Community awards honor volunteers

This is the final part of a series on the Jewish agency volunteers who received 2019 Special Recognition Awards at the Jewish Community Awards celebration held May 9 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. The evening also included the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s annual meeting.

Andy Kunsberg

Andy Kunsberg, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona   

Outgoing Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona chair Shelly Silverman acknowledged Andy Kunsberg, saying, “Andy is one of those truly kind-hearted and devoted volunteers. He’d be the first to tell you that whereas some of us think about role-modeling for our children, it was his daughter, Rebecca Goodman who, while serving as leadership director for the Federation, convinced Andy to get involved. Today, Andy gives leadership in both raising funds as chair of the Men’s Division campaign — as well as spending those funds as planning and allocation committee co-chair of the Federation’s synagogue funding group. He is known to have high standards on the group and interacts with the synagogues on their programming for youth and family engagement, helping execute and report the work each accomplishes.”

Devoted to his grandchildren, he frequently visits them in Indiana and on the East Coast. In fact, he missed the awards ceremony because he was away babysitting for grandchildren.

Helen Rib

Helen Rib, Tucson Hebrew Academy

Helen Rib, or as the students call her, “Geveret  (Miss) Rib,” volunteers in THA’s first grade Hebrew class an hour each week, taking turns reading Hebrew with the students. She started volunteering more than a decade ago, after moving to Tucson from Maryland, where she taught Hebrew school for 30 years. She is the grandmother of THA Judaics teacher Emily Ellentuck and the great-grandmother of THA students Hannah and Benny Ellentuck. Rib, 90, no longer drives but arranges rides from her daughters, Handicar, and GoGoGrandparent to be at THA every week. THA Head of School Laurence Kutler presented her award.

Rib also is active in Hadassah Southern Arizona, where she was named Woman of the Year in 2018. She has served as an officer and is one of five generations of life member in her family. She is a member of Congregation Anshei Israel.

Russ Krone

Russ Krone, Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging

Co-founder of Thompson Krone law firm, Russ Krone brings much more than legal experience to his role as a Handmaker board member, said Phil Bregman, Handmaker’s board chair, in presenting the award. “A musician, electronics engineer, and businessman, he enjoys trail running, other outdoor activities, photography, making music, and spending time with his family — including his Handmaker family,” Bregman said.

On the Handmaker board for the past three years, Krone served as secretary and “has brought great judgment, reason and sound advice. He is a longtime personal friend. It has been my honor and pleasure to work along his side. The board voted to select him as this year’s nominee for the agency recognition award,” Bregman added.