On Sunday night, an unprecedented and incredible evening of tribute took place at the Sands Atlantic Beach. 1,500 people — young and old, rabbonim, elected officials and community members from all walks of life — joined together in unity.
Those in attendance came bearing the very same testimony: “Achiezer is there for our community, guiding everyone who needs assistance throughout every step of the way.” Whether matching people with the proper referrals, directing community members to the proper doctors for the treatment they desperately need, coordinating meals and driving assistance, crisis management, emotional and financial support, and so on, Achiezer is the community’s one-stop resource.
In a stirring program that lasted just under an hour, the gathering honored Ben Weinstock, Shlomo and Raizy Hackel, Dr. Deborah Dienstag. and Eliahu and Chaia Frishman, and celebrated the efforts of all those involved with Achiezer.
With its dinner theme of “We Are All Achiezer,” Achiezer showed a film, “Drama in Real Life,” that featured heartfelt accounts of community members whose lives have been touched by Achiezer.
“Any time I need Achiezer, they’re only a phone call away,” and “We’re all in this together,” were the underlying factors behind each of these chronicles.
One of the emotional highlights of the evening was the tribute to Howard and Susan Zemser, parents of Justin Zemser, a”h, a Navy Midshipman whose life was cut short at the young age of 20 in the Amtrak Train #188 crash of May 2015. Rabbi Boruch Ber Bender, president and founder of Achiezer, presented a beautiful painting of Justin to his parents.
Rabbi Bender related how people like the Zemsers give the Achiezer team the chizuk to make it through the difficult days.
“A couple like the Zemsers,” he explained, “who experienced the indescribable pain of losing their only child, remained strong and, despite the horrific pain they endured, remained focused on kovod hameis and prompt burial. Now [they] spend their days connecting with G-d [and they] show us all how tragedy will not overtake us.”
Throughout the program, the dinner attendees were honored to be addressed by several notable people, including Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, who addressed the crowd on behalf of the many elected officials in attendance.
Look for more photos in The Jewish Star next week.