The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore awarded eight of their staff members and advocates with 2023 leadership awards, signifying their notable contributions to the Associated community.
From young adult leaders to rabbis, the June 28 awards ceremony recognized people from across the spectrum of involvement in the Jewish community for their hard work, dedication and willingness to go above and beyond in philanthropy and leadership.
The awards given out each year are the Fred Walpert Young Leadership Award, which honors one male and one female leader aged 23-40; the Harry Greenstein Young Leadership Award, focusing on involvement in the global Jewish community; the Julius Rosenberg Memorial Award, for campaign leaders aged 30-45; the Zelda Miller Award, for young adult philanthropists; and the Carole Sibel Outstanding Fundraising Achievement Award, for committed and dedicated fundraisers.
“For me, The Associated embodies what we believe in the community — the collaboration, the teamwork, generation to generation and the importance of building something special together,” said Michael Fuld, one of the winners of the Zelda Miller award, in his acceptance speech. “I wouldn’t be here without the work of many people.”
Fuld has spent the last two years as a chair of The Associated’s Young Adult Division, working as a fundraiser and helping to solicit new members. Even prior to his work for the organization, he spent much of his life working with children and young adults in the Reform movement, serving as the senior assistant director of URJ Kutz Camp and with the Union for Reform Judaism’s youth programs.
“There’s a generational aspect to the work I do,” he said in an interview with the JT. “I do this work because I believe in the power of the Jewish community, and I want there to be these kinds of amazing supports and connections for my children and grandchildren.”
As if to punctuate his point, Fuld’s young daughter joined him onstage when he accepted the award.
The other Zelda Miller Award honoree was Lauren Sibel, who also works with YAD and served as the chair of The Associated’s Conversations Happening Around Town programs for two years. Sibel is actually related to Carole Sibel, the namesake of the organization’s fundraising achievement award.
“I know that she would be so proud of me tonight,” she said, joking that “Knowing her, she probably would have tried taking over the event planning for this entire evening.”
The Fred Walpert Young Leadership Award went to two other YAD board members: Pammy Franklin and Jordan M. Halle. Franklin is also involved with CHAT programs, having been a past host of several events. In addition to his Associated work, Halle sits on the board of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Both are natives of the Baltimore-area Jewish community.
Rabbi Yanky Schorr was the winner of the Julius Rosenberg Memorial Award, notable for its prize of a trip to Israel. In addition to serving on The Associated’s board of directors and board of governors, Schorr is involved in many local community organizations, including the JCC of Greater Baltimore and previously Pearlstone and CHAI. He is also a past recipient of the Zelda Miller Award, having been selected for it in 2017.
“Leadership is the language we speak in our home and the themes our children are growing up with,” Schorr said, referring to his wife and three daughters. “These amazing humans do what they do so that [my children and their friends] can live in a community where there are programs and services for [them] to live the most incredible and authentic Jewish life possible. And that’s beautiful.”
Another honoree, Sarah R. David, is also a past award winner. In 2019, she was awarded the Fred Walpert Young Leadership Award. Now, she has received the Harry Greenstein Award, along with fellow honoree, Isaac Pretter. David is the deputy state prosecutor at the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor, while Pretter is the founder of the commercial real estate firm Mosaic Realty Partners. Both have previously held leadership positions with The Associated.
Finally, Robert A. Manekin was awarded with the Carole Sibel Outstanding Fundraising Achievement Award. He closed out the awards ceremony, being honored with the title for his continued contributions to The Associated. The award is one of the most recent, with Manekin being the seventh person to receive it.
Manekin lists Baltimore’s Jewish community as being one of the three most important things in his life, with the other two being his family and career. He is also a past president of the JCC of Greater Baltimore and has served on the boards of many Baltimore Jewish organizations.
“The great thing about getting an award is that it’s an invitation to continue doing the work that needs to be done,” he said. “It’s recognition that you are one of the people who can do it, and that you should keep doing it. I keep contributing because there is always work to be done.”