On Sunday, March 5, the Yeshiva at the Jersey Shore held its second annual dinner at Congregation Brothers of Israel in Long Branch, New Jersey.
Over 150 parents, students, alumni, supporters, teachers, staff, rabbis, elected officials and other dignitaries traveled from Israel, Linden, Lakewood, Edison, East Brunswick, Passaic, Highland Park and throughout Monmouth County to participate in the event honoring Lisa and Jonathan Shapiro as Guests of Honor; Naava and Rabbi Joshua Hess for the Harbatzat Torah Award; and Senator Joseph Kyrillos, Jr., for Distinguished Service in Public Affairs.
Rabbi Dr. Elie Tuchman, head of the school’s yeshiva, commented, “We are pleased that for the second year in a row our message about child-centered education, excellence and integration in Judaic and general studies, learning Hebrew through the Ivrit b’Ivrit method, and chesed was enjoyed by the community at large.”
Lisa and Jonathan Shapiro of Wayside are among the school’s founders, and Lisa served as the second president of the board for five. She was succeeded just this past year by David Friedman of Highland Park. Morah Naava Hess helped establish the early childhood education program and serves as an engine of growth for the Yeshiva at the Jersey Shore. Her husband, Joshua, is the rabbi for Congregation Anshe Chesed in Linden, New Jersey. Senator Kyrillos was honored for his accomplishments on behalf of Jewish education, security and efforts to promote equity in funding for day schools over the past 25 years as a member of the New Jersey State Assembly and then the New Jersey State Senate.
Among other elected officials and civic leaders who participated in the event were Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Joann Downey and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. Community leader Vin Gopal also participated in the event, and served as honorary journal chair. In addition to the presentations of awards to the honorees, the dinner closed with
Assistant Principal Bonnie Drazen presenting a bouquet of flowers to the beloved and hardworking board member Melissa Belsh for providing leadership and for her herculean efforts leading to the dinner’s success.
Rabbi Meir Lipschitz served as MC for the event, doing, as he said, “a better job than last year’s MC.” Last year’s MC was Rabbi Lipschitz as well!
Board Chair David Friedman and honoree Lisa Shapiro also presented a brilliant English and Ivrit twist on the classic Abbott and Costello routine “Who’s On First?”