Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Michele and Ben Cooper

Miriam and Ezra Lightman

Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC) will hold its Annual Scholarship Breakfast on Sunday, June 11. Honorees this year are Miriam and Ezra Lightman and the Community Service Award is being presented to Michele and Ben Cooper. Additionally, TABC will pay tribute to the impressive success of its academic teams.

Over the past four years, Miriam and Ezra Lightman have been at the forefront of the growth and vibrancy of TABC. Miriam serves on the board of trustees and is co-chair of the TABC annual dinner. Her involvement with the nominating and recruitment committees demonstrates her dedication to TABC’s long-term growth. Additionally, Miriam embraces her love of Torah as co-chair of TABC’s Shavuot community-wide learning program. Her deep commitment to working for the tzibbur began in high school with the Lenox Hill Bikur Cholim, where she now serves as a hospitality director for their bikur cholim apartments. As a family, the Lightmans founded and coordinate the Lenox Hill Bikur Cholim Junior Division. Miriam’s communal involvement also includes past and current leadership roles at Congregation Beth Abraham, RYNJ, Bergenfield Planning Board and OU’s Teach NJS. Professionally, Miriam works as a speech-language pathologist at SAR Academy. Ezra, managing director of investment banking at Raymond James & Associates, is co-chair of NORPAC Teaneck and serves on AIPAC’s regional board. Ezra has enhanced TABC’s commitment to Eretz Yisrael, initiating the school’s first delegation to Washington for AIPAC’s student leadership seminar and strengthening TABC’s Israel Advocacy Club, most notably through their son Meir’s leadership. In addition to their strong volunteerism, the Lightmans are extremely dedicated to ensuring the financial strength of ther yeshiva. Miriam and Ezra, who live in Bergenfield and are members of Congregation Beth Abraham, are the devoted parents of Meir ’17, Lily and Kovi.

Michele and Ben Cooper have been parents at TABC for the past four years. Michele joined the TABC board four years ago and has been involved in many aspects of the school. She worked on the chanukat habayit for their beautiful, newly expanded campus, served on the technology committee and consults on a variety of building issues related to third-party rentals and maximizing resources. Michele also coordinates the TABC Shavuot community-wide learning program at Congregation Beth Aaron. Michele, an attorney who works part-time from home, is also involved in a variety of community organizations and is especially proud of her leadership of the Beth Aaron Centerpiece Gemach. She previously served on the Teaneck Zoning Board for many years and is currently a volunteer matchmaker with NJ Shuls Connect. An avid biker, Michele is training for the upcoming Tour De Simcha in July. Ben, a radiologist, works for two major medical centers. He served on the boards of both Congregation Beth Aaron and The Jewish Center of Teaneck. They are both den leaders of Pack 613 Arrow of Light Cub Scouts. Michele and Ben, members of Congregation Beth Aaron and the Jewish Center of Teaneck, care deeply about TABC and its important place in our community serving as advocates, ambassadors and supporters. They are the proud parents of Avi ’17, Akiva, Rebecca, Alexander and Asher.

TABC has much to celebrate as its students achieve both inside and outside of the classroom in all grades and disciplines. This year, the TABC Science Olympiad team competed against over a dozen yeshiva high schools and impressively came in first place overall. Both the TABC JV and Varsity College Bowl teams won the championships this year with a stellar season and decisive wins. For the fourth year in a row, TABC took home first place at the Model Beis Din competition hosted by Landers College. TABC is the New Jersey champion in Torah Bowl, competing next week in the final competition against three other division champions for the title, and the JV History Bowl team won the Lorenz Cup in NYC. All of these achievements will be highlighted at the breakfast.

The young men of TABC have represented their yeshiva with distinction in state, regional, national and even international competitions. Shlomo Helfgot ‘17 just returned from Israel where he competed in the highly competitive Chidon HaTanach and placed an impressive fourth. Sophomore Nathanael Vinar competed and represented TABC in the semi-finals for the National History Bee. TABC’s Model UN team performed very well this year with Binyamin Novetsky ‘17 being named a Best Delegate. Also taking Best Delegate status were Naftali Shavelson ‘17 and Dovid Fertig ‘17 at the Model Congress Competition. Aharon Nissel was awarded Best Actor in the Envision Shakespeare competition hosted by TABC this year. These successes exemplify TABC’s ethos of embodying the balance of Torah U’Mada in all aspects of students’ lives. We are proud to pay tribute to the participants who have worked so hard this year.

Through its Scholarship Breakfast Campaign, TABC is raising critical funds for the Bruce Ritholtz z”l Scholarship Fund, named for beloved friend, TABC alumni parent and community leader Bruce Ritholtz, a”h. Bruce was instrumental in launching the TABC Capital Campaign that enabled the school to build its beautiful, new campus. He and his wife, Michelle, whose son, Dani, graduated in 2014, have dedicated tremendous time, energy and resources to TABC and many other worthy community causes. Naming the scholarship fund in Bruce’s memory in 2015 was a special and meaningful way to honor Bruce’s legacy and support Jewish education.

This past year, TABC offered over $1.4 million in need-based scholarships. Charitable contributions to the scholarship fund in honor of the Lightmans, the Coopers, in memory of Bruce Ritholtz, a”h, or in honor of our students will enable TABC to continue to provide young men in the greater metropolitan community the opportunity to share in all of the wonderful benefits of a TABC education, and allow TABC to achieve and grow in academic excellence while remaining financially accessible to its families.

Members of the community are encouraged to invest in the next generation and the future of our community by contributing to the Bruce Ritholtz z”l Scholarship Fund. Information can be found at tabc.org/scholarshipbreakfast or by contacting Sharon Rifkind at [email protected]