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Talmud Torah Award ó 2012

Award Recipient — Edith Einspruch

Congratulations to Edith Einspruch, recipient of the 14th annual Talmud Torah Award, honoring a congregant who has contributed significantly to the Temple by engaging thoughtfully in our adult education programs. Read Edith's Dvar Torah

Edith and her husband, Norman, moved to Coral Gables from Dallas, Texas in 1977 and became members of Temple Beth Am shortly thereafter. In Dallas, they were founders of Temple Shalom, where Edith served as Trustee and Norman served as President. Their youngest son, Franklin, prepared for his Bar Mitzvah and was confirmed at Temple Beth Am Religious School. Their two older sons, Eric and Andrew, already were college students at the time of the move to Florida.

After her retirement as a physical therapist, hospital rehabilitation administrator and professor, Edith resumed her Jewish education with great vigor starting with Dr. Lenore Kipper's Hebrew from Scratch class, which led to her becoming an adult Bat Mitzvah.

Edith currently serves the temple as a member of the Board of Directors, the Executive Board, Vice President for Programming and the Library, and as founding Chairman of Members to Members.

Her community activities include the Brandeis National Committee, where she has served as Miami-Dade Co-President; Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, where she leads weekly walking tours, and Tropical Audubon Society. Edith is a highly accomplished amateur ornithologist and a less accomplished pianist.

Edith says that attending Saturday morning Torah Study in the presence of Rabbi Terry Bookman's inspired teaching is the high point of her week and is the source of great personal enrichment.

Past Recipients of the Talmud Torah Award

2011        Marty & Shirley Levinson
2010        George Bosin (z"l) and Robert Sandler (z"l)
2009        Susan Henkin
Robyn C. Fisher
2007        Richard W. 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

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 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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