Over 1,000 Celeberate Chai Lifeline “An Evening For The Kids” Gala in NYC; Mr. & Mrs. Shimmy & Layala Bertram of Jackson recognized (PHOTOS)

Last night, December 9, a crowd of more than 1,200 gathered at the Marriott Marquis in New York City to celebrate“An Evening for the Kids” at the 2019 Chai Lifeline Gala. A leading children’s health support network, Chai Lifeline provides critical assistance to children with life-threatening or lifelong illnesses and their families through more than two-dozen, free year-round programs and services.

The evening paid tribute to longtime supporters and Guests of Honor Shimmy and Layala Bertram; Dr. Eddie Simpser, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children and recipient of the Maimonides Medical Achievement Award; Camp Simcha Alumni Award recipients Dr. Effie Kupferstein and Devorah Goldberg-Kupferstein; and Sarah and Zachary Perl, who received the inaugural Young Builders Award. The event was chaired by Chaya Rivka and Mayer Fischl, Bari and Daniel Erber, and Julia and David Baruch. 

In an emotionally stirring speech, Rivka Buchbinder, a 21-year-old student from Minneapolis, shared her journey battling cancer and the life-changing support she received from Chai Lifeline.

“Chai Lifeline is a phenomenal organization that helps kids who are going through a horrific experience feel normal. They create an environment where kids feel accepted and understood,” she said. “They are the ones that have changed my life for the better. I won’t let the cancer control my life. I now look at my life in a new way. I have chosen to find the good in each day.”

The evening’s entertainment included comedian MODI, who also emceed the program, and a musical duet performance by Jewish music sensation Mordechai Shapiro and Chai Lifeline Warrior Shimon Goldman. Assemblyman David Weprin presented a citation to Chai Lifeline in recognition of the honorees.

Scores of Camp Simcha alumni and members of Chai Lifeline’s Young Builders Society continued the celebration and show of support at a special After-Party event.

“Chai Lifeline has grown into one of the largest and most sophisticated global organizations of its kind,” said Chai Lifeline Chief Executive Officer Rabbi Simcha Scholar. “With your support, we will continue to provide more services and assistance to more children and families in our community.”

To learn more about Chai Lifeline, please visit


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