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CAHAL’S 7TH ANNUAL CONCERT IS A HUGE SUCCESS
CAHAL held its seventh annual fundraising concert on Sunday, March 26, at Lawrence High School. The concert featured two of the outstanding Jewish performers in the world today, Avraham Fried and Simcha Leiner. The always popular Shloime Dachs and the Shloime Dachs Orchestra accompanied the performers. The concert, CAHAL’s largest fundraising event of the year, was a sell-out, with nearly 800 people in attendance. A Meet the Performers Event was held for Sponsors before the concert. All the Performers took time to chat and take pictures with the attendees. Seasons sponsored the sushi and a display of delicious desserts and Mrs. Bracha Silverstein, a local party planner, decorated the room beautifully.
The Y-STUDS, a very popular A-Cappella group from Yeshiva University, opened the show. The group amazed everyone with their poise, sweet harmony and unique style. Shimmie Ehrenreich, CAHAL’s Executive Director, thanked everyone for attending, especially the Sponsors, the most ever at a CAHAL event. He also thanked the Directors of the Program, Mrs. Naomi Nadata and Mrs. Alice Feltheimer for their years of dedication to the children and Shira Cohen and Noach Haller for coordinating the event. Richard Altabe, founder and Vice President of CAHAL, spoke about how the program has helped hundreds of Jewish Neshamos in our community receive a yeshiva education in self-contained small classes with individualized attention. He proudly proclaimed how CAHAL began, inspired by Dr. Norman Blumenthal and the principals of the founding yeshivas and boasted about how CAHAL has been able to mainstream a large percentage of children from the program back into the yeshiva where their siblings and friends attend. He listed the 12 local yeshivas that participate in CAHAL to cheers from the crowd.
The sold-out crowd came alive when young sensation, Simcha Leiner, began performing. His amazing range and sweetness of character electrified the audience. Avraham Fried followed with his magnificent voice and enthusiastic personality. Both performances drew tremendous ovations. Spontaneous dancing broke out multiple times during show. Shloime Dachs and Simcha Leiner joined Avraham Fried on stage for the big finale. The final song was a beautiful finish to a magical evening of entertainment. Dozens of children and adults, including members of the CAHAL Board of Directors danced for 15 minutes during the finale. The event proved to be a huge success and raised much-needed money for CAHAL’s Scholarship Fund.
Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein Speaks at
CAHAL Evening of Inspiration
On Sunday evening, February 19th, Drs. Suri and Ari Weinreb hosted an evening of inspiration to benefit CAHAL. Dr. Suri Weinreb has been CAHAL’s invaluable staff psychologist for many years, working closely with CAHAL’s teachers and students. While the Weinrebs arranged seating for over a hundred, by the time the presentation began, the audience was standing room only. The crowd overflowed in the family room and dining room, and spilled over into the kitchen and hallway, as the community gathered to support CAHAL.
Rabbi Avraham Fridman, General Studies principal of Yeshiva of South Shore, opened the program. He spoke of how CAHAL classes are an integral part of the yeshiva’s student body, and how CAHAL’s proven model of remediation and building foundation skills paves the way for academic and social success. He spoke of the passion of the CAHAL staff in the yeshiva and their unparalleled level of professionalism and dedication. He spoke of how fortunate our community is to have a program that addresses learning issues and keeps children on the right path.
Rabbi Nachum Dinowitz, a long time Rebbe at Yeshiva Darchei Torah, spoke with awe of Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs, (one of CAHAL’s most senior Rebbeim) and his consistent ability to impart the highest level of skills in CAHAL’s talmidim. Rabbi Dinowitz said that these essential skills are building blocks for any child who aspires to be a talmid chochom. “We all wish that CAHAL’s Rebbeim could teach our mainstream classes and impart some of their magic” he said. When the time came to putting his daughter in a CAHAL class, he did not hesitate for a moment. He expressed a special hakaras hatov to Mr. Justin Lepolstat, an outstanding CAHAL teacher. More than a dozen CAHAL rebbeim, teachers and therapists were among the large crowd of supporters and parents.
Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein speaks all over the world and has accomplished miraculous success with his yeshivas, special programs, and the mechanchim he has inspired. Rabbi Moshe Rudich, a CAHAL Rebbe and mentor encouraged his Rebbe, Rabbi Wallerstein, to speak for this event. Rabbi Wallerstein shared with the crowd that he told his talmid muvhak, Rabbi Rudich, that he MUST stay in chinuch despite his demanding schedule as a life coach and businessman.
