The Ma'asim Tovim Award is the highest recognition a Region can give to one of its members. It is usually given to individuals who have worked on behalf of the region for many years. The honorees are shown below, as well as short bios and why they have been so honored. Their awards were presented at the Virtual 2021 Convention. To really understand the impact our past honorees have made on FJMC members in their communities and regions, watch the videos below.
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- Anshei Darom - David Duchin
- Ansh-eh Zafon - Rick Wronzberg
- Connecticut Valley - Glenn Hauer
- Florida - Blake Lenett
- Hudson Valley - Javier Rosenzwaig
- KIO - Daniel Silverstein
- Middle Atlantic - Bruce Fagan
- Midwest - Mark Givarz
- New England - Mo Diamant z''l
- New York Metropolitan - Dr. Steven Mandel
- Northern New Jersey - Elliott Brown
- Seaboard - David Freiman
- Tri-State - Alex Kiderman
- Western - Steve Silverstone
Anshei Darom - David Duchin
David Duchin was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas where his family were members of the reform congregation, Temple Beth-El. As a teen, he was president of the local youth group, SAFTY and vice-president of the region TOFTY. David attended the University of Texas in Austin where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master of business administration degree. He met Rhonda in Austin during the fall of 1982 and they married the summer of 1985 in Dallas where they made their home. They raised three children: Melissa, Steven and Jeremy. Each have graduated college, reside in Dallas, and belong to Congregation Beth Torah. In 2021, Melissa married Lance Friedensohn, who has a son from a prior marriage. Rhonda and David were thrilled to have become instant bonus grandparents to an eight-year-old affectionately named “little” David.
David's career has primarily been in information technology, working as a consultant with a Big Six Accounting firm, and later in industries such as Incentive Travel, Mortgage, Real Estate, and Direct Mail Marketing. David has enjoyed photography since his teenage years and in 2007 founded an event photography business which provides traditional photography services, as well as a green screen photo booth with instant prints.
David is a member of Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson, Texas – a suburb of Dallas. He has served on the synagogue board as Publicity co-chair for two years; an At-Large Board member for two years; and Membership Co-Chair for one year. He is serving in his second year as Development VP, which includes serving on the Executive Team.
He has been an active member of the Men's Club at Beth Torah and served on the Men’s Club board in the roles of Succah Build Chair, At-Large Board member, and Vice President. David served as President for two years during which time the club experienced over a 20 percent increase in club members. David continues to serve on the local club as Immediate Past President. He served seven years as a member of the Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship committee, which earned the Gold Torch Award in the category of Community Outreach and earned the coveted Chairperson’s Torch Award at the 2017 FJMC convention. David is very proud to be part of a local club with great leaders and mentors. Beth Torah Richardson has earned the FJMC Quality Club every year except for the very first year it started.
Since David’s attendance at convention, the Southwest region was merged with Anshe Darom. David has served as one of the two Anshei Darom regional representatives on the FJMC board. He was one of the founding co-chairs of the FJMC Photography Affinity group and is currently serving in his second year as Vice President of Anshei Darom.
In mid-2021, David was selected as one of two Fellows representing Congregation Beth Torah in a year-long Board Improvement and Leadership Training program through a prominent National Foundation. This provided his shul with grant funding for a consulting project on board improvement where he subsequently served on the steering committee. This program also provided his shul access to a dollar-for-dollar matching grant which will run through 2024. Throughout David’s time at Beth Torah, he has served as the “unofficial” photographer documenting events and getting articles and images published in the Texas Jewish Post. For many years, his photos of the city-wide World Wide Wrap and his photos of Beth Torah’s Reading of the Names program would grace the front covers of the Texas Jewish Post. He has twice been honored to receive the Beth Torah Volunteer of the Year Award.
David has also volunteered his time and photography services for many Dallas charity events over the past decade. Rhonda and David were selected and completed the Federation Young Leadership training program back in the 1990’s. Currently, Rhonda and David volunteer on a monthly basis at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in their ushering program.
In addition to his volunteer activities, David enjoys tennis, chess, photography, and computers. He recently completed his certification in a Continuous Improvement & Six Sigma Green Belt training program.
