ELEM’s 2023 Ray of Hope Annual Benefit

Save the Date - Thursday, October 12th, 2023 - 7:00 PM - 2023 Ray of Hope Benefit

Date: October 12th, 2023

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: Lavan Midtown

641 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

Purchase Tickets

Legacy Award Recepients

Ken and Ann Bialkin

Ann Bialkin, with the staunch support of her husband Kenneth and Israeli colleagues, is the founder of ELEM. As a matter of fact, the early years of the organization took place around her dining room table in their Upper West Side home.

Ann Bialkin received a Bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and earned a Master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City. Upon graduating, she worked as a family therapist and treated youth similar to those ELEM serves.

Ann managed and supervised a liaison program at the Jewish Board of Guardians (now called Jewish Board) to support children who were in trouble with the law by linking them with volunteers in the family courts of New York City. These activities gave her insight into the functioning of the juvenile justice system and spurred the creation of ELEM in 1982.

She served as President of ELEM/USA for 28 years, and currently serves as a member of the International Board of Directors of ELEM and as the Chair of ELEM’s USA Board. Ann routinely travels between New York and Israel to participate in policymaking and professional issues.

Ann Bialkin’s civic and philanthropic commitments extend beyond ELEM. She is an executive committee member of the board of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, a patron of Carnegie Hall and an honorary director of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. She was married to attorney Kenneth J. Bialkin, who was a committed supporter of ELEM’s activities and a member of ELEM’s advisory board.

Ken Bialkin was born in the Bronx to immigrant parents, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1950 with a degree in economics and then earned a J.D. degree from Harvard in 1953. His law practice encompassed a broad range of corporate and securities law matters, first when he was senior partner in the law firm of Willke, Farr & Gallagher and then with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. At the same time, he taught securities law at New York University School of Law for 18 years and became involved in a number of Jewish organizations. He was national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League; president and chairman of the American Jewish Historical Society, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York; chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and chairman of the America Israel Friendship League. He also served for 30 years as vice chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation.

In his law practice, Bialkin represented insurance companies, broker-dealers, investment bankers, and other financial institutions. He was involved in some of the largest insurance company mergers and acquisitions in the United States.

Bialkin is a former editor of Business Lawyer magazine and was chairman of the American Bar Association's committee on federal regulation of securities.

In recognition of his 16 years as a member of its board of directors, Citigroup established the Kenneth J. Bialkin/Citigroup Public Service Award at the American Jewish Historical Society.

Frances Katz

Frances Katz

Ms. Katz is a certified social worker, a Member of the New York State Society, Clinical Social Workers, and the National Association of Social Workers.
Frances R. Katz, noted philanthropist and supporter of the arts, has served as a board of trustee member and assistant treasurer of Parker Jewish Institute for 29 years. She received the Distinguished Trustee Award from the United Hospital Fund for outstanding service as a volunteer board member.The award was given at the United Hospital Fund (UHF) Tribute to Hospital and Health Care Trustee Awards luncheon held at Cipriani 42nd St. in New York City.

She continues her late husband’s legacy, serving on the American Friends of Hebrew University in various leadership roles and generously supporting students, faculty, and research at HU.

She resides with her family in New York.

Bobbie Glass Z"L

One of ELEM’s founding members, Bobbi, has been a dedicated and passionate advocate for at-risk youth for decades. She continues to be an active and committed leader on the board. A devoted mother and grandmother, Bobbi resides outside of Boston, MA.

LifeSaver Award Recipients

*Special Video Appearance

Gal Gadot

GAL GADOT is one of Hollywood's most engaging and sought-after talents. She debuted as Diana/Wonder Woman in the blockbuster "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." In 2017, she starred again in the role in the first-ever "Wonder Woman" feature, which was the highest grossing film of the season, taking in more than $820 million worldwide.

She will next be seen in Netflix's "Heart of Stone" opposite Jamie Dornan releasing on August 11th, 2023 where she will star and produce.

Her previous film credits include "Red Notice," "Death on the Nile," "Wonder Woman 1984," "Justice League," "Triple 9," "Criminal," "Keeping Up with the Joneses," and the "Fast and Furious" franchise.

Gal executive produced and hosted "Impact", a National Geographic mini-series that follows the powerful stories of six women who are making an extraordinary impact on their communities around the world, despite living in areas marred by violence, poverty, trauma, discrimination, oppression, and natural disasters.

