By Stephanie Smartschan
JFLV Director of Marketing
It is a tradition at the Jewish Federation that the George Feldman Achievement Award for Young Leadership be presented by the previous year’s recipient.
This year’s presentation was particularly heartfelt, as the torch was passed from husband to wife.
Frank Tamarkin quickly became emotional as he talked about his wife Tama’s commitment to the community and their family, including their three children. Then Tama humbly accepted the award, and shared the story that brought her to where she is today.
“I grew up in a close-knit and traditional Jewish family,” Tama said. “My parents and extended family embodied Jewish values and Jewish life. They were invested in their kids’ successes. They were deeply engaged in their local community in everything from synagogue life, day school involvement and JCC and Federation leadership. My parents … they led by example, and every ounce of commitment that I have can be tied directly to them.”
Four other special awards were presented at the Federation’s Annual Meeting on June 16: Sheila Berg and Harvey Hakim received the Pomerantz Awards for Campaign Excellence and Taffi Ney received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her 40-year career, including 28 years at Federation.
Jaccii Farris, a reporter for WFMZ-TV and founder and president of Julian Farris Films, received the Mortimer S. Schiff Award for Prejudice Reduction for her documentary about a local Holocaust survivor.
Farris is now working to bring “Letters to Frieda,” along with an associated curriculum, into the classroom.
“As powerful as the film may be, Julian Farris Films wants to take it to the next level, to make sure that every Pennsylvania middle school and high school student has access to the first-hand account of a last-generation member of the Holocaust survivors,” Farris said upon receiving the award. “It’s a big task, but it’s one that we’ve taken on and we’re very proud to do so."
In addition to the awards, several outgoing leaders were honored for their service: Frank Tamarkin, Maimonides Society president; Carol Wilson, Women’s Division president; Rance Block, Allocations Committee chair; and Lisa Block, Danny Cohen, Jay Fisher, Stewart Furmansky and Ryan Tenzer for their service on the Federation board. Volunteer Bella Alkasov was also honored for her work in the Federation office.
Mark H. Scoblionko was elected to a second term as president of the Jewish Federation. Karen Cooper, Carol Bub Fromer, Sandra Goldfarb, Nan Ronis, Nicole Rosenthal and Robert Wilson were elected vice presidents, Lawrence Center as secretary and Iris Epstein as treasurer.
The evening capped off with a special presentation to honor members of the Federation’s new Silver Circle Society – those who have given for 25 years or more. Each member received a pin and was asked to stand and be recognized.