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I get a text from a friend,” I am benching rosh chodesh and remembering Ilan” But I already know that.  About a week ago the many band aids covering the gaping hole in my heart started losing their elasticity and adhesive and were holding on like slippery fingers on a cliff.  My body was giving me heads up that it was the time of year..no calendar necessary.  And I start to dread what is up ahead.  I work so hard […]

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Foliage Vinyard- Ilan NZ

Ilan’s Second Yartzeit Has it really been another year? It feels like yesterday, It feels like forever, It feels like maybe it is still an unimaginable nightmare and will be gone when I wake up. Today marks the English calendar date that we lost Ilan.  The confusion over Ilan’s yartzeit continues as he was buried on Rosh chodesh Adar Bet.  He was, however, niftar on the 28th of Adar Aleph which will always be the actual date of his yartzeit […]

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IMAG0029

Dear Friends, Although Rosh chodesh Adar will forever be imprinted in our minds as the time we said good bye to our beloved Ilan, because of the calendar the yahrzeit falls out the 28th of Adar (Wednesday night/Thursday).  Many have asked if we are having any events “officially” marking the yartzeit in which they can share.  This year we opted to keep the observance private.  Any markings along the  calendar year that strongly connect us to Ilan are difficult , […]

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YU students Masbia

100 Yeshiva University Students Volunteer at Soup Kitchen in Memory of Alumnus and Friend On Sunday, March 4, 100 students and alumni of Yeshiva University gathered at the Masbia soup kitchen in Brooklyn to help prepare meals and Purim food packages for more than 500 needy people as part of the Center for the Jewish Future’s First Annual Day of Service in memory of Ilan Tokayer z”l. YU student volunteers prepared meals and food packages at the Masbia soup kitchen as part of CJF’s Day […]

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Reim 1 ILAN Eytan tzavah

Many people have known Ilan longer and more in depth than me. I only got to know him when we were both almost 18, and Ilan at least was by then quite mature and on a defined path in life. Yet I had the unique opportunity to be with Ilan in three very different environments, so I feel that I do have what to add. I will start from the last one chronologically, since this was me finally meeting the […]

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תודה רבה לכל מי שהגיע הבוקר, בכל זאת- ערב תשעה באב. זה ככ משמח אותי ואת נחמה לראות את כולכם. רציתי להגיד כמה מילים על השם שבחרנו. השם “אילן”, חוץ מזה שאנחנו מאוד אוהבים ומתחברים לשם, קרוי על שם חברנו היקר אילן יחזקאל טוקייער שנפטר השנה באופן פתאומי ונקבר בר’ח אדר ב’. בזמן שהיינו צריכים לקיים השנה את אמירת חז’ל “מי שנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה” – אנחנו, חברינו ומשפחתינו היינו בצער ואבל על פטירתו של חבר יקר במשך חודש אדר. […]

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Hatzalah ambu-cycle dedicated in memory of Ilan z"l

A few Yeshiva and Seminary students spent months organizing and planning The Race to Save Lives Fundraiser for The United Hatzalah of Israel. The event took place on Friday, March 4th 2011. It was at the event that we heard about Ilan’s petirah. Our immediate response was to dedicate one of our life saving ambu-cycles to his memory. Ilan’s love for Eretz Yisrael, Medinat Yisrael, and all living things is reflected with this dedication. The Tokayer Family would like to […]

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I’m not going to try and summarize my friendship with Ilan because I don’t think that I could do our friendship justice or do right by Ilan but I would like to share some of my thoughts about Ilan, some of the characteristics of his personality that stick out in my mind and I think are important to share with everyone here. The absolute first thing that comes to mind when I think of Ilan is his relationship with people. […]

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I must admit that I struggle with memorializing and remembering Ilan. When faced with loss, loved ones usually tell stories about the person who is gone, talk about their unique and special characteristics, and exchange memories. But people, and in this case Ilan, are so much more than the words and stories we share. To me, Ilan, was the way he made us feel, the way he acted and treated others, the way he handled situations, his moods, his music, […]

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Dear Ilan, I was thinking about you a lot over this shabbos. I was at a Jr. NCSY regional shabbaton in NJ. As we were singing the classic NCSY songs before bentching, I decided to teach all the 6th to 8th graders, my favorite song that you had taught me just about five years ago. “Shalom in the East…” It was a big hit and everyone enjoyed it, but the entire time, I was thinking about the tisch Friday night […]