Ansh-eh Zafon - Rick Wronzberg
Rick Wronzberg was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He had his bar mitzvah at the Hebrew Men of England Synagogue (amalgamated in 1975 with Beth Emeth Synagogue in Toronto). Rick attended Northview Heights Secondary School and played soccer, was a member of the swim team, and coordinated intramural sports and related programs.
While in high school he found his passion volunteering at the local Y.M. & Y.W.H.A. - Northern Branch ("Northern Y") where he was a volunteer lifeguard and swim instructor from age of 13 through 19. At the age of 17, while lifeguarding, he met a young girl named Debbie Greenfield who was hanging out at the pool. They dated, and married five years later, in 1978, at the Beth David Synagogue in Toronto. They settled, and remain, in Vaughan, Ontario - a part of the greater Toronto area.
Rick attended York University in Toronto and received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He then earned his Chartered Accountant license (CPA) with the accounting firm Deloitte, Haskins and Sells. After obtaining his professional accounting designation, Rick went to work in various industries, including 14 years as controller for a large gold jewelery manufacturer. In 2011 he returned to public accounting and is currently working with WRZ LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants.
Debbie and Rick had two girls, Alexis and Danielle. Sadly, Alexis ז״ל passed away at age of 27 from leukemia in 2010. Danielle and her husband Dean Jacobson live nearby in Vaughan with their 2 young children.
While saying Kaddish for his daughter Alexis ז״ל at Beth David Synagogue, Rick met Stan Greenspan who convinced Rick to get involved in helping to rejuvenate the men’s club and help attract younger men. Two years later Rick was club president. While still being an active member of the Beth David Men's Club, he then became involved with FJMC's Lake Ontario Region (now Ansh-eh Zafon Region). He was elected Regional President in 2017, and continues to be actively involved at all levels in both the Club and Region - including the Region's annual retreats and its other programs.
Rick was responsible for coordinating the planning and running of the local programming events for the 2019 FJMC Convention in Toronto. He was then appointed co-chair of the 2021 FJMC Virtual/Chicago Convention. Rick is the Chair of the 2023 FJMC Bi-annual Convention in Philadelphia.
Along with helping to create, play, referee, and coordinate the operations of a ten team Men’s Floor Hockey League since 1975 at the Northern Y, his true passion happens every September. Since the inception in 2011 of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer, he brought together friends and family to form Team Lex in memory of his daughter Alexis ז״ל. As one of the original 11 teams that have played since inception (130 teams play each year), Team Lex has raised over $375,000 to "help conquer cancer in our lifetime".
Rick has a long history of volunteering at his synagogue, with all levels of FJMC, and in the community in the greater Toronto area. He is currently the Treasurer for both Mercaz and Masorti Canada He is a well deserving honouree as the Ansh-eh Zafon Region Ma’asim Tovim honouree. Mazel Tov to Rick and his family and we look forward to honouring him at the 2023 FJMC Convention in Philadelphia June 29th thru July 2nd.
Connecticut Valley - Glenn Hauer
Glenn Hauer lives in Vernon, CT with his wife Rebecca, sons Alex 19, and Josh 17. His daughter Kristen 26, lives in Sierra Vista, AZ with her son Kairo. Glenn recently started as a Branch Manager for Envoy Mortgage where he helps people to fund the home of their dreams.
Glenn’s participation in the Jewish Community started in 6th grade. Glenn was an avid member of Kadima in Orange, CT, and went on to join Hanefesh Region USY. While in USY, Glenn became the Regional VP of Membership and Kadima. Glenn participated on USY Israel Pilgrimage, which
included a week in the Israeli army (Gadna). Glenn also attended Makom, the Hebrew High School of the community where he grew up from eighth grade through graduation from high school.
Glenn has lived in Vernon, CT since 1998. He moved to Vernon after his mother married the Rabbi of Rockville, CT. Beginning his freshman year of college, Glenn began teaching at the Hebrew School in Longmeadow, MA and was the Kadima advisor for two years. After living in Israel for a year, Glenn began teaching Hebrew School at B’nai Israel Synagogue in Vernon/Rockville, CT. While teaching, Glenn also took on the role of USY advisor for several years.
