This past Sunday we all joined together in celebration at our annual Amudim dinner, held this year at the newly renovated Jewish Alliance of Rhode Island. Attendees were treated not only to a beautifully renovated lobby and entryway, but also to the fine décor of the reception and social hall that was adorned with beautiful tablecloths, napkins, floral arrangements, buffet with delectable food, matching programs, journals, and colored lighting. This dinner also required technical assistance, such as photography, video, and sound. We owe a tremendous debt of thanks to my wife, Tzippy Scheinerman, who chaired the event and saw to every detail, as well as to her committee and all those who helped with the logistics of the event and worked hard to ensure the tremendous success of the evening.
The dinner celebrated the rich traditions passed down from our elders, in this case, Bernard and Harriet Gladstone, who were pillars of chessed and action in our community. Known as anshei maaseh, people who rolled up their sleeves and worked on behalf of the community, their children Bruce, Jeff, and Scott all shared their memories of their parents shoveling the room of the shul in the winter, as well as many other acts of chessed. As alumni, they returned to the school and toured and relived some of their school experiences at PHDS.
Mr. Paul Fradin, a renowned philanthropist, was honored with the Generation to Generation Award, as he reached out to others and implored them to join him in his dedication of the outer entryway of the school. In his tribute video, his workers mentioned that he was a caring boss who made his employees all feel like family.
Last, we paid tribute to a most successful alumnus, Mr. Pesach Shafner, who lives his life as a true Torah Jew, one in which he blends his Torah learning and his work of chessed in a hospital setting, where he serves as a clinical pharmacist. He relayed to us all his profound appreciation for nurturing his tree to yield such beautiful fruit, based on the excellent chinuch, love, caring, and nurturing at the school. Special thanks to Mr. Ephraim Seif, a student at NERC, for producing the tribute videos, and to the barbershop quartet and the performers of the classical music that serenaded our honorees.
The dedication of the Pearlman Sefer Torah a few weeks ago and the Amudim dinner this week taught me many lessons, among them that any accomplishments of our school today were built on the shoulders of giants. The tenacity of these giants built a school that produces many alumni who succeed both as Torah Jews and as individuals respected in their chosen secular careers. We are deeply indebted to them for all that they have done to build a school in Providence.
Our school is blessed with a committed and dedicated parent body and volunteers. Coupled and supported by an amazing staff of rebbeim, moros, teachers, staff, and administration, we all feel honored to bear the torch that the past pillars of our community have transmitted to us. We are proud to see the fruits of our labor come to fruition in the form of our graduates – young ladies and gentlemen steeped in Torah and maasim tovim, and proficient in General Studies. Academic Fair, contests, trips, Shabbatonim, and great test scores provide our students with a balanced and exciting social and academic program.
My colleagues and I are very proud of our graduates from NEAT who are all attending various seminaries next year, as well as of the eighth-grade graduating class who are all enrolled in the yeshiva high schools of their choice.
We invite you, our entire parent body, to join us by contributing your thoughts and ideas as we chart the course for our school’s continued growth. Remember – “It takes a village” – and your partnership in our school community is crucial.
Best wishes for a relaxing summer break!
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman