A record-breaking 500 guests attended the annual Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy Celebration Dinner on Sunday evening, Feb. 28. Held virtually, the gala event honored several prominent leaders of the Fairfield County Jewish community.
In a nod to the challenges posed over the past year by the COVID-19 pandemic, the evening’s theme was “Fortitude.”
“It goes without saying that this has been a year to remember,” noted BCHA Head of School Jackie Herman, in addressing those gathered online. “Which is why this year’s dinner theme – “fortitude” – is so perfect. It reminds us of the extraordinary challenge our community faced over the course of this past year, as the COVID- 19 pandemic hit. And it epitomizes the strength, grace, determination and resilience, which we drew upon to overcome that unprecedented challenge.”
Herman, who after 10 years at the helm of the Stamford day school will step down in June as head of school, was presented the school’s inaugural Walter Shuchatowitz Award for Excellence in Education, named for the school’s founder and first principal, who died in November 2019.
The evening’s other honorees included Guests of Honor Stephanie and Josh Bilenker and Young Leadership Award recipients Nicole and Jonathan Makovsky.
The Morton G. Scheraga President’s Award was presented to Doris Zelinsky by David PItkoff, president of the BCHA Board of Trustees. Pitkoff, whose tenure as Board president is coming to an end after five years, was also honored during the evening.
The 2021 Alumni Award was presented to eight BCHA graduates currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Along with the many other BCHA alumni who have previously completed tours of duty in the IDF, the eight students honored were Meital Wiederhorn, Judy Fogel, Nathan Haron, Nathan Links, Mia Brenner, Maya Wiener, Ella Feuerstein and Michal Yaari.
Main Photo: BCHA teacher Ilana Berman sends a heartfelt message to outgoing Head of School Jackie Herman in a video screened at the school’s Celebration Dinner.