Rambam Mesivta held its annual scholarship dinner this year to celebrate its honorees, Brian and Sharon Duftler (Guests of Honor), Ben Diamond (Man of the Year), Rabbi Dr. Elie and Aliza Feder (Parents of the Year), as well as Yoni Miller (class of 2003) and Raphi Cooper (class of 2013) as Alumni of the Year. The dinner took place at the Sephardic Temple in Cedarhurst and was emceed by Rabbi Pinny Rosenthal, a five-time alumni parent.
Rabbi Friedman then addressed the audience and, using the concept of v’halachta bi’drachav, recognized the honorees for their commitment to avodas Hashem and kiddush Hashem in their daily routines. He then spoke about each individually and their contributions to Rambam Mesivta and the Jewish community as a whole.
Brian and Sharon Duftler, who are well known for their community leadership, were the Rambam Guests of Honor. Sharon has served on the presidium of the Rambam Women’s League and chaired many events during the time their sons Mendy (2014) and Boaz (2023) attended Rambam. Brian was instrumental in coordinating Rambam’s application for Middle States certification and Blue Ribbon status, and he was very involved in past Rambam scholarship dinners. Sharon and Brian are also active and beloved members in the YILC community and are known for helping out whenever possible.
Ben Diamond, honored as the Man of the Year, is the Chief Strategy Officer of the One70 Group, the company responsible for building Rambam’s beautiful new building in record time. Ben is a key member of the Lakeview Fire Department, where he conducts EMT training and is an active Hatzalah member in his West Hempstead community.
Rabbi Dr. Elie and Aliza Feder, recognized as Rambam’s Parents of The Year, are both well known for their educational accomplishments. Rabbi Feder is a tenured professor of mathematics in the CUNY system and gives a Mishmar shiur at Rambam on Thursday nights to students. Recently, he wrote a book entitled Gematria Refigured, fusing the workings of mathematics with the wisdom of Torah. Aliza is the STEM coordinator at HALB middle school and teaches Tanach at Shulamith High School. Rabbi Dr. Elie and Aliza are the proud parents of Ayala (Shalhevet class of 2021), Ezra (2022), Shmuel (2024), and Hillel.
Yoni Miller, Alumnus of the Year for the class of 2003, graduated Rambam 20 years ago and works in the world of finance as the First Vice President at IDB Bank. Along with his wife Rina, he is actively involved in his community of Stamford, Connecticut.
Raphi Cooper, Alumnus of the Year for the class of 2013, graduated Rambam ten years ago and is known for the deliciously healthy breadcrumb alternative, Cooper’s Crumbs, which he developed and manufactures in his spare time. Raphi spends the bulk of his time assisting others in his full-time capacity as a social worker.
Rabbi Yotav Eliach addressed the dinner attendees and spoke about how fortunate we are to live freely in the United States and to have an autonomous Jewish state, Israel. This was a preview of the remarks he was planning to give Rambam talmidim later in the week for Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut. He congratulated all honorees and made special recognition of the Alumni of the Year, stating that both of them are held in high esteem by faculty members and by community members alike.
The program concluded with great desserts, socializing, and Maariv.