Manhattan Day School
74th Annual Scholarship Dinner
April 2nd, 2017


Pick a celebrity chef, say Bobby Flay or Anne Burrell (if you prefer old school, make it Wolfgang Puck). Now imagine said chef in a (kosher) kitchen, whipping up an unusual dish: a warm and nurturing school, with a great academic reputation and students with wonderful midot.

That’s MDS. And the recipe is an effective partnership between an experienced and dedicated educational team and a devoted parent body willing to roll up its sleeves.

This year’s Scholarship Dinner provides us with a special opportunity to honor two individuals -- Rabbi Mordechai Besser and Dalia Schwalb -- who embody the respective sides of this partnership and have played vital roles in fostering our cherished school environment.

We take this opportunity to express gratitude to Rabbi Besser and Dalia, and to celebrate their many years of extraordinary contributions. The night also provides us with the chance to give these beloved community members a heartfelt send off as they enter new stages of life come the school year’s end. Finally, and most importantly, we get to truly honor them by providing the school with the financial means to build on their legacies in the years to come.

It is impossible to sum up all that Rabbi Mordechai Besser, our Guest of Honor, has done for MDS and thousands of our children during his 18 years as Principal of our school. It is a symbolically appropriate number because in many ways Rabbi Besser is the life force of MDS. Yes, his educational vision and his educational team drive the school. But just as important is his presence -- he is there, every day, in the lobby, to say hello in the morning and goodbye in the afternoon. It is a routine but powerful reminder that our children are in good and experienced hands. And they have been for nearly two decades. We have been blessed to have Rabbi Besser as our Principal and now we are blessed with the opportunity to say thank you.

We are thrilled to honor Dalia Schwalb with this year’s Charles and Els Bendheim Distinguished Service Award. Dalia transformed the MDS Chanukah Boutique into a magnificent event that not only brings together the MDS community but also serves as a much-needed town square for the wider New York kehillah. It makes sense that this would be Dalia’s signature event: Like the oil that miraculously lasted for eight days and the shamash that lights all of the surrounding candles, she is tireless in her devotion to our school and school community, giving of herself in ways that make so many others shine. Her involvement includes photography, branding, graduations, dinners, invitations, ladies night out, class trips, and graphic art work. She is a leader and a team player, a project manager and someone who gets her hands dirty. She brings class to everything she does, but without airs of any kind. For a change, all of us will have the chance to shine the light back on Dalia and thank her for all that she does.

I know you agree that we have stellar honorees. I am also thrilled to say that we have an awesome set of creative and hardworking dinner chairs; Bari & Daniel Erber, Suri & Daniel Rozner, and Daniella & Aryeh Schwebel. The other ingredient for a wonderful night is you.

Thank you in advance for joining us as we pay tribute to their years of service and honor them by supporting MDS

Ami Eden