Article By Hunterdon County Democrat
Pictures By Chabad of Hunterdon County
Chabad of Hunterdon County celebrated its 11th anniversary dinner banquet at the Grand Colonial in Perryville.
It was a special event with many community, business as well as civic leaders joining the over 230 people in attendance.
The evening’s honorees and Community Leadership Awards were presented to Hunterdon Care Center and Rolling Hills Care Center and their administrators Robert Kovacs and Isaac Sonenblick. Kovacs praised Chabad for their profound caring for the community and for the many outreach programs they provide.
“I have seen firsthand local teens from Chabad who visit with our patients and bring joy and smiles to their faces,” he said.
Sonenblick spoke about the importance of the deep rooted empathy and care that bring Chabad and Rolling Hills together as they share a concern for the residents of Hunterdon County and beyond. Leo Frey from Frey Engineering spoke about his family and their experience at Rolling Hills Care Center and echoed similar sentiments about Chabad as he highlighted their dignity, caring, and consideration.
Proceeds from the dinner will fund Chabad of Hunterdon’s growing number of programs servicing the Hunterdon County area.
After the cocktail hour, everyone was treated to a special musical presentation by award-winning Chassidic Jewish pop star Lipa. Comedian and entertainer Ron Pearson wowed the crowd with breathtaking juggling and fall-off-your-chair humor.
Rabbi Eli Kornfeld, executive director of Chabad of Hunterdon County, spoke about the achievements Chabad has accomplished during its first 11 years as well as about its vision of building a permanent home. “It is heartwarming to see so many people coming out to support the vital work that Chabad provides the Hunterdon Community, Rabbi Kornfeld said. “Our deep roots in the community and strong alliances with other local organizations are at the heart of what Chabad means to the community.”
The event also featured many who shared their personal experiences with Chabad including 17-year-old Hunterdon Central junior Noah Gichan. Noah spoke about how Chabad provided him with a rich and deep appreciation for his Jewish heritage and how much he appreciated Chabad helping him attend a summer camp in Arizona that deepened his pride Jewish pride and awareness. Esther Bakonyi spoke about growing up in Hungary and her experiences as a child Holocaust survivor and how difficult it was for to practice her religion. “Chabad has provided me with a home to make up for the years that I lost in Europe,” she said. “I don’t know what I would have done without Chabad.”
The evening raised $130,000 for Chabad of Hunterdon County.