A Magical Evening

The positive energy, warmth and love were palpable in the air.  It was a magical evening celebrating community, spirituality and giving back!

More than 150 guests gathered at the beautiful estate of Maria and Ken Fishel in Bridgehampton and enjoyed cocktails, delicious cuisine and a concert by internationally acclaimed composer and pianist, Tania Eshagoff Friedberg. The evening celebrated the growth of Center For Jewish Life in Sag Harbor and recognized the unique contributions of the guests of honor towards the community’s expansion.

“On behalf of Maria and myself, I would like to welcome everyone to our property” announced Ken Fishel who opened the program. “We are here to support Center For Jewish Life – Chabad Sag Harbor which is a relatively new and young organization. Thank you everyone for coming out and participating in this wonderful cause” related Ken Fishel.

The Chesed Award was presented to Kimmy and Robby Morris for their philanthropic contributions. “I am humbled to receive this honor. I go out of my way to do acts of goodness so I can set a real-life example for my children to emulate and do good as well” remarked Robby Morris upon receiving the Chesed award.

The Community Builder Award was presented to Stephen Wald who conveyed to the audience how he met Rabbi Lerman. “I received a postcard in the mail about a new synagogue in town and then I received another mailing and another brochure. Finally, I called the number and Rabbi Lerman answered the phone. We met for coffee shortly afterward in NYC. From that encounter ensued a strong friendship and community involvement” shared Stephen Wald.

The Defender of Israel Award was presented to Marc Goldman for his work with Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon in bringing UN Ambassadors from all over the world to visit Israel. “America and Israel share a similar value system which is guided by Torah values. This explains why there is a great affinity between the two countries which stand for individual freedom and human rights” remarked Marc Goldman.

The Young Leadership Award was presented to Amanda Goldberg. “On a recent trip to Israel I was inspired to explore our heritage and learn more about Judaism. I am so glad to have met the Rabbi and Rebbetzin at Center For Jewish Life in Sag Harbor. It has been a truly uplifting experience” related Amanda Goldberg.

The event chairs, Erica and Dennis D’Antonio, Sandy and Andrew Quentzel, Jodi Schwalb, Denise Wohl and Arden Wohl, were then called up to receive a newly published book about personal encounters with the Rebbe.

Rabbi Lerman thanked all the guest for coming. “We started off in North Haven a few summer back without financial backing or donor base. All we had was a passion and vison to impact people’s lives for the better and to create a place that serves as a beacon of light, education, spirituality and Jewish culture that radiates brightly in the Hamptons and beyond. Along the way came people who appreciated that vision and helped us make that vision a reality. We now occupy a beautiful space on the waterfront in Sag Harbor that serves as a synagogue, culture center, art gallery and much more. Thank you to everyone here who plays a role in making our beacon of light a reality!”  declared Rabbi Lerman.

Pianist and composer Tania Eshagoff then dazzled the crowd with a classical music presentation on a grand piano that was set up specially for the event.