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Talmud Torah Award ó 2008

Award Recipient — Robyn C. Fisher

 We are delighted to recognize Robyn C. Fisher as the recipient of the 10th annual Talmud Torah Award. Read Robyn's Dvar Torah.

An active member of Temple Beth Am for nearly 20 years, Robyn since 2002 has helped lead Saturday morning Minyan services, as well as conducted numerous life-cycle events for our congregation.

Robyn’s enduring pursuit of Jewish education led her in 2005 to earn Para-Rabbinic certification from the Hebrew Union College and become a Sh’liach K’hilah. As the Rabbinic Director at the University of Miami Hillel, she works closely with Jewish college students and oversees holiday observances and Jewish programming at Hillel.

In 1996, Robyn received the prestigious Stanley C. Myers Presidents’ Leadership Award, named for Federation’s Founding President and one of the highest honors given in Miami’s Jewish community. Stanley C. Myers was the late father of congregant Judy Gilbert-Gould.

During 2005–2006, Robyn and her husband, Randy, and Karen & Alan Serure co-chaired Temple Beth Am’s Living Torah Project.

Robyn has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation since 1992, where she also is Associate Secretary and is completing a second year as President of the Women’s Department.

In March 2008, Robyn and congregant Samuel Dubbin were honored as members of Queen Esther’s Court for the Jewish Museum of Florida’s 2008 Gala Purim Ball. Queen Esther’s Court honors men and women for their exceptional leadership and commitment to Florida’s Jewish community, and are selected by a statewide panel of judges from a distinguished group of individuals nominated from around Florida.

  Past Recipients of the Talmud Torah Award

2007        Richard Hoffman
2006        Mark Oren
2005        David Schwadron
                 (Special Award to Rabbi Morris Kipper z"l)
2004        Steve Simon
2003        Paul Distenfeld and Anabela Moskovitz
2002        Judith Bittel
2001        Edward Schwartz
2000        Peter Sobel
1999        Michael Margulies

The Talmud Torah Award

History and Purpose
During the late 1990s, our clergy determined that the Temple Beth Am community should illustrate its commitment to Jewish adult learning by recognizing and honoring those congregants who are committed to adult learning.  Congregants who contribute to the Temple in other ways — financially or volunteering time — already receive formal awards, such as The Harry Gunther Service Award. There was a consensus that devotion to adult Jewish learning also was a contribution to Temple life equally worthy of formal recognition. An award for Jewish learning also would serve to publicize Beth Am’s adult education programs and encourage participation in them.

With the approval of the Adult Education Committee, Temple Beth Am in 1999 instituted the Talmud Torah Award to honor congregants who contribute to the Temple by engaging thoughtfully in its adult education programs.

Nature of the Award

Recipients receive three forms of recognition.
• An article in the Commentator and on our Website provides the congregation with the winner’s biographical sketch and photograph.
• A plaque on the wall of the sanctuary lobby records the names of the recipients.
• And, most importantly, the recipient receives recognition at a Friday night service in the Spring, and then delivers a D’var Torah on the weekly torah portion.

Selection Process and Criteria

The award is presented to a congregant who has demonstrated superior commitment to adult Jewish education in general, and to the Temple’s adult education programming in particular. The award may also be given to related congregants to honor their joint participation. Recipients should demonstrate both breadth of commitment by participating in a variety of activities, and depth of commitment through consistent and thoughtful participation. Ordinarily, recipients should be members of the congregation not associated with the clergy, although an exception was made in 2005 when a special award was presented to Rabbi Morris Kipper (z"l).

A subcommittee of the Adult Education Committee selects the recipient, based on recommendations from the Clergy, participants in Temple adult educational programming and other interested members of the Temple community. Prior recipients are included in the selection subcommittee.

— Ed Schwartz

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