The Gift Of Learning
At Akiva banquet, Rabbi Weil spells out importance of a Jewish education.
Elyse and Jerome Schostak of Franklin; Rosa Chessler, Stuart and Janelle Teger,
and Andrew Weil, all of Southfield
roviding a Modern Orthodox, Zionist education for more than 300 students
from preschool through 12th grade is serious business. Akiva Hebrew Day
School in Southfield has successfully offered a college preparatory program for
Metro Detroit children, punctuated by Judaic studies, for more than four decades. About
530 people gathered May 2 at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills for Akiva's
46th annual banquet, the school's biggest fundraiser of the year.
Rabbi Steven Weil, formerly of Young Israel in Oak Park, now
the executive vice president of the New York-based Orthodox
Union, was the evening's guest speaker. He talked about the chal-
lenges Jewish children often face when they go out into the world.
"All too many Jewish children come to college campuses inex-
perienced and politically naive Rabbi Weil said. "Without the
gift of a Jewish education, a gift of self-knowledge and identity,
they are not able to process the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhet-
oric they hear; they have not been given the facts, and they find
themselves without defense. It is for this reason that a school like
Akiva, where students are grounded in their spiritual and his-
torical legacies, is truly vital to the future of our people."
Two longtime Akiva supporters, Rosa Chessler of Southfield
and Cheryl Jerusalem of Oak Park, were honored for their service
Marc and Cheryl Jerusalem of Oak Park and Martin and Carol Lowenberg of Southfield.
and dedication. Chessler, a volunteer for more than 30 years and the mother of two Akiva
graduates, received the Ahavat Torah Award. Jerusalem, who's served many roles over the
years and spent the last year focused on reconnecting the school with hundreds of alumni,
was honored as Akiva's Alumna of the Year. All five of Jerusalem's children have either
graduated or are currently attending Akiva.
"Rosa and Cheryl personify what it means to be committed to the ideals and goals of
Akiva," said Sidney Katz of Southfield, the school's executive director. "They each lend
their time and talents to ensure that Akiva succeeds:'
The evening also included a patron reception for donors who contribute $1,000
or more, a strolling dinner, and performance by the school's Gedalya Mitchell Kol
Haneshama youth choir, made up of boys and girls in grades 3-7.
Spotted in the crowd were: Event co-chairs Sheryl Korelitz, Huntington Woods and
Leah Ann Kleinfeldt of Southfield; Beth and Rabbi Judah Isaacs and Ghana and Tivi
Sherizen, all of Oak Park; Allison and Ben Pollock of Ann Arbor; Elyse and Jerome
Schostak and Karen and Neal Alpiner, all of Franklin; Rivka and Brian Jacobs, Laurie
and Phil Goldmeier and Sherri and Andy Weil, all of Southfield; Eileen and Jerry
Borsand of Bloomfield Hills; and Michelle and Bill Sider of Huntington Woods. El
For more information about Akiva Hebrew Day School, call (248) 386-1625 or
go to www.akiva.org .
Michal and Howard Korman and Joseph
Greenbaum, all of Southfield, with
Federation CEO Scott Kaufman of
May 13 • 2010
Adina Krupnik, 15, of Southfield,
Seth Korelitz of Huntington Woods,
Madeleine Warshay, 15, of Oak Park and
Hannah Korelitz, 14, of Huntington Woods
Andrew Well of Southfield and Ethan
Gilan of West Bloomfield
Lani Levi, 18, of Southfield, Ruth Levi of
Oak Park and Rabbi Steven Well
of Beverly Hills, Calif.