Congratulations to our Howard Ilson Award Recipients



Ilson Award Presentation

2023-24 has been quite the year for so many reasons, and it’s no different for determining the Howard Ilson Award recipient. The award has been presented each year to someone who has provided a lengthy and distinguished array of contributions to Temple Emanu-El.

This year, the Ilson Committee had a lengthy discussion, as we often do, about the merits of all the candidates, and in particular two couples. This year, after an hour of discussion and debate, the Ilson Award committee has selected Jennifer and Scott AND Erica and Rich as co-recipients. To some of you this may appear to be a very odd choice, since at no time in the almost 40 years we’ve been selecting worthy recipients, has there ever been any choice greater than two individuals, which hasn’t happened that often. On a few occasions, one married couple has received the award. But this year, along with many deserving individuals, it was a challenging choice. The Temple is truly blessed with a number of people who deserve to be recognized, and the committee is sure that in the coming years, the individuals who received several nominations will be strongly considered.

Both arrived as new members around the same time. All four of them, in different but extremely helpful ways, have demonstrated leadership and a spirit of community that has consistently served out temple over many years. When it came down to making a decision, we just couldn’t separate them and state that one couple was clearly more committed and dedicated to the temple.  They both are, and so we honored them both!

The committee is confident that most of you know them well, and that you will come out on Friday night, May 10 at a special Shabbat service to congratulate them on this wonderful occasion.

Finally, after more than two decades, I am “retiring” as the coordinator of this committee after taking over for Barry Feldman many years ago. Barry will remain on the committee, along with Karen Rosenberg and Armi Rowe. In addition to me, Judy Mann, Joanna Lazarus and Gail Weber are also retiring. Thanks ladies! Sean Bendick has agreed to take my place, and I’m sure Armi, Barry and Karen will come up with additional names of recent recipients who will fill the seats of the other retirees.

It’s been a joy for all of us to be part of this wonderful Temple process and event. I wish the committee members, and the future recipients, all the joy, spirit of voluntarism, and spirituality that the temple can produce.

Scott Wolfe