On April 29, 2015, the American Friends of Migdal Ohr (AFMO) held its annual Gala Dinner at the IAC Headquarters in Manhattan. Approaching 400 people in attendance, the occasion celebrated Migdal Ohr’s 42 years of providing a first-rate education and loving home to nearly 12,000 Jewish children at-risk across Israel annually. Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, Founder and Dean of Migdal Ohr, traveled from the Migdal Ha’Emek campus in Israel to attend this momentous event, offering blessings and well wishes to all. He also took this opportunity to launch the fundraising campaign for a critical new project, the $2 million renovation of a boys dormitory building, for children ages 6-12 who are orphaned, impoverished or have been removed from their homes because their parent(s) have been determined “unfit.”
The 2015 Gala honored long-time supporters and AFMO board members Tzvi & Nancy Fishman and Laurie & Todd Scherzer. Both Tzvi Fishman and Laurie Scherzer gave moving speeches describing their initial introduction to Migdal Ohr, shared recollections from their many awe-inspiring visits to the campus in Israel, and expressed their devotion to Rabbi Grossman and the children and teenagers in his care. The event also included a special tribute to one of AFMO’s primary founders, Dr. Belle Rosenbaum, Z”L. Rabbi Grossman spoke about Belle and her husband Jacob’s involvement in raising the original funds needed to open the campus in Israel in 1972. Then, Rabbi Grossman acknowledged all of Belle’s family in attendance and shared a photo of a leather bound siddur dedicated in her memory that is now being used in the Belle and Jacob Rosenbaum Synagogue on the Migdal Ha’Emek campus.
Another highlight of the evening’s program was a spotlight on Migdal Ohr’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah Twinning program, featuring five local teenagers who had each participated in some capacity: Eli Cattan, Eliana Greenwald, Isaac Mizrahi, Ari Mitchell, and Ilyana Mitchell. Each spoke lovingly (via pre-recorded video) about their special involvement with this important chessed project. At the Gala, AFMO Board Member Jeff Eisenberg presented each of them with a mezuzah that was handmade by the children of Migdal Ohr just for them.
The event was emcee’d by PIX11 Morning News sports anchor and entertainment reporter Andy Adler, and also included the official debut of the new Migdal Ohr video.
A great time was had by all and the AFMO Board of Directors and Staff would like to personally thank ALL of the honorees, the gala co-chairs, our terrific emcee, and all of the supporters and friends in attendance who helped to make this year’s gala a fun and successful event!