This past Sunday night six inspiring inductees were enshrined into the Ben Zakkai Honor Society at its 19th annual dinner in Manhattan. The newest honor society members were escorted on stage to receive their awards after Rabbi Micha Greenland, the international director of NCSY reviewed the accomplishments of each individual inductee. This year’s class included: Dr. Kerri Davidove Lee, Irwin Nachimson, Alyse Neumark Rozenberg, Levi Zeffren, Shelley Israel and Bella Porter Smith. I have had the privilege to work with all but one of the inductees and I can attest that they are truly an impressive group.
This event had an overlying theme outside of this remarkable group. Mr. Lee Samson, the first fulltime regional director of West Coast NCSY and founder of the camp NCSY West, honored his wife Anne’s memory by accepting the Ezra Ben Zion Lightman Memorial Award. Lee, together with the Samson children Dani, Aliza, Tali and their respective spouses, took this award as a mission of the highest level. During this tribute evening to Anne’s memory, the Samson family announced the sponsorship of the summer Israel touring program TJJ (The Jerusalem Journey) to be from now on referred to as The Anne Samson Jerusalem Journey. This, as Rabbi Steven Weil, executive vice president of the OU, said at the dedication, “is a true game changer for NCSY”!
To the Samsons and all the inductees, thank you. You are truly the essence of NCSY!
Have a great month!