(Courtesy of SINAI Schools) On February 26, over 1,000 people—the largest crowd ever—gathered for SINAI’s annual benefit dinner at the Marriott Glenpointe Hotel in Teaneck. This year’s honorees were Ruthie and Chazan Shim Craimer of Riverdale, Amy and Dr. Joshua Fogelman of Fair Lawn, Dr. Perla and Dr. Gerardo Yablonovich of Englewood and SINAI alumnus and Bergenfield native Yaakov Guttman. SINAI also recognized Shimmy Stein of Bergenfield with the distinction of Shomer She’erit Yisrael. Lawrence R. Inserra, Jr., CEO and the Inserra family, of Inserra Supermarkets, Inc., received SINAI’s Community Partnership Award.
This year’s feature documentary, “Walking Through Fire,” tells the story of how honoree and SINAI alumnus Yaakov Guttman rose to overcome personal tragedy and significant learning disabilities to become a sergeant in charge of a sniper team in the Israel Defense Forces and to save lives as a firefighter in Tel Aviv. Following the film, Yaakov took the opportunity to express his gratitude to SINAI Schools for helping him realize his potential, and spoke movingly about his motivation for sharing his intimate story: to impact children who are struggling as he once did, and to give them and their parents hope for the future. You can watch the film at www.sinaischools.org/walkingthroughfire.
Guests at the dinner were also treated to an original SINAI music video, “Prayers From My Heart,” highlighting the range of students SINAI serves and the impact SINAI’s special education has on both students and their parents. SINAI’s dean, Rabbi Yisrael Rothwachs, spoke movingly of Rachel Schulman, a”h, one of SINAI’s cherished associate directors who passed away just weeks before the dinner, and introduced a stirring video tribute to Jake Weinstein, a”h, beloved associated director.