Last week, Rambam Mesivta held its 29th Annual Scholarship Dinner. The honorees were Jonathan and Marcy Farrell, who were recognized as the “Guests of Honor,” and Yaakov and Dina Shalev, who were chosen as “Grandparents of the Year.”
The dinner was held in person at The White Shul. Due to COVID restrictions, in-person attendance was limited, with many other members of the Rambam community Zooming in.
Rabbi Pinny Rosenthal served as the Master of Ceremonies and expressed gratitude to the school for educating his five sons. He noted that he does not hold the record, since the Septimus family had six boys attend Rambam.
He then introduced the Rosh Mesivta, Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, who spoke about the importance of thinking “beyond one’s self” and how the Shalevs embody such community involvement with “Dina volunteering to teach students Ivrit and Yaakov leading the Daf Yomi shiur for the past 15 years. It is amazing and admirable how they give of themselves.”
Dani Jakubowitz, a senior at Rambam, who earlier led those assembled in the American and Israeli national anthems, joined Rabbi Friedman in introducing and presenting to his grandparents, the Shalevs, a plaque in appreciation of their contributions and dedication to the community at large.
Rabbi Friedman then paid special recognition to Mr. Tim Sini, District Attorney of Suffolk County. Rambam awarded him a special plaque in recognition of his efforts to stamp out corruption and MS-13 in Suffolk County. Mr. Sini then spoke about Mr. Farrell in glowing terms, and he joined Rabbi Friedman in presenting the “Guests of Honor” award to Jonathan and Marcy Farrell. Rabbi Friedman thanked Mr. Farrell for all his work guiding the school on legal matters, and praised Mrs. Farrell for her role in the school’s Women’s League and her time and dedication to seeing that the school’s lunch program runs on time and in an expedient manner. The Farrells expressed their appreciation for everything the school has done for their children: Yakov who is currently a senior, and Sammy who is a junior.
The program closed with a 15-minute amazing live interview with author Silvia Foti, who recently published a book, The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather Was a War Criminal. She spoke about the traumatic experience she went through in researching and discovering that her grandfather, Jonas Noreika, was not the nation’s hero that Lithuania celebrated, but rather was a murderer of thousands of Jewish men, women, and children. Her book was distributed at the dinner and there are some additional copies still available at Rambam.
Plans are already underway for next year’s 30th dinner!