This is a guest post by Shana Cohen,Young Leadership Director of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.
Join Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s Young Leadership on Saturday, April 21st to honor five local individuals as The Real Menschen of Minneapolis, an award recognizing the good work of local Jewish community members, ages 21-45, and listen to the fabulous Andy Cohen at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley.
A mensch is a Yiddish word meaning “a person of integrity.” For over 80 years the Minneapolis Jewish Federation has been supported by menschen (plural for the word Mensch), who help meet the mission to build community, care for the welfare of Jews everywhere and maximize participation in Jewish life.
Andy Cohen is the popular host of Watch What Happens Live and the Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Development for BRAVO’s hit shows: The Real Housewives, Top Chef, Millionaire Matchmaker, Flipping Out and more. This signature event is being chaired and emceed by two true menschen in this community. Cindi Tarshis Appelman is the signature event Chair. Local radio and television personality, Melinda Jacobs, will be the master of ceremonies. Click here for more information about this event and to buy tickets ($50+).
Minneapolis Jewish Federation Young Leadership proudly announces the winners of the Real Menschen of Minneapolis award: Debra Arbit, Leora Maccabee Itman, Daniel Hillel Levine, Sarah Gruesner, and Brittany Beck.
Aside from being a phenomenal young entrepreneur, she also has what appears to be an amazing balance with giving to the community at large and working hard! She embodies a giving spirit that is global and inspirational to all of those around her. Debra is the owner of BridgeWorks whose programs combine rich content with savvy business strategies to help audiences recognize and bridge generation gaps. When she is not a working professional, Debra sits on the board of JFCS of Minneapolis and the Herzl Camp board. She is involved in the Susan G. Komen Foundation and has completed eight 3-Day walks raising money for breast cancer research. She has traveled to Kenya several times with the Howie Stillman Young Leadership Fund and took on the project of raising money and building a kitchen for the community she visited. Debra is an innovative visionary in the Jewish community and truly is a mensch.
Leora Maccabee Itman
As a young lawyer at the Minneapolis law firm Maslon, Edelman, Borman & Brand, LLP, Leora has her plate more than full with her volunteer work as the creator and editor of TC Jewfolk, and President of its parent 501(c)(3) nonprofit Jewfolk Media. Leora is an outstanding example of how to create partnerships and collaboration among the Jewish agencies. Through her work with TC Jewfolk, Leora supports and strengthens many of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s partner agencies, including Hillel, JCRC, JFCS, and the Sabes JCC by writing about the work of those agencies on TCJewfolk.com and on the TC Jewfolk social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. Leora recently joined the programming committee for the Twin Cities Cardozo Society, which is an affinity group of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. Leora embodies the word mensch through her passion and visions to strengthen the Jewish community by turning ideas into action.
Brittany is the “Healthy Youth-Healthy Community Specialist” at JFCS. She is a member of NextGen, a big sister at JFCS, a recruitment advisor for her sorority, tutors Hebrew at Temple Israel and works for the Minneapolis Jewish Federation Israel Center as a mentor to two teens that are recipients of the Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund. She also volunteered her time as a tutor in an Israeli elementary school in Jerusalem during her last semester of college. The Jewish community is very lucky to have Brittany and be able to consider her professional and volunteer work in the Jewish community to be the definition of a mensch.
Daniel Hillel Levine
Daniel has been an active member of the Jewish community on the University of Minnesota campus. He has volunteered for Hillel, was instrumental in bringing Chabad to the campus, and active in AEPi fraternity for the past 4 years holding the office of recruitment chair and vice president. Daniel was in charge of recruiting for the fraternity which was on the brink of extinction and is now about 30 members. He helped raise funds for Chabad and has spoken at several Hillel events. He is a true mensch and a shining Jewish star in the young adult, Minnesota Jewish community.
Sarah has been exceptionally involved in all aspects of the Jewish Young Adults community in Minneapolis. She has been a connector to many and has a great understanding of the importance of giving of one’s time to an organization that helps many throughout the community and globally. She was intrinsic in starting the first ever Young Jewish Women’s Networking Event of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation Young Leadership division. Sarah currently is the Young Leadership Campaign Chair at the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and a current member of the Harry Kay Leadership Institute. Sarah has a heart that always gives her best and truly understands the values of Tzedakah, a true mensch.
Congratulations to The Real Menschen of Minneapolis!
It is an honor and blessing to have such amazing young Jewish adults in the community making change in the lives of others!
Filed Under: Jew To Do