The go-to community resources organization in the Five Towns and Far Rockaway emphasized its all-emcompassing scope on Sunday night, filling the former BestBuy space in the Bar Harbour Mall with 1,700 supporters under the banner, “Just One Call.”
Achiezer Founder and President Rabbi Boruch Ber Bender said the greatness of the community centered on the fact that it is made up of givers who “can’t relax when somebody else is in need.”
“Whether you are a rebbe in Far Rockaway, an electrician in Bays-water, a lawyer in Woodmere, a plumber in Queens or a healthcare professional from Lawrence, it makes no difference because what bands us together is the inherent need to do for each other,” he said.
“This dinner, this organization and this amazing community stands for the fact that we are all givers, and mild differences, such as the color of our shirts, the fabric of our yalmulkas or the shuls in which we daven have not, cannot and should not ever make a difference.”
Rabbi Bender spoke about the fact that Achiezer offers one phone number that community members can use 24/7 to seek help in a myriad of areas. “Just One Call” works effectively because of the efforts of more than 300 dedicated volunteers who stand behind it, he said.
“Achiezer is real help from real people who are there anytime,” said Guest of Honor Avi Goldstein in the evening’s concluding remarks.
“What you hear about is only a fraction of what they do,” he said. “The unappreciated beauty of the organization is that the vast majority of their work they can’t even promote or publicize, yet Achiezer is recognized as the premier one-stop shopping chesed organization in our community.”
“We belong to a community that puts chesed on a pedestal,” Goldstein said. “May we continue to have the zechus to give tzedakah and to do chesed and to live every day embodying the spirit and philosophy of Achiezer.”
These outstanding individuals were honored with awards at Sunday’s Achiezer gala:
•Avi and Pessi Goldstein, Guests of Honor
•Shabsi Schreier, Man of the Year
•Norman Y. Otsuka, Physician Appreciation Award
•Rabbi and Mrs. Elysha Sandler, Rabbinic Leadership Award
•Joel and Cheryl Baruch, Community Service Award