Monday, December 23, 2013

Chanukah with the Stars Benefit for Chabad North Haven in The Hamptons


Chabad North Haven in The Hamptons held their second annual Chanukah with the Stars benefit at the historic Van Alen Mansion on the Upper East Side of New York. The picturesque 1900’s mansion certainly set the mood for a magical Chanukah party.

The memorable evening included an open bar, delicious food, a holiday musical ensemble, menorah lighting and awards ceremony.

Event co-chairs were Devorah Rose, Randy B. Fields and Michael Heller.
Host Committee members included myself, Jonathan Frenkel, Lisa Brandes, Charles Glatter, Gilli Glatter, Sharona Hakimian, Joseph Krutel, Rachel Heller, Yehuda M Neuman, Denise V Wohl, Bradford Rand, Tovah Feldshuh, Isaac Reshad, Breanna Schultz, Jordan Schultz, Shira Sky and Jill Zarin.

I was so honored to be on the host committee and participate in the festivities.

Chabad North Haven in The Hamptons was just launched this past summer by Rabbi Berel Lerman and his wife Brocha Lerman. It’s the newest Chabad branch in the Hamptons, in addition to the other centers: Chabad of The Hamptons in East Hampton, Chabad of Southampton and Chabad of Watermill.

Chabad is the fastest growing and largest Jewish organization in the world today. The goal of Chabad North Haven is to create an environment where there are no labels and everyone is free to express their “Jewishness” and spirituality. Through their programming they offer a very relevant and meaningful experience to adult and children audiences alike.

In addition, they also offer Spirituality For All, which is an educational organization that holds workshops and classes teaching mystical Kabbalah. Their programming both in person and online empowers people to reach within their core and shine in all areas of their lives.

Visit spiritualityforall.org to learn more or donate.

Brocha, Rabbi Lerman’s lovely wife was the first person I met at the benefit. Berel and Brocha are the founders of Chabad North Haven in The Hamptons.


I was introduced to Jessica Blair Abo, an award-winning television journalist who currently works for NY1 News. She covers everything from breaking news and ­­­Fashion Week to millennials who make a difference. Jessica was definitely one of my favorite people to meet at the event. She was so charming and sweet. In addition to being a reporter, Jessica has also made appearances on hit TV shows like Gossip Girl, Nurse Jackie, Kristen Wiig’s movie (Girls Most Likely) and Vince Vaughn’s new movie, Delivery Man


Next I walked into the adjacent room where mingling guests enjoyed a table full of sushi, delicious treats and drinks. As I perused around meeting guests I felt like I was walking through a part of history. Ancient chandeliers illuminated the room which was also decorated with paintings of prominent folk from the 1900’s. You could almost imagine the decadent dinner parties that were once held in that very room all that time ago.


I wore a Vito Emanuele couture sparkling cocktail dress. Vito did such a superb job in meticulously decorating this piece with sequin circles. You truly feel the quality of couture when you wear his work. The moment I put on the dress I felt like Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. Blair wore a similar dress in earlier episodes of the show. To complete my Blair Waldorf inspired look I paired my dress with matching GLITTERRINGS Clarissa Drop Earrings, Enchantress ring, black stockings and black Michael Kors heels. A bit of color was also due so I brought my mini red clutch and voilà there you have my version of Blair Waldorf’s look!     


My friend Jonathan Frenkel was also at the Chanukah with the Stars benefit. Jonathan is a good friend and student of Rabbi Lerman. He is involved in a variety of different Jewish philanthropic organizations and was the one who introduced me to Chabad North Haven in the Hamptons. 


I also saw my friend Isaac Reshad, the head of Sybaris Consulting Group LLC which is a firm that strategizes with clients to reveal opportunities for investment in post-conflict emerging markets, as well as Frontier Markets. In addition to his work with Sybaris, Mr. Reshad pursues his lifelong passion for the business of fashion. It’s always so much fun to hear about which countries Isaac has visited on business.



Next, I ran into Lidiya Oros and her sister Gabriella. Lidiya runs a company called The SYNERGY Events. They work with luxury product companies and produces themed events in USA and Europe.


Towards the middle of the event guests were asked to congregate to the next room for the awards ceremony and candle lighting portion of the event.


NY1 reporter Jessica Blair Abo was the first one to start the speeches of the evening. She began by wishing everyone a happy and healthy Chanukah and mentioned that she had other reporters covering similar Chanukah events around the city to make sure there was a good Chanukah presence on the air. Jessica said that she frequently travels because of her job as a reporter and that Chabad has always been very welcoming to her in every community that she’s lived in. She went on to say that she decorated the newsroom she works in with Chanukah decorations to remember where she comes from in her daily work environment and celebrate Chanukah with everyone else who celebrates it.


Rabbi Berel Lerman thanked everyone for coming that evening and said how each of our presence at the event was very special. He spoke about launching Chabad North Haven this past Summer in the Hamptons and providing spirituality to both visitors and residents. He said that every single one of us is like a candle and part of the menorah. On Chanukah we illuminate the darkness. With that said he asked everyone to take a candle and symbolically be a part of the menorah lighting.


Brocha then presented philanthropist Denise Wohl with an award.


The candle lighting ceremony commenced after Brocha’s presentation. Each guest lit their neighbor’s candle.


The candle lighting ceremony was one of the most meaningful and special experiences. I’ve been part of countless Chanukah festivities but to be surrounded by so many incredible souls and holding my own symbolic candle elevated the spiritual experience of being a part of the Jewish community.


After the ceremony I spent some time chatting and taking photos with guests which included Editor in Chief of Social Life Magazine Devorah Rose, Lidiya Oros, Gabriella Oros and Rolise Rachel, Social Life Magazine Business Development & Special Events coordinator.


I also had the pleasure of meeting Matthew Berritt, the Executive Director of Social Life Magazine


The 2nd annual Chanukah with the Stars Benefit was such a beautiful experience and truly the best way to spend the 6th day of Chanukah. 

Check out more of my photos from the event below! 

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