Victoria’s Secrets: A roller coaster life moving from sorrow to joy

The Bibas family just before they were taken hostage. Bring them and all the hostages home!

As a member of The Hampton Synagogue, I’m in awe of our leader Rabbi Marc Schneier’s ability to bring us extraordinary speakers. This past weekend I had the pleasure and “pain” to hear Israel’s new Consul General Ofir Akunis and the relatives of the Bibas hostage family speak to the congregation, where every seat in the synagogue was filled.

The Ambassador strongly shared his passionate vision that Hamas must be extinguished because it’s a war of survival for Israel. He talked about bringing home the hostages and winning the war. 

Dramatically, he reminded us of the incident of Kristelnacht and the smashing of thousands of windows of Jewish merchants by the Nazis and how the German Jews believed this was an isolated incident that would pass. They stayed silent. When the Germans began burning books, the Jews were silent. He explained how the current threats to the survival of Israel depends upon action and to be silent no more. 

After the service, I got the opportunity to sit with Yossi Schneider and Jimmy Miller, the relatives of red-headed children Kfir and Ariel Bibas — 8 months old and 4 years old, respectively — who were taken hostage with their parents Shiri and Yarden.

Yossi Schneider & Jimmy Miller (relatives of hostages) with Rozita Pnini (COO of MirYam Institute) and Ambassador Ofir Akunis

The speakers came to New York under the auspices of the MirYam Institute, which is sending relatives of hostages around the world and raising their voices about the threat of Hamas funded by Iran, Qatar, Russia and China to undermine democracy. They were there to remind us about the barbaric attack and murder of innocent Israelis and the taking of hostages on Oct. 7.

Yossi shared with me his experience going up to Columbia and talking with a young protester who was holding a picket sign in support of Hamas while being wrapped in a multicolored Pride flag. He said, “Doesn’t she understand that if she stepped foot into Gaza, she would be murdered because of their homophobic beliefs?” He shook his head with sadness. “Such ignorance,” he said.

In a dramatic moment, as we sat in the synagogue’s book-lined library, Jimmy made me sit up when he said “everyone in America should roar and shout out about the hate and antisemitism growing around the world,” particularly on college campuses. 

He continued and shared his belief from his experience traveling extensively in Europe that the radical leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and al Qaeda are out to kill all “infidels!” 

The Syrians even killed thousands of their own people not practicing the religion in the orthodox order. For example, a young girl was murdered because her Habib did not cover all her hair. 

Radical forces attacked Israel, explained Jimmy and Yossi, who clearly stated that Americans must face the imminent danger of the ideologs who want to end democracy.

They quietly, but boldly made me shiver because of their clear message that the attack on Israel should be a wake up call for all Americans. Their beloved relatives are suffering as hostages, but the issue of radical forces trying to eliminate Israel will not stop with Israel. They both said their homeland must win to survive as a nation.

Jimmy and Yossi believe Americans must “roar” for the end of extremism. They warned that we must not be silent as a people! 

I walked out of the quiet space and felt a greater need to “roar” and inform my readers repeatedly of the danger that lurks for all of us!

Their visit was a wake up call to people of all religions! We must all roar against hate!

A contrasting time of joy

Memorial Day is the unofficial “launch” of summer and Dan’s Taste events, and the season began with a roar of a different kind: a celebration filled with laughter, dining, drinking and dancing at our annual Rose Soirée sponsored by Wilmington Trust at the prestigious Southampton Arts Center on Jobs Lane.

Francis Kweller (center, in pink) brought her friends and staff to the Rose Soirée in a pink limousine.
Sara Pellegrino, Emma Aqunio and Sophia Lee of the Events team along with joyful Rose Soirée attendees.
Entertainers extraordinaire added to the fun of the night.

Over 800 happy people joined us at the iconic event that my daughter Elizabeth Aloni and her talented team brought to life with great success!

A bonus was when my other children, Josh and Samantha and their children joined me the next day to share a lobster bake and a day of togetherness! It doesn’t get better than this! 

Here’s to a great season of shared good times and memories!

See more photos on Schneps Media’s Facebook page.

Thought of the Week

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Work like you don’t need money. 

Love like you’ve never been hurt.

And dance like no one’s looking.

— Dalai Lama

Love to you, my dear readers.