In 2000 Glenn began working on the synagogue golf tournament as a member of the Board. After two years on the committee, Glenn became one of the tournament Co-chairs, and has remained in this position twenty-two years later. The tournament has raised over 50 thousand dollars to feed the hungry, and most recently 32 thousand dollars for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Oncology Research Department.
Glenn has served as chapter Board vice president for 10 years, only stepping down when he became Executive Regional Vice President of CT Valley FJMC. From 2017 – 2019 Glenn served as Regional President of CT Valley FJMC. After serving his term with FJMC, Glenn is now President of the BSBI brotherhood in Manchester, CT.
Glenn volunteers often for Brotherhood events to help with setting up or breaking down. Every Sunday meeting will find Glenn in the kitchen helping to set up for the monthly breakfast. Glenn has chaired several events put on by the Brotherhood of BSBI.
Florida - Blake Lenett
Blake was born in Hempstead, NY but spent most of his youth in Houston, TX after his father Stuart Lenett (z”l) joined the NASA Space Program. During High School, Blake became very active in his synagogue’s youth organizations. In 1977, he served as Regional President of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY). He learned to play guitar and became the “kumsitz” musical leader at Shabbatons and retreats. His love of Judaism inspired him to move to Jerusalem to study Torah at Yehiva Ohr Someach. After two years of intense Jewish learning, Blake moved to Monsey, NY and discovered his passion for solving technical problems and pursued a degree in Engineering. Blake graduated from Fairleigh Dickenson University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology. After working as a Navigation Systems Engineering in New Jersey, he moved to Clearwater, Florida in 1989 to work for Honeywell where he’s been employed for the past 33 years and is currently a Principal Project Engineer. In 2019, Blake received the CEO Chairman’s Award and Team Achievement Award.
In 1996, Blake joined Congregation Beth Shalom (CBS) in Clearwater where he was hired to be the Kadima Youth Advisor. In 1998, Blake met his wife Wendy at CBS, and they were married in her hometown of Trumbull, CT in 2000. They spent the past 22 years in Clearwater raising their family, Michael, Rachel, and Sarah. Blake became more active at CBS, joining the CBS Brotherhood and serving as VP of Programing and then Club President. Blake also served as the shul’s VP of Operations for 8 years. Blake enjoys travel, music, movies, and playing cards with “the Poker Boys”. He plays guitar at musical services and events and also provides audio/visual support at CBS.
Blake Lenett is currently serving his 2nd term as Florida Regional President of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC) Florida Region. Blake’s mentor was Ed Margolis, a Past Florida Region President. Blake enjoys attending FJMC retreats and conventions, and interacting with like-minded people throughout the organization. Blake’s passion for “Involving Jewish Men in Jewish Life” has helped ensure that the CBS Brotherhood is recognized year after year at the International level. In 2022, Blake and Wendy were honored at the CBS Purim Gala in recognition for their contributions to their synagogue and the Jewish community. Blake attributes his commitment to synagogue and Jewish life to his parents who have been his role models throughout his life. “Religion, family and community are all critical, now more than ever. We are looking forward to a wonderful future with family and friends!”
Hudson Valley - Javier Rosenzwaig
Javier lives in Tappan, New York with his wife, Rebecca, and children, Joshua and Laila. Having attended Jewish day school in Buenos Aires, Argentina,
Javier has been committed to Jewish learning, continuity, and community his whole life. Now serving as Secretary of the International FJMC, He previously served as President of the Hudson Valley Region, Co-President of the Men’s Club, VP of Ritual and President of the Nursery School Board at the Orangetown Jewish Center.
Professionally, Javier has a Masters degree in electronics engineering, was trained as a bench jeweller and now does IT consulting.
For fun, Javier likes to “build stuff”, including high-tech toys and woodworking and works every summer at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack as Master woodworker.
KIO - Daniel Silverstein
Danny was born November 6 1957 to Sol and Lois Silverstein in Cleveland Ohio.
