On May 29, LA Yachad held its annual end-of-year event, The LA Yachad Oscars. With a red carpet, black tie attire and a festive ambiance, the program was fit for the stars. The evening was in special tribute to long-time LA Yachad coordinator Perri Tabak, who will be stepping down after 10 years of service.
More than 200 people attended the event, including Yachad staff, OU West Coast staff, Yachad members, and high school students and families from the LA community. Awards were given out, speeches and presentations were made, and there was plenty of singing and dancing.
Perri has been with Yachad for 10 years and has built a culture of inclusion in the greater LA area. Assistant Coordinator Ian Lurie will take over the chapter when Perri steps down.
High school participant Rachelli Schechter wrote that one of the nicest things about the event was that one could see how everyone there exemplified Yachad’s goal of inclusion. “The whole point of Yachad is bringing in those with special needs, she wrote, “and I am so happy to say that at the Oscars, not one Yachad member was ever seen alone. Everyone was treated the same; there were even speeches and awards presented and won by Yachad members. You could see by their lit up faces that they really felt part of the event.”
Gabriella Mahboubi, also a high school student, wrote about how the event answered for her the question of what attracts so many people to Yachad. “A small, yet meaningful, occurrence at the end of the night granted me the long awaited answer to my question: I was saying goodbye to friends as I made my way to the door, and had a pleasant chat with a Yachad member I came across on my way out. As any friends would, we exchanged a warm hug before we bid each other farewell. As I turned around to leave, I saw that her mother was standing nearby and had seen the exchange, after which she looked into my eyes and with deep gratitude and a quiet voice said, ‘Thank you.'”