The Los Angeles community came out in droves to show support for its teachers at the second annual Corks & Forks event, a community-wide unity and Hakhel event honoring its teachers.
Corks and Forks, an annual event hosted jointly this year by Cheder Menachem and Bais Chaya Mushka, was created as a way to show special appreciation and support to the teachers who make both schools academically strong and outstanding in the promotion of Torah values and the teachings of the Rebbe.
This year’s event was especially unique, as it highlighted the idea of Hakhel and unity among the Los Angeles community in Chinuch and in appreciation of those educating our children.
Headlining the event from Kansas City was Kosher pit master Mendel Segal (RaBBi-Q), and from New York and Boston, were Rabbi Simon Jacobson and Rabbi Moshe Lieberman, respectively.
The barbecued fare, including premium barbecued brisket (sponsored by Yossi Rubashkin of Tevye’s Ranch) had the crowd abuzz, and was paired appropriately with a collection of premium and rare Herzog wines (sponsored by the Herzog Family, LA).
While Segal’s carving station was busy with non-stop requests for platefuls of his award-winning menu, attendees learned of the intricacies of authentic barbecue and wined and dined on an amazing spread prepared together with Segal by Dovid Lieder, of the premier LA Kosher Catering service bearing his name. Those gathered then made their way to the Cheder’s auditorium for the highlight of the evening, a roundtable symposium on Chinuch led by Rabbis Jacobson and Lieberman, who had flown in from the East Coast especially for the event.
“Rabbi Jacobson’s success at resonating with today’s parents with his My Life series made him an obvious choice for the night’s symposium,” said Mendel Schwartz, the evening’s MC and an organizer of the event. “Coupled with Rabbi Lieberman’s unique and insightful style, the symposium was a breath of fresh air for those parents looking for insight and guidance with regard to raising their budding families.” Many attendees echoed similar sentiment. “Today more than ever, with parents and even some educators looking for answers to pressing Chinuch-related questions in secular circles, it was a pleasure to hear such lucid and practical advice being culled directly from the Shulchan Aruch, the Tanya, and the Rebbe’s writings,” one attendee expressed.
Organizers of the event say their goal was to raise money earmarked exclusively as grants to teachers at both LA’s Cheder Menachem Boys School, and Bais Chaya Mushka, LA’s Chabad School for Girls. “Our large pool of event sponsors, comprising of both businesses and community members, has allowed us to create an event in which all segments of the community can participate and enjoy an upscale evening benefiting our schools,” said Yechezkel Raeburn, another of the event’s organizers.
Raeburn further explained that the goal of the event is to both rally the community (even those with limited financial means) around its teachers, and show actual support to the men and woman who toil day in and day out in the pursuit of educating our children, and setting on the path toward spiritual fulfillment and success. “We’re not raising money for building expansions and fancy curricula,” said Levy Lieberman during an impassioned speech at the closing of the event, “we are investing in the basics. This is an investment we know will reap returns for generations to come.”
“Our focus and goal tonight has been for the administrations, parent bodies, and community to show our appreciation to our teachers in a tangible way, to provide an extra financial gift above and beyond their normal salaries,” explained Rabbi Danny Yiftach, Director of BCM. “To witness the community’s participation in this endeavor is heartwarming.” Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum, Dean of Cheder Menachem agrees. “To see such hakoras hatov from all segments of the community, in the true spirit of Hakhel, certainly gives the Rebbe a tremendous amount of nachas. It is a zechus we can all share and be proud of. It is my fervent hope that this momentum continues to move us forward, so that we can carry on showing our teachers the respect and appreciation they truly deserve!”
Contributions towards this endeavor are still very much welcome. Tax-deductible donations to the fund for supporting Bais Chaya Mushka and Cheder Menachem’s teachers can be made at www.launity.rallybound.org.
Organizers would like to publicly recognize these additional Corporate Sponsors for their generous support: Dovid Kagan of Western Kosher, Itzik Lerner of ProgForce, and Berel Bronstien and Shmuel Wolvovsky of the Brooklyn Financial Group.
The southern, rustic ambiance, expertly designed by Yossi Burston and his dedicated team of professionals, lent an elegance to the event that had everyone in attendance in awe at the complete transformation of the Cheder yard into a top notch venue.
For those interested in learning more about this event or the fundraising effort, please contact Rabbi Mendy Greenbaum at the Cheder at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rabbi Danny Yiftach at Bais Chaya Mushka School for Girls at email@example.com.
Photos courtesy of Joelle Diament Photography, firstname.lastname@example.org.