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Star of David Awards

November 14 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

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Rabbi Gerald Sussman is one of the longest standing clergyman on Staten Island. He has served as the Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El since 1982. Prior to Temple Emanu-El, he was the Rabbi of a conservative congregation in Howell Township, NJ. A graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Sussman has an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from J.T.S. He spends his time consulting with local community members and congregants.

Rabbi Sussman is the president of the Jewish Historical Society of Staten Island. He is the President of the Board of Project Hospitality, an interfaith effort feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and caring for people with HIV/AIDS. He also serves on the Board of the Northfield Community Local Development Corporation. He is a founding member of Building Bridges of Staten Island, a non-profit corporation, founded in 2003 whose purpose is to promote a dialogue amongst the various faith organizations on Staten Island and interfaith coalition. Rabbi Sussman is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative Judaism’s rabbinical organization also a founding member of the Union For Traditional Judaism.

The Rabbi’s special interests include the history of Jews in Europe and the Americas, preserving Yiddish as a spoken language, Jewish mysticism, and activities promoting understanding between the different faith communities. He is also president and founder of the Staten Island Jewish Historical Society which is dedicated to preserving the unique history of the Staten Island Jewish community.

Dr. Larry Arann is a licensed and certified clinical psychologist, certified hypnotist and certified critical incident stress management practitioner. He earned his bachelor’s degree from C.W. Post College, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Yeshiva University. He has taught at Columbia University, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Wagner College and Richmond College.

After earning his doctorate, Arann became chief of service at South Beach Psychiatric Hospital on Staten Island. He began a private practice in 1975 that he continues to maintain while periodically pursuing additional interests, including various responsibilities in substance abuse treatment and operations for Staten Island University Hospital from 1991 to 2004. He is currently at work on a book about the dynamics and treatment of panic disorder.

As a civic professional, Arann facilitated a roundtable of high school students discussing the ramifications of the 1999 Columbine High School mass shootings. Two years later, following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, he facilitated a four-session interaction sponsored by the Staten Island Advance and Staten Island University Hospital for families and friends who lost loved ones on 9/11.

Dr. Arann was actively engaged in Staten Island Democratic Party politics for more than two decades. He was a member of the County Committee, the Executive Committee and, for a period of time, the State Committee.

Dr. Arann has served on the St. George Theatre board of directors since 2007, chairing the board from 2007 to 2011. He belonged to the Staten Island Rotary Club for 36 years, serving as president from 1979 to 1980, and was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow and a Rotary Giant. In 1998, Arann earned the Staten Island YMCA Community Award. A 1996 American Cancer Society Sword of Hope Ball honoree, Arann has given many years of service to the ACS including 15 years on its board of advisers, 17 years as its Cocktail Party chairman and 9 years as M.C. of its Breast Cancer Breakfast. He also served for 10 years as chairman of the St. John’s University Scholarship Committee, earning the President’s Medal in 1998 and honors at St. John’s annual Staten Island Golf Outing in 2006. He has been an auctioneer for the JCC’s Annual Golf, Tennis & Bocce Classic, which helps provide scholarships to the JCC Nursery school and Summer Camp.

In his spare time, he is outlining a screenplay for a comedy/drama and a mystery/drama.

Dr. Larry Arann lives in Westerleigh, Staten Island, with his wife, the former Susan Huckvale, principal owner and president of American and International Designs Inc., an award-winning interior design firm. A son, Joshua, lives in California, where he is a practicing psychotherapist, advanced yoga instructor and New Age music performer and producer.

Dr. Philip Harris moved to Staten Island in 1965 when his father, Joe, became the Executive Director of the JCC.

Involvement in the Jewish community began at an early age. During Dr. Harris’s freshman year at Binghamton University, he organized the first Federation campaign. In his sophomore year he transferred to Yeshiva University and then graduated from New York University Medical School in 1986. Throughout college and medical school he assisted his father in UJA-Federation appeals. While at NYU, he organized Jewish educational events in addition to co-chairing the first UJA-Federation fundraiser.

His involvement with the greater Jewish community continues to date. Dr. Harris has chaired Young Israel of Staten Island’s Federation campaign for over 20 years. He is a past member of Young Israel’s Board and has given presentations on medical ethics as well as being involved with the local yeshiva. After Hurricane Sandy, he was on the board of DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team), a JCC community project.

Professionally, from 1995 -2003, Dr. Harris was Chairman, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Jamaica Hospital, and from 2003-present, holds the same position at Brookdale Hospital. In addition, he is the Medical Director of Brookdale’s Adult Day Care Program. Over the years, he has served on the executive committee of the NYS Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and on the Inter-Specialty Committee of the NY Society of Medicine. He has worked for IPro, a national organization providing a full spectrum of healthcare assessment and improvement services. He was a consultant to the NYS Attorney General’s office and several District Attorney offices on fraud and abuse over a 10 year period. Dr. Harris has been interested in martial arts throughout his life and wrote a chapter in a book on alternative medicine regarding Chi Gong and western principles of medicine.

Dr. Harris and his wife, Valerie, have been married for 32 years. Valerie is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with a subspecialty in Orthopedics. She works in SoHo and has a small private practice on Staten Island. They have three sons, Danny, Mitchell and Neil, who all interned at the JCC. Mitchell married Ilana Friedman in February, giving Valerie the daughter she never had.

Maurice Schlefstein and his wife, Muriel, moved from Brooklyn shortly after the Verrazano Bridge was opened. They came with their two daughters, Linda and Dale. Their youngest daughter, Suzanne, was born on Staten Island, but her parents say she’s not considered a native since they themselves were not natives. They have been married 57 years and are the proud grandparents of eight.

He started a television and air conditioning repair and service business in Brooklyn in 1955. From 1965, when he moved to Staten Island, he commuted to Brooklyn until his retirement in 2002. Since then, he and Muriel have enjoyed traveling and spending more and more time in Florida each year.

For the past ten years, Maurice has been an active member of Temple Israel Reform Congregation. He was a two term member of the Board of Trustees and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Brotherhood. He is on the House Committee where his business expertise has been very helpful. The Schlefsteins can be found most Friday nights at Shabbat services, and are regular Torah study participants on Shabbat morning. They also support the South Shore Chabad, the Chabad at the University of South Florida in Tampa where their daughter and grandson attended. They continue to support the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas after attending while on a cruise.

As a couple, Maurice and Muriel have been honored by UJA-Federation of New York at their Annual Community Breakfast. They were also recognized for their volunteer service at Temple Israel’s 2012 Gala Dinner Dance.

Details

Date:
November 14
Time:
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Website:
https://sijcc.formstack.com/forms/star_of_david_awards

Venue

Bernikow JCC
1466 Manor Road
Staten Island, 10314
Phone:
718.475.5200

Organizer

Sylvia Cohen
Phone:
718.475.5246
Email:
scohen@sijcc.com

Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday and Amazon donates to JCC Of Staten Island.

For Membership Inquiries Please Contact:
Membership Services 718.475.5223 

Select JCC facilities are available to all organizations, groups and individuals for life cycle events, meetings and celebrations. Call 718.475.5261 for information.

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