I grew up in the city of Beachwood Ohio and started in kindergarten at Park Synagogue.
I have been a member of Park Synagogue in Cleveland Ohio all my life. I went to Beachwood schools and graduated from The Ohio State University in 1979. I got a marketing degree but started working as a accountant for four years.
My Dad and my grandfather were both in the juke box and game business. I liked vending but I saw no future in their business. Too many home video games and cd players. I decided in March of 1983 to buy a soda machine and place it in a law firm my friends were working at. By this time, I had already married my college sweetheart Marlene. We were living in Cleveland.
My father had just passed away suddenly , and my brother and I were running his business. This gave me the opportunity to find more beverage and snack locations. I started buying soda and snack machines two at a time. After a while I got financial assistance and began soliciting and building this part of the business. I gave my brother my dad’s Business and I have been in my own business almost forty years.
In 1986 Marlene and I welcomed our first child Michael into the world. Soon after second son Brian came along. We bought a house in Solon Ohio and raised our kids. I was always the type of person who liked organizations, so as the kids were off to college, I got really involved in Park Men’s Club. I served every office, from secretary to President. I learned how to create programs and use my speaking ability to bring in new members.
Tom Sudow convinced me to go to LDI and I met many guys from all over the country and even started teaching classes on Men’s club activities. Of course, I went to International conventions and became involved in my Region as an officer. Soon I was President of the KIO Region . I was also Man of the year of the Park Men’s Club during that time. I have worked on different committees, but have never held a major office on the International level. I enjoy working for my local club and for KIO. I was very honored to receive this year’s Ma asim Tovim award.
Middle Atlantic - Bruce Fagan
Bruce Fagan blames it all on his brother-in-law for inviting him to help in the kitchen at a Sunday breakfast. He found his place in Temple Sinai Men’s Club of Dresher, PA, moving up the ranks to President from 2005-2007. Bruce sought younger members through parent/child programs such as the Wacky Menorah Contest and a wrestling demonstration. He encouraged support for Israel with Roses from Israel and greater minyan participation with reward-based Frequent Davener Cards. The club’s biggest initiative, “Men in the Kitchen” catering, proved to be both a great service for congregants and a way to build community. Despite the pandemic, MITK is now in its eighteenth year. He was the club’s Man of the Year in 2010.
On the regional level, Bruce helped run the Tour de Shuls bike ride for Camp Ramah in the Poconos for several years and became the region’s webmaster. As president from 2015-2017, he visited and brought meetings to clubs around the region, ran the first “Drink Tank” think tank for club presidents and ran an Israel Advocacy Program with Women’s League. He is still webmaster plus does art and video production for Man of the Year.
In 2006, Bruce was trained as an FJMC Keruv Consultant to help families and communities welcome intermarried couples, later co-chairing a national training weekend. He is an FJMC Board Member, serves as advisor to two regions, runs the Zoom and web presence for FJMC Webinars and Affinity Groups and has contributed numerous logo designs – including the convention logo and promo video – to FJMC. Bruce is part of the FJMC Inclusion Initiative to help our synagogues embrace underserved community members and still works to embrace intermarried families on the local level. A glutton for punishment, he is also Marketing Co-Chair and a webmaster for the 2023 FJMC Convention.
Bruce considers his greatest accomplishments to be getting younger men involved in Men's Club and working to change synagogue culture through Keruv.
In his spare time, Bruce performs with his band for social events and dances plus does hundreds of shows each year for audiences ranging from preschoolers to senior adults. He also provides marketing clients with promotional advertising specialties, graphic design, and video production.
Bruce and his wife, Nancy are most proud of their children and grandchildren: Andrew and Robin with Lucy, Annika and Emmett, and Gina and Matt with Evelyn and Carsyn.
Bruce firmly believes that the strength and future of men’s club has always been and will continue to be a strong grass roots movement at the club as well as the community level.
