A Magical Afternoon in New York City

December 10, 2018 | in Winter 2018-19

Bnai Zion Hosts Annual NY Gala

To celebrate 110 years of building a more inclusive, healthy, and vibrant Israel, Bnai Zion hosted our Annual New York Gala on Sunday afternoon, November 4. Over 250 guests came out to the Museum of Jewish Heritage to support Bnai Zion’s work, raise funds, and honor four individuals who have truly embodied Bnai Zion’s ideals. The four esteemed Honorees included Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D., Founding Rabbi of Manhattan East Synagogue and Founder and Head of School of The Sephardic Academy of Manhattan; Kenneth Abramowitz, Managing General Partner and co-Founder of NGN Capital and Founder of SaveTheWest.com; Mark Langfan, Managing Partner of The Langfan Company, a Senior Fellow of the London Center, and the Arutz Sheva Correspondent to the UN; and William K. Langfan, a philanthropist and WWII veteran who received the French Legion of Honor Medal.

The gala, which started with a reception at noon, gave attendees a chance to mingle before settling into their seats for the upcoming speeches while enjoying a buffet lunch. These four distinguished Honorees each received an award, as well as standing ovations for their outstanding contributions to their respective fields in a room packed with individuals from all backgrounds and across all religious, financial, and political spectrums. Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York, was in attendance, and he gave a rousing speech about Israel’s solidarity with the Jews of the diaspora in the wake of rising anti-Semitism and the shooting in Pittsburgh.

“I have never shared so many common values and beliefs than with the honorees at this particular event,” said Ambassador Dayan, before moving on to more somber sentiments. “In a few weeks we will mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. We always say never again. I believe that never is now.”

National President Stephen Savitsky spoke beautifully about Bnai Zion’s ability to bring together people from across the religious and political spectrum. Acknowledging the stunning view of the Statue of Liberty from the museum, he said: “That’s our mission. Give us your tired and your poor. Give us people in Israel who need our help—because regardless of politics, regardless of religious belief, we come together to work for the children, for the people, and for the State of Israel. We are the answer to Jewish unity in the world, at a time when we need Jewish unity so badly.”

Other speakers included Cheryl Bier, CEO, who spoke about our power to unite in the face of tragedy and rally around our common cause of our love of Israel, and George Schaeffer, Chairman, who reminisced about Bnai Zion’s incredible work over his 53 years of involvement in the organization.

The program ended with an intriguing performance from Mentalist Oz Pearlman, who captivated guests with his “mind-reading”, guessing everything from Master of Ceremonies Harry Adjmi’s favorite dessert to what color or celebrity various guests around the room were thinking about. Afterwards, the guests retired to the cocktail room for dessert, where Senior Vice President Rebecca Harary led the drawing of an exquisite auction with exciting prize packages, all donated in support of Bnai Zion Foundation.

“This was our best event yet,” says Cheryl Bier. “I was so happy to have such movers and shakers in the room, including our amazing honorees and emcee Harry Adjmi. With everything going on, it was wonderful to have the chance to celebrate Israel in an environment without a political or religious agenda.”

Thank you to all of our guests, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

See more photos from the event here.