“This is the largest ever Annual Event.” – Vanessa Donaher
Bright, shining lights. The heavenly aroma of exquisite food. Music blaring from every corner. This year’s annual event transformed our beloved athletic complex into an unrecognizable lounge where parents, faculty and staff, alumni, students, board members, and representatives from our entire community gathered to pay tribute and celebrate yet another successful year at Scheck Hillel Community School. This event raised funds to benefit the Kulanu Scholarship fund which is Scheck Hillel’s tuition assistance program. The event also treated the audience to a Hollywood-worthy performance: Lior Suchard. A young and talented Israeli boasting immense success, he’s been featured in James Corden’s “Late Late Show” and performed for countless iconic celebrities such as Kanye West and Drake. Not only did this evening provide mind-blowing illusions and astounding tricks, but it reminded each member of the audience of the reason why year after year, they make the decision to return to Hillel: it’s their home. With a heart-warming video paying homage to a four-generation family that has kept this school as their North and center, attendees bonded over the singular quality this place has above the rest: community.
The highlight of the night was Lior’s spectacular performance. The mentalist immediately started off by selecting a random man in the crowd and guessing the number he was thinking of. Lior gifted this man with a scroll that was later used for another trick. The next person Lior brought up to the stage was The Roar Post advisor, Erica Farago. With breathtaking skills, Lior was able to come to the conclusion that Mrs. Farago was thinking specifically of her grandfather, Pat. “Most people think of a family member when I perform this trick.” Lior stated after he was able to “read” her mind, which led to the entire audience cheering for Lior. Other tricks included him guessing a random woman’s first crush just by getting a letter in the middle of his name, figuring out who a man’s kindergarten teacher was, and predicting what a pregnant alumna was going to name her baby boy.
Although Lior was able to “read” the minds of the people attending the event, the most mind-blowing acts did not relate to mind reading but rather illusions that seemed almost impossible. For example, Lior had asked a man to scramble a Rubix cube, which has almost infinite possibilities, and Lior ended up matching that man’s mixed cube. Another magnificent feat was when Lior added up random numbers that two separate people told him to put in a calculator, and the numbers added up to 737714, which spells Hillel upside down. This lead to a standing ovation from the crowd. Guessing the number of quarters someone is holding in their hands just by the sound of the coins seems impossible, but Lior was able to do it twice. For his finale, Lior asked a man to pick a number, and then he wrote down sixteen different possibilities as to what the number could be; however, the number wasn’t on the board. Lior proved him wrong by showing how every group of numbers added up to that single number that the man was thinking of. The crowd was very pleased with the show and how it turned out.
When asked about the event, Lior replied that he was amazed and happy to see “such a beautiful community thriving in the United States.” As a Jew, he was glad to participate in this year’s annual event, bonding with audience members over shared values and culture, even making jokes throughout the performance alluding towards the unbreakable connection shared between performer and spectator.
A perfect microcosm of what Scheck Hillel stands for, 2019’s annual event was a heartfelt affair full of laughs and smiles where the community once again bonded, showing our school what magic looks like- on and off the stage.