Midwest - Mark Givarz
Mark’s FJMC journey began in 2001 when he moved to St. Louis, Missouri from Tampa, Florida after accepting a position as quality assurance team lead with SBC, now AT&T. The Salisbury, Maryland native is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Once settled in Missouri, Mark, his wife, Alyce (who have now been married 38 years), and their three kids joined Congregation B’nai Amoona in the St. Louis suburb of Creve Coeur. He affiliated with the synagogue’s men’s club, volunteered to assist with varied projects, and was elected club president in 2007.
His affiliation with men’s group activities expanded as he became engaged in FJMC Midwest Region activities. Mark first served a retreat chair and later as vice president and Region president, 2017-19.
Mark also volunteered and has served FJMC International in numerous capacities. These roles included convention “program fair” chair in 2015; representative of Hearing Men’s Voices and IT committees; chair of the Leadership Development Institute; FJMC secretary, 2019-21 and as FJMC member at-large, 2021-23. Additionally, he serves on these committees: Future of Conventions, Vision of the Future of FJMC, and the FJMC Executive Search committee.
In 2021, Mark & Alyce retired from their full-time occupations and relocated to Palm Coast, Florida. They now enjoy walking on the beach, getting involved in their new synagogue, Congregation B’nai Torah, Ormond Beach, Florida – where Mark is men’s club president – and traveling to see family and new destinations.
The Givarz are the parents of Erin (married to Lee) of Austin, Texas; Glen of Las Vegas, Nevada and Steve (engaged to Laura) of Sarasota, Florida. They have a wonderful granddaughter, Ari Rose.
New England - Mo Diamant z''l
Morris grew up in Bayside, Queens, NY and then attended Cornell University, Class of 1974. He met Lisa on her third day at Cornell during a Hillel gathering. They attended many Cornell reunions together for both the classes of 1974 and 1976. After Cornell, he attended New York Medical College, graduating in 1978 and continued to be active in the alumni association for many years. In 1978, he joined Massachusetts General Hospital as an Intern and Resident in Radiology. He joined Suburban Radiology working at Symmes Hospital, Somerville Hospital, and offices in Lexington and Arlington. Then he joined Brigham Community Radiology until his retirement. "Mo", as he was called in Lexington, was a dedicated member of the Temple Emunah Brotherhood of Lexington, and The Federation of Jewish Mens Clubs. He worked tirelessly on so many projects and events throughout the years and made many friends. Lisa and Morris traveled a great deal and particularly enjoyed cruising all over the world for many years. They had so many wonderful experiences together.
Mo was the paradigm of what service to a community looks like. He exemplified a deep love of Judaism and love of its institutions. He was generous with his time and his money. He was the heart and soul of the Temple Emunah Men’s Club as well as the New England Region of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs. Whether the programs were for the Region (Keeper of the Flame, Tour de Shuls, or the Yellow Candle project) or for his beloved Temple Emunah (annual Sukkah building, World-Wide Wrap, Man of the Year, or bringing Rosenfeld’s bagels to Board meetings), Mo took them all on with an unparalleled standard of excellence.
In honor of Mo’s work, his region and synagogue have named annual events in his honor. The New England Region Keeper of the Flame award is now called the Mo Diamant Keeper of the Flame award and Temple Emunah’s Mens Club Holocaust Fund is now named the Mo Diamant Holocaust Fund.
Mo’ family support for all his years include his wife, Lisa his children Sam and Julia, Julia’s wife Maya, and granddaughter, Layla. May Mo’s memory be for a blessing.
New York Metropolitan - Dr. Steven Mandel
Steven Mandel MD is Clinical Professor of Neurology at Hofstra/Northwell and adjunct Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College. He is a Member of Park Avenue Synagogue and Sutton Place Synagogue. His parents immigrated from Hungary and Czechoslovakia in the 1930’s and settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
After graduating City College of New York, he then attended and graduated from The Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency in neurology. At Montefiore-Einstein, he did a Jerry Lewis Neuromuscular Disease Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to his move to New York, he was Professor of Neurology and Anesthesiology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pa. Before retiring from clinical practice, he was Director of Neurology Outreach at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Steven was chosen among all the graduates of the history of Einstein Medical School to receive the first Alumni Award for Excellence in the Practice of Medicine.
