On Sunday, June 5th, Chabad at the Beaches celebrated its thirteenth year of commitment to Jewish life in the Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beaches communities with its annual Gala Dinner and Celebration. The annual Gala is timed to coincide with the yahrtzeit (anniversary of passing of) their beloved friend Mr. Aaron Scharf, who ,with his beloved wife Blanche, are the center’s namesakes. Rabbi Nochum and Leah Kurinsky are co- directors of the Aaron and Blanche Scharf Chabad Center along with Rabbi Eli and Esther Wilansky.
Rabbi and Mrs. Yoseph and Rivky Kahanov, were honored with the Pillar of the Community Award. The Kahanovs are the pioneers and founders of Chabad in North East Florida. Sent by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Jacksonville over 25 years ago, it is they who had the vision and leadership to grow Chabad in North East Florida and make it what it is today. Six Chabad centers, 9 Chabad Rabbi and Rebbetzin couples, a school, camp, preschool and numerous other incredible accomplishments are due to their leadership and hard work.
Mr. Daniel Levy received the Leadership Award for his longstanding steadfast support of Chabad at the Beaches. Daniel Levy is a proud Naval officer (ret.). Daniel met his lovely wife Brittany in Ponte Vedra. He and Brittany still remain an active part of the Chabad Beaches community and try to share in its simchas, despite their current geographical distance. He continues to serve on the Annual Gala Fundraising and Journal Committees. Daniel sets an example to many as a true friend, loyal at his core. He is kind too, often doings acts of chesed (loving kindness) quietly and without fanfare.
Mrs. Samara Gilbert received the Aishet Chayil/Community Service Award for her outstanding dedication to Chabad. Samara’s positivity and willingness to help others is infectious. Samara has been coming to Chabad every day to volunteer. She has become such an integral part of the Chabad staff that hardly anything transpires without her. Samara demonstrates selflessness and concern for others on a regular basis. We are proud to call her a friend, honor her and recognize her efforts.
All of the honorees have made great contributions to the broader community as well as locally through sweat, spirit and inspiration. As Chabad at the Beaches honors its longtime friends and supporters, they also take time to reflect on another year of spiritual and material growth.
The evening featured a delectable four course lavish Gala dinner replete with first class entertainment, a charitable auction and multimedia presentations. The Gala concluded with entertainment from comedian and actor Reuven Russell.
Reuven Russell was absolutely fantastic. His comedy kept the crowd roaring with laughter and delight. It truly topped off a magical evening with joy and left everyone with a warm smile.