On Wednesday, June 12, NY Yachad celebrated 35 years of disabilities inclusion with a beautiful evening at the Sephardic Temple in Cedarhurst. Hundreds came out to celebrate with Yachad and pay tribute to three sets of amazing honorees. Martha and Howie Hershkovich were presented with the Keter Shem Tov award for their commitment to Yachad and their mission of inclusion. Sarla, their wonderful daughter, has attended Yachad summer programs and social recreational programs for close to 10 years, and Martha has been active as a parent advocate, speaking at the Yachad Parent Panel this past January. Tani Sussman and The UPS Store Financial District accepted the Community Service Award for his partnering with Yachad’s vocational program and employing Zev, a beloved Yachad member. Zev joined the gala and was overjoyed at being present for his “boss” to receive this worthy award. Lauri and Lewis Barbanel were the guests of honor at the gala, serving as prime examples of community leaders who are passionate about supporting the Jewish community in so many different ways. The Barbanels are active OU board members, while Lauri serves on the Yachad commission, directing Yachad’s strategic growth for the future.

The tribute videos at the dinner were moving and inspiring, with the attendees afforded the opportunity to see the world and work of Yachad around the New York community. Yachad looks forward to the next 35 years, as they are dedicated to enhancing the life opportunities of individuals with disabilities, ensuring their participation in Jewish life. Yachad is a program of the Orthodox Union.