He currently teaches in the areas of traumatic brain injury, voice disorders, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and disability medicine. He has published many books and peer-reviewed Articles. Currently, he teaches and mentors faculty and student physicians, as well as contributes to committees and medical treatment guidelines. He serves as an AMA ambassador and the Senior Physician liaison to New York State.
Steven is the Vice President of Outreach and Engagement for the New York- Metro FJMC. He services on multiple committees, including the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) of the FJMC. He and his wife, Heidi, initiated the Imagine Life Program of the FJMC whose mission was to reduce the stigma of mental illness, suicide and addiction in the Jewish community. The Tzedek Program was also started by them for Jewish youth to grant awards for projects to support Jewish life. Steven was FJMC Man of the Year in Philadelphia and New York and in addition, the Regional Man of the Year from the New York Metro FJMC. He has received the Ernest L. Rothschild Metny Leadership Award. Steven is a National Commissioner for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and supports programs in education, such as No Place for Hate and A World of Difference. He has facilitated programs and written articles on addiction in the Jewish community with the T’Shuvah Center. At Park Avenue Synagogue, he completed the two-year Melton course and has continued his Melton education with other courses.
He is married to his best friend, Heidi, who shared his commitment to Jewish values, family and community. She has a PhD from Columbia University in medical social work. She writes poetry and facilitates support groups in creative writing and narrative medicine. They have three children and one granddaughter.
Northern New Jersey - Elliott Brown
Elliott was born and raised in Miami, Florida long before it was overrun by millions of new residents from other parts of the U.S. and other countries. After attending the University of Florida as an undergraduate and law student, Elliott returned to Miami to practice law with a small firm as he planned to fulfill his lifelong dream of making Aliyah, which he did in June, 1982. To Elliott’s surprise, his girlfriend at the time, Lori, agreed to join him (Lori previously participated in a Young Judea “gap year” in Israel, so she had actually been in Israel longer than Elliott prior to making Aliyah together). In November, 1983, the young couple briefly returned to Florida to get married in Cocoa Beach, where Lori grew up, and then returned to Israel where they lived until March, 1986. During those years Elliott practiced law with a Tel Aviv law firm whose clients were primarily U.S. and European clients who were doing business in Israel and Israeli companies doing business in the U.S. and Europe.
Upon informing the partners at the Tel Aviv firm that Lori and Elliott were returning to the U.S. (assuming back to Florida), the partners presented Elliott with a proposal to join a New York law firm that had a close working relationship with the Tel Aviv firm. That is how a native Floridian ended up in New York, and later New Jersey, living first in Edison, NJ for 11 years and Marlboro, NJ for 23 years.
Elliott stayed with that New York law firm for seven years and then became General Counsel for over 14 years at two different groups of companies. In 2007, he returned to private practice at two different New York law firms and, in September, 2009, opened his own practice. In January of this year, Elliott entered into a partnership with his colleague, and Brown & Blaier, PC was born.
Shortly after moving to Marlboro, NJ in 1999, Elliott joined the Men’s Club at Congregation Ohev Shalom-Marlboro Jewish Center. Elliott quickly became active in the Club and served as President or Co-President of the Club for several years until a successor finally stepped up to the plate. Elliott also joined the Executive Board of the Northern New Jersey Region and held several positions, eventually becoming President of the Region. Elliott served for many years as a Trustee on Marlboro Jewish Center’s Board of Trustees. In addition, Elliott chaired the Marlboro Jewish Center’s Israel Affairs and World Jewry Committee, and was Co-Chairman of the synagogue’s Keruv Committee.
Elliott and Lori have been married for 38 years and are the proud parents of daughters Arielle and Samantha and son-in-law Brian. Lori and Elliott recently returned to their Florida roots, purchasing a home in Boynton Beach. As a newly minted “snow bird” (or “snow flake”), Elliott returns to New Jersey often, both for personal and professional purposes. Elliott remains an active member of the Marlboro Jewish Center Men’s Club and the Northern New Jersey Region, and also supports Temple Torat Emet in Boynton Beach.
