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Berdon’s Mintz Chairs JEP/Nageela Fundraiser

01.21.2016 | Flatbush Jewish Journal
Movers and shakers of the real estate field came together on Monday, January 11 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park for the first annual real estate networking event. The event raised money for JEP/Nageela to help them spread the Jewish heritage throughout the area. Two hundred people gathered to network, meet and be seen in a field that relies on deals for its success. They also supported the event because they understand that JEP is very instrumental in the growth of Torah learning in our generation. The Museum of Jewish Her­itage was a very fitting venue since they, like JEP, understand the key of preserving and spreading Jewish culture and heritage. With that obser­vation, an event that facilitates deal making while supporting the access to Torah for all children is an ideal combination.

Many of the largest players in the field were sponsors, including Me­ridian Capital, Riverside Abstract and Westwood Realty; and people from such well known outfits as Extell Development, Forest City Ratner, Crossriver Bank, and Galil Management were in attendance. Participants enjoyed the superb food beautifully done thanks to Catering by Michael Schick, who is also the President ofJEP/Nageela, and had a chance to meet and learn about the fantastic life changing stories that come out of JEP/Nageela from the many alumni at the event.

JEP/Nageela’s flagship program is Camp Nageela, located in Fallsburg NY. The camp hosts about 200 children each summer and has had over 3,400 in its 25 years in existence. The name Nageela really goes to the essence of the message the campers absorb in camp – that Judaism can lead to a joyous lifestyle. Campers from public school backgrounds live together with staff members, mostly from the yeshiva system, who are chosen for their passion and dedication to Torah and Klal Yisroel. The staff creates an atmosphere in camp that radiates to the campers the joy of living with meaning and purpose. Many campers pick up the subtle message, and make moves in their life to emulate what they learn. After a summer, most campers will continue in our one-on-one learning pro­grams and participating in events like reunions and Shabbatons. Parents of campers are also given the opportunity to participate in further edu­cation and training to help them understand the Heritage their kids are learning about, many for the first time. Each year approximately 5-15 will transfer to yeshiva to continue their growth.

The Event Chairman, Meyer Mintz, put the feelings many have about JEP/Nageela this way. “My son was a counselor and it was amazing for him to see kids struggle heroically to learn to read Hebrew. It was heart­warming to see the leaders celebrate the bar mitzvas of boys who barely knew what a mitzva meant until they became involved in JEP. I also be­lieve he gained more than the kids for the one month he was there.” The proceeds from the event will go towards changing lives. In the words of an alumni at the event, “I owe my life to JEP/Nageela. I believe in Hashem because they taught me.”