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February 15, 2011 2:48 pm

Gateways’ Celebrates Thirteen Years: Auctions Ron Agam Original

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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Y. M. Helfgot, Cantor of the Park East Synagogue, entertained with a memorable program of traditional and operatic selections. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Mazel Tov to Gateways!  Founded thirteen years ago, it marked its “Bar Mitzvah” anniversary with a celebratory dinner for 600 at Sotheby’s, New York, on February 8. Neil Auerbach and Sander Gerber served as Dinner Chairmen. Awardees included Henry and Esther Swieca, recipients of the Gateways Bar-Mitzvah Award. The Young Leadership Awardee was Andrew Goldman and the Builders of Israel Award was presented to Yisrael and Zehava Friedman.

The event was a festivity of great art, joyous music by famed Cantor Y.M. Helfgot, and good spirit.  It highlighted the launch of “The Brownstone” the organization’s center for young professionals and college-age Jews. Founder Rabbi Mordechai Suchard conceived Gateways in order to reach out to mainstream secular Jewish Americans. “The number of identifying Jews in America has remained stagnant over the past 60 years; like a meshgganeh I thought everyone would be engaged.”

“It’s almost like going back to the roots, to the heritage, and taking responsibility for fostering Jewish continuity. We seek to provide information about our heritage and the Torah in a cerebral, sophisticated, cultural, and intelligent atmosphere.  What we are about is Jewish, the State of Israel, and having the ability to do more.”

Commenting about “In The Big Bang,” a vibrant 7′ X 7′ work created for Gateways, Artist Ron Agam said “its interminable circles of different colors proportionally placed in space… create an enormous amount of energy multiplying itself indefinitely.” The artist explained that ‘In The Big Bang’ symbolized the moment of creation, and the increasing power and energy that came from a single point and continues to evolve.”

Suchard commented that “The message of the Agam painting is sort of the message of Gateways, an organization with opening for all people.  It’s about sharing the wisdom of the Torah, allowing people to make their own choices.”  Successful bidder Neil Aurbach will hang in the painting in the corporate headquarters of Hudson Clean Energy, of which he is a principal.

Do I hear...? Auctioneer David Greenblatt's call for "a higher bid" sparked the excitement at the live auction at the Gateways Thirteenth Anniversary dinner. Photo: Maine Dovere.

And the winners are! Pictured here with artist Ron Agam (center) are the Dinner Chairman Neil Auerbach (left) and successful bidder John Cavalier (right). Photo: Maxine Dovere.

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