Teena Lerner, a pillar of the SAR community and a dedicated advisor and source of wisdom, has devoted extraordinary effort since the pandemic began to partner with the administration and address an extensive range of complex issues. With a background in virology and an understanding of drug development, clinical research, and medical diagnostics, Teena is uniquely positioned to be part of our team and put her knowledge and experience to work for the benefit of SAR. Teena wrote and periodically updates SAR’s Covid-19 Testing Resource Guide, and has been instrumental in developing and overseeing the partnership between SAR and Northwell Laboratories, including training our ELC, Academy and High School nurses for testing, and securing an expedited turnaround for test results. Teena, a member of the Medical Advisory Team, has been readily available to our nurses daily, offering guidance on a broad array of Covid-19 related issues. Teena has spent countless hours reviewing testing guidelines and implementation strategies to ensure that SAR’s policies and guidance remain current -- no small feat during the pandemic. Teena is a member of the Executive Committee, former vice-chair of the SAR Finance Committee, and served as chair of the Development Committee. Teena and her husband, Dr. Larry Lerner, a long-time member of SAR’s Board of Trustees, were feted as Guests of Honor at SAR’s 2006 Anniversary Dinner celebration. Their SAR journey began in 1984 when their oldest started in three-year nursery school. Teena and Larry reside in Riverdale, are parents to four SAR graduates, and grandparents to six SAR students. The family includes: Dr. Bat-Sheva (and Jonathan) Maslow (AC '95) and their children Aderet (Grade 7), Tehila (Grade 7), Yakira (Grade 3), and Orlee (4N); (Sara) and Mark ("Mo") Lerner (AC '99) and their children Matan (2N) and Ariel; Shira (and Zachary) Baratz (AC '06, HS '10) and their children Zoë (4N) and Charlie; and Talya (and Mark) Douek (AC '06, HS '10) and their children Ellie and Noa. FOUR QUESTIONS FOR THE HONOREE Q. What is the one insight you have gained from this year that you would like to share? A. In a year where things stopped dead in their tracks, where the world turned upside down, the things that really count are family, friends and personal connections. It was a time to pick up the phone and call people you care about, but may not have spoken with for a while. Or to increase contact with those already in your orbit. Q. What is one favorite or positive SAR-related memory from these past few months? A. I loved the way that SAR pulled out all stops to bring happiness and community into the kids' lives back in March, when quarantine was new and scary. The zoom megillah readings, the musical havdalahs, the special guest concerts.... then later, the drive-by personal graduation celebrations. Things were truly awful in March and April, but the feeling of community was so strong and so positive. Q. SAR’s theme of the year is 'achrayut.' In your opinion, what is our responsibility to one another during complicated times? A. We obviously have a responsibility to one another at all times, but during these crazy times we have to step it up. Everyone should be doing whatever they uniquely can contribute. And it's been gratifying to see that happen over the past 9 months. People came out of the woodwork to help one another. People with special talents or businesses deployed their skills and connections to help other individuals or the community at large. For me personally, having a background in virology and an understanding of drug development, clinical research and medical diagnostics led me to put that knowledge to work for the benefit of SAR. Q. Who is/are your heroes? Who do you look up to and why? A. My grandmother, whose husband and numerous relatives were murdered in Auschwitz just months before the liberation, who picked up the pieces, came to this country with 4 children, started a spice company from nothing, grew it to a multi-million dollar major enterprise that she then ran with her two sons, and where she went to work every day until she was well into her 90s. Growing up, this elegant lady, talented and successful businesswoman, generous supporter of Jewish charities, and fiercely devoted family matriarch was my hero -- bar none. More recently, her daughter, my mother, has taken on that role. Like her mother before her, she is a successful businesswoman, still going to her factory at the age of 86. She is an ardent Zionist and a generous supporter of Jewish causes. She is undaunted by challenges and has even fearlessly participated in a Covid19 vaccine clinical trial. The legacy of ambitious high-achieving women is a powerful force in our family.