On Sunday, March 23, PTACH will host its 37th Annual Dinner at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan, giving honor and recognition to the deserving individuals whose time and efforts through the years have truly made PTACH a success. This year, PTACH will be presenting its coveted Founder’s Award to Mrs. Erika Friedman, a’h, in recognition of her lifelong achievements in the field of Jewish special education. The award will be accepted by her husband and children, Dr. Ira Friedman of Manhattan, distinguished surgeon for Beth Israel Medical Center, Dr. Richard Friedman, active member of the Five Towns community and the medical director for Hatzalah, and Ms. Joanne Friedman of Manhattan.

In the early 1980s–when an appropriate education did not exist for Jewish children with special learning needs–Mrs. Erika Friedman understood that these deserving youngsters must not be left behind. Not only did Erika recognize the need to provide all Jewish children with a Torah education, she worked day and night to help make PTACH a reality.

With determination and vision, through endless hours of work, Erika enabled thousands of children to receive a Jewish education. Her goal was to have specially designed educational programs and curriculum integrated into the yeshiva system. With great drive and commitment, Erika, along with her beloved husband Dr. Ira (who was president of PTACH for many years), succeeded in bringing this “mainstreaming” concept to fruition. The Yeshiva University High School Program for Girls and the Yeshiva University High School Program for Boys at MTA are a direct result of Erika’s input. Her ardent drive to succeed was unmatched; her resolve was unparalleled. Erika’s charisma, confidence, and energy were unforgettable; she would let nothing stand in her way, thus forging the path to PTACH’s success.

Please join them for an evening of inspiration as they pay tribute to this extraordinary woman who exemplified “Kol Yisrael areivim zeh lazeh” to the highest degree. Come and listen to current PTACH students as they share anecdotes and achievements as living “fruits” of all of Erika’s labor. May her memory be a blessing, always in our hearts. For further information, to place an ad in the dinner journal, or to make reservations, contact 718-854-8600, visit www.ptach.org, or e-mail dinner@ptach.org. v


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