MA News

LYA to Hold Scholarship Dinner

LONGMEADOW – LYA will hold its annual Scholarship Dinner on Tuesday, June 18 at Congregation B’nai Torah, 2 Eunice Drive in  Longmeadow. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The guest speaker at the dinner will be Myron Sugerman author of The Last Jewish Gangster: From Meyer to Myron. 

At the dinner LYA will honor the Barr Family of Barrco Auto Parts and present the Pillar of Torah Award to Dr. Ira and Mary Nathanson.

LYA’s relationship with the Barr family spans more than 60 years beginning with Joe Barr and Rabbi Dovid Edelman of blessed memory. 

The Nathansons

Joe Barr met Rabbi Dovid Edelman when the rabbi arrived in Springfield in 1950. Joe was an immigrant from Europe and had fond memories of his family’s connection with rabbis in his community in Europe and he developed a natural friendship with Rabbi Edelman. Through the years Rabbi Edelman remained friends with several members of the Barr family. The connection continued as many of the Barr grandchildren attended LYA preschool, kindergarten and Hebrew School.  Paul Barr and Jacob Barr are the fourth generation of the family who now are at the helm of Barrco Auto Parts and their bond continues with LYA and the Edelman, Kosofsky and Wolff families.  There will be a special tribute at the dinner to honor the memory of Jacob’s father Michael Barr, and Gary Barr, Jacob and Paul’s uncle.

“The relationship between LYA and the Barrs runs deep and we are proud to honor the wonderful Barr family for their longstanding commitment to Jewish education and to our community,” said Rabbi Noach Kosofsky. 

Michael Barr

Dr. Ira and Mary Nathanson moved to Western Massachusetts in 1985 and began their journey to becoming observant Jews when their children attended Jewish preschool then, day school. 

 “The Nathansons are strong supporters of Torah education in our community,” said Rabbi Kosofsky.

Mary joined the synagogue board and Ira was invited to be a gabbai, a duty he continues to this day. Ira and Mary began attending the Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) Classes, taught by Rabbi Wolff at LYA, and they have become more involved with the LYA community. They traveled with Rabbi Wolff to Israel in 2014 and 2018, as participants in the Land and Spirit JLI Israel Tours.

In his line of work, Myron Sugerman rubbed shoulders with dangerous men and legendary mob figures like Longie Zwillman, Meyer Lansky, Joe “Doc” Stacher, Tony “Bananas” Caponigro, and many others.

Gary Barr

Myron Sugerman will share his story, which covers everything from his dealings with the fearsome Cali Cartel to his attempt to help Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal track down the Angel of Death, Josef Mengele, in Paraguay, as well as his involvement in helping smuggle weapons into the State of Israel.

The cost to attend the scholarship dinner is $100.
RSVP to For more information, (413) 567-8665 or email

LYA was established in 1946 to serve the Jewish community throughout the area providing a Jewish education for Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School as well as Chabad Hebrew School and Hachai Teen Club.


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