The Yeshiva of Central Queens (YCQ) community is eagerly looking forward to celebrating its first in-person Anniversary Gala in over two years. Families and faculty members are excited about the scheduled 81st Anniversary Scholarship Dinner, and dynamic performance by singing sensation Gad Elbaz, at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation on Motza’ei Shabbos, February 26. The theme is “Your Piece Counts,” a reference to the many different community members working to “puzzle” together a complete, successful experience at YCQ. “Our wonderful honorees are enthusiastic in their support of this ongoing mission,” said Dr. Joel Wein, President of YCQ.

“The theme ‘Your Piece Counts’ also refers to YCQ’s goal of raising funds to subsidize the cost of educating children from homes where meeting the tuition obligation is an overwhelming challenge,” said Rabbi Lonner, YCQ Executive Director. “In Parshas Sh’kalim, coincidentally the week of the Dinner, we learn that everyone must contribute. Just as we each play an important role in building the Mishkan, we invite everyone to become a piece of our puzzle in contributing to our mikdash m’at and building the next generation of klal Yisrael.”

Lena & Richard Harris, and her parents Riva & David Yakubov, have been chosen as Guests of Honor. The Harris and Yakubov families share a special bond with YCQ. For close to two decades there has been a Harris child at YCQ, and the Yakubov grandparents have been a constant presence and integral part of their grandchildren’s educational experience. Lena and Richard are dedicated, longtime members of the Jamaica Estates community and have established themselves as leaders and builders. They have made supporting Jewish education at YCQ a top priority.

In 2004, YCQ was privileged to hire a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Melissa Cohen. With her masterful skills, she brought her class to life and enabled the students under her tutelage to reach their full potential. As a rising star in the field of education and administration, Mrs. Cohen was appointed Assistant Principal of the General Studies Elementary Division in 2013 and continues to flourish in this role. She is well-respected and beloved by faculty, parents, and especially the children, to whom she is committed to providing a warm and nurturing environment. With tremendous hakaras ha’tov, Mrs. Melissa Cohen has been selected to receive the Distinguished Educator Award.

Devora & Bruce Stiefel have been selected as Parents of the Year for their incredible devotion to their children, the Yeshiva, and the community. They serve as superb role models for Lauren, Eric, and Nicole, all exceptional YCQ students. Devora has been an active member of YCQ’s Board of Education for the past 14 years, where she uses her professional talents to enhance the Yeshiva’s curriculum and literacy program, while working closely with and mentoring the Yeshiva’s professional staff. Bruce is involved in neighborhood safety and security programs in the North Woodmere community. YCQ is fortunate to count the Stiefel family, always ready to generously contribute their time and effort, as valued members of the YCQ community.

“Following in the spirit of our honorees, we ask the community-at-large to demonstrate its gratitude for what the Yeshiva does for the children and the community,” said Israel Glaser, Chairman of the Board. There are so many ways one can recognize and contribute to the success of YCQ. These include making reservations to attend the YCQ 81st Anniversary Scholarship Dinner and dynamic performance by singing sensation Gad Elbaz. One can also donate to the YCQ Scholarship Campaign and submit a dedication in the Scroll of Honor in celebration of the honorees or in honor or memory of a loved one. Additionally, one can participate in the grand raffle to win exciting prizes (Grand Prize: $10,000, First Prize: Vacation Package valued at $3,600, and Second Prize: Weber Smart Grill Package valued at $1,500) – all online – at

“This is sure to be an unforgettable evening for all who attend,” said YCQ Principal Rabbi Mark Landsman.