Skip Navigation LinksHome > Special Acknowledgements at Federation Annual Meeting
Special Acknowledgements at Federation Annual Meeting

Award Winners Honored, Israeli Soldier Celebrated, June 17

Join us for the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 17 as we elect new board members, honor outstanding volunteers and community programming, and welcome special guest speaker Izzy Ezagui.

The meeting takes place at 7:30 PM at Temple Sinai, 363 Penfield Road. It is free of charge and all are welcome.

Izzy Ezagui
Izzy Ezagui is a one-armed Israeli soldier who was injured in combat and returned to the fight. In May of 2011, Shimon Peres, the president of Israel, awarded him the highest accolade a soldier outside the battlefield can receive.

Born and raised in America, Izzy joined a Taglit-Birthright group traveling to Israel when he was 18. He went in search of fun and returned committed to joining the Israeli army. Soon after he finished his training, war broke out on the border of Gaza. Two weeks later, he was hit by a mortar and lost his left, and dominant, arm. Despite this devastating loss, Izzy’s first thought in the hospital was that he must return to combat. Most people thought he was dreaming, but two months later, he was lucky enough to meet a general who gave him that chance. Soon he was doing one-armed pushups, climbing rope, shooting assault rifles, and pulling out grenade pins with his teeth. Izzy continues to serve in the military reserves in an elite unit that plays a large role in any battle the IDF engages in.

The 2014 Elmer Louis Award

This year the Elmer Louis Award, given annually to an outstanding program in the Rochester Jewish community, will be presented on June 17 to Temple Beth El for its collaboration with the Asbury Dining & Caring Center, providing meals and support to homeless throughout the Rochester community. We salute Temple Beth El and the many volunteers who take turns serving dinner and help collect items for donation to the center's clientele.

2014 Jan Katz Grinspoon Award

Orna Korn, a teacher at the Temple B'rith Kodesh religious school and the Rochester Kollel, will be acknowledged as the 2014 recipient of the Jan Katz Grinspoon Award for  Excellence in Jewish Education.

Sharon Gray
Justin Goldman

Young Leadership Awards

Sharon Gray, of Brighton, will be presented with the 2014 Raye K. Aiole Memorial Young Leadership Award at our June 17 Annual Meeting. Justin Goldman, also of Brighton, will be presented with the 2014 Benjamin Goldstein Memorial Young Leadership Award. Both young leaders epitomize outstanding volunteerism in the Rochester Jewish community. They are dedicated and hard working; they take on leadership roles in multiple settings in Jewish Rochester, always striving to make a difference. Their contributions to Jewish life are exemplary.