The Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) of NCSY, the international youth program of the Orthodox Union, will pay tribute to the legendary legacy of OU past president Moses I. Feuerstein, z”l, honor three individuals and induct five new members at the 14th Annual Ben Zakkai Honor Society Scholarship Reception, Sunday, January 10 at 5:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York.
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. The Society has helped pay tribute for more than forty years to esteemed NCSY alumni and community leaders who have demonstrated their dedication to Torah and their service to the Jewish people.
Vivian and Dr. David Luchins are Dinner Chairs, as they have been every year since the event was first held. Dr. Luchins is a Senior Vice President of the OU and Chairman, Department of Political Science, Touro College. Mrs. Luchins is a member of the OU Board of Directors and is the chair of NCSY Summer Programs Committee of the OU Youth Commission.
Dinner proceeds go towards direct scholarships for NCSY members to continue their Jewish education after high school, or to participate in national NCSY programs, such as Camp Sports for Boys, National Yarchei Kallah, and Summer Experience for Girls.
At this year’s reception, BZHS will induct its newest members:
•Rabbi Israel Lashak of Dallas, Director of the NCSY Southwest Region, who will also receive the Rebbetzin Elaine and Rabbi Pinchas Stolper Leadership Award;
•Rabbi Yerachmiel “Rocky” Caine of Baltimore, Associate Director, Ashrei;
•Rabbi Shalom Schlagman of New York, Regional Director of NCSY Har Sinai Region;
•Howard Shapiro of Brookline, MA, and Los Angeles, serves on OU’s Board of Directors and is a former NCSY National Officer; and
•Miriam Merzel of Rochester, NY, Associate Director of the NCSY Har Sinai Region.
Isabelle and David Novak of Los Angeles will be honored with the Enid and Harold H. Boxer Memorial Award in celebration of Isabelle’s forty years of involvement with NCSY and David’s receiving Honorary Membership in Ben Zakkai. Isabel serves as Chair of the BZHS. She also serves on the OU’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee while David has served on OU National Board of Governors or Directors for more than 35 years.
Cynthia Darrison of Brooklyn, NY will be honored with the Ezra Ben-Zion Lightman Memorial Award. Cynthia has been involved with NCSY from the time she was in high school — in her junior year she won an election for Regional President and since then has maintained her passion and commitment to the vision of NCSY. Today she also serves on the National Board of Directors of the Orthodox Union.
The evening will also honor the legacy of Moses I. Feuerstein, who played an historic role in creating NCSY and the contemporary Orthodox Union. During Mr. Feuerstein’s 12 years as Orthodox Union President (1954-66), he took particular delight in mentoring future leaders. He was prominent in the business world yet deeply devoted to Torah and mitzvot, serving as a role model for his generation, teaching young Orthodox Jews that one need not sacrifice commitment to Torah to be successful in the secular world.