It was an event not to be missed. Met Council started Chanukah early this year, hosting a party for over 500 Holocaust survivors on Wednesday, December 21, at Ateres Golda Hall in Borough Park Brooklyn.
This party was greatly anticipated and enjoyed by all who attended”, stated Judah Zellermaier, Met Council Holocaust Survivor Program Manager. “It was a mitzvah that Met Council could provide Holocaust survivors with an afternoon of socialization, music, dancing, and a time to enjoy themselves in a beautiful, festive setting.”
Memories were made and shared among the attendees. A delicious kosher meal was served and camaraderie was evident at every table. The party was lively with entertainment by the flamboyant and widely known Lipa Schmeltzer, considered the Lady Gaga of Hasidic music. Schmeltzer performed several sets, and along with the Sympinny Orchestra, got people on their feet dancing, and celebrating Chanukah. He helped light a menorah, and created a joyous, celebratory mood.
We were honored to have Mark Wilf, President and Owner of the Minnesota Vikings in attendance. Wilf is chair of the Jewish Federation of North America, National Holocaust Survivor Initiative. Having parents who were Holocaust survivors, he understands the importance of these programs, and the unique needs of Holocaust survivors. He was joined by Max Kleinman, who has helped shape JFNA’s National Holocaust Survivor Initiative to reflect diverse needs across the country.
NY State Senator Simcha Felder of the 17th District was also in attendance. He represents constituents in several Brooklyn neighborhoods including Borough Park, Midwood, and Gravesend. We appreciate his attendance at this event.
The party is part of a series of events for Holocaust survivors throughout New York City, as part of the Met Council Holocaust Survivors program. The goal of the program is to create opportunities to alleviate the social isolation that many experience. In addition to parties, participants have gone to educational events at museums and universities. They have also taken road trips to cities including Philadelphia. We thank Judah and his team, including Holocaust Social Workers Aliza Leiter, Vera Spektor, and Irina Migkova.
Met Council wishes to thank the Henry & Susie Orenstein Foundation, which has provided the funding for this program in partnership with JNFA. Henry, together with his wife Susie, are our most committed and caring funders. They are true friends of Met Council, and are always ready to help people in need. Their partnership is essential to this program. We thank them for their generosity, friendship and support.