Seaboard - David Freiman
David was born in 1982 and raised outside of Baltimore, Maryland in Pikesville. David met his wife, Anna, while attending the University of Maryland, College Park. They have been married for 16 years and have one daughter, Adina, who is 9 years old. David is a CPA and currently works as a data privacy director in financial services.
David began his FJMC involvement in 2009 when he and Anna joined Shaare Torah Congregation in Gaithersburg, MD. David served as president of the club from 2014-2017. During his tenure as president, the Shaare Torah Men’s Club was the fastest growing Seaboard club. In 2022, David completed his two-year term as president of Shaare Torah Congregation.
At the 2015 convention in Miami, we met Aaron Kintu Moses z”l of the Abayudaya Jewish community of Uganda. David was inspired by what he learned about this community, and he has dedicated the last eight years to supporting the Abayudaya – its Men’s Club and the Hadassah Primary School.
In 2016, David partnered with several Seaboard men to raise funds to rescue several Abayudaya trapped by brutal fighting across the border in South Sudan. That year, David helped to raised additional funds to purchase solar panels for the Hadassah Primary School. In 2016, David was also honored as the Shaare Torah Blue Yarmulke Man of the Year at the annual Seaboard gala.
In 2017, David and Anna hosted Aaron Moses for several nights before the convention in Alexandria, VA and hosted a fundraising parlor session in their home. David took Aaron on tours of the White House, the Capitol, and the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum in Virginia.
In 2019, David visited Mbale, Uganda to attend the celebration marking 100 years since the Abayudaya adopted Judaism in 1919. On this trip, David was further inspired by the survival and successes of the Abayudaya community in the face of developing world adversity. The Abayudaya are such an outlier in the Jewish world, and yet the community has persisted through creativity, determination, and strong friendships. David knew in 2019 that he would dedicate himself to supporting this beautiful community.
Beginning before the COVID pandemic, David has led FJMC efforts to raise funds and awareness for the Abayudaya. David presented on the Abayudaya at the 2021 virtual FJMC convention, and he has even traveled to Buffalo, NY to introduce the Abayudaya to the Beth Tzedek community at their Men’s Club Shabbat. Through these efforts, David has helped to raise over $50,000 for the Abayudaya. David seeks opportunities to visit more Men’s Clubs to discuss this inspiring community and raise awareness.
David recently launched a new initiative to encourage b’nai Mitzvah students to support the Abayudaya as part of their Mitzvah projects. One student in the Philly-area already completed this program and raised over $5,000 for the Hadassah Primary School. David asks that FJMC members help to share this program throughout their communities.
David is truly humbled by this honor from the Seaboard Region. He holds all past Ma’asim Tovim honorees in the highest regard, and he is honored to be counted among them. David wants to thank the Shaare Torah Community for its support over the years, specifically Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, Rabbi Mark Raphael, Rabbi Annie Lewis, Rabbi Yosef Goldman, Michael Weisel, Matt Oziel, and Greg Gore. David also wants to thank Seaboard leaders Bruce Gordon, Bob Watts, Eric Beser, Dan Moldover, and Alex Pomerantz. Special thanks go out to David’s wife, Anna, and his daughter, Adina, for their patience and for sharing him with the community over the past decade.
Dr. Alexander Kiderman is a VP of Technology Development of Neurolign Technology Inc., biomedical company. Dr. Kiderman was trained as a mechanical engineer and received his Ph.D in mechanical engineering from Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia. Dr. Kiderman devoted his engineering and academic career developing new technology, equipment and software. His initial professional focus was in heavy industries. His professional engineering career started in mining industry where he designed longwall conveyors, among other inventions, that revolutionized the coal extraction. He was fortunate to travel across the USA in overseeing installation and operation of the mining equipment.
For the last 20 years, he shifted his interests to developing new tests and improving the diagnostic accuracy of the existing tests used to assess vestibular dysfunction and mild Traumatic Brain Injury patients (mTBI). The majority of his work has been centered on development of advanced research and clinical technology and equipment including multiaxial rotation devices, high speed high resolution eye tracking system, and virtual reality 3D head mounted eye tracking systems. He designed, developed and implemented the advanced oculomotor, vestibular and reaction time tests. His work to develop vestibular, mTBI and different clinical technologies was supported by multiple NIH and DOD grants. Recently, he became one of the principal investigators in diagnosing and developing treatment pathways for long COVID by assessing neurological impacts of the disease. He received more than 50 patents and published multiple papers in research journals, presented results of research on multiple domestic and international conference and symposia.
