The Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) of NCSY, the international youth program of the Orthodox Union, will honor Isabelle and David Novak of Los Angeles with the Enid and Harold H. Boxer Memorial Award at the 14th Annual Ben Zakkai Honor Society Scholarship Reception, Sunday, January 10 at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York. The evening will also pay tribute to the legendary legacy of Moses I. Feuerstein, z”l, honor three individuals and induct five new members.
The award is presented in celebration of Isabelle’s forty years of involvement with NCSY and David’s receiving Honorary Membership in Ben Zakkai. Isabelle serves as Chair of 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.
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. Isabel Novak is the Chair of the BZHS.
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.
The Novaks became involved with NCSY forty years ago. Isabelle was first. As a teenager, who then lived in Sunnyvale, CA, she attended the Founding Convention of the West Coast Region in Oakland, and neither she nor NCSY were ever the same again.
David Novak, a native of Los Angeles, was an active supporter of West Coast NCSY while working for his family’s Novomatic Systems, bold innovators in the optical field. David, one of the youngest people to ever serve on the Regional and National Board of the Orthodox Union, came every Shabbos to Camp NCSY to soak up the ambiance and relive his teenage years as the high school NCSYer he had never quite been. Once Isabelle and David met, their continued involvement in the organization was a guarantee. Their son, Yitzchak, is an extraordinary NCSY Regional President and Advisor.
The Novaks serve with complete devotion on the Regional and National Boards of the Orthodox Union and are active in communal affairs, including
They reside in Los Angeles and Jerusalem with side visits to New York (where Yitz and Aviva are currently raising their beloved Doni) and anywhere an NCSY event is taking place. Isabelle, an in-house accountant at a prestigious Los Angeles firm, takes NCSY and Ben Zakkai very seriously. A member of the National Youth Commission and its acclaimed Summer Programs Committee, she and David have long endowed scholarships to allow NCSYers to attend NCSY summer programs.