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Yachad will be hosting its second annual gala dinner at the Sephardic Temple in Cedarhurst on Wednesday, June 12, at 6:30 p.m. The 2019 Yachad gala will honor Lauri and Lewis Barbanel, Martha and Howard Hershkovich, and Tani Sussman with The UPS Store, Financial District.

Yachad serves as a resource for Jewish families who have a child with a disability, offering their young and adult children numerous inclusive services, as well as the tools and skill development for them to claim their rightful place in the Jewish community. What started out as a single inclusive Shabbaton in the Young Israel of West Hempstead 35 years ago, has now grown to provide over two dozen programs, including job development, summer programs, schooling, parent support, social recreational activities and many more. These Yachad programs serve thousands locally in New York as well as both nationally and internationally. This year the NY Gala will celebrate Yachad’s 35 years of work with individuals with disabilities in the Jewish community and celebrate the growth and achievements within the New York area, including the recent phenomenal growth in the Five Towns community. Since the opening of a Long Island Center in the Five Towns over two years ago, Yachad proudly offers families of individuals with disabilities an elementary school, parent support groups, daily adult program, job training and weekly social recreational programming.

The Gala’s Guests of Honor are Lauri and Lewis Barbanel of Lawrence. The Barbanels are known as a family who are actively involved with many Jewish organizations and causes. Lauri serves as an Associate Vice President of the OU Board and sits on the Yachad commission. Lewis is the president of Barberry Rose Management and along with serving on the JLIC commission, is a board member on numerous Shuls and other Jewish institutions. The Barbanels are actively involved at the Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst, where Lauri is the co-president of the sisterhood in the congregation. They have children living in both Israel and the NY area. Yachad recognizes the Barbanels for their commitment to the entire Jewish community and for Lauri’s major achievements on the Yachad commission, driving the strategic leadership and vision for the future.

The Yachad Keter Shem Tov Award will be awarded to Martha and Howard Hershkovich of Woodmere for their longstanding involvement and commitment to Yachad’s work. Howie is the owner of Tissa Management and together with his wife Martha, are active members of Aish Kodesh. Their daughter Sarala has been attending Yachad summer camps at Camp Morasha and Camp Nesher and weekly social recreational programing for many years. Through Yachad programs, their daughter has formed continual and meaningful friendships with peers of all abilities. Their daughter is a warm and friendly young lady who lights up the room by greeting friends both new and old. The Hershkovichs are known as great community leaders who open their home to all types of Jews, both far and near.

Yachad is presenting its Community Service Award to Tani Sussman and The UPS Store, Financial District, for their commitment to employing individuals with disabilities. Three years ago, Tani, who lives in North Woodmere, and is the owner of a UPS Store in Manhattan, began employing an individual in Yachad’s vocational and day program at his Financial District store. Since then, this employee has gained many hours of meaningful employment, developing his own personal skills as well as the confidence accompanied by gainful employment. Tani’s store, which is among the most successful in Manhattan, is a beautiful example of a workplace being inclusive and welcoming in individuals of all abilities.

“Yachad’s critical programming and services would not be possible without the support of our wonderful honorees,” said Rabbi Ahron Rosenthal, director of NY Yachad. “They are involved with every aspect of the organization – from Lauri’s strategic guidance to Tani’s vocational support to the Hershkovich family’s active participation and advocacy. We would not be where we are today without their commitment and leadership. The exponential growth in the Five Towns community is truly remarkable and their partnership with Yachad spearheads that continued growth.”

For more information or to purchase tickets to the gala, please go to: yachad.org/newyork/gala  or contact Danielle Bergman at 212-613-8373.