From the Jewish perspective, Dr. Kiderman started his involvement upon joining us in our midst in the USA from the Soviet Union, when he became the President of the Jewish New Americans Club associated with Congregation Beth Shalom. The organization played a key role in integrating hundreds of new arrivals from the former eastern bloc countries to the new world. Subsequently, Dr. Kiderman became involved in Congregation Beth Shalom Men’s Club, evolved in appointment of president of the same, being member of the Board of Trustees of his congregation. Simultaneously, he has been serving on the Hebrew Free Loan Association board for over 15 years and later being elected President of the organization. He served as the President of Tri-State Region and now he is an International Vice-President of FJMC. Dr. Kiderman is looking forward to continuing his involvement in various organizations in advancing the progression of the Jewish and secular causes.
In parallel, he has been cultivating the art of organic wine making, drawing from the ancient sources, and combining with the modern scientific advances of the craft. For over 20 years, he enjoyed both the process and the fruits of the nature, delighting friends, business acquaintances, and members of both his local congregation and far flung Jewish brethren with the elixir of the sun, according to Galileo.
Steven Silverstone was born in Los Angeles and attended Westchester High School. He had his bar mitzvah at Westchester Jewish Congregation which merged with Tikvat Jacob Beth Torah in Manhattan Beach. Steve was active in AZA in high school and became the President of his chapter. At Westchester High School, Steve played some football and was on the swimming team. Steve then attended the University of Southern California (USC) for undergrad and majored in Industrial Engineering. At USC Steve was a member of the Trojan Knights. They were involved in doing card stunts with the fans at USC Football games during the games. Steve is still huge USC Football fan and has season tickets to all the home games. While in college Steve’s fraternity brother had a cousin, Ronnie Gordon who at the time was a freshman at Ohio State University. She joined her father in LA when he was a visiting professor at USC for the summer. Ronnie and Steve met during that trip. During the following winter break Steve took a 3 day train ride to Akron Ohio to see Ronnie. A couple of years later Ronnie transferred to UCLA and lived with her aunt in LA. They married after 3 years of dating and began a family in the LA area. They have two daughters, Cheryl married to Jim Niekamp who live in Atlanta with 3 children and Deborah married to Greg Hersberg who live in Thousand Oaks, California with two children.
After undergrad, Steven went to grad school at USC to continue his major of Industrial Engineering. Steve then went to work for Electro Form Inc for 17 years and retired in 2009 from his last job at Northrup Grumman where he was Mission Assurance Manager.
Steve and Ronnie raised their family in Torrance California. They were members of Temple Menorah where their children started preschool. Currently Steve is a member of Congregation Ner Tamid in Rancho Palos Verdes since 1978, almost 45 years. Steve was President of Congregation Ner Tamid, became president of the Men’s Club he helped create which led him to be involved in the Western Region FJMC. Myles Simpson became a mentor and Steve soon got involved in the Western Region. From running the Beach Party at Huntington Beach for FJMC Convention in 2011, Steve eventually became President of the Western Region. Then he moved on to positions at FJMC International. He ran LDI at Pearlstone in Baltimore and is currently Chairman of the Quality Club Awards. Sadly, his wife Ronnie z''l has passed recently after a long illness and his daughters are his strength getting thru the difficult days.
We wish Steven Silverstone a hearty Mazel Tov on his being chosen the Ma’asim Tovim Honoree for the Western Region. Throughout his life, Steven was always the one to get involved and make a difference in every synagogue or organization he gets involved in. He is truly a doer of good deeds and has more than earned the recognition to receive the Ma’asim Tovim award from the Western Region. We look forward to honoring him and his fellow Ma’asim Tovim honorees at the FJMC Biannual convention June 29th thru July 2nd 2023 in Philadelphia.