Distinguished Parents Award

Hal and Rochel Garfinkel

Hal and Rochel Garfinkel are the proud parents of four wonderful children: Shoshana, married to Ariel Gutnicki, Tanny (FYHS 2017), Ephraim (FYHS 2019), and AviDon (FYHS 2022). They are blessed with two beautiful grandchildren.

Hal hails from Wilmette, Illinois, the epicenter of Jewish life, learning, and thought. He learned in Ohr Someach Yerushalaim. He is a former prosecutor for the Cook County State Attorney’s Office. For the last 28 years, Hal has worked as a sole practitioner concentrating in complex federal and state criminal defense nationwide.

Hal is deeply involved in sensitive and fragile community issues at home and nationwide, and often consults with rabbeim on mediation and resolution of sensitive issues. He is an original member of Chicago Hatzalah and continues to play an active role as a volunteer EMT.

Rochel is originally from Brooklyn, New York, where she graduated from Sara Schneier High School. After completing both undergraduate and graduate degrees in New York, she worked in the field of mental health prior to relocating to Chicago. While raising her family, Rochel returned to school and earned a degree in Occupational Therapy. She currently works as an occupational therapist in an independent living facility for seniors in the Chicago community.

Rochel is currently in her third year as co-president of the FYHS Yeshiva Parents Association. She has been an active and consistent volunteer for the Yeshiva, ranging from shabbatonim, shalach manos, and Yeshiva dinners.

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