CAHAL, the community-wide special-education program, held its fifth annual fundraising concert on Motzaei Shabbos, December 21 at Lawrence High School. The concert featured one of the most outstanding Jewish performers in the world today, Avraham Fried; a young new sensation, Benny Friedman; and the always-popular Shloime Dachs. The Zemiros Choir and Shloime Dachs Orchestra accompanied the performers. The concert, CAHAL’s largest fundraising event of the year, sold out days before, with more than 800 people in attendance.
The New York Boys Choir, led by Yitzy Bald, opened the show with a surprise guest appearance. The boys amazed everyone with their poise, sweet voices, and choreography. The exciting young Benny Friedman followed. His beautiful and powerful voice set the tone for what was going to be a series of outstanding performances. Shloime Dachs, who also coordinated the entertainment for the evening, sang some beautiful ballads, and gave an emotional tribute to one of his biggest fans, Moishe Reisman, son of Rabbi Yaakov Reisman, who passed away this past year.
Richard Altabe, founder and vice president of CAHAL, spoke about how the program has helped hundreds of Jewish neshamos receive a yeshiva education in self-contained small classes with individualized attention. He proudly proclaimed how CAHAL began, inspired by Dr. Norman Blumenthal and the principals of the founding yeshivas. Mr. Altabe boasted about how CAHAL has been able to mainstream a large percentage of children from the program back into the yeshivas their siblings and friends attend.
The sold-out crowd came alive when Avraham Fried began performing. His sensational voice and sweet character electrified his fans. After a 45-minute performance, he was joined by Benny Friedman and Shloime Dachs for one big finale. The Zemiros Choir, who accompanied all the performers the entire night, backed up the three stars and helped turn the last song into a most beautiful finish to a magical evening of entertainment. The event proved to be a huge success and raised much-needed money for CAHAL’s scholarship fund.
CAHAL is a special-education program for children with various learning disabilities from kindergarten through high school in 12 participating local yeshivas. Since 1992, CAHAL has educated hundreds of local Jewish children in the Five Towns, Far Rockaway, West Hempstead, greater Nassau County, and Queens. This year, CAHAL is educating more than 100 children in 12 classes. v