Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Unexpected Guest Graces Storah 13 Gala

Unexpected Guest Graces Storah13 Gala
May 18th, New York City
Storahtelling’s B Mitzvah gala, celebrating the organization’s 13th year, featured comedy from the Addams Family’s Jackie Hoffman, tales of hilarity and horror from Storahtelling’s company and tearful moments honoring Marina Pinto Kaufman, who stepped down as Chair of the Board.

The most moving and unexpected moment was when gala chairs Michael Dorf, Sarah Connors, and Emanuel and Elizabeth Stern presented Founding Director Amichai Lau-Lavie with a Torah. The scroll, a 100-year old Torah from Poland that survived two World Wars, was lovingly restored by Rabbi Yitzchak Reisman of in the Lower East Side. “The giving of a Torah to the person and organization who gives us all the meaning in the Torah could not be more rewarding.” said Dorf.

Lau-Lavie, moved to tears at the ceremony, said “Just as this Torah scroll was reclaimed from the ashes and restored for use, so too will Storahtelling continue to reclaim and restore the words and stories of the Torah for a new generation.” Executive Director Isaac Shalev added that the Torah will be read by B’nai Mitzvah enrolled in ‘Raising the Bar’ at their coming-of-age ceremonies. The program, currently a finalist in the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ search for the Next Big Jewish Idea, re-imagines both the year-long process of preparing for a B Mitzvha, as well as the celebration itself, and trains B’nai Mitzvah teachers to serve as guides to families and teens through this quintessentially Jewish rite of passage.

The gala, Storahtelling’s first, was a wild success, with over 400 guests in attendance, and over $150,000 raised for the organization. Comedian Jackie Hoffman, who performed a powerful, funny, and thought-provoking re-telling of the story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob, at the event may have summed it up best when she said to the gathered audience “I hate most things, and I loved this. Hard.”

You can still make a gala gift!

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