Matthew Lazar and Joshua M. Greene to receive Cohon Memorial Foundation Awards at Beit Simcha March 4

Joshua M. Greene (left), Matthew Lazar (right)

The Rabbi Samuel S. and A. Irma Cohon Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce its 2021 Award Presentation evening on Friday March 4th, 2022, at Congregation Beit Simcha in Tucson, Arizona. Award winners Joshua M. Greene and Matthew Lazar will each receive their 2021 award for outstanding service to Klal Yisrael, the entire Jewish people.

The evening begins at 5:00 pm with a Kabbalat Shabbat Sponsors’ Dinner with the winners. A book-signing of Joshua M. Greene’s award-winning book, Unstoppable will be included for sponsors. The official presentation by the Foundation’s President, Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, and Vice-President Rabbi Baruch J. Cohon, will take place during Shabbat evening services at Congregation Beit Simcha, which begin at 6:30pm. Matthew Lazar will participate in services by conducting the entire congregation in song.

Matthew Lazar is receiving the 2021 Cohon Award for his outstanding work in the field of Creative Arts. The founder and director of the Zamir Choral Foundation, which has created excellent Jewish choral groups of all ages all around the world, and an exemplary producer, conductor, recording artist and arranger of Jewish choral and cantorial music, Lazar has spurred the enthusiasm for, and development of, Jewish musical excellence in an enduring way throughout his career. The Zamir Choral Foundation, created by Lazar, promotes choral music as a vehicle to inspire Jewish life, literacy, community and connection to Israel. Zamir is guided by an expansive vision of vibrant Jewish identity across the generational, denominational, and political continuum through the arts. Zamir Choral Foundation groups in America, Israel and South America in performance and through their many recordings testify to Lazar’s influence on Jewish music today and tomorrow. Among his greatest achievements are creating the annual American Jewish Choral Festival, and HaZamir, the International Jewish Teen Choir.

Joshua M. Greene is the remarkable author of “Unstoppable”, the inspirational award-winning biography of Siggi Wilzig, who emerged from the Auschwitz death camp to surmount poverty, discrimination, and countless other challenges. Wilzig achieved incredible prosperity for his companies and power in his career, and he used his success to help his people. Remarkably, Siggi Wilzig, who survived the ultimate brutality of the Shoah, reached the top in particularly non-Jewish industries, including oil and banking, and preserved his remarkable ebullient spirit throughout his life. Greene’s magnificently written book documents in dramatic detail how one Jew triumphed over the Holocaust. Greene, who has written extensively on the Holocaust in earlier non-fiction works for both adults and children, will receive the Cohon Memorial Foundation Award in the field of Education and Information.

Congregation Beit Simcha is located at 2270 W. Ina Road, Tucson, Arizona. Register to attend the sponsor’s dinner with the award winners. The dinner menu will include kosher brisket with a vegetarian option.

The Shabbat service and the award ceremony are open to all attendees at Beit Simcha. The ceremony will also be broadcast live and made available on

The Rabbi Samuel S. and A. Irma Cohon Memorial Foundation gives annual awards ranging from $15,000-$50,000 each to extraordinary people who have done important work benefitting Klal Yisrael, the entirety of the Jewish people. These awards are given only to individuals, not organizations. Established by Rabbi Baruch J. Cohon and his wife, the late Claire S. Cohon, zt”l, and their children in memory of Rabbi Baruch Cohon’s father and mother, important scholars and teachers of Judaism, the Cohon Awards have provided these annual awards since 2003. For more information, about the awards, go to