A Saturday night out celebrated the beauty of a budding community when over 75 couples gathered for Emet’s Fellowship Alumni Couples Melaveh Malkah. Held at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, there was a feeling of family and friendship in the packed room. The warmth and connection came from years of building relationships between Emet’s students and staff.
“Our Couples Division is growing, along with our students, many of whom started with Emet in college and are still enjoying our programs today,” said Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet Co-Founder & Director. “The most meaningful thing about the melaveh malkah was that it really showed that we now have a community of couples who feel a sense of belonging and enjoy being together.”
The evening was designed to offer an elegant yet relaxed experience. Guests mingled over an enticing buffet and wine tasting from Café Muscat, Sushi Tokyo, and Hakerem Wine. As DJ Amnun spun tunes, couples enjoyed posing for mementos at the photo booth. Shay Yonaiev, Emet’s Couples Director, kicked off an engaging program that started with a video of the Summer Retreat. “I was excited to stand up in front of everyone and talk about the amazing educational and social programs we’re continually introducing in the Couples Division,” he said.
Rabbi Rutenberg then introduced the guest speaker, Rabbi Label Lam, with an anecdote that Rabbi Lam has been speaking at Emet events since the organization’s early days. Rabbi Lam kept the crowd entertained with relatable tales of marital teamwork while juggling the busy demands of parenting and parnasah. In the midst of laughter, he delivered the important message of supporting and respecting one another during marriage. He specifically relayed how a husband should ask for his wife’s blessing before leaving the house in the ultimate sign of partnership.
Next up was a mystifying performance by magician David Rosenfeld, who invited the audience to participate and left everyone wowed by his seemingly psychic mental feats. The evening came to a sweet close with a Viennese table and plans to see one another soon.
Couples were quick to offer appreciation for the evening and commented on the value of Emet’s relationship-oriented programming. “It’s so nice to know that there is an organization like Emet that helps new couples keep the spark and motivation growing and glowing,” Avraham and Khana Zavulunov said. “The couples Shabbatons, workshops, and events like this continue to guide us in improving our marital relationship and our relationship with Hashem. We always learn something new, and we feel blessed to be part of Emet.”
The evening was enhanced by the participation of several Emet TorahConnect couples and their spouses. Shifra and Michael Weisenfeld noted the feeling of community that was shared by many. “Emet is doing a great job when it comes to bringing people close to Hashem and giving a sense of community. The events are always done really thoughtfully,” they said.
Michael and Yana Mashkabov summed up the night: “It was an enlightening evening with inspirational speeches, quality entertainment, and good food. It was a great way to spend time with your spouse and reconnect. We can’t wait for the next one!”
For further information about Emet programs, visit EmetOutreach.org. To experience Emet’s comprehensive video library of Torah lectures, visit EmetTorah.com.