2017 Family of the Year
We Salute the Behar and Marcus Families, selected as the
Committee of 100’s 2017 ‘Family of the Year’
Each year, Temple Beth Am is proud to recognize an outstanding family of volunteers. Congratulations to the Behar Family — Robert, Ana, Emma & Ruben — and the Marcus Family — Jeff, Niki, Zach & Tyler — who have been selected as recipients of the Committee of 100’s 2017 “Family of the Year” Award, for their continued participation in our Temple community and their ongoing commitment to congregational leadership.
Yasher koach to the Behar Family and the Marcus Family.
Robert Behar is serving his third year on the Temple Beth Am Board of Directors, and also is a member of the Board’s Finance Committee. Concurrently, he is a member of the Day School Board, and is serving in his fourth year as Treasurer. In addition to activity on numerous Temple Committees and Task Forces, Robert is active in the community and is a member of the Board of Directors of the South Dade Branch of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. He continues to coach both of his children in the Beth Am Basketball League, even winning a recent championship!
Ana, who has been on several Gala Committees (along with Robert), volunteers and supports PATIO, the Day School’s parent-teacher organization, in events throughout the year and has assisted room moms since her children were in the Early Childhood Center. Ana has supported JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options) promoting their events and mission, especially their annual Chanukah gifts donation. She also has repeatedly volunteered/served as host family in welcoming new member families to our congregation.
The twins — Emma and Ruben — are 5th grade students in Temple Beth Am Day School, having begun their studies here in Early Childhood. They have played basketball in the Beth Am Basketball League since 3rd grade, and have been very active members of Beth Am’s youth groups BAFTY 34 and BAFTY 56.
Ruben is the 2016–17 Day School Student Council President, having served previously as a Class Representative on the Student Council.
In December 2016, Emma spearheaded an effort to help Shoes for Streets collect gently used sneakers and blankets for the homeless for the holiday season. After loading up the items brought by fellow Day School families, Emma and Ruben, and her parents hit the streets of Miami’s inner cities to work with Shoes for Streets to deliver the sneakers and blankets to our area’s homeless.
Jeff Marcus, who has been a member of the Temple Beth Am Board of Directors for several years, in May 2017 will be installed as Vice President-Education on the Temple’s Executive Committee. A graduate of the Temple Beth Am Day School, he has served on the Day School Board for several years and has been active in the synagogue’s Tikkun Olam Committee, including Chair of the annual Mitzvah Day. As a child, Jeff played in the Beth Am Basketball League (coached by his father, Ave), and has coached his boys for many years, including a championship season. He now serves as League Commissioner overseeing all of the coaches.
Niki will participate as an Adult B’nai Mitzvah on May 13, 2017, a culmination of 16 months of study and preparation. She served on the Day School Board from 2010–14, including as Vice Chair, and was Chair of the Head of School Committee, and Founder and Chair of the Student Recruitment & Retention Committee. A recent member of the YERS Board, Niki was one of the founding members of the Gesher Committee, working to help create a bridge between the Day School and Religious School (YERS). She has been active in the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s “Everything But the Turkey” and “Queen Esther’s Ball." This spring, Niki is working with Ransom Everglades Middle School to host a Holocaust survivor and offer first-hand education about the Holocaust for the middle schoolers.
Zach, a graduate of Temple Beth Am Day School, is a 7th grader at Ransom Everglades Middle School. In 2016–17, he was selected for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s Young Lion of Judah program, to share time with a Holocaust survivor (David Mermelstein), learn his personal story and presented his narrative in January 2017 at the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach. In 2015, Zach was asked to create the yearbook dedication in memory of Steven Sotloff, which was featured in a 2015 Jewish Telegraphic Agency article about Steven — "Honoring slain journalist Steven Sotloff in his Florida hometown." In 2015, he was invited to found the Miami component of Dunks for Diabetes (read more below). A finalist at the 2017 South Florida Winter History Bee and Bowl, Zach will represent Ransom Everglades on their team for the National History Bee and Bowl in Atlanta in summer 2017. While a student here, he played keyboard for Temple Beth Am Youth Band, and currently plays trumpet in the Ransom Band.
Tyler is currently in 3rd grade at Temple Beth Am Day School. He was recently selected as the Day School’s 3rd grade recipient of the Independent Schools of South Florida “Star Award,” and will be honored at a luncheon in Miami in April as an exemplary student. In 2015, Tyler founded “The Bottle Cap Project” at Beth Am Day School to help protect the environment through recycling efforts. Like his brother, he is musical and studies Suzuki piano.
The Marcus Family is serving as Chairs of the 3rd annual Dunks for Diabetes 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on Sunday April 23, 2017, at Temple Beth Am. This annual youth charity basketball tournament is part of a national effort to raise community awareness and funds in the fight against diabetes.
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