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David Mills comments at the Ilan Tokayer’s memorial. ************************************************************** Hello and welcome. I am David Mills the chair of the graduate group in Viticulture and Enology and I welcome you to this olive grove in the Robert Mondavi Institute for this memorial to Ilan Tokayer, one of our graduate students. Before I start I want to thank various folks who helped organize this event, in particular Andrea Thompson and Judy Blevins and other staff in the department who have helped organize […]

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BS”D Nissan 2, 5745 (On the occasion of Shiur and Siyum after Shloshim at YU)     ” כי ישר דבר ה’ וכל מעשהו באמונה… חסד ה’ מלאה הארץ” Thank you all, Yeshiva, the organizers, Rabeim, friends, family and chosen family. This chessed shel emet emulates one of the attributes of Hakadosh Baruch Hu and we see and feel “חסד ה’ מלאה הארץ”. Some events and occurrences are beyond our understanding and comprehension – נסתרות – but the actions and […]

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Grape vine 1

Ilan’s flight back to Sacramento on that Monday morning was much later than ours. We had recommended that he sleep later and take a cab or bus to the airport, but to our surprise he insisted on coming with us. As I sat groggily in the back of the car early that morning, wishing that I had been able to catch a couple more hours of rest, I couldn’t help but notice the conversation that Ilan was conducting up front. […]

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For a few years during our elementary school years, Ilan and I were very close. I spent many Shabbos afternoons in your home, and even more playing football on Trafalger. Ilan was one of my closest friends during those years. I remained friends with Ilan through our high school years in TABC, and even though over the past few years I had sort of lost touch with Ilan, I still cherish the time and memories I shared with him. It’s […]

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From the Journal of Rabbi Ian Bailey – formerly of Sacramento, CA On Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 my wife phoned me with the unexpected and devastating news that a wonderful young man who was a congregant of ours had just passed away. We decided that I had to make sure that the full set of proper Jewish customs was observed to honor his body. This is often a difficult task, as Sacramento, CA, is not as equipped to handle these […]

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Nine years ago I was fortunate to meet Ilan on TVI at Camp Moshava. We had many shared values and immediately connected. There wasn’t a conversation with Ilan that wasn’t thought provoking, profound–educational. From Torah, to zionism, to philosophy, to leadership, he was an overflowing wellspring of knowledge. He greeted everyone in camp with a genuine smile, and when he would ask “how are you” it was the kind of question that actually demanded a real answer. Because he really […]

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I am so pleased but not at all surprised about all the wonderful, warm memories being shared by so many of Ilan’s friends from so many different phases of his remarkable life. In reading all these memories, I  realize that (so far) I get the award and  privilege for knowing Ilan, even though for a short period, for longer than any of you other guys who have been so kind in sharing your memories of Ilan on these pages. I […]

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I met Ilan at his bris. Who could have know how fitting it was for Reva and Aaron to name him Ilan. I do not know what his middle name was but it seems that it should have something to do with wings, Ilan truly was an individual who was rooted like a tree to his Jewish heritage and his family yet had wings to fly to pursuit his dreams. Ilan was a person who always held himself up to very […]

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Today, Rosh Chodesh Adar II, a time when we should be reciting the phrase “Mishe Nichnas Adar Marbim v’Simcha” “When we bring in Adar we should bring in happiness and joy”, we sent away a young soul, a man who really was amazing. Ilan Yechezkiel, exactly 25 and a half when he passed away, was an amazing young man. I realise that I sent a blog about him on Friday, however after attending his funeral, hearing his Father, Sister, Uncle, […]

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Sarachek 2009 058

MacsLive and the Jewish community lost a beloved friend when Ilan Tokayer unexpectedly passed away on March 3, 2011. Ilan was enrolled in the graduate program at UC Davis, studying to be a winemaker. He left his mark wherever he went. Over the course of his brief time in California, Ilan had a tremendous impact on both his university colleagues and the Jewish community. ***  “It was obvious to all this was a young man of substance with the talent […]

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Hands holding sapling in soil

To the Tokayer family, As you mourn the loss of your beloved Ilan, many, in their own ways, mourn along with you. Your loss was felt among so many, as evidenced by the great outpouring of love and support by Ilan’s myriad friends and acquaintances. At this time, many feel inclined to share some of their favorite memories and stories about Ilan, both a painful and cathartic experience at once. I have a special memory of Ilan that I would […]

