Parents and supporters of Rambam Mesivta gathered at the Sands of Atlantic Beach to celebrate the school’s 24th annual scholarship dinner. Awards were presented to Guests of Honor Mr. Adam and Mrs. Rivky Orlow; Educator of Excellence Award was presented to Rabbi Yotav Eliach; and Alumni of the Year were Aaron Friedman and Yehuda Isseroff, both of the Class of 2006. Tribute was paid to the alumni from the Class of 1996 who came to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their graduation.
Rabbi Pinny Rosenthal served as the evening’s emcee and spoke about his four boys—Eliyahu (2010), Yosef (2011), Shmuel (2014), and senior Zechariah—who graduated Rambam and gained so much there. He introduced Rabbi Zev Friedman, who connected the theme of the Haftarah Machar Chodesh to current events. “The day before Rosh Chodesh, Machar Chodesh, the sky is dark at night. The emergence of the moon begins to illuminate and dissipate darkness. Jewish history reflects the same thing. Just last week we commemorated Yom HaShoah, one of our darkest days, and yet three short years later the reestablishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael occurred. My parents survived Plasow, Auschwitz, and death marches, lived in total darkness for many years and had no idea when redemption would come. Hashem changes our destiny from darkness to light, oftentimes in an instantaneous and totally unexpected manner,” said Rabbi Zev Friedman. He stressed that the school’s mission was one of promoting Jewish leaders. “Teaching kids to know how to learn Torah and how to excel in all of the studies is the aleph-beis of Jewish education today—our mission is to inspire the next generation of Torah-true Jewish leaders,” he said.
Yehuda Isseroff was presented with a special Alumnus of the Year Award for his commitment to Torah and chochmas Hashem, as he concludes his training in dentistry at Columbia University. His father, Rabbi Dr. Zevi Isseroff joined the podium as Yehuda was presented with a beautiful silver besamim box.
Aaron Friedman, who serves as Rambam’s director of operations, was presented with an Alumnus of the Year Award for his day-to-day service for the school and interacting with all vendors in a manner that creates a true kiddush Hashem.
Adam and Rivky Orlow were named the Guests of Honor for their broad-based support of many Torah institutions including Rambam. Upon receiving the award, Mr. Orlow lauded the school, its administration, rebbeim, and teachers for the excellent education and inspiration they provide his son, Avi, a junior, and his friends.
It is no surprise that Rabbi Yotav Eliach was named Educator of Excellence for his decades-long commitment, passion, and dedication to Jewish education. He has truly inspired thousands of students to increase their commitment to Torah and the Jewish community. Upon receiving his award, Rabbi Eliach spoke about the goals and mission of the school and about its amazing track record of producing so many rabbanim, doctors, lawyers, accountants, and graduates who are committed to Torah while concomitantly pursuing many different types of professions.
Rabbi Rosenthal concluded the program by introducing a special surprise video tribute from Rabbi Eliach’s former students, many of them residing in Israel, who spoke about the profound impact he had on their lives. After Ma’ariv and dessert, the crowd left with a wonderful taste of what Rambam is all about. v