The proverbial “It takes a village” aptly describes the efforts that were invested into our magnificent 53rd Annual Trustee Dinner. First and foremost, the dedication of our Head of School, Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, must be commended, without his direction the event could not have been as successful. Next, the creativity and vision of our Events Coordinator, Mrs. Sandra R’bibo cannot be underscored. Working together with our co-PTA chairperson Mrs. Vardit Aharonoff and our trustee dinner committee, the Emek gym was transformed into a regal ballroom. Comments such as “I have never been so proud to be a teacher and parent at Emek” and “I have attended community banquets and dinners for the last 30 years, but I have never seen such an opulent décor”, were being made the entire evening. Our own parent and board member Nir Weinblut presented a gastronomical masterpiece with impeccable presentation complemented by the flower arrangements exquisitely designed by Mrs. Gali Studnik.
Our 3rd grade girls sang beautifully, accompanied by our musical maestro Mrs. Rachel Seidel who also prepared Joseph Seidel and Mitch Goulson, Emek students, for their dramatic renditions of the Israeli and American anthems. The evening was an emotional roller coaster. It was filled with inspiring and amusing moments, highlighted by addresses from the Los Angeles Israeli Consul General Mr. David Sigel, our Chairman of the Board Sol Teichman, President of the Board Daniel Aharonoff and former President of the Board and honoree Gary Finder. The speeches were perfectly contrasted by nostalgic and heart-wrenching video of our memorialized honorees Arlette Penn, Sonia Loffman and Milt Glaser. The footage was filmed, edited and directed by the creative and innovative Abe Raphael.
Our building was in immaculate shape thanks to Sergio Blanco, our Plant Manager and his tireless crew. The evening was capped off with a toast and cigar rolling in our newly dedicated Finder Family Foyer.
This was truly a night to remember as board member Steve Rodin expressed “we were not bored for even one moment”. Most importantly, the purpose of the night which was to raise funds to allow Jewish children the opportunity to receive an excellent Emek education was realized. We raised over $420,000 for scholarships (over $100,000 more than last year), and due to the beneficence and benevolence of the Teichman Family an additional $100,000 matching grant was created to assist in upgrading our Early Childhood playground and for new family scholarships. Let’s continue to build on the positive energy that has been created. Mishenichnas Adar Marbim Besimcha.