On the night before Gimmel Tammuz, 300 guests and supporters from over a dozen countries gathered at the TWA Hotel ballroom at JFK Airport in New York for a moving and inspiring gala dinner in support of the JEM Foundation.
The dinner featured a powerful mix of videos of the Rebbe, music and live presentations, culminating in a highly-successful drive for new members of the foundation.
Avraham Fried, the world-renowned Chassidic singer opened with powerful and moving niggunim selected for the special date
Josh Goldhirsch, a founding member of the JEM Foundation, welcomed guests to “the most enjoyable evening you’ll ever spend at JFK airport.” A video presentation focused on individuals’ recollections of travelling to the Rebbe as children – some of them through the very terminal at JFK where the dinner was held.
A dramatic and moving film featured two of the Scharf brothers – rabbis Mendel and Shmuel Chaim, who shared their story of how the Rebbe ‘adopted’ them and their two siblings after their father’s passing in 5750 (1989).
On stage, the world-renowned musician Naor Carmi performed live an originally-composed score accompanying the film.
As the film finished and the audience was drying their eyes, Rabbi Shmuel Chaim Scharf bridged the gap between his and his siblings’ experiences with the Rebbe thirty years ago and the vital role that JEM plays in enabling his own childrens’ relationship with the Rebbe today.
Coming on the eve before Gimmel Tammuz, which holds so much emotion and motivation for the hundreds of thousands who feel deeply connected to him, the film served as a powerful and poignant waypost on JEM’s path to providing worldwide accessibility to the recordings of the Rebbe, and to curating the videos of the Rebbe in ways that appeal to ever-wider audiences.
Rabbi Yechiel Cagen, director of the My Encounter Project and Associate Director of the JEM Foundation, presented a breathtaking array of highlights of JEM’s incredible accomplishments over the past year.
Full Album: JEM Foundation Gala 5782
Rabbi Elkanah Shmotkin, Executive Director of JEM and the JEM Foundation, shared JEM’s vision for numerous content and technology projects in the works which were funded by the Foundation. Rabbi Shmotkin recognized the team of over 40 full time content and production experts from around the world that make up the JEM team.
A moving tribute to Mr. Sami Rohr – father of the Honorary Chairman of the JEM Foundation, the philanthropist George Rohr – featured a Yiddish song that felt custom-written for Reb Shmuel, accompanied by superbly curated photos of his lifetime, matching each letter of the Alef-Beis and each stanza of the song.
Rabbi Levi Wolff of in Sydney, Australia, brought the evening to a close, sharing how JEM brings the Rebbe to people, places and countries, that only they can reach.
The evening’s artistic director was Ronen Peled Hadad of Aranen Creative Productions.
The event’s corporate sponsors were: Dealmed Medical Supplies, Fox Business Funding and Brooklyn Brokerage.
As the evening came to a close, some fifteen new Foundation members were announced from amongst the participants, as well as numerous one-time gifts.
It is these visionaries who push forward JEM’s innovation and share the Rebbe with millions. Through their partnership, the members of the JEM Foundation present the Rebbe and his teachings effective and authentically to millions of people the world over.