The Good Samaritan Hospital celebrated its fifth consecutive year of hosting a Menorah lighting ceremony this past Sunday afternoon, graciously sponsored and organized by community activist Mayer Tauber from Metrex Realty.
Dr. Mary Leahy, the CEO and President of Good Samaritan Hospital, gave opening remarks, emphasizing the hospital’s commitment to fostering a strong bond with the community.
Rabbi Shmuel Ganz of Chabad of Montebello led the ceremony itself, with various community members and elected officials taking the stage to share their thoughts, including event sponsor Mayer Tauber, Town of Ramapo’s Michael Specht, and Congressman Mike Lawler.
State Senator Bill Weber and Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder also addressed the audience, underlining the importance of unity and community engagement. Legislator Tony Earl delivered a heartfelt speech, echoing the sentiments of unity.
The emotional highlight of the evening came when Miri Ben Ami, the mother of 23-year-old Yosef Chaim Ohana, shared her moving experience. Yosef Chaim Ohana was tragically taken hostage by Hamas on October 7. The audience came together in a powerful display of solidarity, reciting a Kapital Tehilim for his safe return.
Adding a poignant perspective, a paramedic who had attended the October 7 massacre spoke, shedding light on the heroic efforts made to save lives during the ordeal. Montebello Mayor Lance Millman also took the stage, emphasizing the significance of the menorah lighting in bringing the community together.
This year, the honor of lighting the menorah was bestowed upon Dr. Richard Evans. The ceremony concluded with a heartfelt closing by Rabbi Yehuda Erps, the hospital’s chaplain.
The event was attended by a diverse group of community members, including first responders from the William P. Faist Ambulance Corps, who play a crucial role in the community’s safety. Additionally, the following notable individuals and organizations were also present:
Assemblyman John McGowan.
Legislator Tony Earl.
Staff from the Rockland County DA office.
Legislators Joel Friedman and Jesse Malowitz.
Mona Montal, Town Of Ramapo Chief Of Staff
Chestnut Ridge Deputy Mayor Chaim Rose.
Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Yisroel Eisenbach.
Line officers from Faist Ambulance Corp, Yanky Fleigman, and Sruly Klein.
Members from the “Save Soldiers Lives” organization, including Gidon Hazony, a paramedic involved in the October 7 incident.