Saturday, June 06, 2020

Guests of Honor Jessica and Gary Rozenshteyn and family. (Credit: George Eisenberger)

White Plains councilman and YIWP member Justin Brasch introduces White Plains Mayor Tom Roach. (Credit: George Eisenberger)

Keter Shem Tov recipients Elisheva and Rabbi Yossi Oratz and family. (Credit: George Eisenberger)

Keter Shem Tov recipients Shana and Rabbi Avi Hoffman and family. (Credit: George Eisenberger)

(Courtesy of YIWP) For the fourth consecutive year, Young Israel of White Plains broke all previous fundraising records at its 33rd annual dinner. The dinner honored beloved lay leaders Jessica and Gary Rozenshteyn, Elisheva and Rabbi Yossi Oratz, Shana and Rabbi Avi Hoffman, and David Goldenberg.

“Our theme was ‘Roll out the red carpet,’ and these honorees are absolute stars of YIWP,” said Faigy Wolf, YIWP board secretary and co-chair, with YIWP Vice President Yael Rosenberg. “The Rozenshteyns, Oratzes, Hoffmans, and David Goldenberg contribute in so many of the ways that keep us a vibrant, haimishe, family-friendly community.”

Guest of Honor award-winners Jessica and Gary Rozenshteyn have been active members of the shul since moving to White Plains in 2003. Gary has chaired the youth committee for seven years and is a regular minyan attendee. Jessica has chaired the hugely popular Family Learning Night program, supported the dinner raffle and initiated the donation of kiddush food to community shelters.

“Together, Jessica and Gary have imbued our children with Torah middot and knowledge, provided food to community shelters and been an integral part of our minyanim,” said YIWP President Rabbi Moshe Mirsky. “They host many visitors, ranging from young couples seeking a warm community to those visiting relatives in nearby medical facilities.”

Keter Shem Tov honorees Elisheva and Rabbi Yossi Oratz and Shana and Rabbi Avi Hoffman moved to White Plains 10 years ago and established the Jewish Renaissance Experience, a kiruv organization and kollel that has become a premiere destination for Jewish education and connection in Westchester.

Rabbi Oratz directs JRE and participates actively at YIWP, notably as a baal koreh; Elisheva has led more than 30 women on trips to Israel as JRE women’s director. In addition to his role at JRE, Rabbi Hoffman is a regular shaliach tzibbur at YIWP and the Rav Beit Sefer of Westchester Torah Academy. Shana teaches bat mitzvah girls and kallahs and participates on the YIWP mikvah committee.

“The White Plains community in particular and the Westchester community in general have benefited from the wisdom and ruach of Rabbi Yossi and Elisheva and Rabbi Avi and Shana,” said Rabbi Shmuel Greenberg, rabbi of YIWP. “We are so thankful to Hashem for having these two special couples in our midst.”

Capping the evening was the surprise announcement of David Goldenberg as recipient of the Ner Tamid award. The award is presented to a member of the Young Israel of White Plains community who exemplifies the Ner Tamid or Eternal Light, a person who works tirelessly, often behind the scenes and without seeking recognition, to better the shul and community. Goldenberg won the award both for his constant minyan participation and his role on the YIWP security committee. Goldenberg helped to spearhead the committee’s formation and continues to serve as a team leader.

For more information about YIWP, visit

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