Honoring Our Best
Federation’s Awards Night event slated for May 22.
Each year, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit honors individuals from Jewish Detroit for their outstanding dedication, leadership and commitment to our community. The awards recognize three young leaders, as well as a group of lifetime volunteers. Federation’s Awards Night event acknowledges these outstanding role models. This year, the event will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, at the Berman Center for Performing Arts, 6600 W. Maple Road, in West Bloomfield.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
The William Davidson Lifetime Achievement Awards, established in 2000, will be presented to Eugene Driker and Florine Mark.
Driker is a past president of JVS and a past board member of the Jewish Federation.
He is passionate about Detroit and a lifelong resident of the city. He has served on Federation’s Business Practices Committee, the Jewish Community Endowment Fund Steering Committee, the Max M. Fisher Jewish Community Foundation Committee and the Professional Advisory Committee. He is a member of the advisory board of Wayne State University’s Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies and the board of directors of the National Yiddish Book Center.
Florine Mark is a past president of the Jewish Community Center and past member of the board of the Jewish Federation, the United Jewish Foundation and the Jewish Fund. She is a past chair of Federation’s Annual Campaign and Federation’s Marketing Committee.
Mark has a long history of supporting many communal causes, including Gilda’s Club, Children’s Hospital and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. She shows her support by actively engaging in causes that speak to her.
The Sylvia Simon Greenberg Award was established in 1965 by the late Samuel S. Greenberg and Ronald and John Greenberg as a memorial to their beloved wife and mother. It recognizes exceptional leadership potential and service to the Jewish community on the part of a young woman.
Rachel Opperer is this year’s outstanding female leader in the community. She will be in Israel on May 22 and will not be present to receive her award. She will receive her award at a Federation Board of Governors meeting in the fall.
She is a lifelong Detroiter who has embraced the Detroit Jewish community with enthusiasm and tenacity. She is currently co-chairing the Detroit chapter of the National Young Leadership Cabinet and Women’s Philanthropy’s Tikkun Olam Volunteers. She’s always looking for ways to engage people.
Opperer is a board member of Jewish Family Service and Women’s Philanthropy. A past member of the New Leaders Project, and YAD Growth and Outreach Planning Committee, She is also a member of the Grosfeld 3 Leadership Program.
WETSMAN YOUNG LEADERSHIP AWARD
Established in 1961 by Mrs. Frank A. Wetsman and William M. Wetsman as a memorial to their beloved husband and father, the Frank A. Wetsman Young Leadership Award recognizes exceptional leadership potential and service to the Jewish community on the part of a young man.
Adam Finkel is this year’s outstanding male leader in the community. Finkel was instrumental in bringing Moishe House to Detroit. Quietly working behind the scenes to make an impact, he has been a member of the NEXTGen Board of Directors since 2015. Adam is currently the co-chair of the NEXTGen Business Hub/NEXTWork, helping to find young people meaningful jobs or assisting those who want to move back to Detroit find interesting opportunities in the city.
He was a member of the NEXTGen PresenTense Fellowship Steering Committee and a member of the 2015 Entrepreneurs Mission. Finkel is a board member of the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator and Congregation Shaarey Zedek.
YOUNG LEADERSHIP AWARD
The Mark-Lis Family Young Leadership Award was created in 1993 by Florine Mark and her family. It recognizes an established leader in NEXTGen Detroit who has shown outstanding commitment and achieved remarkable success within NEXTGen.
This year, Joshua Goldberg has been selected to receive the Mark-Lis Family Young Leadership Award.
Goldberg created Good Shabbos Detroit as a way to not only engage young people in ritual but also to bring them to our local synagogues and temples. It quickly became the go-to program for the NEXTGen community.
A common phrase heard from his peers was “Josh called and invited me here.” He made it his mission to bring people together to celebrate Shabbat. Goldberg has served in several roles in NEXTGen, including vice president of Campaign, vice president of Jewish Life, chair of Torah on Tap and, of course, chair of Good Shabbos Detroit. He’s been a member of the NEXTGen Executive Board since 2015.
In addition to his NEXTGen roles, Goldberg is a trustee for B’nai B’rith Great Lakes Region, a bar/bat mitzvah tutor and a member of the board of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan.
To register for Awards Night, visit jewishdetroit.org/awardsnight. The event is free. Dessert will be served following the presentation. For more information, contact Sarah Strasberger at (248) 205-2545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.