JTS to Honor Community Leaders at New Jersey Regional Dinner

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

April 28, 2006, New York, NY

Community leaders Golda and Dr. Michael Och of Maplewood, Daena and Michael Silverman of Livingston, and Rabbi Alan Silverstein of West Caldwell will be honored at The Jewish Theological Seminary's 2006 New Jersey Dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 21 at Temple Emanu–El in Closter.

The Ochs will receive the Erich Holzer Community Service Award, which honors the achievements and memory of Erich Holzer, a long–standing and prominent community leader. The Silvermans will receive the Young Leadership Award, which is presented in recognition of inspiring commitment to Jewish communal and educational causes, which enables and enhances the growth and progress of Jewish life. Rabbi Alan Silverstein is being honored with the Rabbinic Achievement Award, presented for exemplary leadership and dedication to klal Yisrael (community of Israel) and beyond, through service to the synagogue, the community, and JTS.

The evening will also include a tribute to Dr. Ismar Schorsch, outgoing Chancellor of JTS, presented by Shep Goldfein on behalf of the JTS New Jersey Region. The event will benefit JTS, the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic, and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

Golda and Dr. Michael Och have been members of Congregation Beth El in South Orange since 1971. They are founding parents of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union (SSDS), which their children attended. They are also actively involved in Camp Ramah as members of the Berkshires' Committee. Golda Och is a graduate of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies' Joint Degree Program with Columbia University and also earned a master's in Jewish history from JTS. A former Jewish history teacher and business manager, she serves on the Boards of both Congregation Beth El and the Women's Department Board of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest. Golda was President of the Board of Governors of the SSDS from 1979 to 1982.

Dr. Michael Och earned two bachelor of arts degrees — the first in Jewish education from Hebrew College in Boston and the second, cum laude, from Harvard College. He received his MD from Tufts University. He worked as a radiologist at Newark Diagnostic Radiologists for forty–two years, serving as the Director from 1983 to 1999. He also served as a member of the President's Council at Hebrew College, Vice President and member of the Scholarship Committee at SSDS, and holds positions on the Boards of both JCC MetroWest and JESPY House in South Orange.

Daena Silverman, who practiced bankruptcy litigation with the firm of Gary K. Norgaard, P.C., graduated from George Washington University's School of Government and Business Administration and New York Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review. She is currently a student at Montclair State University, where she is studying for a dual degree in general and special elementary education and a master's of arts in teaching. Executive Vice President of the Sisterhood of Temple Beth Shalom of Livingston, she oversees all Sisterhood fund–raising events. Daena is also a Board Member of the Jewish Education Association, where she co–created the Todah Morah teacher recognition and scholarship program.

Michael Silverman is President of Gloron Agency, Inc., an insurance and financial planning firm. He is a graduate of George Washington University, where he was actively involved in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and a regular member and participant at Hillel. President of Temple Beth Shalom and a past Board Member of its Men's Club, Michael is active in many community organizations and is the founding member of JTS's New Jersey Cabinet.

Religious leader of Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex in Caldwell since 1979, Rabbi Silverstein received a master's of Hebrew letters, a doctorate in Jewish history, and rabbinic ordination from JTS. He also earned a master's degree in Jewish history from Columbia University. His leadership roles have included serving as President of the World Council of Masorti/Conservative Synagogues from 2000–2005; Vice President of the National Council of Synagogues; President of the West Essex Clergy Association; President of the MetroWest Board of Rabbis and of the Rabbinical Assembly's New Jersey Region; President of the New Jersey Coalition of Religious Leaders; and as a member of the National Rabbinic Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal. He is a nationally renowned lecturer and author.

Couvert is $180 per person. The reservation deadline is Friday, May 12. Further information and reservations may be obtained by contacting Amy I. Barer, JTS Director of Events, at (212) 678–8019.

Editors/Reporters: To cover the JTS New Jersey Regional Dinner or to interview the honorees, please contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953 or email.

Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

Visit the JTS website at www.jtsa.edu.