Today is September 17, 2019 -

Mazel Tov to Beth El’s Annual Award Winners

Margie Gutnik
President’s Award to a Non-Board Member
This award is presented for dedication and service to the congregation by a non-board member. After serving as Program Director for ten years, Margie retired in 2016 to spend more time with her family. Fortunately for us, her commitment to Beth El has remained strong. Margie continues to help out wherever needed, whether it’s with programs through the Miriam Initiative, using her eagle eyes to help proof publications, or serving as a sounding board that only someone with her level of expertise and institutional knowledge could bring to the table. We are lucky to have a dedicated congregant like Margie Gutnik.


Ari Kohen
Earl Siegel Award to a Board Member
This award was created in Earl Siegel’s honor in recognition of his personal involvement during his years at Beth El. Ari is a constant presence at Shabbat and Festival services, and is active not only at Beth El but in the greater Omaha Jewish Community. He has been Beth El’s Religious Life Committee Chair for the past three years, serving on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. He also recently led a group of congregants to develop the Shabbat B’Yachad Friday night service. Ari cares deeply about Beth El and helping it continue to flourish, and is most deserving of this award.


Gary D. Epstein
Selwyn Roffman Award for Religious Growth
This award was established in memory of Selwyn Roffman, a man who enjoyed singing in the choir, celebrating Shabbat with his family, and was very dedicated to Judaism and Beth El. Gary began coming to services daily to say kaddish after his mom, Etta Epstein z”l, passed away in 2015. After the year of saying kaddish passed, he continued to be a regular attendee at minyan. In addition to attending services, Gary has learned how to lead parts of the weekday liturgy. He also sits on Beth El’s Board of Trustees. Gary’s religious growth and dedication to Beth El make him an ideal recipient of this award.


Joel Rich
Larry DeBruin Service to Synagogue Award
This award is given in honor of Larry DeBruin, for his many years of service as Beth El’s Executive Director. Like Larry, Joel has demonstrated his deep love of Beth El. Joel is always willing to step up in a big way, most recently as Interim Treasurer when we really needed his help. His incredible understanding of our congregation has been invaluable. In addition, our annual Cantor’s Concert has broken fundraising records the last few years with Joel serving as Concert Co- Chair. Beth El is very fortunate to have a dedicated volunteer like Joel Rich.