In 2024, she will star as the Evil Queen in the Disney live action adaption of "Snow White." Additionally, Gadot has numerous projects in development under her production company, Pilot Wave, alongside her partner Jaron Varsano.

Sara and Dan Sapadin

Daniel Sapadin is a Partner, Managing Director, and Chief Operating Officer of Owl Creek Asset Management, L.P. Owl Creek is an event-driven value investment company in Manhattan, where Dan has worked since its inception in 2001. He graduated from the University of Vermont and received a master's degree from Baruch College. Dan served on the ELEM board for 7 years and has been actively involved with ELEM New York since 2003. Danny and his wife Sara live on the upper west side in NYC and are proud parents of Ezra, Saul, Gabriel, and Talia.

Rabbi Sara Sapadin currently serves as an Associate Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in New York City, where her work primarily focuses on conversion, adult engagement, and interfaith initiatives. Sara was ordained as a rabbi from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion in 2007 and began her career at Temple Beth El of Great Neck, followed by Temple Israel of the City of New York. An avid writer, Sara has been published on sites such as Kveller, Motherly, and ReformJudaism.org. She is also a proud contributor to The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate. Sara graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a Bachelor’s in Literature. She and her husband, Danny are the proud parents of Ezra, Saul, Gabriel, and Talia.



Noam Laden

After graduating from Emerson College in Boston, Noam took an assortment of jobs, including producer of television infomercials, most notably his infamous pasta machine spot watched by millions of insomniacs. Noam’s persistence in breaking into radio finally paid off when he was offered a job as a morning show host at WSC in Charleston, South Carolina.
Noah landed a job at WOR radio and has worked across the New York dial, but feels he has found his “home” at WABC, where he has been for the last ten years. During his radio career, Noam has received numerous Associated Press awards and an Achievement in Radio (AIR) Award. Noam can be heard Monday through Friday on “The Newshour with Noam Laden,” “IMUS in Morning,” and “The Geraldo Rivera Show,” where he has played Geraldo’s sidekick for the last five years.

Noam can be seen weekly on HLN’s “The Nancy Grace Show,” where he is a crime reporter. Noam resides in Northern New Jersey with his wife and two young sons.

The String Angels

From the creators of The Three Waiters, String Angels will amaze you with their dazzling costumes and fully choreographed, interactive string show, supported by high-quality orchestral backings.

STRING ANGELS is a dynamic, sophisticated act that brings the classics into the twenty-first century with a bang!

Three of the world's finest young string players will explode onto the stage in a stunning show. The famous classical songs you know and love will get a contemporary twist alongside some great rock anthems, and the Angels' virtuoso live playing will blow you away!

Guest Speaker

Efrat Hecht

Efrat Hecht has an MA in social work with a specialty in youth and children. She is a certified photo-therapist (therapy through photography).

In the last six years she's been working at ELEM, first, as a supervisor at the Sderot Outreach van, during which she accompanied many youth dealing with long-term PTSD due to the security related challenges in the Gaza Envelope, as well as different types of distress faced by youth and young people ages 13-26.

In the last four years, she's been working at The Heart 24/7, under the Trauma and Extreme Risk field at ELEM. This program offers therapy and assistance to youth ages 13-21 on the prostitution spectrum. The work has included night counseling, heading the hot line and social media platform support chats, and more.

This past year, Efrat has been a team leader at The Heart which included an active role in the management of the program and directly guiding the staff.

Fran Drescher, Jack Black, Tovah Feldshuh and others are excited about our 40th!

Please check sponsorship levels for exclusive entry to the

VIP Reception

Coming Soon

Join Us In Celebrating ELEM’s Legacy – 40 Years of Saving Lives


For 40 years, ELEM has helped at-risk youth alter their futures for the better by offering them a lifeline. Our work on the streets, at our drop-in centers, at our shelters, and online gives thousands of youth a chance to start anew.

With your help on this milestone of a year, ELEM would be able to expand and improve our services by reaching even more youth. Our recent reports indicate a massive need for more services in the areas we currently serve, as well as great urgency to launch programs in additional cities and serve additional marginalized communities of young people.

We’ve been saving lives for decades. Please help us save lives for decades to come.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Event Committee Members

Lenore Ruben (Co-Chair)

Lori Gosset (Co-Chair)

Alon Harnoy

Tracey Stulberg

Noam Laden

Alan Hedrick

Daniele Menache

Yoram Rotstein

Ross Pollock

Karen Gantz Zahler