JFSA to hold ‘Platinum Edition’ of annual awards celebration

Shelly Silverman (left) and Stuart Shatken are the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona's Woman and Man of the Year

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona will launch a year of 70th anniversary celebrations at its annual meeting and awards celebration on Wednesday, May 11. The “Feddys Platinum Edition” event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.

Heading the list of those who will receive Feddys — metal and glass awards custom designed by local artist Lynne Rae Lowe — are Shelly Silverman as Woman of the Year and Stuart Shatken as Man of the Year.

“Organizations like ours are successful when they have champions and Shelly has been our ultimate champion,” says Stuart Mellan, JFSA president and CEO. “She’s eloquently and passionately made the case for Federation and has truly brought dozens if not hundreds of community members to rally behind the Federation and its campaign,” which funds social service and educational programs in Southern Arizona and around the world, with some 80 percent of the funds distributed locally.

“Stuart [Shatken] is one of those people who jumped into our community with both feet as soon as he arrived in Tucson. From his film festival leadership at the JCC to his Super Sunday co-chairmanship with his dynamic wife and partner, Andy, the trajectory of his engagement has only deepened over time. This year he coupled his chairmanship of the Jewish Community Foundation with tireless devotion to the oversight of the Jewish History Museum construction project, truly a remarkable accomplishment for our community, “ says Mellan.

Sarah Singer and Michael Shiner will receive the Gary I. Sarver Young Woman and Young Man of the Year Awards, which include stipends to be applied toward an Israel mission or attendance at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

Meritorious service awards will be presented to Hedy Feuer, Tracy Jeck, Steve Caine, Avi Erbst and Ellen Freeman.

Special recognition awards will go to Gloria and Mo Goldman, recognizing their legal expertise in immigration and refugee work, and the Homer Davis Team, honoring their commitment to “The Homer Davis Project: Making a Difference Every Day,” which provides weekend food packs and other support for students in need at Homer Davis Elementary School.

Scott Zorn is the Ben & Betty Brook Community Professional of the Year.

The Rabbi Arthur R. Oleisky Teen Recognition Award will go to Nathan Rix.

The Ben and Sally Smith Memorial College Youth Award, determined by a committee of the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation, will be presented to Gavriela Fine.

Innovative Jewish Education Awards will go to the Tucson J’s J-Care performing arts club and the Jewish Learning Institute of Chabad of Oro Valley.

The Meyer & Libby Marmis Humanitarian Award winner is Friends In Deed, a nonprofit organization based in Green Valley since 1971.

The event will also honor Silverman as the outgoing chair of the Federation’s annual campaign and Marcia Abelson as outgoing Women’s Philanthropy campaign chair.

The 70th anniversary of the Federation is a chance to reflect on all that has been accomplished over the last seven decades – and to look forward to an equally successful future, says Mellan.

“We’ve reached out to our past chairs to help us highlight the past and plan what we hope will be a full year of celebration. To underscore the essence of our mission we are planning for an ambitious community mitzvah project” that will benefit the broader Tucson community, he adds.

The annual meeting and awards ceremony also will include the election and installation of the Federation’s 2016-17 board of directors.

Desserts prepared by visiting celebrity chefs from Israel will be served. The cost of the event is $5 per person. The co-chairs of this year’s annual meeting and awards celebration are Dana Goldstein and Andrew Isaac; Terry Perl served as chair of the awards committee. RSVP at jfsa.org. For more information, call 577-9393.