One Rosh Hashana several years ago, Benita Rosenberg walked in on Chabad of Midtown’s center at 509 Fifth Avenue, looking for a place to pray. She hasn’t left since. This week, four years later, Rosenberg shared the story of hers and her husband Roger’s continuing connection with Chabad of Midtown at the center’s 8th annual dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. “Chabad is more than a building; it’s even more than a synagogue or a center,” she told the packed ballroom, “For us, Chabad is a simply a family.”
Braving inclement weather and legendary traffic jams, nearly 400 dinner guests turned up on Tuesday, March 16th, in support of the Chabad of Midtown family and the dinner’s honorees. Recognizing the “builders of our community,” the dinner honored Daniel Gohari of The Moinian Group and Joshua Zamir of Zamir Equities with the Young Leadership Award. Brad Singer of HRH Construction, a leading builder of high-rise office towers was presented with the Community Builder Award. Renowned developer Joseph Moinian of The Moinian Group served as honorary dinner chairman, and Frank Ross, Jr. of HRH Construction chaired the dinner journal.
“These are the builders of the Jewish community in New York City,” said Rabbi Joshua Metzger, rabbi and director of Chabad of Midtown. Situated at the crossroads of the city, on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, Chabad has a profound impact on the lives of thousands of Jews, from tourists to businesspeople to locals. The center offers a wide range of charitable, social and educational programming to fill the needs of a diverse and ever-changing crowd, including weekly Shabbat services and full dinners, 52 weeks a year; daily classes; hospital visitations and much more. But beyond that, Metzger adds, Chabad of Midtown has created a warm, close-knit family in the heart of the big city, and hundreds, like Benita and Roger Rosenberg, can call the center home.
Dinner guests were treated to a special showing of “Cornerstones”, a video presentation highlighting Chabad Lubavitch building projects across the globe, followed by an award presentation to the honorees. Presenting each one with a framed porcelain mezuzah from the famed Hungarian Herend Judaica collection, Rabbi Metzger thanked the honorees for their continued support of Chabad activities. “Every dollar given to Chabad of Midtown is stretched to well beyond the limit in our quest to serve the needs of every Jew with whom we come in contact,” Metzger said. “On behalf of all of them, we thank you for continuing to build our community.”