Woodmere synagogue honors 'greatest generation' with luncheon


To celebrate its 96th anniversary and what Congregation Sons of Israel is calling its “greatest generation,” the Woodmere synagogue will host a special luncheon after the June 8 Shabbat service.

A dozen members 90-years-old or older who emulate the meaning of L’Dor v’ Dor — Hebrew for generation to generation — will be honored for their dedication to the synagogue and Judaism.

“As longstanding members of our congregation, they have, in action and in spirit, passed down through the generations the importance of our Jewish heritage,” said Lori Ginsberg, co-chair of the journal event committee.

Each honoree will have his or her bio read, are expected to receive congratulatory letter from public officials, gifts from the synagogue and a commemorative journal surrounded by family and friends. One of the gifts is an individual dedication of a Tree of Life on the temple’s wall with dove status. The names will be on a placard in the shape of a dove on the Tree of Life.

“This is a fundraiser, so the people that are eligible to come to the luncheon would be anyone who puts in a quarter of a page ad or higher per couple,” Ginsberg said. “For a single member it’s $225 to attend.”

As a past president, Ginsberg expressed how “honored” she felt to be co-chairing this special event with her fellow temple members.

“It’s such an honor for us to do this especially this year, because it’s something that we’ve never really done before and we’re all very close to many of these honorees and their the most integral part of our synagogue,” she said.

The idea for the event began germinating in the last few years and picked up speed after the High Holidays last year.

“I kind of feel it’s bringing the generations together, and shows how important synagogue and the community are,” said Kate Kreiss, co-chair of the journal event committee. “I think it’s a way of saying thank you for always being there for us to guide us and help us mature as we move on.”

Not only is these “greatest generation” members being honored, but the event is a way for the synagogue to recognized how everyone been impacted by their generosity.

“Society needs the support from different ages and encouragement to attend temple,” Kreiss said. “They helped people mourn, celebrate, and create a wonderful support system for the temple.”

This is the generation that has been through it all  the Great Depression, World War II, the Holocaust, a Cold War, and economic and technological advances.

“We can learn much from them because with their age comes wisdom,” said Mark Kovarsky, president of Congregation Sons of Israel. “Knowing them as well as I do, the honorees never forgot that family comes first during this period of time.”

The special Shabbat service will begin at 9 a.m., this Saturday and will include a group that is coming in to sing during services and at the luncheon. Including a special blessing that is said for the honorees.

“The truly are our greatest generation, there’s no one like them anymore,” Kovarsky said.