Special Teaneck Celebration at Recent OU/NCSY Ben Zakkai Honor Society Dinner
From left: Isabelle Novak, chair of BZHS; Vivian Luchins, dinner co-chair; Rebbetzin Berni Breen Zierler, awardee; Dr. David Luchins, dinner co-chair; Rabbi Lawrence Zierler, awardee; and Martin Nachimson, OU president.
The Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) of NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership, the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union, recently held its Annual Dinner at which it honored Rabbi Lawrence S. and Rebbetzin Berni Breen Zierler of The Jewish Center of Teaneck, and to induct Stuart Boyarsky of Teaneck as a BZHS member. Additionally, The Jewish Center of Teaneck was officially welcomed as an Orthodox Union member synagogue.
BZHS is an alumni “Hall of Fame” whose new members are nominated by, and voted on, by its current members based on the nominees’ service to NCSY and the Jewish community. The Society’s main function is to raise funds for scholarships for high school NCSYers for summer programs in North America and Israel and for teens to continue their Jewish education after high school.
At the dinner, Martin Nachimson of Los Angeles was installed as OU President.
Dr. David and Vivian Luchins served as dinner chairs.
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Zierler received the Ezra Ben Zion Lightman Memorial Award in recognition of more than 30 years of Jewish communal service.
Berni Breen Zierler began in NCSY as an officer and many times was president of her NCSY chapter at Nusach Ari Bnai Zion Synagogue in St. Louis. She later became a national advisor and served in that capacity for the Atlantic Seaboard Region. A major force in NCSY, she was inducted into Ben Zakkai in 1980 and has remained an active supporter of its work ever since.
She has been involved in raising funds for various communal organizations, including Matan B’Sayser, which provides assistance to needy families in Jerusalem, and programs in Jewish special education in the communities in which she and her husband have served, by creating concerts for women. Rebbetzin Zierler graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Touro College’s Physician’s Assistant Program, is a Board Certified PA, and currently works in the field of orthopedic medicine.
Rabbi Zierler was ordained in 1985 by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and has held pulpit positions in Portland, ME, Cleveland and Memphis. Concurrent with his rabbinate in Cleveland, he also served as a JCC Executive and Jewish Community Chaplain. After completing a two-year Mandel Jerusalem Fellowship in Israel he assumed the pulpit of the storied Jewish Center of Teaneck, then an unaffiliated traditional congregation, which he guided to a full embrace of Orthodox Judaism. It is now a mechitzah congregation.
“Berni Breen was marked for NCSY greatness at her first event as a 14-year-old,” Dr. Luchins remarked. “As a chapter president and regional officer she demonstrated the maturity and charisma that made her such an effective advisor, role model and rebbetzin in the years that followed. The role she and Rabbi Larry have played in the Jewish Center of Teaneck’s historic transformation deserves our admiration and thanks.”
Stuart Boyarsky of Teaneck, NCSY alumnus and aspiring communal leader, was inducted as a member of the Ben Zakkai Honor Society.
Stuart Boyarsky of Teaneck (left) shows off his BZHS induction award, with Isabelle Novak, BZHS chair, and Ari Kahn, BZHS vice chair.
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