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Greenwich day school’s “Chai” anniversary celebration raises $700,000

GREENWICH – More than 400 guests, including U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and other local dignitaries, gathered at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. on Sunday, March 15, to celebrate the “Chai” (18th) anniversary of Carmel Academy and honor its head of school, Nora Anderson.

According to organizers, the celebratory “Erev Tov” dinner also raised $700,000 for the Greenwich day school. The record-breaking fundraising effort was aided by an anonymous donor who offered a $200,000 matching gift just two weeks before the annual event as a way of honoring Anderson.

“The intent of this extremely generous matching gift was to encourage our current supporters to give in the most meaningful way possible and to embolden us to seek new gifts,” said Seth Young, Carmel’s associate head of school. “The fact that our community came together in just two weeks to meet this match is a wonderful testament to the support for Carmel Academy and Nora.”

“The overwhelming success of this evening is indicative of the appreciation our parents, grandparents, alumni and friends feel for our school,” he added. “Carmel appeals to such a broad range of supporters because the education we offer enables our faculty to cross the lines that usually divide the Jewish community, and see students as individuals whom they can inspire no matter what their background.”

Anderson has been widely commended for overseeing the transformation of what was once a small school housed on the second floor of a synagogue into an accredited institution with more than 250 students on a 17-acre campus.

At the dinner, Carmel Academy’s Board President Evan Levy announced that a garden, with a stone bench adorned with tiles hand-painted by the school’s students, is being installed on the Carmel campus in honor of Anderson.

Also in Anderson’s honor, the Dinner Committee arranged to have a food donation made to a local homeless shelter at which she frequently volunteers. They also donated winter hats embroidered with the words “We Stand With The IDF” to the Israel Defense Forces. Anderson has been a staunch supporter of the Friends of the IDF organization. Her son, Noam, a Carmel Academy alumnus, is currently serving in the IDF. He attended the dinner with Anderson’s other children. Also in attendance were Anderson’s parents, who traveled from Peru, where her father serves as the country’s chief rabbi.

CAP: Carmel Academy Head of School Nora Anderson receives a Certificate of Special Recognition from Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

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