Drs. Suri and Ari Weinreb hosted an evening of inspiration to benefit CAHAL on Sunday that featured a passionate talk by Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein.
Rabbi Wallerstein, who speaks all over the world and has accomplished miraculous successes with his yeshivas, special programs and the mechanchim he has inspired, entertained the standing-room-only crowd with stories of his career in chinuch and kiruv, but his message was very direct.
“The street accepts everyone — it doesn’t ask how much money you have or what grades you get,” he said, adding that he was compelled to speak to the Five Towns community when he heard of CAHAL’s urgent need for funds to continue the success of its program this year.
“Over money?” he asked incredulously. “Keep CAHAL open! It’s even more important than the yeshivas.”
He spoke of Yosef Hatzadik, the outcast; Moshe Rabeinu, the stutterer, and Dovid Hamelech, the “runt” of the family. None of them were superstars, yet they became immortal leaders in Klal Yisrael, he said. His ultimate message was that there are potential gedolim growing up in CAHAL classes, and it is the achrayus of the community to ensure its own future by making sure that all children, whether or not they learn typically or require the love and special attention that only CAHAL can give, get the same chance.
Rabbi Wallerstein shared that he told his talmid muvhak, Rabbi Moshe Rudich, a CAHAL rebbe and mentor in his tenth year, that he must stay in chinuch despite his demanding schedule as a life coach and businessman. Rabbi Rudich encouraged his rebbe, Rabbi Wallerstein, to speak for Sunday’s event.
Dr. Suri Weinreb has been CAHAL’s invaluable staff psychologist for many years, working closely with CAHAL’s teachers and students. While the Weinrebs arranged seating for over 100, by the time the presentation began, the audience was standing room only. The crowd overflowed in the family room and dining room, and spilled over into the kitchen and hallway, as the community gathered to support CAHAL.
Rabbi Avraham Fridman, general studies principal of Yeshiva of South Shore, opened the program by speaking of how CAHAL classes are an integral part of the yeshiva’s student body, and how CAHAL’s proven model of remediation and building foundation skills paves the way for academic and social success. He spoke of the passion of the CAHAL staff in the yeshiva and their unparalleled level of professionalism and dedication. He spoke of how fortunate the community is to have a program that addresses learning issues and keeps children on the derech.
Rabbi Nachum Dinowitz, a longtime rebbe at Yeshiva Darchei Torah, spoke with awe of Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs (one of CAHAL’s most senior rebbeim) and his consistent ability to impart the highest level of skills in CAHAL’s talmidim. Rabbi Dinowitz said that these essential skills are building blocks for any child who aspires to be a talmid chochom.
“We all wish that CAHAL’s rebbeim could teach our mainstream classes and impart some of their magic” he said. When the time came to put his daughter in a CAHAL class, he did not hesitate. He expressed a special hakaras hatov to Justin Lepolstat, an outstanding CAHAL teacher. More than a dozen CAHAL rebbeim, teachers and therapists were among the large crowd of supporters and parents.
CAHAL thanks the Woodmere community, for joining in Sunday’s event, and Dina Rogoff, who coordinated every aspect of the décor and food presentation.
CAHAL, the local yeshiva-based and sponsored community program for children with learning challenges, now in its 24th year, provides smaller, more individualized classes in the local yeshivas catering to children’s learning styles, where all the students attend mainstream activities daily, including lunch, recess, specials, assemblies, trips and more. When ready, children attend academic classes as well, with support from CAHAL to ensure success. The experienced and caring CAHAL teachers make it all happen.
For more information about CAHAL, write firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 295-3666.