The theme of this year’s Ptach dinner–To Educate and Empower–is truly an appropriate description of the way that Ptach’s dedicated rebbeim and teachers approach their students. The only center-based program located within mainstream elementary and high schools, Ptach has been at the forefront of Jewish special education for over 38 years, educating each student with tailor-made plans to best suit their individuals needs and empowering students to fully achieve their potential.

Ptach is grateful to the following individuals who have stepped forward to ensure the success of this year’s dinner.

Guests of Honor: Avromy and Batia Schlesinger. Active in many chesed projects in the Monsey community and beyond, the Schlesingers are no strangers when it comes to helping and supporting good causes. But anyone who knows them also knows that they are unassuming and would be the first ones to shun public recognition. It is their deep appreciation for Ptach and the impact Ptach has had on so many lives that compelled them to accept this honor. “Every child should have the opportunity to succeed,” says Batia, “and it is our hope that every child who can benefit from Ptach takes advantage of Ptach’s fantastic programs.”

Batia grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where she attended the local Bais Yaakov, went to the Bais Yaakov of Boro Park for High school, and attended the Bais Yaakov of Montreal for seminary. She currently does the marketing for the Hudson Energy Group and before that was a preschool teacher in Monsey for over 20 years.

Avromy, who grew up in Boro Park, is the senior account executive at the Hudson Energy Group, where he has worked since its inception 14 years ago. Avromy is a mispallel at Bais Elezer, whose rav is Rabbi Shaya Levy. Despite Avromy’s busy work schedule, he makes time to be actively involved in the community, supporting financially and giving of his time to many local chesed organizations, such as Kupath Ezra, the Hachnosas Kallah Foundation, and Tomchei Shabbos. Avromy himself delivers for Tomchei Shabbos every week.

Ptach is grateful for the opportunity to show its appreciation for Avromy and Batia for their willingness in helping make this dinner a true success.

Community Leadership Award: Mr. Albert Kahn. Albert Kahn has a rich history of askanus in the New York area and throughout the world. Raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, he was a talmid at Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland and later at Mesifta Tiferes Yerushalayim under the tutelage of Reb Moshe Feinstein, zt’l. What started as a small project 15 years ago within his own shul to make certain that every member had life insurance has grown into a broad-based campaign encouraging everyone–husbands and wives, breadwinners and homemakers, in communities here and abroad–to have coverage. The project also includes promoting a simple and affordable plan for insuring yeshiva rebbeim. His program has garnered the enthusiastic support of gedoleiTorah all over the world.

Along with the many hours Albert devotes to his insurance program, “The Lifetime Project,” he is also the proprietor of TAC Holdings, a real-estate management firm, and is gabbai for the Kollel Shomrei Hachomos of Jerusalem—Reb Meir Baal Haness. Albert is a mispallel at both Cong. Bnai Shloime Zalmen (Rabbi Frankel’s shul) and Bais Medrash Bais Y’shaya (Rabbi Fisher’s shul) and is a regular participant in many neighborhood shiurim.

Educational Leadership Award: Mrs. Gail Zilbering. Gail Zilbering has been on the Ptach faculty for close to 20 years. Gail’s career began at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, first as a computer programmer and then as a systems analyst. Gail started as a computer teacher in Ptach, and when the opportunity to teach math became available, she readily accepted. With Gail’s dedication and devotion, many of her students have successfully passed their math Regents. Active members of the Hillcrest community since 1982, Gail and Murray are involved in many communal causes. For many years Gail was involved in arranging the Chanukah Boutique, the Hillcrest Mikveh, and was recently the Guest of Honor at their Annual Tea. Murray has been a computer consultant for many years in the area of finance and banking. He is an active member of the Young Israel of Hillcrest and has served as an officer and on the board of directors.

Keynote Speaker: Rabbi Ahron Kahn. The rav of Congregation Bais Haknesses and roshyeshiva at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan has graciously accepted the invitation to be the esteemed keynote speaker. From Rabbi Kahn’s position at RIETS, which hosts one of Ptach’s flagship high-school programs, and his dealings with the Flatbush community, he is well aware of the lifesaving work done at Ptach. Ptach is thankful that an advocate of Rabbi Kahn’s stature gives of his time and effort in assisting in its mission.

Please join in at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan on Sunday, March 1, for a moving evening in support of this most worthy organization. Be inspired as you listen to current students share their personal stories of accomplishments and growth at Ptach. For further information, to place an ad in the journal, or to make reservations, call 718-854-8600, visit, or e-mail


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here