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December 8, 2011 11:22 am

Bet El Dinner Honors Youth and Commitment

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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Yakov Katz - 'Katzele' - Member of Knesset and Bet El Yeshiva founder. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

On an extraordinary, warm December evening, more than a thousand supporters of Bet El Yeshiva Center came to the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York City to celebrate a gathering of the generations, at the Friends of Beit El Yeshiva annual Gala, Sunday, December 4. Honorary Chairman Eugen Gluck, as always charming and embracing, welcomed a packed auditorium of supporters pleased to pay homage to his work and enjoy his embrace.

The Beit El Yeshiva Center is significantly supported by the Gluck family. It provides a complete education through high school and beyond.  Its students are prepared academically and trained for their service in the Israel Defense Force. Included in the Center’s institutions are the Kollel Program, Boys High School, Girls High School, Teachers Academy, Hesder Yeshiva, and IDF Preparatory Academy teaching over 1100 students. Its institutions, said the event’s organizers “stand at the forefront against the Quartet on the Middle East and other Western superpowers that trample 3,000 years of Jewish history and promote shrinking the borders of our ancestral homeland along with the ethnic cleansing of Jews from their homes.”

An extensive list of honorees, led by Rubin Margolis and Mushkee and Dovid Efune spoke glowingly of the work of the Yeshiva Center and the extraordinary contribution of the Gluck Family. Young Leadership Awardees Mushkee and Dovid Efune were embraced by all, beginning with founder Eugen Gluck. Efune, Director of the Algemeiner, spoke about the responsibility of the media to carry the message of Israel in a responsible and truthful manner.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon embraces America Friends of Bet El benafactor Eugen Gluck. Photo: Shahar Azran.

Margolis, who said he accepted his award on behalf of the IDF, the people of Beit El and the Yeshiva Center stressed the need for continued vigilance, saying there was no room for complacency. “As an American, I fail to understand how the destruction of Jewish homes brings peace.  We cannot, should not, and must not expel Jews…The victory of Israel will not be denied.”

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Keynote speaker Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon brought warm greetings from Israel as he applauded the work of the Yeshiva. In his Keynote address, Ayalon incorporated the story of Jacob and his dream of a ladder ascending the heavenly heights with reference to modern politics. Coming immediately on the heels of the recent hasbara crisis resulting in the suspension of an advertising campaign encouraging Israelis to return to the Jewish State, Ayalon noted that Jacob, even as he leaves the land, thinks of his return. “The deeds of the fathers” said the Deputy Minister “are signposts for the children…God will be with them even in the land of exile.”  Continuing, he promised “we will return home – the Jewish people may live all over, but they remain with Israel.”

Ayalon tuned political commenting about the ongoing campaign of “demonization” of Israel, calling it “an attempt to detach the limbs from the body of the Jewish world. We are most successful as a united whole.” In mentioning the concept of the Third Temple, Ayalon waxed poetic. “If we are to follow the deeds of our forefathers, than a return to the places they inhabited are part of the mission….The Jewish people have been expelled twice; it will not happen a third time. We the Jewish people will never give up our ability to defend ourselves, by ourselves.” His rousing words were received with much enthusiasm.

The evening’s live entertainment included a quartet of rich voiced young men and an orchestra able to overcome the din, make music and get a few enthusiastic diners dancing the night away.

Awardees Mushkee and Dovid Efune, here with Eugen Gluck (right) and MK Yakov "Ketzele" Katz. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind always has a word to say. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon with MK Yaakov Katz at Bet El Gala in NY. Photo: Shahar Azran.

Rubin Margolis, long time supporter of Bet El Yeshiva, spoke of the need for continued vigilance. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Jean and Eugen Gluck, very much the godparents of Bet El Yeshiva, share a life that has taken then from the depths of the Holocaust to the heights of Bet El. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

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