Monday, February 17, 2020

On Sunday evening, January 8, the Crystal Ballroom at the Radisson Freehold Hotel sparkled with joy and excitement as Torah Links of Middlesex County hosted its 13th annual benefit. This year’s event featured an extra measure of enthusiasm and anticipation as the celebration was taking place in the midst of the rapidly progressing construction of the brand new TLMC Center for Jewish Life in East Brunswick. The evolution of the new building was graphically depicted in a lively video presentation that capped off the evening’s festivities.

The evening’s honorees, all of whom have contributed so much to the success of Torah Links and its programs, were Rikki Samel of Highland Park, and Josh and Yael Segal of East Brunswick. Rikki Samel has been heavily involved with the organization ever since she chaperoned the first Torah Links Women’s Mission to Israel in the summer of 2014. She currently coordinates classes and social events for alumnae of the Israel trip.

The Segals are staunch supporters of Torah Links. They are visionaries who stepped forward and kicked off the Building Campaign at a Torah Links Benefit several years ago, even before the building plans had even been drawn up. Besides their involvement with Torah Links, the Segals are also active members of Young Israel of East Brunswick.

The program also featured a memorial tribute to Svetlana Shtrakhman, a cherished member of the Torah Links family who passed away last spring after a prolonged illness. A moving video presentation chronicled her family’s emigration from the former Soviet Union and their commitment to learning more about their Jewish identity, ultimately leading to their participation in Torah Links, where they grew tremendously in both Jewish study and observance.

The evening was a rousing success, and participants left feeling uplifted and inspired, eagerly anticipating the next Torah Links milestone: the projected completion of the Torah Links building this spring.