lamplighters Annual gala dinner - KIVUN

march 28, 2019 | 21 adar II, 5779

Dear Friends & Fellow Lamplighters,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. For an uplifting, energetic evening. For the opportunity to remember-- yet, again-- how dynamic and authentic our community is. For recognizing how vital our work is-- here, and beyond. For believing in us. For supporting our cause. And most importantly, for putting our children first.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for standing with us and showing us so much generosity. You showed us how much you believe in us. Your participation at Kivun was instrumental in helping us strengthen and increase the impact of our work, illuminating the path of our Lamplighters for generations to come. Onward and upward!

Please, scroll down and click to re-live the magic of Kivun.


Watch the kivun Gala Highlights!

Be inspired by our KIVun speakers


rabbi yehuda fenton - what happens when we care?

An experienced yeshivah educator, editor of chassidic texts and well as a life-long learner (who can also teach about the science of cooking!), Rabbi Yehuda Fenton joined the Lamplighters team in 2017 as we were embarking on the mission of designing a Lamplighters Mesivta.

Together with the leadership team at Lamplighters, Rabbi Fenton is forging a path of yeshivah education in the Crown Heights community with a new format--one that challenges students to co-design their learning and their school environment. Thanks to his vision and tireless efforts, the Lamplighters Mesivta has seen incredible success as a program that makes conscious effort to discover every child’s unique talents, places an emphasis on real life learning, provides a completely personalized academic plan for each student in both Limudei Kodesh and Chol, and fosters openness and honesty with adults in leadership.



sruli richler - are you ok?

Sruli Richler is the CEO and founder of The Surplus Company, a successful business that brings maximum value to retailers, distributors and manufacturers for their excess or end of life inventory. Under Sruli’s guidance and direction, The Surplus Company has grown to 100m in revenue while servicing brands such as Sony, Sandisk, Samsung and Microsoft. In addition to his considerable business accomplishments, Sruli has taken an active role as a community leader and activist, and has been outspoken about his own struggles and healing process in dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. “I speak out so that no 8 year old boy has to suffer until the age of 20 with the confusion, uncertainty and shame that I lived with”, Sruli has said. At the Kivun gala, he shared more about his Lamplighters journey and what brought him to his purpose today.



simi polonsky - For Shua

Simi Polonsky is the co-founder and co-chief executive of The Frock NYC, an e-commerce, fashion startup offering modern and timeless wardrobe essentials to women who prefer to dress modestly. Together with her sister and co-founder Chaya Chanin, their work in entrepreneurship and social media has built an ever-growing, global, diverse community of women who share their passion for creativity, individuality and drive to support everyone's unique journey. Simi and her late husband, Shua z"l, joined the Lamplighters family two years ago, connecting deeply to our mission to nurture every child in realizing their Divine mission as Lamplighters in this world. Polonsky, recently widowed, and a proud mother of three uses her platform to share her personal story in the hope that it inspires others to find their voice, share their story, and lead them on a path to create happier healthier lives. At the Kivun gala, Simi introduced Shua’s FlameFund, the Lamplighters tuition aid fund named in Shua’s honor.



Yocheved Sidof - transition

Bridge-builder. Community-activist. Dreamer-and-doer. Ever since the eleven year old Yocheved Sidof discovered a dusty Psychology textbook in her grandparents home,  she has been enamored with the question “what makes people tick?” In 2010, after ten years as a photographer, filmmaker and educator in the non-profit sector, Yocheved was compelled to challenge normative models of education and create a school for her eldest child. She co-founded Lamplighters Yeshivah, where she serves as the Founding Executive-Director. Under her leadership, Lamplighters grew from a hopeful endeavor to a fast-growing movement in education reform. She is a sought-out writer, speaker and facilitator in diverse communities on many topics. Yocheved, wife and mother of five, was selected as a Wexner Field Fellow in 2017, awarded the Perkins Awards for the most exceptional body of work in Seth Godin’s altMBA and The Jewish Week’s 36 Under 36 of 2014 for her pioneering work.


see the magic moments

Thank you Tzvi Perlow for capturing these incredible pictures

read the tribute journal online

Lamplighters created a beautiful dedication journal to distribute at this year’s gala, Pinteleh. More than a typical ad journal, our magazine-style book is a collection of compelling content, art, and moving stories of our community.

Celebrate our honorees and award winners