Manhattan Day School held its 74th Annual Scholarship Dinner on April 2.
“We witnessed an incredible outpouring of love, gratitude and good wishes for Rabbi Mordechai Besser as we honored and celebrated his 18 years at MDS, and for Dalia Schwalb as we recognized her devotion to our school community,” said Ami Eden, president of the Upper West Side school.
Numerous tributes were extended to Rabbi Besser, who is leaving MDS. These included a Gratitude Gallery of artwork, writings, songs, stories and messages created by each class. A quilt composed of camp and parade t-shirts as well as an artwork by Elizabeth Sutton were presented to him, and a Haggadah featuring photos of the students and messages to Rabbi Besser was distributed.
“I was especially moved by the children’s artwork and momentos,” said Rabbi Besser. “It was wonderful to celebrate this evening together with my family and the MDS family.”
Dalia Schwalb, honored with the Charles and Els Bendheim Distinguished Service Award, was celebrated with an Elizabeth Sutton artwork and a dedication plaque featuring images of her contributions to MDS in the shape of footprints, representing the footprints she leaves behind.
Sam Domb, a longtime philanthropist whose commitment to Jewish education is unmatched, spoke.
The school was transformed into a celebration of our “stars,” with décor by event planner Izzy Serebrowski. A decadent dinner and dessert buffet were provided by Greenwald Caterers.
A lighthearted video, produced by Skitish Media, featured renowned comedian Modi as principal for the day and showcased the students’ love for Rabbi Besser and daily life around the school.
The MDS Choir, under the musical direction of Karen Daitchman, performed a tribute video to Rabbi Besser highlighting his years at MDS.
MDS is grataeful for the efforts of Dinner Chairpersons Bari and Daniel Erber, Suri and Daniel Rozner, and Daniella and Aryeh Schwebel.