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Kudos: Honorees just the same

Community Dinners Postponed — We Mark The Honorees Here

The coronavirus outbreak and the resulting cancellation of, well, just about everything came just as the Denver Jewish community’s annual dinner season was about to hit a crescendo. The cancellation or postponement of these time-honored traditions resulted in planning being for naught, and lost money spent on invitations, postage and deposits. But even more, these cancellations or postponements are heartbreaking on a human level. We do not want these lost opportunities to be wholly lost. We publicly thank and celebrate the honorees of these events here.

In the place of plaques, speeches and videos, we salute these community leaders, hoping that it provides some consolation for missing out on the thrill of supporting a treasured cause and of being publicly honored in the presence of family, friends and community members.

The JCRC Leadership Luncheon, scheduled for March 12, would have honored attorney and political activist Norm Brownstein, whose legendary connections in the world of politics have resulted in beneficial legislation on the state and federal levels. To take only one recent example, we note Brownstein’s key role in making it possible to pursue cases of anti-Semitism on campus under federal law.

DAT Minyan planned to fete Dr. Marc and Melanie Avner on March 15 for their boundless involvement in that shul as well as many organizations around the community, not the least of which is the Mizel Institute.

Veteran teacher Jerry Rotenberg, and husband and wife team Drs. Stuart Senkfor and Leslie Stewart were to be honored by Denver Jewish Day School, March 18. Rotenberg has educated generations of young people, going back to his early days at Beth Joseph. Drs. Senkfor and Stewart have lent their good sense and intelligence to serve many organizations, including DJDS, not to mention — their patients.

BMH-BJ was set to pay tribute to Andrea Hyatt on March 22 for her really warm and consistent love of the Jewish people, and to longtime, dedicated preschool teachers Tracie Steinberg and Lana Sukhareva, who have instilled a love of learning in the little ones for 33 and 26 years, respectively. That’s 59 years!. That’s a lot of dedication.

Kerry and Mindy Berman were to receive public accolades at the Denver Community Kollel’s annual event on March 24. Kerry Berman has studied Torah and grown with Kollel fellows for many years, and Mindy is a devoted community volunteer in the southeast community.

Shalom Park anticipated honoring James L. Kurtz-Phelan on May 4 for his legal acumen, which he has lent to the Shalom Park board and other organizations, such as the ADL, to help them navigate through the twists and turns of growth and service. Shalom Park could wrap into its honor of Kurtz-Phelan another title: mensch.

Max and Elaine Appel were to be the guests of honor at Temple Sinai’s annual event, May 9. Through hard work and brilliant business maneuvers, this humble couple found themselves in a position to do much good for Temple Sinai and many other groups, such as JFS.

Along with the opening of the Colorado Rockies’ season, its owner and CEO Richard L. Monfort’s time in the spotlight at the Mizel Institute’s annual dinner, planned for May 20, will have to wait. That doesn’t mean that we cannot acknowledge the man whose team brings such enjoyment and excitement to tens of thousands — actually, probably hundreds of thousands — of Coloradans.

Aish of the Rockies was set to honor its founders Rabbi Yaakov and Chaya Meyer on the 25th anniversary of the outreach organization and synagogue, with a gala May 26. Although the celebration is postponed, Rabbi and Mrs. Meyer are always on the receiving end of respect for their roles in creating, maintaining and growing the Southeast Denver Jewish community — and beyond.

Many people will miss the opportunity to dress up and commune with their friends and associates in the community this spring, all while honoring people they know or admire, but the dedication and talents of these honorees remains in place. They are not fogotten. We are thankful that we can extend our salute and admiration to them.

Copyright © 2020 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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