It is with great pleasure that I announce, on behalf of the AOH executive committee, our Ambassadors of Humanity for 2013!
For Israel - Professor Avi Seidman. Dr. Seidman, a professor at the University of Rochester Simon School, has quietly gone about his business in supporting Israel. He promotes and lobbies for our Jewish homeland, invests in it and donates to it; however, probably his most lasting gift is by sponsoring young Israeli medical students to come to the US and learn at Strong Memorial Hospital. His actions provide many doctors and countless Israeli patients with medical expertise and quality care that is so worthy of this honor. He has a great love for Israel and it is clear he is a real “doer” for his native land. We are delighted to present him with this award.
For Community - Dave Rogachefsky. If you don’t know Dave, well then you must have just moved here! Dave has taught physical education and sports to two generations of children in Rochester, at Hillel Community Day School and the JCC. The impact he has had on literally thousands of kids is indescribable. But Dave goes even further. He attends many of his students’ sporting events outside of the J and Hillel. He keeps in contact with them and so many have learned life lessons from this remarkable man. If you are between the ages of six and forty-four and attended Hillel School or went to the JCC, then you absolutely have to know Dave Rogachefsky! It is really our honor to bestow this award on him and to offer our thanks.
For Congregation Beth Sholom - Steve Schwartz. There is nothing Steve wouldn’t do for his shule. He never says “no”. It’s not in his vocabulary. Need a ride to Minyan? Steve’s your man. Help with a Men’s Club event? Call Steve. Need to make sure the Shabbos service will function without the Kilimnicks in town? He’s the guy! But Steve also serves as one of our Gabbaim, and does it with great enthusiasm. And like the ad says, “But that’s not all!” Steve has, for more than a dozen years now, served as our shule’s unofficial teacher of Bar and Bat Mitzvah preparatory instruction. He has made a life long impact, not only on our children and families for their special day; he has also taught numerous children to be baal kriya for life. This is a mitzvah so huge it at a minimum makes him worthy of this award.
Congratulations to all these deserving honorees. The Ambassadors of Humanity Awards dinner will take place at Congregation Beth Sholom on Sunday, November 3rd, 2013. Be there to support all these wonderful and generous people!
It has truly been my honor to have served as Congregation Beth Sholom’s President these past four plus years. Together we have turned the shule around and made it the place to come for services, socializing and simchas! We have erased a six figure deficit, created a growing endowment, increased membership (especially young membership!), strengthened our minyan and made this a spiritually nurturing and friendship making place to be. We have created a worthy community fund raiser in the Ambassadors of Humanity and also begun real heimishe events like our Shabbos Dinners Around the World. Our Adult Education events have also garnered great interest and we have grown our youth programs as well. I hope I haven’t damaged feelings along the way, but I realize that that is the reality of taking a leadership position. If I have truly offended anyone, I wish to offer a heartfelt apology and want you all to know that whatever I did, I did to hopefully strengthen and promote our wonderful shule.
Thank you for providing me with this honor. I wish my very worthy successor, Professor Jonathan Weissman all the best and hatzlacha. He will do a fabulous job and I know will take Congregation Beth Sholom to the next level.
Have a great summer, and GO REDS!
~ Hon. Matthew Rosenbaum, President