Over 400 guests joined Aish UK to celebrate 25 years of empowering Jewish Journeys at their gala dinner at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel last Wednesday. The evening provided an opportunity to celebrate Aish Manchester’s 25 years of inspiring students, young professionals and families whilst also paying tribute to Rebbetzen Shiffy Silverstone for her 17 years of service to Aish Manchester. Marc and Dahlia Goldberg and Together Financial Services and The Bonamie Charitable Trust generously sponsored the dinner.
As the largest informal education provider in schools and university campuses in the UK, both students and parents alike came out to celebrate and honour Aish Manchester for their impact on the community over the last 25 years. An Aish Birmingham student Charlotte Cobb spoke to the guests on the impact Aish has had her life: “Today, thanks to Aish, I am proud of my heritage and am striving to be a better Jew and a better person.
I have learned not just the ‘what’s’ and the ‘how’s’ but now have a much deeper sense of the ‘whys’ of Judaism. I have learned that Judaism is not just about what you cannot do, but how it helps you unlock a much deeper, better part of us.
Today I am committed to building a Jewish home, fighting anti-Semitism, defending Israel, and taking responsibility to ensure that our generation passes the torch on into the future.”
Aish Manchester also honoured Holocaust Survivor, Mrs Eva “Bobby” Neumann, for her commitment to educating hundreds if not thousands of young Jews on the Holocaust, speaking in schools and participating in many trips to Poland.
Another key theme of the evening was Jewish identity and how Aish Manchester, has been working with students and families to help empower them to explore their Judaism in a welcoming and safe environment. Aish educators go into schools on a weekly basis for lunch and learns, providing a safe space for students to ask questions, whilst also opening their homes to students for Friday night dinners, and other events throughout the year. Aish Manchester has created a community, connecting with both students and parents alike, having a meaningful impact on their identity and levels of engagement, so much so that several parent and students testified in the appeal film to this fact.
For the past 25 years, Aish UK has aimed to inspire a deeper connection to Judaism and to ensure a vibrant future for the Jewish people. Through diverse educational opportunities, immersive experiences and enduring relationships we share the wisdom and beauty of Jewish faith, practice and community – connecting with as many young Jews as we can, whatever their background, from when they are about to leave home until they build their own.
Rabbi Daniel Rowe, Executive Director Aish UK said: “It was an honour to celebrate 25 years of empowering Jewish Journey’s with Aish Manchester. Their team, including Rebbetzen Shiffy Silverstone, Rabbi Zvi Gefen and Benj Harris work tirelessly inspiring and connecting Jews with their Jewish identity building a very special close-knit community. Having seen the success of the last 25 years, we look forward to seeing what the next 25 years brings for Aish Manchester.