Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation (RCRF) remembers ‘Mama Rochel’ on her Yahrzeit

Yahrzeit of Rachel, one of the Jewish foremothers, commemorated with two separate programs, in Jerusalem and in New York.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

RCRF remembers ‘Mama Rochel’ on her Yahrzeit
RCRF remembers ‘Mama Rochel’ on her Yahrzeit
Deborah Scop Productions

The Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation (RCRF) commemorated the Yahrzeit of Rachel, one of the Jewish foremothers, on Sunday, the Hebrew date of her Yahrzeit, at its 27th Annual Yarzheit Dinner.

This year was doubly exciting, with two separate programs - one in Jerusalem's Baka neighborhood, just a stone's throw from Rachel’s Tomb, and the other at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center, since RCRF Founder Evelyn Haies made Aliyah with her husband Jay on July 4, 2021.

Activist Dr. Paul Brody was, once again, the masterful Master of Ceremonies in New York, beautifully singing the Star-Spangled Banner and Hatikva.

The keynote speaker was Rabbi Mayer Alter Horowitz, the illustrious Bostoner Rebbe of Har Nof, who attended with his lovely Rebbetzin. The Bostoner Rebbe has a long history with RCRF. He was among 3,000 celebrants when RCRF held a Hachnasat Sefer Torah (inauguration of a Torah scroll) at Rachel’s Tomb in 1998. The Bostoner has also attended many events at Beit Bnei Rachel.

Among the honored guests were illuminating speaker Rabbi Akiva Eisenstadt, who helped establish the Manhattan Beach Community Kollel, NYU Judaic Studies Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman, close personal friend of the Bostoner Rebbe, as well as Instructor of a weekday Sefer HaChinuch class in Great Neck, attended by Dr. Brody, and speakers Jewish blogger and long-time RCRF supporter Mrs. Robin (Fayge Raizel) Ticker, and Manhattan Beach native, NYPD Deputy Inspector Richie Taylor, the New York Police Department's highest ranking Orthodox police officer.

RCRF Founder Evelyn Haies' grandson, Shmuel Haies, made his speaking debut at the dinner, telling the guests all about the Jewish history of Bethlehem.

The program also featured two music video versions, based on Evelyn Haies' lyrics, "We are Rachel's Children,” both brilliantly produced by last year RCRF honoree Daniel Finkelman, with dramatic music by past honoree Cecelia Margules.

The two videos contrast how Rachel’s Tomb appears now and before the intifada. The first video was by singer Michael Ian Elias, the second by superstar Gad Elbaz. The program also included a new poem written by RCRF Founder Evelyn Haies, barely a month ago, which was read aloud by Evelyn's grandchildren, Miriam and Rachel Scop.

Many thanks to another Haies grandchild, Malky Grunwald, who ran the audio-visual portion of the program, including Evelyn Haies' zoom presentation from Jerusalem; to her daughter Deborah Scop for photography; and to her son-in-law, Yisroel Shleifstein for catering the sumptuous Traditions dinner, which was topped off, as always, by a luscious cake.

At the RCRF event in Jerusalem, the well-known Jerusalem blogger, Rabbi Yehuda Lave, opened the program, which took place in the Baka home of Evelyn and Jay Haies, with the singing of Hatikva.

Rabbi Moshe Borger, an esteemed Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva Ohr Sameach, delivered a stimulating talk about Rachel passing the secret code to her sister Leah.

Esther Cameron, who has a doctorate in Poetry, spoke about the role of poetry in the literary life of Palestinian Jewry during the first half of the 20th century, and how Rav Kook utilized this vehicle to influence Am Yisrael.

Alizah Miri, an accomplished violinist, set the mood by playing some spirited pieces, including “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” and old-time favorite “My Yiddishe Momme.”

Evelyn Haies, the President of RCRF, thanked all the participants and attendees, and expressed optimism for the future of “Mama Rochel” for her legacy to continue to play a major role in the life of the Jewish People.