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Yakir Hakahal

The Yakir Hakahal Award was established to honour outstanding individuals who have devoted themselves to Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue and the entire community.

The words Yakir Hakahal, "precious to the community," more literally means “endeared to the community." The letter kuf (K) found in both words reminds us of the two words which describe a synagogue, kehila k'dosha (a sacred congregation). A well-known Biblical verse recited on the High Holy Days Haben yakir li Efraim (Efraim is my precious son), points to the Jewish people being considered precious before God. The Hebrew word kir found inside the work yakir means a wall that which is sturdy, strong and dependable.

Each recipient of the award receives a beautiful sculpture, exclusively designed by acclaimed artist Misha Frid.

The Yakir Hakahal sculpture reflects many significant biblical symbols. One discernible image is a staircase leading upwards, reminding us of a statement by the Sages: "...we ascend in holiness and we do not descend." The hand holding the steps symbolizes the one who gives of himself one step at a time knowing that the ultimate purpose is to strengthen our community. The Star of David atop the sculpture symbolizes the ultimate goal of our efforts as a people. Three pillars represent the phrase "the world rests on three pillars" - education, service to the community and acts of loving-kindness.

Our past honourees have included: Sigmund Reiser z"l, 2004; Mike Feldman, 2005; Joseph Kelman z"l, 2008; Sir Nicholas Winton z"l, 2010 and the Mecklinger Family, 2013.

Thu, 23 March 2023 1 Nisan 5783