The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester presented awards at their combined agency annual meeting held June 5 at the Louis S. Wolk JCC of Greater Rochester.
Young Leadership Awards are awards for exemplary volunteerism presented to a husband and wife duo this year. Rachel Farkas was presented with the federation’s 2019 Raye K. Aiole Young Leadership Award. Farkas is assistant professor of breast surgical oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Among other volunteer roles, she is a founding member of the federation’s Maimonides Society. She co-chaired the federation’s 2017 Campaign opening event and is current Vice-Chair of the “Every Voice Counts” Jewish Rochester Regional Survey. Farkas is a frequently invited speaker in the Jewish community on breast cancer
surveillance, prevention, and treatment. She is completing a term on the federation board.
Jacob Moalem received the 2019 Benjamin Goldstein Young Leadership Award. Moalem is associate professor of Endocrine Surgical Oncology, as well as director of surgical quality and safety, at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is vice chair of the “Every Voice Counts” Jewish Rochester Regional Survey, a founding member of the federation’s Maimonides Society and co-chaired the federation’s 2017 Opening Event. Moalem initiated and coordinated the “Stop the Bleed” training program to educate staff and volunteers at Jewish community institutions, preparing them for potentially life-threatening crises. “Stop the Bleed” was the recipient of the 2018 Elmer Louis Award. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Louis S. Wolk JCC of Greater Rochester and Hillel Community Day School.
Also at the annual meeting, the 2019 Jan Katz Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education was presented to Deborah Rothman. Rothman teaches Yiddish language, literature and culture at the Louis S. Wolk JCC of Greater Rochester. She has succeeded in surmounting a challenge: how to teach a post-vernacular language to adults. Developing her own materials, and as a native Yiddish speaker, she has worked with students on many different levels helping them to read whole stories and even novellas in Yiddish. Furthermore, she is connecting Yiddish to broader JCC programming and to the CenterStage Theatre, working as both a Yiddish coach and dramaturg for the plays, “Indecent” and “God of Vengeance.”
The federation’s Elmer Louis Award honors outstanding programming in the Rochester Jewish community. This year’s recipient was the Life and Legacy program. The Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester was selected by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation as one of only nine new organizations to participate in this national Jewish legacy giving program.
The initial goal for Jewish Rochester was to gather 200 commitments to participate in Life and Legacy in a two year time period. The community in fact collected 400 commitments, twice the original goal. These commitments mean that an estimated $9 million will help grow the future of the Rochester Jewish community.
Visit JewishRochester.org for more information.