For the second year FJA’s Annual Gala moved online to keep all participants safe from the pandemic, but there were unintended silver linings. Gala attendees included FJA friends, alumni, and family from all over the world, and the Gala may still be viewed at facebook.com/Frankelja/live. Geography also did not limit our choice of honorees! We honored alumni parents, and long-time FJA supporters, Robin and Leo Eisenberg from their home in California. Alumni honoree Ryan Landau ‘06 and Faculty honoree Nicole Kahn were closer to home, but they joined online. With the expert assistance of alumnus Scott Wasserman ‘12 and his company EverVideo, Rabbi Azaryah Cohen, Head of School, and emcee Eli Newman ‘09 hosted from inside the school and welcomed more than 500 participants online. Viewers also heard from three students about their FJA experiences, and their school experiences as FJA remained in-person throughout the past school year.
Each honoree reflected on the reasons they love and appreciate FJA, “Students care about each other, and the faculty and staff who have dedicated themselves to help students grow,” said Faculty Honoree Nicole Kahn. Robin and Leo Eisenberg shared stories of how their children learned passion for Jewish life and critical thinking through FJA’s Jewish Studies courses. Leo urged others to get involved saying, “You will get back much more than what you give.” With the help of alumni, parents, and friends, the Gala raised significant funding for FJA’s Annual Fund. FJA’s Annual Fund for 2020-2021 received more than 800 gifts totalling more than $700,000.