Sunday, May 15thdawned bright and sunny with a brisk wind. By the time noon approached and the doors opened at Ateres Chaya for the Bikur Cholim Chesed Organization Annual Luncheon & Auction, the warmth permeated the room. Ladies Auxiliary Presidium Pearl Hollander, Cipi Klein, and Sarah Tannenbaum welcomed the overflow crowd (extra tables were needed!)who came to show support for the renowned chesed organization. The roster of honorees was outstanding, and brought crowds of all ages together for a worthy cause.
Luncheon Chairlady Pearl Hollander opened the program eloquently with her inspiring words. She also spoke movingly of the exemplaryצדקה and חסדof her cherished husband, R’ Shiya Hollander ז”ל, past President and long-time Board member of Bikur Cholim.
Rabbi Avi Fishof, the dynamic Director of Bikur Cholim, listed the many wonderful accomplishments ofHospital Leadership HonoreeToby Bressler, PhD, RN, OCN,Director of Nursing for Professional Practice at Maimonides Medical Center.
Estie Klein, Coordinator of Volunteers for Bikur Cholim’s Family Crisis Intervention Program, spoke about the vital need of this lifesaving project for families suffering from dysfunction and mental illness, while presenting the Lev V’Nefesh Award to social work interns Miri Taub, BSW and Ofra Flaks, MFT.
Ahavas Yisroel Awardee Malka Cinner of YeledV’Yalda Fitness Center, was the next honoree on the agenda. Her young granddaughter, BlimieCinner, “stole the show” with a warm and witty poem describing Malka’s long list of wonderful attributes and how she is loved by family and friends alike.
Pearl Hollander followed with ShalshelesHaChesed Awardee Pessie (Susie) Freund, who accepted the award in honor of her dear mother, Mrs. Ellie Jakubowitz, שתחי’. Mrs. Hollander spoke glowingly of Mrs. Jakubowitz’ legacy of chesed from her own mother that she bequeathed to her daughter Pessie, who is continuing her family’s golden chain of maasimtovim and chesed.
Guest of Honor Reb. Sarah Tannenbaum accepted the award לעילוי נשמת her beloved husband, long-time Bikur Cholim Board memberRabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, זצ”ל. Her daughter, Bracha Holczer, spoke lovingly of her father’s צדקות, Torah learning and dissemination, and his exceptional fulfillment of מצוות בין אדם לחבירו. The large crowd was clearly moved as they quietly listened and remembered the
revered Rabbi Tannenbaum, זצ”ל.
With genuine warmth and humor, Esther Neuman, Bikur Cholim’s Coordinator of Volunteers, presented the Mesamchei Lev Award to Miriam Schwartz, her friend and fellow mispalleles in Burshtyn. Esther spoke about Miriam’s helping hand that she extends to all, and the remarkable chesed she does in her signature friendly and unassuming manner.
Once again, a granddaughter stepped up to the podium and read a poem extolling her grandmother’s many virtues. Leah’la Steinberg spoke movingly of the outstanding chesed and צדקה of Kesser Shem Tov Awardee Mrs. Miriam Steinberg (of Munkatch/Bais Yaakov). A surprise guest, her neighbor Mrs. Pessie Lissauer, spoke from the heart and proclaimed her to be a true שכן טוב and beloved by all.
To cap off the afternoon, Esther Henny Jaroslawicz, Director of Operations for Bikur Cholim, presented the HakorasHatov Award to Miriam Steinmetz, wife of Shloime Steinmetz, Director of Bikur Cholim’sChayenuAfter School Program for boys from embattled or single-parent homes. She spoke about the incredible devotion of Miriam to her children, family and friends, as well as her dedication to Chayenu’s children, and her mesirasnefesh in allowing her husband to devote so much of his time and talents to provide a safe haven and an oasis of tranquility to our community’s children in need.
The finale of the event was a magnificent Chinese Auction under the direction of ZipporaSalamon and Rivka Blima Klein. All monies raised at the luncheon and auction are used exclusively to fund Bikur Cholim’s Medical Relief Program, which helps needy individuals pay their medical bills, etc. B’Chasdei Hashem, the event was a huge success, and participants went home with a renewed appreciation of the admirable chesed work of Bikur Cholim Chesed Organization, 5216 11th Avenue, 718.438.2020.