Styles Hebrew Academy Community Lights Up the World at the 71st Annual Gala

Gala Chairs & Hebrew Academy Parents -Tila Levi, Nicole Kavana and Cynthia Stein

Over four hundred of Hebrew Academy (RASG) community members gathered for a powerful program at the 71st Annual Light the Path Gala on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at the Hebrew Academy Gymnasium on the Schwartz-Jacobs Campus.

Chaired by Nicole Kavana, Tila Levi, and Cynthia Stein, the event raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the school to support Hebrew Academy’s mission of lighting up the world through torah and learning.

In addition, honorees were recognized for their invaluable commitment to the school and their craft. This year’s honorees included Dr. Mauricio Bitran (Light the Path to Life), Jennifer Dobin, Esq. (Light the Path to Leadership), and Rachel Weinberger and Daniella Folk (Light the Path to Education).

A surprise, Legacy of Light Award, was given to Head of School, Rabbi Zvi Kahn for his endless work and dedication to Hebrew Academy. Rabbi Kahn will be leaving at the end of the school year.

A highlight of the evening was when Hebrew Academy Parent and scholarship recipient, Audrey Bensoussan, spoke openly about the struggle to send her children to Jewish Day School, and explained why a Jewish Education was a necessity: “We (the Jewish People) have traditions, history, values that are unique in the world and worth perpetuating. At our school, Judaism and Israel are woven into the everyday lives of our children. It is ingrained in their minds, their hearts and their souls. Hearing my children sing the American National Anthem followed by Hatikva and the prayer to protect our soldiers in Israel every morning is a feeling I cannot put into words. The idea that I am ensuring the continuity of our beliefs, our traditions, our religion is not something I can put a price on. It is simply essential like food and shelter.”

Honoree Dr. Mauricio Bitran accepting his award with his sons and Hebrew Academy Alumni, Mitchell, Josh and Daniel Bitran

The evening included remarks from community leaders, including Hebrew Academy Board President Iris Herssein, Esq. and Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola, who gifted honorees with special proclamations. Additional remarks were given by High School Senior and Student Body President, Raquel Zohar, who was just admitted into Cornell University early decision

The evening ended with a lively performance by Israeli Superstar, Gad Elbaz, who sang a rendition of songs including a modernized version of Hava Nagila and his breakout hit Hashem Melech.

Hebrew Academy gratefully acknowledges sponsors: Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Psagot Winery. As well as our vendors: Petal Productions, IgalMR Films, Almighty Production Events, Nathalie’s Catering, Photos by Carlos, Created by Debbie Aqua, and Jennie Rimon Design.