Hundreds of friends and supporters of the Orthodox Union (OU) attended the OU’s 111th Annual Dinner and Awards Presentation held at the Hudson Theater and Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York this past December. At the event, the OU paid tribute to Yachad, the flagship division of the OU’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities, for twenty-five years of service to the Jewish community. “Just twenty-five years ago, men and women in the Jewish community with disabilities were largely unknown, unseen, and unwelcome,” explained OU President Stephen J. Savitsky. “Yachad has been so successful in changing this, in facilitating the inclusion of children and adults with disabilities into the community, that we almost take it for granted.”
In videos, the gala affair highlighted Yachad’s current and founding professional leaders, Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman and Chana Zweiter, and recognized individuals who were instrumental in Yachad’s phenomenal growth and development, including Caryn Pollak and Mordechai David, Yachad “trailblazers”; Julius Berman, OU President at Yachad’s inception and its first chairman; Michael C. Wimpfheimer, former National Chairman, Yachad Commission; Danny Levine, of J. Levine Judaica, one of a number of business leaders who employ Yachad members; Esti and Alan Stahler, parents of Loni and Malka, young leaders of the Yad B’Yad summer program, and Aryea Aranoff, former Yachad advisor, coordinator and program director.
Israel’s first American-born Ambassador to the United States, Michael B. Oren, delivered the keynote address. At the event, the OU honored Schreiber Foods Inc. of Green Bay, WI, with the National Kashrut Leadership Award.