On the evening of Sunday, May 30th, Congregation Beth Israel held their Annual Gala. This virtual event was truly one-of-a-kind.

The event honoured Dr Bonnie Henry with the ‘Keter Ha’Bri’ut’ (‘Crown of Health’) award, with a portion of the proceeds from the gala benefiting our Foundation. It was beautifully organized, and when all was said and done, raised us an incredible $10,000!!

Dr Bonnie Henry accepting the ‘Keter Ha’Bri’ut’ award

The gala began with the guest of honour herself hosting an “interactive mixology session” where she made a few of her favourite cocktails. Participants had pre-purchased their own kits, which were delivered ahead of time to their homes. They made their own cocktails along with her live.

Next, the event featured Maya Rae, an incredible singer-songwriter. Maya was a great choice for this event as she aims to write songs that convey a message of self-love and female empowerment: “The main message that I want to get across to my listeners is to promote one’s authenticity, and to bring hope and empowerment to those who listen.”

Singer-songwriter Maya Rae performing at the Beth Isreal Gala 2021

Through the pandemic, if there was a leader who has brought hope and empowerment each week to the people of British Columbia, it was Dr Henry, which made it fitting that throughout the program, donors, staff, and volunteers all had a chance to give her a shoutout to show their appreciation.

When Esther Moses, Executive Director at Congregation Beth Isreal, was asked what inspired them to honour Dr Henry with this award, Esther said the following:

“Our Senior Rabbi & I had spoken with Dr. Henry during her telephone conferences to faith groups regarding our operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We listened to her reports to the public, and witnessed the respect that Dr Henry garnered in BC, across Canada, and around the world—for the effective leadership that she showed during an ever-lengthening crisis.

Dr Henry’s actions and behaviours show leadership in this world, and they exemplify Jewish values that we hold dear. We believe that the saving of a life, known in Hebrew as Pikuah Nefesh, is the most important act in which we can engage. Dr Henry has done everything possible to save the lives of British Columbians. We also believe that we are obligated to work with the value of chesed, kindness. We cannot image that there is a kinder leader than Dr Henry. Her message of “this is our time to be kind, to be calm and to be safe” exemplifies the teachings we hold sacred.”

-Esther Moses, Executive Director at Congregation Beth Isreal

We are truly thankful to Esther, and everyone at Congregation Beth Israel for this unforgettable night, both to honour Dr Henry, and for their incredible donation to our Foundation!

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