Fifty years of volunteer leadership; the challenging work of building a congregation; men and women who have risen to the occasion.
All of this will be the celebrated in May at Congregation B’nai Emunah’s 2016 Touro Awards Banquet. Named for American philanthropist Judah Touro, the event will honor the twenty-one presidents who have served the Synagogue since 1966, the last time the congregation officially saluted its highest office-holders. Scheduled for Sunday, May 22, at 6:00 p.m. the event will begin with a dinner by noted restauranteur James Shrader of the Palace Café, and include photographic glimpses from the lives of the Synagogue’s leaders. The highlight of the evening will be an ensemble theater piece entitled “Minutes,” featuring some the thrilling gains and poignant losses of a congregation navigating the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.
Honorees at the banquet include Curtis Green, Howard Alexander, Dr. Marcel Binstock, David Charney, Brian Brouse, Jack Zanerhaft, Stacy Schusteman, Tom Adelson, Dr. Jamie Cash, Dr. Leor Roubein, Jolene Sanditen Stephens, and Craig Silberg. The legacies of Dr. Manuel Brown, A.H. Eichenberg, Charles Jacobs, Ed Cohen, Joseph Pertofsky, Charles Goodall, Ron Kriegsman, Sidney Brouse, Scott Foreman Zarrow (all of blessed memory) will also be honored.
Chaired by Molly Berger and Terry Marcum, this year’s banquet is an official Centennial Event, part of the congregation’s year-long celebration of its hundredth anniversary, Every month since October, 2015, B’nai Emunah has celebrated its founders, looked closely at its early history, published new volumes of commemoration, and added to its culinary legacy. The program will continue throughout the summer and fall with archival exhibitions, a commissioned song cycle, multi-media installations, and the publication of Synagogue’s liturgical innovations, and then culminate in a congregational gala on December 11, 2016. Along the way, B’nai Emunah will share a book of personal essays on the meaning of Jewish life in Tulsa, the experience of bar and bat mitzvah at the Synagogue, and a large-scale Lego model of the Synagogue.
Current President Craig Silberg and Immediate Past-President Jolene Sanditen have undertaken the fundraising portfolio for the centennial edition of the Touro Banquet. “We hope that people will honor their family members and friends,” Craig said. “Our centennial year is a good time to strengthen all of Jewish life in Tulsa.”
Judah Touro, himself, was a rare combination of devotion to the cause of early American Jews and broad-minded concern for the community at large. To this day, many public institutions in New Orleans bear his name and the imprint of his philanthropy. His unselfish giving continues to inspire and challenge us long after the century in which he lived.
Banquet reservations can be made by calling the Synagogue Hotline at (918) 935-3373 or returning the reservation card sent to the entire community. Guests may also use the reservations module below. Those who would like to share each other’s company at a banquet table are invited to express their preferences as soon as possible.