Eighth Annual NANCY AVIS L’DOR V’DOR AWARD LUNCH
April 30 @ 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Eileen Bernstein came to Staten Island in 1972 when her husband, Alan, took a social studies position at IS 7. After their children started school, Eileen also joined the school system and worked at Port Richmond H.S. for 20 years.
The Bernsteins have been long-time members of Arden Heights Boulevard Jewish Center. Their sons, Howard and Scott, each became a Bar Mitvah there which inspired Eileen to study for her own Bat Mitzvah. After Scott’s Bar Mitzvah, the family spent an entire summer touring and learning about Israel. Eileen is a synagogue Sisterhood board member and very involved with its activities. It was the importance of their family’s connection with the synagogue that led Eileen and Alan to renew their marriage vows there on both their 40th and 50th anniversaries.
In 2006, when the JCC on Manor Road opened a preview trailer on the site, Eileen’s life took a new direction. Initially the pool was the draw to become a member, but volunteer coordinator Lois Schwartz became the driving force in Eileen’s involvement at the JCC. She became a docent leading tours for prospective members during its initial months. She joined the JCC’s Arts and Entertainment Committee which eventually became part of the Center for Life Long Development programming. CLLD is a program which provides stimulating and innovative programs, classes and trips for active adults. She has been on the CLLD board since its inception in 2012. Eileen has volunteered at the NY Marathon through a partnership of CLLD and the NY Roadrunners Assn. She considers herself a JCC-CLLD motivator, encouraging people to become members and get involved. She has also participated in the JCC’s Sunrise Day Camp Walk and the Beatrice Victor Senior Olympics. Eileen represented the JCC as an honoree at the Council of Jewish Organizations Brunch. Hadassah, Brandeis Women and Project Hospitality have also been beneficiaries of her efforts.
Love of travel has led Eileen and Alan to travel all over the world but love of family is their ultimate joy. Eileen cared for both of her parents in her home for many years, and then her mother until her passing at 102. Eileen and Alan are the proud parents of their sons and their spouses, Cindy Leive (Howard) and grandchildren, Lucy and Ike, and Kerri Bernstein(Scott) and granddog, Morgan.
Arlene Sorkin, has a Bachelors in Business Administration from Temple University and a Masters in Social Work from Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research. Her social work career began working primarily with women at the Medical Center of Delaware where she covered the maternal child unit including neo-natal intensive care, maternity, labor and delivery, and high risk OB/GYN. This led to a clinical practice working with women who experienced pregnancy loss, eating disorders, and domestic violence.
Arlene loves plays and musical theater and found a way to combine her interest in social change with her favorite hobby. While working as a program director for the Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition, Arlene produced a musical, From the Beginning…, helping to educate the community about LGBT issues. In 2002, she co-founded IlluminArt Productions while living in Michigan, moved to Staten Island in 2005, and established operations here in 2009 after working as the Director of JCC Maccabi ArtsFest at JCC Association for 4 years. Combining social issues with theater, IlluminArt’s plays help children and teens identify and find solutions to their experiences with bullying, violence, grief and loss, the consequences of underage drinking, the dangers of prescription drugs leading to heroin, and childhood obesity amongst others.
Arlene is involved with a number of Staten Island based organizations: Board of Directors of the Staten Island Not-For-Profit Association; Tackling Youth Substance Abuse Steering Committee; Staten Island Child and Adolescent Mental Health Committee; Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness Childhood Wellness Initiative; and Chair of Community Service Awards for Soroptimist International Staten Island.
Arlene is married to David whose various jobs in the Jewish Community Center field has taken them to New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Wilmington, Detroit, and Staten Island where she has been a committee volunteer and chaired events. Whatever spare time she has now is devoted to spending time with her 2 granddaughters, Eden and Shana, daughter Kristi, son-in-law Randy, nieces and family in Philadelphia.
Brooke Lopez’s family is rooted in 4 generations of JCC connections. Her grandparents met at a JCC teen canteen, her mother, Bryn Biren, and her uncle, attended JCC Day Camp and participated in many activities, Brooke, and her brother, Adam, attended the nursery school and camp, and now, her children, Genevieve and Freda are following on the same path.
Brooke graduated from Curtis H.S, Binghamton University in 2000 with a B.S. in Management and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Wagner College in 2003.
From an early age, singing, dancing and acting was her passion. She received tap and jazz training from age 9 to 18. She performed with NY Kids on Stage, sang in the Temple Israel Junior Choir, was voted “Class Actress” in the Curtis H.S. yearbook, and danced with the Binghamton Kickline Dance Team and the National Indoor Football League’s Dance Team. Brooke also performed in the JCC’s “Broadway Highlights” revue every year it was held.
Brooke has brought her talent and passion to the students she has taught. She is currently the Theater Arts teacher and Program Coordinator at P.S. 56. Previously, she was the Musical Theater teacher in the After School Center at P.S. 56 and P.S. 54 and the Creative Arts teacher at the Children’s Harbor Montessori Preschool.
Currently, the JCC is benefiting from her talent as the Curriculum Creator and Program Developer for the “If Everybody Club.” This Pre-K enrichment program fosters compassion, diversity and inclusion through theater games. At Temple Israel, Brooke is the Family Events Chairperson, a member of the New Initiatives Committee and Director of the Temple Purim Schpiel.
Married for 10 years to Luis Lopez, a NYPD Detective, who Brooke has known since junior high, they and their two daughters live near the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
Dr. Lori R. Weintrob, Professor of History, is founding Director of the Holocaust Center at Wagner College, and an advocate and leader in community-engaged education.
As a Holocaust educator, she has facilitated greater understanding of the Nazi persecution of Jews and others in World War II, as well as Jewish resistance. She has ensured that over 2000 5th grade through college students meet face-to-face with survivors, as well as taking students to Berlin and Auschwitz.
With her college students, she developed tutoring and enrichment programs with Liberian refugees, undocumented immigrants and other families in Park Hill and Port Richmond, as well as oral history and community capacity building projects. In 2003, the New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID), an agency serving local youth, honored Weintrob as “Community Builder of the Year.” In 2014, IslandVoice honored her work with African and African-American Youth at their “Know Your History” Summit. She was invited to be the graduation speaker at the Miraj Islamic School in 2016, in conjunction with their exhibit on Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews in the Holocaust.
She is active at the SI-JCC on two committees, Café Europa, a social program for Holocaust survivors, and the Esther Grushkin Seminars in Adult Jewish Education (SAJE), and serves on the Shoah Committee of Staten Island.
Her research and teaching interests range from history of France, global cinema, and human rights to New York’s immigration history and leadership studies. She recently co-edited Beyond Bystanders: Educational Leadership for a Humane Culture in a Globalizing Reality (2017, Sense Publishers). Her work on local history — Port Richmond (2009, Arcadia, 2009), co-authored with Phillip Papas and Discovering Staten Island (2011, History Press)–led her to co-chair SI350, a borough-wide celebration of Staten Island’s 350th Anniversary.
Lori received her B.A. from Princeton University and her Ph.D. and MA from the University of California, Los Angeles. She attended HILI and HAFTR yeshivas.
She is very proud of her creative daughters, Joelle Rebecca, LaGuardia high school drama major, and Sophia Elana, and is grateful to her life partner Phil for his love and friendship. She thanks her parents Sheila and Barry for being role models of community involvement and Tikun Olam.