2017 Chesed Awards Gala

The 2017 Chesed Awards Gala on June 6, was by common sentiment one of the greatest and most emotional ever in RTA’s history. The evening was filled with inspiring remarks, beautiful video tributes, and the highest accolades for RTA’s success and esteemed place in the community.

This year’s event honored the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond (JCFR) with the Chesed Award and Mrs. Lin Hardy with the ABCD Award. The featured speaker was Shira Lanyi, RTA graduate and retired star of the Richmond Ballet.

In presenting the Chesed award to the Federation, RTA President Bob Weisberger noted how JCFR helps make the community stronger, and “…if the Federation didn’t exist, we would have to invent it!”

The Federation, which began in 1935 as the Richmond Jewish Community Council, coordinates community giving and organizes the Annual Campaign, which raised over $3 million in 2017 from 1,401 donors. RTA is one of the Federation’s four major beneficiary agencies, along with the Weinstein JCC, Beth Sholom Lifecare Community and Jewish Family Services.

Rabbi Bart, introducing Mrs. Hardy as the ABCD honoree, noted that “everyone knows Lin Hardy is the one staff member who is not allowed to be out sick – she is too indispensable!”

Mrs. Hardy, who joined RTA in 1999, manages everything from scheduling to child illnesses to substitutes and correspondence, and is beloved by the entire school family. Accepting the ABCD Award, she said, “It does not seem right to me, being honored for something I love. My days are filled with joy.”

Shira Lanyi, currently a pre-med student at VCU-MCV, spoke on Jewish identity and the role of Jewish education in nurturing it. She noted also that the critical thinking skills instilled by years of Torah study and discussion at RTA helped immeasurably with her academic career at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and now VCU.

In addition to the beautiful RTA video traditionally shown at the dinner, there were also special video tributes for the Federation and Mrs. Hardy.

The evening’s program concluded with a powerful presentation, as the Moskowitz Endowment Fund was presented. The generous gift of Drs. Bill & Gail Moskowitz provides a matching $25,000 endowment gift for RTA. Dr. Gail Moskowitz’s words in support of RTA and her urging the community to join in the vital task of building for RTA’s future were a perfect end to a perfect evening!

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