Amudim Dinner honors contributors to Jewish community


From left, Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman, Providence Hebrew Day School dean; Rabbi Yosef Szendro, Amudim awardee and Dr. Marc Diamond, PHDS president, pose at the June 2 Amudim Dinner, which is sponsored by PHDS and New England Academy of Torah. Other awardees are Yoni Halper, alumnus awardee and Solomon Kofman, Dor L’Dor awardee.  /E. BRESLERPROVIDENCE – Providence Hebrew Day School paid tribute to three individuals at its annual Amudim Dinner.

Yoni Halper, a PHDS alum, received the Alumnus Award. After working for a variety of Jewish organizations for nearly a decade, Yoni opened his own marketing and fundraising consulting firm, ALTRUICITY, and launched NextGen:Charity, a national conference on nonprofit innovation, with more than 1.5 million nonprofit professionals watching videos online. More recently, Yoni established a fundraising boot camp in New York City and continues to consult for a variety of Jewish and secular causes; he has been helpful to PHDS’ fundraising initiatives.

Yoni’s father, Frank Halper, CPA, has provided crucial assistance to Providence Hebrew Day School – and the Jewish Community Day School – by finding donors for Rhode Island’s Corporate Tuition Tax Credit program, which provides individuals and corporations with the opportunity to receive state tax credits of 90 percent, plus a federal tax deduction, in exchange for a donation to a foundation that funds scholarships at local Jewish day schools.  

At the June 12 dinner, the school also paid tribute to a longstanding member of the community, Solomon                    Kofman, with the Dor L’Dor (Generation to Generation) Award. Kofman, who immigrated to Rhode Island in 1950 from Paris, has been active in the community ever since. He and his late wife Pearl helped to ensure that the school would always be a place of Torah for Orthodox Jewish children by soliciting funds door-to-door and selling clothing at thrift shops to raise money for the school. They also donated siddurim (prayer books) to the school.

Rabbi Yosef and Ruchama Szendro received the coveted Amudim Award. Known for his study of Talmud, Rabbi Szendro has delivered his daf yomi, an explanation of one page of Talmud, every morning at 5:30 for more than 10 years.

The Szendro family is recognized for their hesed (kindness) and outreach to Jewish families across the religious spectrum. After accepting the Amudim Award, Rabbi Szendro spoke about the crucial role that day schools play in ensuring the continuity of the Jewish people.  Rabbi Szendro, noting that the school deserves to be honored, discussed the need for students to acquire an excellent education in Torah.

Providence serves as a model for smaller communities, as it offers a full array of Torah opportunities, including a girls’ high school (NEAT, New England Academy of Torah), a post-high school yeshiva (NERC, New England Rabbinical College), a community Kollel and other college and adult learning programs.

PHDS: Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman,

TUITION TAX CREDIT INFO: Frank Halper at 331-6851 or Larry Katz, at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, at 421-4111.  Applications are due July 1.