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Black Tie International:
Shari Gelbar Receives 2010 Sherwin T. Wine
Lifetime Achievement Award



Shari Gelber Receives 2010 Sherwin T. Wine Lifetime Achievement Award


 Rabbi Miriam Jerris of Huntington Woods. Shari Gelber, 2010 Sherwin T. Wine Lifetime Achievement Award recipient of Newton Centre, MA. Bonnie Cousens, Executive Director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism of West Bloomfield, MI.
Photo by: Cary Shaw of Norwalk, CT a Society for Humanistic Judaism Board Member. 


Farmington Hills, MICThe Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ) presented the 2010 Sherwin T. Wine Lifetime Achievement Award to Shari Gelber, of Newton, Massachusetts, Past President of the Society for Humanistic Judaism and member of Kahal B'raira, the Boston Congregation

Shari Gelber has served the Society for Humanistic Judaism in more ways than most of our volunteers, said Bert Steinberg, of San Francisco, California, who established the award.  Gelber has repeatedly stepped up to the plate in times of need. She joined the Society for Humanistic Judaism Board of Directors in 1995 and by 1997 she was serving as on the Executive Committee. In 2000, she stepped in as President when the president resigned. She served in that role for more than two years and then became Past President. When the past president died suddenly she again stepped up and returned to the position of Past President.  "Shari Gelber has exemplified an unwavering, consistent and long standing commitment to the SHJ and Humanistic Judaism," said SHJ Executive Director Bonnie Cousens, "leading the SHJ with intelligence, generosity, poise and good humor." Rabbi Miriam Jerris, in presenting the award to Ms. Gelber, said, "Shari Gelber models ethical volunteerism, encouraging others to fulfill the responsibilities they have accepted."

Gelber, upon receiving the award, spoke about her motivation to work for Humanistic Judaism, AIt may be a cliché, but I wanted to give back to the movement from which I had gained so much. I wanted to help establish more congregations throughout North America, so more people could have an opportunity to join an HJ congregation.  And just as in my local community, the more involved I became with SHJ the more I connected with inspiring people. 

The award, established in 2003 in honor of Wine's 75th birthday, represents Steinberg's heartfelt thank you to his mentor for founding a Judaism that reflected his lifelong philosophy and unfulfilled need.  After joining Kol Hadash, the San Francisco Humanistic congregation, he became Bar Mitzvah at the age of 72 under Wine's tutelage. He is a past president of the Society for Humanistic Judaism and still serves as a member on the SHJ Board of Directors.

When the award was first established in his name Wine said, AI feel very honored that it is connected to what is most meaningful in my life, but that it is an award recognizing other people's work.

Recipients of the award are individuals who have over the years exemplified extraordinary dedication, devotion, adherence to and activity in the Secular Humanistic Judaism Movement and the philosophical doctrines enunciated by the Movement's founder, Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine. A permanent plaque bearing the image of Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine is on display at the SHJ's headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan. A smaller replica is given each year to the recipient, along with a personal gift.  

Humanistic Judaism, one of the five branches of Judaism, combines the Jewish values of loving-kindness (Gemilut Chassadim), charity (Tzedaka), and making the world a better place (Tikkun Olam), with the recognition that the responsibility for putting them in practice lies in human hands. It is a nontheistic movement in which cultural Jews and their families can affirm, celebrate, and enrich their Jewish identity and values. The Society is the central body for the Humanistic Jewish movement in North America.

For more information about Humanistic Judaism, contact the Society for Humanistic Judaism, 28611 West 12 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills, MI 48334, (248) 478-7610, , or visit their website .


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