Federation plans online annual meeting and community awards celebration

James Wezelman, left, and Liz Kanter Groskind are the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona's Man and Woman of the Year

The second annual combined Jewish Community Awards Celebration and Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Annual Meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 5-6:30 p.m. A Zoom invitation will be issued closer to the date.

The event will include special recognition awards honoring lay or professional leaders from each of the Federation’s beneficiary and affiliated agencies. The Federation will install its 2020-21 officers and directors.

The Federation’s Man and Woman of the Year, James Wezelman and Liz Kanter Groskind, will be among the evening’s honorees.

Wezelman served as treasurer of the JFSA board and chair of its budget and finance committee for five years. He also served on the board of the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation, where he helped structure the financing for its first building and served as treasurer during the construction of the current building. He chaired the steering committee of the Federation’s Real Estate and Allied Professionals affinity group and served on the steering committee of its Cardozo affinity group. He is a member of the Next Generation Men’s Group. He currently serves on the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona’s investment committee and on the finance transition committee for Congregation Or Chadash and Temple Emanu-El as they explore creating a combined synagogue.

“Jim is a ‘behind-the-scenes’ kind of a guy — shunning the limelight, he instead takes on positions of tremendous responsibility, which he performs with the upmosIsaat thoughtfulness, integrity and good humor,” says JFSA Board Chair Deborah Oseran.

Kanter Groskind has served on the Federation’s board and its strategic planning and planning and allocations committees, as well as the Tucson Jewish Community Center special needs task force. For many years she was president of the board of the B’nai B’rith Gerd and Inge Strauss Manor on Pantano. Kanter Groskind is currently national board chair for MAZON, a Jewish Response to Hunger.

“Liz has amazing breadth and depth of vision:  she can see both what needs to be done and how to do it and always in an inclusive and respectful manner — and she has the most joyous laugh! It is said that if you want something done well, ask a busy person — and that person is Liz!” Oseran says.

The JFSA Gary I. Sarver Young Man and Young Woman of the Year Awards will be presented to Isaac Rothschild and Caron Mitchell.

Phyllis Gold, who retired this spring after serving for five years as director of the Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life, will be honored as the Ben & Betty Brook Community Professional of the Year.

Gianna Lampert will receive the Rabbi Arthur R. Oleisky Teen Recognition Award.

The beneficiary and affiliated agency special recognition awards are as follows: Aaron Rottenstein, Jewish Community Foundation; Morgan Pfau, Jewish Family & Children’s Services; State Rep. Alma Hernandez, JFSA; Josephine Harris, Jewish History Museum; Eric Spitzer, Tucson Hebrew Academy; Randy Emerson, Tucson J; and Suzanne Baron Helming, University of Arizona Hillel Foundation.

The JFSA board governance committee has recommended the following slate of officers for the 2020-21 program year: Deborah Oseran, chair of the board; Jeff Artzi, vice chair; Bruce Ash, vice chair and incoming Campaign co-chair; Ben Silverman, treasurer/secretary; Michael Shiner, assistant treasurer/secretary; and Shelly Silverman, immediate past chair.

New to the board by virtue of their positions are Anne Hameroff, Jewish Community Foundation chair; Jane Myerson, Northwest advisory committee chair; and Rabbi Thomas Louchheim and Phil Pepper, Jewish Community Roundtable co-chairs. Continuing are Madeline Friedman, Women’s Philanthropy chair, and Karen Katz, incoming Campaign co-chair. Returning members are Jennifer Bell, Alex Dery-Chaffin, Avi Erbst, Adam Goldstein, David Hameroff, Liz Kanter Groskind, Helaine Levy, Jeremy Sharpe, and Scott Sheftel.

Any 10 members may make additional nominations by delivering a signed written nomination to the Federation office with an acceptance letter signed by the nominee at least 20 days before the annual meeting.  Any additional nominees will be presented together with the nominees selected by the board governance committee at the annual meeting of members.

For more information, call 577-9393.