Valley Chabad’s Teen Leadership Initiatives, co-directed by Rabbi Yosef and Estie Orenstein, held its annual teen gala. More than 200 people were at the party, held on May 19 at the Woodcliff Lake Hilton. The sold-out event recognized more than 140 teen volunteers from the Pascack Valley and Saddle River communities in Valley Chabad’s five Teen Leadership Initiative programs — Friendship Circle, Linking Hearts, CTeen, CTeen Academy, and Eternal Flame
“CTeen has allowed me to connect with my Jewish heritage and meet new friends in a fun and welcoming way” said Pascack Valley High School sophomore Ava Quinn of River Vale. Other teen speakers represented each of the programs and described how the programs affected them.
Ruth Raiker, whose son Josh participates in Friendship Circle, talked about the benefits its programming gives her family. Friendship Circle, which works with many teen volunteers, promotes inclusion and acceptance for children with special needs. The participating teens received a certificate and a gift for their volunteer work.
Teens, parents, friends, and community members were at the gala; so too were District Assembly 39 representatives Holly Schepisi and Robert Auth. The program is under the auspicious of Valley Chabad’s executive director, Rabbi Dov Drizin.
For more information, go to Valleychabad.org or call (201) 476-0157.