JTS to Honor Philadelphia Area Community Leaders

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

May 1, 2006, Philadelphia, PA

Community and religious leaders Yale Asbell, Robert Friedman, Rabbi Steve Lindemann, Audrey Merves, and Harry Sauer will be honored at the 2006 Jewish Theological Seminary Community–Wide Dinner in Philadelphia at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7 at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing. Dr. Ismar Schorsch, outgoing Chancellor of JTS, will be the guest speaker.

The event will benefit JTS, the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools and training tomorrow's religious, educational, academic, and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

Yale Asbell will receive the Chancellor's Minyan Award, which is presented in recognition of outstanding leadership, service, and devotion in support of the Chancellor, students, and mission of JTS. Profoundly committed to supporting education in both the Jewish and secular world, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of JTS, where he is particularly supportive of JTS's affiliate, the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and alumni development. Mr. Asbell is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, his alma mater, where he has provided financial support and leadership, focusing in particular on enriching the school's Judaic studies offerings and endowing its first chair in Judaic studies. He also established the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life in honor of his father, and is creator and co–funder of the Global Campus Scholarship Fund, which brought thirteen Jewish students from South America for an undergraduate education. President of Yale Asbell, PC, and a nationally recognized expert in community commercial bank stock investments, he is a former member of the Board of Directors at Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and remains active on its long–range planning and endowment committees.

President of Amenity Rentals, Inc., Robert Friedman will receive the Young Leadership Award — the first time the award has been presented in the Mid–Atlantic region — in recognition of his inspiring commitment to the Jewish community and his passion for Jewish education. A lifelong member of Adath Jeshurun, where he has served as Vice President and Treasurer, his connection to Adath Jeshurun extends from his parents who were longtime members to his wife, Jennifer, whose family has also been active congregants. A Torah reader at Adath Jeshurun for many years, he has taught in the congregation's Torah Readers Academy and Hebrew school, and for more than twenty years led High Holiday services for the synagogue's young members.

Rabbi Lindemann, Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill, will receive the Rabbi Gerson D. Cohen Rabbinic Leadership Award, presented by JTS for exemplary leadership and continued commitment to the principles of Conservative Judaism. Prior to coming to Beth Sholom fourteen years ago, Rabbi Lindemann was religious leader of Rodef Sholom Temple in Hampton Virginia, for twelve years. Over the years, he has also held a wide variety of positions at Camps Ramah. A communal activist, he has received numerous awards, including a 2000 UJC Rabbinic Leadership Award for co–chairing the Federation of Southern New Jersey response to the needs of Jews in Argentina and Israel. Active in the international and local Rabbinical Assembly, where he has held numerous leadership positions, Rabbi Lindemann is a member of the Board of Overseers of The Rabbinical School of JTS and a member of the Chancellor's Rabbinic Cabinet, as well as the Rabbinic Cabinets of the United Jewish Communities and Israel Bonds. He also served as a member of the Editorial Reading Committee of Etz Hayim, the Conservative Movement's humash.

A travel consultant with An Invitation to Travel in Rosemont from 1979 to 1995, Audrey Merves will receive the Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) Award, presented to individuals in honor of their dedication, leadership, and vision that serve as inspiration for the next generation. A member of the Board of Overseers of The Library of JTS, her father enjoyed a close relationship with Chancellor Louis Finkelstein, and the JTS Stein Chapel was named in her parents' honor. Mrs. Merves sits on the Board of Overseers for the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, is President of the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center, and a past President of the Sisterhood of Adath Israel Congregation.

Managing Principal of Peopleflex, Harry Sauer will receive the Shin Award, presented to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to Judaism and Jewish law through service to their community, synagogue, and JTS. A veteran leader in the executive search and placement industry with almost three decades of experience, he is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies at JTS, where he helped to establish an office of career counseling. Mr. Sauer is a former President of Har Zion Temple, where he also served as Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and a past President of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, and is active in the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, where he previously served on the Board of Directors.

The couvert is $200 per person and $150 for young adults (age forty and under). Reservations are required by Tuesday, May 30. Further information and reservations may be obtained by contacting Rickey Goodman at (215) 376–0474 or email.

Editors/Reporters: To cover the JTS Philadelphia Area Community–Wide 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.