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Honorees

Abigail Brodsky
College of Staten Island Hillel

Abby Brodsky is a rising junior at Wagner College, pursuing a B.S./M.S. in the Physician Assistant program. She excels as a lead student ambassador in the admissions office, guiding prospective students and families through the college experience. An active and engaged member of Hillel at Staten Island, Abby's passion for Judaism, Israel, and community drives her involvement and candidacy for a position on the Hillel board. Her dedication to fostering connection, understanding, and identity among her peers is evident in all she does. Abby's thoughtful and approachable nature, coupled with her academic excellence and commitment to her faith, make her a valuable asset to the Wagner community and Hillel.


Gail Fishbein
Arden Heights Boulevard Jewish Center

Gail Fishbein is an active member of Arden Heights Blvd. Jewish Center/CAI. She is on the Board as well as serving on the Sisterhood and Fundraising Committees. Gail enjoys helping out at any of the multiple events that take place at Arden Heights. Whether it’s shopping for the event or setting up, volunteering is her thing. She also attends services regularly on Fridays and Saturdays to help make a minyan. 
 
Gail is a retired dental hygienist who worked in both the public & private sector for over 40 years. She’s also a cancer survivor who has participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Staten Island for the past three years. On a personal note, Gail is the proud mother of three children: Adam, Eric, and Ellen, as well as four grandchildren: Hailey, Eli, Hannah, and Alex. When she’s not at Arden Heights, she loves spending time with her family.


Lucy and Ira Kamil
JCC of Staten Island

Both Lucy and Ira recently retired from their careers, but definitely not from the J! Their commitment to working and volunteering has not waned, but rather expanded!

Lucy & Ira Kamil have been married for 35 years. They have three amazing boys, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and an adorable granddaughter. Lucy had been a special education teacher for 38 years in the New York City DOE. Ira worked on Wall Street for 30 years, followed by 10 years in car sales. Even with their busy schedules, Lucy and Ira always made sure that giving back to the JCC was a priority. They instilled this message in their beautiful family.

Lucy & Ira joined the JCC when their oldest son, Jason, attended mommy and me with his grandma. He then went to Arts & Rhythm, followed by nursery school, Pre-K, sports, and camp. Brandon and Jordan followed Jason, and the Kamil family was committed. Little did they know that their children’s involvement in the JCC would lead to a whole new world filled with volunteering and socializing with people who have become lifelong friends for them and their children.

Ira began coaching in the JCC’s intramural basketball program in 1995, which led to coaching their boys’ JCC team throughout their school years in CYO. When the Kamil boys stopped playing, Ira continued to coach JCC teams in CYO, even winning the first CYO Championship with his HS team!

While Ira was coaching, Lucy began volunteering with the Sports & Rec Department, doing whatever needed to be done to help improve the program. That led to Lucy’s first job at the JCC. Lucy continued working in Sports & Rec and eventually ended up working with Glenn & Stephanie as the director of K’Ton Ton, the JCC’s youngest division at our Day Camp. Lucy’s leadership continues to be evident and exemplary, and she is now the inclusion director — while simultaneously working in our Youth Department and in Family Programming.

Throughout their span at the JCC, Lucy & Ira continued to give back to the community. Ira served on the JCC Board of Directors for over a decade.
 
In 2000 the Kamil family hosted two participants from the first-ever Staten Island JCC Maccabi Games.

Both are long time volunteers for the Unity Games, and Lucy serves on their Board.

Lucy was the Co-Director of Camp Good Grief, which was a camp for children who experienced the loss of a family member.

Lucy and Ira continue to support a myriad of programs at the JCC. They attend and serve on planning and fundraising committees including the Las Vegas Night, the JCC Annual Golf & Tennis Classics, Sunrise Walks, and many other special events. Lucy and Ira are also contributors to our Capital Campaign, which was used for the opening of the Bernikow building.

The JCC is grateful for Ira and Lucy’s decades of contributions to the JCC and to the community at large.

We are so proud that they accepted to be our honorees at this year’s Community Breakfast.


Arleen Klapper
Congregation B'nai Jeshurun

Arleen Klapper and her family have been members of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun for the past 53 years. Arleen worked for many years with her sister, Iris Sweig, when Iris was president of the CBJ Sisterhood. Arleen eventually took over as Sisterhood president when Iris retired.

