Riverdale — SAR Academy’s 46th Anniversary Dinner, held recently at SAR High School was filled with warmth and tremendous school pride. Emotions ran high as each honoree took center stage while videos highlighted his or her achievements, and Rabbi Binyamin Krauss (‘84), principal, and Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, principal, SAR High School, addressed the audience with words of praise and gratitude for their accomplishments. The dinner boasted an unprecedented number of attendees and raised $3.7mil. This was no coincidence — this year, in addition to honoring two SAR faculty members and an SAR parent, the school chose to honor SAR’s 20 alumni who served in the IDF this past summer during Operation Protective Edge.
“Look at who these men and women have become,” said Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, principal of SAR High School, of the soldiers. He told the rapt audience, “They had the courage to pursue a dream, and to act on their deeply held beliefs, and nothing could make us more proud.”
The program included a tribute video to the soldiers and an address by Max Kane, a member of SAR High School’s Class of 2011, who was a platoon sergeant in the 13th Battalion of the Golani Brigade in Gaza last summer. The video highlighted the challenges these SAR alumni faced as lone soldiers in the Israeli army, and lauded them for the courage and commitment it took to serve.
“I’m a sucker for the video montages, and I usually cry alone. But this time, when I looked around the room, there was not a dry eye in the house,” said Felicia Stern of New Rochelle. Her four children currently attend SAR.
It was a tough summer for the soldiers’ families as well. “When people ask me how my summer was, I say, ‘My summer was difficult; my family’s summer was far more difficult,’” said Kane in his address.
Jessica Kane, Max Kane’s sister and current SAR High School senior, described her experience as the sister of a chayal: “This summer was the most difficult of my life… [but] now that he’s out, and now that he’s done, I’ve never been prouder of anyone.”
The families of SAR’s chayalim greatly appreciated the tribute. “Last night SAR embraced us and the other SAR families whose children are serving,” said Dassah Kestenbaum. Her son Massaye graduated SAR High School three years ago and is currently serving in the IDF. “The simple act of honoring our sons and daughters spoke volumes for the SAR community that recognizes the selfless giving of our children for Medinat Yisrael.”
This year SAR also honored three other SAR community members: Marjorie Jacobs, Lynette Tulkoff, and Marcia Jacobowitz. Marjorie Jacobs received the Audrey Schurgin Memorial Faculty Award for her work for years as SAR’s founding Director of College Counseling; Jacobs built SAR’s College Guidance department, and was repeatedly praised for using her tremendous talent in service of the Jewish community by “putting SAR High School on the map.” Lynette Tulkoff received the Michael Schreck Memorial Community Service award for her volunteer work for SAR. She served on the high school’s Junior Parent Advisory Committee and on the Development Committee, and co-chaired SAR’s 44th and 45th Anniversary Dinners. SAR also paid special tribute to Marcia Jacobowitz, beloved Associate Principal at SAR Academy and Director of SAR’s Early Learning Center. Jacobowitz has been teaching at SAR Academy for 44 years, and recently announced her retirement at the end of the 2014–2015 school year. Many of her former students are now SAR parents or teachers.
To learn more about SAR visit www.saracademy.org.
Shalhevet Schwartz is a senior at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY and is the Editor in Chief of the SAR Buzz.
By Shalhevet Schwartz