There are many ways to educate a child. This year, Torah Academy for Girls is focusing on “the TAG way” as the theme of their annual dinner, which will be held iy’H on Wednesday evening, February 18, at the Sands in Atlantic Beach. Technique, Attention, and Growth are not just words that fit the school’s initials, but words that come in to play every day in TAG as they go about educating the future imahos of Yisrael. According to dinner co-chairman Mr. Yehuda Biber, it is obvious that TAG has successfully managed to blend the latest educational techniques along with the special attention being given to allow each student to flourish and reach her full potential. As to the growth of the school, Rabbi Baruch Lovett, director of development, adds that the growth process at TAG not only refers to the maturation of our students as they develop into true bnosYisrael, but to the actual growth of our facilities as well. As TAG looks forward to completing the final bricks of their massive expansion, they are so appreciative to the parents and community members who encourage and support this major effort.
TAG is grateful to the following individuals who have stepped forward to ensure the success of this year’s dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Shlomo Jacobowitz will be the Guests of Honor, while Mr. and Mrs. Menachem Kagan will be receiving the HakarasHatov Award. Longtime and beloved morah and general studies teacher, Mrs. Mimi Shuter, will be receiving the Educator of the Year Award. Mr. Pinky Friedman, dinner co-chairman, announced that the coveted Rabbi Moshe Weitman Memorial Award is being presented to the Mermelstein family in memory of Dr. Jack Mermelstein, z’l. As a grandson-in law, Mr. Friedman feels this is a most fitting memorial to a remarkable man who impacted so many in our community.
Journal chairmen Dr. Nachum Augenbaum and Mr. Hillel Axelrod, as well as the entire dinner committee, are eager to greet all the guests at the dinner.
Guests of Honor: Shlomo and Shevi Jacobowitz. One cannot help but be impressed when meeting Shlomo and Shevi Jacobowitz. Their sincerity, their appreciation for chinuch, and their modesty join to produce a couple worthy of recognition, yet they shun it. So what compels a couple to step forward to help their daughter’s school?
The roots of both these families are entrenched in the above middos and it is no small wonder that both Shlomo and Shevi are so well-equipped to carry on their family’s legacy. Shlomo, who grew up in Flatbush, was exposed from a very young age to parents who were role models in every way. It would certainly be no exaggeration to say that Shlomo is eager to follow the path of his late father Jack, a’h, who was a modest benefactor to mosdos and chesed organizations.
Likewise, Shevi Sigler Jacobowitz grew up in Toronto surrounded by a loving and giving family. She credits her parents as being her role models and hopes she is modeling her life after their values, ideals, and commitment. She describes her father, Marvin Sigler, with the words from PirkeiAvos, as someone who embodies “emor me’at v’aseh harbei,” and the Toronto community has certainly been enriched by the involvement of this family in building Torah after the war.
With this kind of DNA, it is no wonder that both Shlomo and Shevi became deeply involved in Yeshiva Darchei Torah where their three sons, Aryeh, Pesach, and Yakov, were enrolled. Shevi was active in the Women’s League and both she and Shlomo not only supported the school monetarily, but gave of their valuable time as well. The Jacobowitz credo is that education is a priority they value and helping their “partner,” the school, is a privilege they embrace. Aryeh is currently learning in Ner Yisroel, while Pesach and Yakov are presently attending Shaar Hatorah High School in Queens.
Their connection to TAG is their bas yechidah, Sylvie. Sylvie is a happy fifth-grader who loves school. As Shevi remarks, “My daughter is so happy here, and I am happy to help her school in any way I can.” Many of her cousins are also talmidos in TAG and the Jacobowitzes are truly at home in TAG.
Despite Shlomo’s work schedule, he always makes time to learn b’chavrusa and the Jacobowitz home reflects his love of learning and its importance. As an interior designer, Shevi adds her special touch, not only to make their home appealing to the eye, but more importantly to incorporate the solid foundation of Torah, avodah, and gemilus chasadim. The Jacobowitz family members are mispallelim in both the Agudath Israel of Long Island and Heichal Dovid. The links in the chain of the family will no doubt continue in their children who have experienced, firsthand, living in a mikdashme’at.
Hakaras Hatov Awardees: Menachem and Aviva Kagan. Menachem Kagan certainly knows firsthand what it takes to make a TAG dinner successful. When asked how he initially became involved in the dinner campaigns, he admits that he answered the call, or rather the e-mail, of Rabbi Baruch Lovett, director of development, for help with the dinner. “As a court attorney, I have an entire week off at the end of December and when I saw Rabbi Lovett’s e-mail, I thought why not give a hand to the school that is doing so much for our girls.” And what a helpful hand that has proven to be. Since that time, Menachem has consistently been involved with the TAG dinner campaigns and served with dedication and determination as journal chairman for the past few years.
Menachem and Aviva Kagan were both born and raised in Brooklyn. They were married in 1996 and moved to Woodmere in 1999. Together they helped found Congregation Bais Ephraim Yitzchok. Aviva was active in the sisterhood and Menachem served as president and member of the board and currently gives a daf yomishiur there.
Menachem works in the Supreme Court of Kings County as a principal court attorney (and no, he can’t get you out of jury duty). Aviva is an audiologist who owns a busy audiology practice, the Hearing Technology Center, in Jackson Heights, Queens. When not dispensing hearing aids or conducting hearing tests, Aviva is also quite busy raising their beautiful family. Their son Sruly is currently a senior at DRS while Moshe attends preâ€‘1A at Yeshiva of South Shore. Their lovely daughters, Adina, a freshman at TAG High School; Shira, in the sixth grade; and Mindy in the fourth grade, are enjoying the special TAG chinuch and are a source of nachas for their parents and for TAG as well. “We have been part of the TAG family for over ten years and in that time we have seen our girls mature and grow. At TAG they have developed a strong appreciation and love for the Jewish way of life. They have also excelled in secular subjects, perfectly blending these important ideals. The HakarasHatov title being bestowed upon us tonight really expresses how we feel about the school. Our girls love going to TAG and we love the fact they love it so much. We are so grateful that we are a part of a school like TAG–our partner in helping our girls develop into true bnosYisrael.”
Torah Academy for Girls is grateful for the opportunity to show its appreciation to this special couple who exemplify a willingness to go the extra mile to help our school.
Look for the upcoming article in which TAG focuses on Mrs. Mimi Shuter and the Mermelstein family.