Arleen has also spent many years serving on the CBJ Board of Directors. Each of the many projects the Board and Sisterhood have had on their agendas has been extremely important to Arleen. The project nearest and dearest to her heart, however, has been the Iris Sweig Memorial Garden. The garden is located on the grounds of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and is the Sisterhood’s tribute to Arleen’s beloved older sister.

Arleen graduated from the College of Staten Island with a bachelor’s in psychology. She went on to attend Rutgers University in New Jersey, where she earned a Master of Social Work degree. She has worked diligently to build up and maintain her private psychotherapy practice since then.

Arleen and her husband, Arthur, were married for 43 years, when Arthur sadly passed away all too soon in November of 2003. Arthur was also extremely devoted to Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and served several terms as Synagogue president.

Together Arleen and Arthur raised three children — Michele, Andrew, and Judith — instilling in all three the importance of devotion to, and hard work for their beloved shul. These values have now been passed down to their two grandchildren, Jacob and Joshua.

Arleen would like it to be known that she is acutely aware of the following three facts:
(1) Every goal achieved and mission accomplished could not and would not have been realized without the tireless effort of so many congregants, serving on endless committees over so many decades.

(2) The dedication to Congregation B’nai Jeshurun shown by hundreds of people belonging to this wonderful synagogue has never ceased to amaze her and bring her great joy.

(3) She is tremendously grateful for the many friends her work for the shul has enabled her to make over the years.


Dovid Newman
Young Israel of Staten Island

Dovid Newman was born and raised in Staten Island and is the youngest of three children to Jack and Blossom Newman. He went to RJJ in Staten Island and then RTMA/JEC in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for high school. Post-high school, Dovid joined Reishit Yerushalayim in Bet Shemesh, Israel, under the tutelage of Rabbi Marcus and his sons, who serve as the roshei hayeshiva, and then went to the Mir Yeshiva in Yerushalayim for the last half of shana bet. After learning in Israel, he joined Touro college while studying in Yeshiva Shor Yashuv in Far Rockaway and graduated with a B.S. in Marketing. In 2010, Dovid met his wife Theresa, who is from Boulder, Colorado, and they married in 2014 before settling in Staten Island. They now have three children, Lilyrose, Roey, and Adi, who are all enrolled in RJJ as well. Dovid serves as the gabbai in Young Israel of Staten island and has been working in the expediting firm JM Zoning for the last 10 years. Dovid and Theresa are proud to be members of a growing community in the shul and on the island and he’s exceptionally honored to be a recipient of this gracious award.


Scott Novick
Michael Novick (posthumously)
Temple Emanu-El


Sarah and Bryan Sarfati
Temple Israel Reform Congregation of Staten Island

Bryan and Sarah Sarfati have been members of Temple Israel Reform Congregation of Staten Island for eight years. They found Temple Israel in their search to find a place to have the baby naming of their first daughter, and they wound up finding a community that has become an integral part of their relationship with the Jewish community. One that is now a building block in the foundation of their Jewish faith and family.

Bryan’s a CPA and has been instrumental in helping to build a strong financial foundation for the administrative aspect of the Temple. Sarah has been a licensed massage therapist for 12 years and owns her own practice on Staten Island. She’s been involved in the Parent’s Committee for the religious school and the Membership Committee, is a member of Sisterhood, and is currently on the Board of Trustees. 


Michael Schoen
Congregation Ohel Abraham

Michael Schoen has been an integral part of our temple. Michael takes care of the building as well as ensures the building is clean following a snowfall or party. He sets up the sanctuary for High Holidays without being asked. Michael will go shopping to pick up anything the temple needs. He puts up our Sukkah (nearly by himself) every year. His love for our temple runs deep. Michael grew up in Luna Park with his three siblings, parents, aunt, and grandparents. His grandfather was a baker and shared his love for home baked goods with Michael. This in turn spills over into everything Michael does for our congregation. Michael has been married to his wife Lynn for 27 years and has two sons whom he is very proud of.  


TBA
Congregation B'nai Israel


TBA
Wagner College Holocaust Center


Yvette Tomasetti
Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island

Leadership

Linda Brill, Scott Maurer, Mendy Mirocznik, Susan Sappin

 



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