Sunday night’s Ben Zakkai Honor Society dinner was a wonderful example of Orthodox Union lay and professional leadership working together to present six new BZHS inductees and a magnificent tribute to Anne Samson a”h. Anne, who was inducted posthumously into Ben Zakkai, NCSY‘s “Hall of Fame,” played a crucial role in enabling her husband Lee, NCSY’s first full-time regional director, to create both our West Coast OU and NCSY Regions and Camp NCSY, our first month-long summer program. The evening came to a dramatic climax when Rabbi Steven Weil announced that NCSY’s acclaimed TJJ Summer Program will be renamed the Samson Family Jerusalem Journey in Memory of Anne Samson, as a result of Lee’s historic multi-million dollar gift. OU President Martin Nachimson extended deep appreciation for the gift on behalf of the lay leadership.
Ben Zakkai Chair Isabelle Novak, Dinner Chairs Vivian and David Luchins, and the Los Angeles planning committee, chaired by Lynn and Marc Rohatiner, worked closely with the newly-appointed NCSY International Director Rabbi Micah Greenland and the OU’s Office of Institutional Advancement directed by Paul S. Glasser on every aspect of the event. Special thanks are due to Elaine Grossman and Rhoda Farbowitz, and to Carrie Beylus, Raizy Rosenfeld, Eli Lebowicz and the Communications Department for all they did to make the dinner such a success.