sought-after math teaching consultant in the New York City Public School system, was for 34 years a highly-acclaimed high school math teacher. Always deeply concerned about teaching and reaching all of her students, Beverly composed and created a unique collection of rap songs and developed the beloved persona of "Queen Math Tea-cha" to help her struggling geometry students learn the complex theorems. Her effectiveness in the classroom and total dedication to her students led to her wide recognition among math educators, where she was selected in 1994 by the Walt Disney Organization as the number one math teacher in America and a distinguished appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was almost destiny that a recognized leader in mathematics would be inspired and transformed by a renowned leader in the Jewish community, Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald.
Her husband, psychologist Dr. Leonard Davidman, is a man who fills many important leadership roles: Chief Psychologist for 40 Years at Metropolitan Hospital Center, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the New York Medical College, President of the New York City Psychologists Union and former President of the New York State Psychological Association. For the past two decades, Lenny has personally assisted Rabbi Buchwald in whatever way he can. He leads Rabbi Buchwald's famed Beginners Service during the summers and during Rabbi Buchwald’s absence. Although not an ordained rabbi, Lenny, a former yeshiva bochur (student), also leads a free, public Yom Kippur Yizkor service for hundreds of people. He conducts a Rosh Hashana service and blows shofar for patients and staff of Mount Sinai West (formerly Roosevelt Hospital) and chairs his union's Jewish Heritage Committee, which creates annual Jewish-themed events for hundreds of New York City municipal workers. Thirty-five years ago, Beverly and Lenny were married at Lincoln Square Synagogue. The wedding was a unique union and expression of cultures and diversity. Today, many people still have vivid memories of that wedding because it exemplified the best in all of us: making the world and relationships work no matter what the background of the people. Their belief system was a perfect fit with the ideology of NJOP and Lincoln Square Synagogue.
NJOP*, an independent, non-denominational, non-profit organization, was established in 1987 by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald in response to the spiraling losses of Jews from Jewish life due to assimilation and lack of Jewish knowledge. Through its highly innovative and stimulating educational programming and influential social media platforms, NJOP conveys the relevance and vibrancy of Judaism to contemporary Jews by providing a greater understanding and knowledge of the basics of Judaism and Jewish life. Over the last 29 years, more than 1,567,590** North American Jews have been engaged Jewishly through NJOP’s positive, joyous Jewish programs and experiences.
NJOP's renowned programs, such as READ HEBREW AMERICA AND CANADA, SHABBAT ACROSS AMERICA AND CANADA, Shabbat and High Holiday Beginners Services and Crash Courses in Basic Judaism and Jewish History, have been offered at nearly 5,000 synagogues and Jewish organizations across North America and in 40 additional countries around the globe. NJOP's ever-expanding efforts, and its keen ability to recognize the most current cultural trends, have allowed it to become an acclaimed leader in Jewish social media. Every day, tens of thousands of fans and followers are presented with a means to positively and joyously participate in Jewish life through @JewishTweets on Twitter, NJOP's Jewish Treats daily email and Facebook fan page. NJOP's Jewish Treats’ YouTube channel boasts more than 1.8 million views.
Since its founding, NJOP has become one of the largest and most successful organizations, impacting broadly on Jewish engagement throughout the world.
NJOP extends special thanks to Mr. Sam Domb for his extraordinary efforts on behalf of NJOP and the Jewish People.
*National Jewish Outreach Program is now NJOP.
**As of December 2016