z3Building on the success of its 50th Anniversary Dinner last year, Torah Academy for Girls is planning this year’s Annual Dinner, to be held iy’H on Tuesday evening, January 21 at the Sands. They will be celebrating the “final bricks” of its impressive three-year-long expansion program. It seems like growth does not “phase” TAG, and embarking on this final phase of the expansion is indeed cause for celebration.

According to the dinner chairman, Mr. Elisha Brecher, this year’s honorees, who have stepped up to help the school move forward, are to be commended for their active involvement in the school. The Generations Awardees will be Mr. Alan and Dr. Wendy Devorah (Reisman) Gerson. The coveted Rabbi Moshe Weitman, z’l, Memorial Award will be presented to Rabbi Yaakov Feitman. We will focus on these award recipients in a future article.

Guests of Honor: Avrumi and Ronit Schwartz. As rebbeim, morahs, and teachers can attest, Avrumi and Ronit Schwartz live and breathe their children’s chinuch. As proud parents of Elky, in TAG’s third grade, and brothers Jakey and Yonatan, talmidim at Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island, their primary concern is that all their children are immersed in an environment where they can thrive in ruchniyus and excel at academics. Their commitment to TAG encompasses limudei kodesh and limudei chol, the school day, and extracurricular activities.

Avrumi and Ronit have been deeply involved with TAG from the moment their daughter enrolled. In their unassuming and modest way, they have continually renewed their commitment to the school, and their hakaras hatov for the chinuch their daughter receives. As Ronit puts it, “Our daughter Elky entered kindergarten with a smile and has been smiling ever since.”

The Schwartz family is no stranger to TAG’s special brand of chinuch. Avrumi’s parents, Dr. Yossi and Zivia Schwartz, are themselves parents of alumnae Rikki, Talia, and Sima. Grandparents R’ Aharon, z’l, and Claire Lichter are also synonymous with chesed in our community. Ronit, who was born in Israel and raised in Toronto, credits her parents, Mordechai and Rivka Dominitz, for providing a wonderful example of chinuch habanim for her to follow.

A native of the community who learned in local yeshivos from elementary school through beis medrash, Avrumi then earned a law degree at NYU, and is today a successful lawyer and real estate professional. He supports mosdos Torah and chesed in our community and beyond. Both Avrumi and Ronit are particularly involved with the Five Towns chapter of Bonei Olam.

Ronit has a well-earned reputation as a “doer” and is a most valuable member of the TAG’s Women’s League. Whether organizing a fundraising auction, orchestrating the construction of a new library, or establishing a birthday book club, Ronit is always ready to put her energy and eagerness at TAG’s disposal. When it was time to pay tribute to longtime principal Mrs. Sarah Goldstein upon her retirement, it was Ronit who spearheaded the creation of the beautiful commemorative book presented to her. TAG shares Ronit with the innumerable other local mosdos to which she gives her time.

The Schwartzes are active members at Rabbi Kalish’s shul, Bais Pinchas in Harborview, where Ronit is a founder of the Nshei. Whether participating in shul governance, organizing shiurim, or arranging Shabbos groups for children, Avrumi and Ronit have proved themselves a valuable asset to their shul.

The Schwartz home beautifully reflects the mesorah of their parents, refracted through the lens of their own askanus and dynamism. Anyone who spends a Shabbos with the family will recognize that their world is anchored on the principles of chinuch, community, family, Torah, and mesorah.

Kesser Torah Awardees: Rabbi Yechezkel and Mrs. Anat Hartman. Rabbi Yechezkel and Mrs. Anat Hartman add an international flavor to the dinner. Their family roots are in Brazil, Israel, London, and New York. Yechezkel’s father, Rabbi Yehoshua Hartman, is a world-renowned lecturer and rebbi, and authored the popular work on the Maharal. Yechezkel is a graduate of Maarava and Chevron Yeshiva in Yerushalayim, and is in the midst of earning his semichah from Eretz Yisrael. It is therefore not surprising that R’ Yechezkel Hartman is devoted to Torah learning and giving shiurim. The mornings find him learning in Yeshiva of Far Rockaway before going to Omek Capital, the real estate business he runs. He gives a regular daf yomi shiur and speeches in Beis Medrash Heichal Dovid in Lawrence as well as a weekly Chumash shiur in Sh’or Yoshuv.

Anat was born in Brazil, where she attended Bais Yaakov. Her parents’ address in Brazil is well known to all travelers for their warm hachnasas orchim and chesed, which is done with an open hand and an open heart. After her seminary year in Bnos Chava, Anat married Yechezkel and they lived in Eretz Yisrael for two years. The Hartmans then moved to the Upper West Side, where Yechezkel earned his MBA from Columbia University. Our own community was certainly enriched when the Hartmans moved here more than six years ago.

Anat has proven to be a most valuable member of the Women’s League. She has worked on supperettes and the recent International Auction, and is always willing to lend a hand to her daughters’ school. Her TAG girls, Yael in third grade and Esty in Pre-1A, reflect the chinuch and Torah hashkafos that their parents impart in their home on a daily basis. The Hartmans are also proud parents of sons Dani, who attends second grade in Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island, and little two-year-old Tuvi.

Anat is also active in her shul, cooking meals for those in need, and hosting shiurim and other events in her home. Recently, she offered her home to host a Young Members meeting for the Bikur Cholim of the Far Rockaway and Five Towns, to recruit young mothers to get involved in this important cause.

Whether we express our thoughts in Portuguese, Hebrew, or English, this is a young couple who deserve recognition, and whom we are proud to name as this year’s Kesser Torah awardees. v

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