Rabbi Wallerstein spoke passionately, both mesmerizing and entertaining the audience with stories of his career in chinuch and kiruv, but his message was very direct. “The street accepts everyone; it doesn’t ask how much money you have or what grades you get.” He said he was compelled to speak to our community when he heard of CAHAL’s much needed funds to continue the success of the program this year. “Over money?” he asked incredulously, “Keep CAHAL open! It is even more important than the yeshivas.” He spoke of Yosef Hatzadik, the outcast, Moshe Rabeinu, the stutterer, and Dovid Hamelech, the “runt” of the family – none of them superstars, who became immortal leaders in Klal Yisrael. His ultimate message was that there are potential gedolim growing up in CAHAL classes, and it is the achrayus of our community to ensure its own future by making sure that all children, whether or not they learn typically or require the love and special attention that only CAHAL can give, get the same chance.
CAHAL thanks the Woodmere community for their outpouring of support, and for joining in this event for CAHAL. A special thank you goes to Dina Rogoff, who coordinated every aspect of the décor and food presentation. CAHAL expresses special appreciation to the Rabbinic and Event committee members, who helped make this event a huge success. Of course, the gracious way in which the Weinrebs opened their home to CAHAL made all this possible.
Thanksgiving Comes to Life in the HANC Kindergarten
What better way is there to appreciate what we have in our lives today than to learn about the past, when the advantages and benefits we take so for granted did not even exist? In lessons about the holiday of Thanksgiving, the children in the CAHAL kindergarten class at HANC have come to understand and value the people and everyday things in their lives so much more, and to thank Hashem who has granted them all the goodness that they know.
Through group lessons filled with pictures, stories and artifacts, the children learned about the Pilgrims from England and the Native Americans of four hundred years ago. The children compared and contrasted the Pilgrim and Native American homes, clothing, and ways of life; videos on their SmartBoard brought these stories “alive” as they watched how the people of the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, a living museum today, recreate daily life in the settlements that they built and modeled after the Pilgrim and Wampanoag villages of long ago.
The all-encompassing purpose and message behind the Thanksgiving lessons, in addition to their historical and cultural value, were to demonstrate that one group of people gave much needed help to another group of people who then showed their gratitude in return. Doing chesed and showing hakarat hatov are both such important middot that we try to instill in the children through every lesson and activity in class. To follow the Pilgrims’ and Native American Indians’ model of long ago, the children were most excited to recreate the Thanksgiving feast.
Choosing to thank their therapists, who are an integral part of the CAHAL program and help them in their skills development every day, the children feverishly got to work to prepare. As in the days of old, each child made his or her own clothing (costumes for both Pilgrims and Native Americans to switch off wearing during the feast), and they made pumpkin muffins from scratch. Each child brought a food contribution to the feast and helped to set a beautiful table for the guests. The children learned the important social skills of how to greet and entertain guests as well as escort them when it is time to leave. Later in the day, the class walked around the HANC building giving out pumpkin muffins and thanks to the nurse, custodians, and many others who help us in our school every day. So many valuable and practical skills were learned and practiced, and so many happy and grateful people enjoyed a beautiful experience together.
Chanukah Chesed at the Atlantic Beach Nautilus
The CAHAL Yeshiva of South Shore 8th grade class truly brought the light and simcha of Chanukah to residents of the Nautilus assisted living facility in Atlantic Beach. Rabbi Chananya Grinberg, their rebbe, told a beautiful and moving Chanukah story to the residents set in the dark days of the Holocaust, which resonated deeply with them, many of whom are survivors. The boys introduced themselves and shared their backgrounds. One of the students, a talented musician, played Chanukah songs on a keyboard. The boys, their Rebbeim and teachers sang songs and danced, spreading simcha to all the men and women who attended the program. The highlight of the event was when the boys were able to connect with the residents in one to one conversations. Many of the residents shared their own stories of the Holocaust, and the students listened attentively and asked questions, eager to learn more from these incredible stories of survival. The boys finished this special day with lunch at Carlos and Gabby’s. Each boy showed such enthusiasm and even asked when the class could go back. The experience was mutually heartfelt and positive for the residents and the boys. Ms. Melody Kassover, the Nautilus Activities Director, called to thank CAHAL for sending the students. “It was a busy week with many visitors, but your boys were special. They stood out. The residents loved it!” She said that the residents were eager to connect with the boys again soon. It was such a wonderful treat to be able to give back to the community and spread the light of Chanukah with these special seniors.
Special thanks to their teachers, Rabbi Chananya Grinberg, Rabbi Binyamin Munk, Mr. Justin Lepolstat and Mr. Moshe Salhanick. This is one of many chesed activities that CAHAL students did in making this a very special year.