NCSY’s Ben Zakkai Honor Society to Induct Four New Members & Honor Two, at Scholarship Reception 1/6

13 Dec 2007


The Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) of NCSY, the international youth program of the Orthodox Union, will induct four new members and present two prestigious awards, when it holds its Twelfth Annual Scholarship Reception, Sunday, January 6 at 5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel and Conference Center, 2 Meadowlands Plaza, East Rutherford, NJ.

BZHS is an alumni society 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.

Vivian and Dr. David Luchins are Dinner Chairs, as they have been every year since the event was first held.

“The Ben Zakkai Honor Society is NCSY’s ‘Hall of Fame.’ For over 40 years it has provided us with an opportunity to acknowledge NCSY graduates who have gone on to make a difference in Jewish communal life,” declared Dr. Luchins.

The Ben Zakkai honorees are as follows:

• The Enid and Harold H. Boxer Memorial Award to Liz and Martin Nachimson of North Hollywood, California. Mr. Nachimson first became involved with the OU in 1974 when he moved to Los Angeles. He is credited with helping to found the OU West Coast Region. Currently he serves as the Chair of the OU’s Board of Governors as well as the Youth Commission Chair, where he is the force behind pivotal decisions regarding the future and direction of NCSY.

• The Ezra Ben-Zion Lightman Memorial Award to Chashie and Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka of Passaic, New Jersey. Starting his work with NCSY in the spring of 1979 when he was a college freshman at Yeshiva Unversity, Rabbi Krupka has served in many high-level positions at the OU, including Regional Director of NCSY, Coordinator of National NCSY programs, creator of the Department Synagogue Services and its Director, and Executive Director of National Programming. He is currently the Senior Vice President for Collegiate Affairs at Touro College.

The newly elected Ben Zakkai members are:

• Rina (Friedman) Emerson of Cedarhurst, New York, started with NCSY in sixth grade in New Jersey, when she was known as Rina Friedman, became a regional officer in the eleventh grade, and then the following year, served as regional vice president. Mrs. Emerson stayed involved with NCSY in college and today is the Assistant Director for Long Island NCSY.

• Devorah Aroesty-Cohen of Boston, has been involved in NCSY for more than a decade. She grew from the quiet, shy girl at New England events into the woman who planned these programs. Although not an official NCSY employee, Devorah keeps in close touch with the advisors who sparked her Jewish identity and the countless youths whose life she has touched.

• Michael Cenker of Atlanta, grew up in Atlanta’s Beth Jacob Congregation and was an active member and leader of its Taryag NCSY chapter for years. He served with distinction as Vice President for Programming and President of his chapter as well as Vice President for Programming and President of the Southern Region. He met his wife, Betsy, through NCSY and they both served NCSY for many years. Mr. Cenker continues with his involvement at Beth Jacob and Torah Day School today.

• Jamie Vichinsky of Kingston, NY became involved with NCSY in fifth grade when she joined the award winning Har Sinai NCSY chapter, Melachim Adirim. Over the years she held many leadership positions and worked to revive chapters; to increase numbers of NCSYers participating in programming; to revitalize Junior NCSY; and held countless chapter visitations and spearheaded efforts in her region in convening the largest regional Winter and Spring Conventions in recent history. She is the former Director of the Upstate Region, and is currently in private practice as a speech-language pathologist.

For information about attending, contact Malka Laks at 212-613-8144, or