Our Volunteer Service Awardees, Rachel and Issar Kieffer, joined the Yavneh family in 2009. Since that time they have contributed to our school in a myriad of ways.
Rachel started as a Class Mom and never stopped, always embracing new roles and responsibilities. For a number of years, Rachel has chaired the lower grade breakfast (translation: Issar has cut thousands of bagels at Yavneh). Rachel’s service to the YPAA has spanned a decade, serving on its board since 2010, including four years as its President. Rachel either worked on or chaired programs and events including the Back-to-School Carnival, teacher gifts program, Chanukah gift sale, Supper Quiz, New Parents’ Dessert, Moms’ Night Out, YPAA chessed cards, mishloach manot, Chanukah concerts, picture day and more. A respected ICU Nurse for over two decades, Rachel always lends her special blend of intensity and care to Yavneh.
Issar, whose name is pronounced correctly only by Rachel and perhaps his mom (we’re not sure), lends his talents to Yavneh in a decidedly different way, but usually coupled with his many tools and always completed quietly and perfectly. When, years back, he noticed that the Ner Tamid in the Beit Midrash was askew, he finished his evening by fetching a ladder and tools from his car. The Ner Tamid was disassembled, reassembled and rehung. And so his service began and continued. Since that time, Issar’s hands and tools have repaired and built and fixed and maintained many things around Yavneh; few of us know of his involvement but all of us have enjoyed it. Issar – at events chaired by Rachel and otherwise – is the guy always lending a hand, typically the last to leave as he’s present until the last folding chair has been removed. Issar, a plumber by trade, is the man responsible for the annual construction of materials for the Salute to Israel Parade; yes, that’s why all the materials are made of PVC piping and fittings! For months prior, Issar cuts and welds, building materials that are lightweight and portable. Issar’s service to Yavneh matches the nature in which he addresses nearly all tasks – with precision, with dedication, and with zeal.
Together, Rachel and Issar epitomize a couple who leverage their tremendous talents uniquely, always to the benefit of their beloved Yavneh. These same talents are also shared with a variety of other worthy organizations which include Hadassah, the Young Israel of Teaneck and more. They are the proud parents of Sarah (Yavneh ’18, Frisch ’22), Eliana (Yavneh ’20), Rebecca (Yavneh ’20) and Ariella (Yavneh ’25).