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I was one of those painfully shy kids.  The kind that wanted nothing more than to blend into the background, but was simultaneously desperate to be noticed.  I met Ilan during the shyest period of my life, and he was one of the few people who was able to draw me out of my shell, but with full respect, without for one millisecond buying into my low self-image.  Just through casual friendly conversation he was able to help me get […]

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Nicaragua

I have been pushing off writing on this blog mainly because when I thought about what I wanted to write, I was suddenly at a loss. When I think of Ilan, a specific memory does not come to mind. Rather, I think about what a loss this is for the world. Ilan and I met on a YU trip to Nicaragua, where I was immediately struck by his intelligence and caring nature. As we got to know each other better […]

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tree

I wasn’t the most popular kid in highschool, or coolest, or the most cocky for that matter but I remember vividly when hanging out with Ilan all those materialistic stereotypes disappeared.  Ilan was the type of individual who made you feel warm when you were sad, made you feel ‘there’ when you were not and inspired others as well as myself to be yourself and strive in the future.  He was a hard worker and one of his most eminant qualities […]

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Kumzits-in-the-field

So many of my memories of Ilan surround his love for music. I remember playing and listening to him play his guitar, a beautiful black Ovation with ornate woodwork on the body. His knowledge of classic rock was encyclopedic; I recall being impressed by how many songs he could play from memory. We teased Ilan mercilessly about his belief that the Black Crowes were the greatest band ever assembled, and he, of course, would come charging to their defense every […]

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peppers

I keep on trying to come up with my favorite Ilan memory.  I don’t know if this one is actually my favorite, but it’s always the first to come to mind. 5 summers ago, 2 weeks before camp officially began, I received a call from Dan Katz, saying that he knew it was extremely last minute, but would i be interested-rather then be a Machal madricha for both months, be a TVI counselor first month, and only join the machal tzevet […]

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Random thoughts about a friend

I’m not sure if I have a specific story that sums up my friendship and bond with Ilan. Like all of us, Ilan has been dominating my thoughts the last few days and I really can’t help but smile when I think of the wonderful time we shared. I met Ilan in YU and more specifically within the confines of Macslive. It was here that Ilan and I kicked off a friendship based on similar tastes, interests, and way too […]

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Musical Memories

One of my earliest memories of Ilan was when his Shevet was on a mission to Israel and spent Shabbat in Chashmonaim. I was invited to join the Shabbaton, and on Friday night Ilan led the Tfillah. It was awesome, but what stood out for me was this tune by Yosef Karduner, “Vetaher Libenu”. For those who know this song, it is short and beautiful. For me, it was totally “out of the box”. I wasn’t expecting it. After Davening, […]

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TVI preshabbos

My Madrich from TVI 2007, Ilan Tokayer passed away suddenly last week. The news was so shocking and scary. I think we are all still stunned and in pain, whispering and asking ourselves the “whys” and the “hows” even though we will never really know the answers. I am going to miss Ilan dearly, we all are- as they said at the funeral, the world just seems a little less sweet now….  I watched and spoke to the grieving family and […]

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ILAN SHABBOS HAVDALAH CJF

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were in Sacramento for shabbos – a potential job opportunity had brought us there, and we wanted to check out the community before making any decisions.  Not knowing anyone, we were a little nervous, but figured we’d get through it.  We met Ilan within our first few minutes in shul, and realized that Ilan and my husband grew up literally around the corner from one another in Teaneck (though, being two years apart […]

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farm

  I didn’t know Ilan Tokayer very well, but nevertheless I was taken aback when I heard that he passed away in a car accident last week. Several months ago I had a itching to check out the Jewish community of Sacramento, because A I heard there was a non-chabad shul and I didn’t know it was large enough to support one and B, it would allow me to ski on Friday’s at Lake Tahoe. So one of my “fans   […]

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It is with a heavy heart that I pen this week’s newsletter.  A friend, winemaker, true oenophile and incredible individual passed away suddenly last week, way before his time.  I first met Ilan Tokayer a year ago when we both served as judges for the Jewish Week’s first Kosher Wine Guide (the 2nd was released today – see below), speed-tasting our way through almost 200 wines; an “ordeal” that was significantly eased and enhanced by Ilan’s enthusiastic personality and gregarious […]

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“…my goal, as ambitious as it may be, is to become the best damn winemaker in the world” So began the statement of purpose written by Ilan Tokayer as part of his application to the graduate program in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis.  “Ambitious” is a perfect adjective to describe Ilan, a first year graduate student who tragically died on Thursday, March 3rd.  For those of us reviewing applications, Ilan’s ambition was clear from the start.  […]

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