JCC Hall of Fame Honors Change-Makers

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Fabian Homer Kolker’s family attended the JCC Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame to honor him. From left: Richard Kolker, Nancie Grossman, Gloria Kolker Hack and Joanne Hack. (Susan C. Ingram photo)

Gloria Kolker Hack may not be as mobile as she was when making trips to Russia and Israel with her brother, Fabian Homer Kolker, helping Soviet Jewry. But the 93-year-old made sure she was in the audience May 15 at the 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame at the JCC Induction Ceremony at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills to honor her late brother — along with nine others who have made lasting impacts on the Baltimore Jewish community and beyond.

In addition to Kolker, honorees were: Dr. Henry Brem, Mark Greenberg, the late David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn, Dr. Barbara R. Heller, Rebecca A. Hoffberger, Mark K. Joseph, Paul Miller and the late Rabbi Samuel Rosenblatt. The event helps raise funds for programs, camps and education initiatives at the JCC, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore.


“My brother devoted his entire life to helping save Soviet Jews,” Hack said. “He was so dedicated and so brave. Fabian went to the former Soviet Union 14 times and to the State of Israel about 27 times in the interest of resettlement of Soviet Jews.”

Kolker, one of the founders of the American Conference on Soviet Jewry, advocated for repressed for Jews 30 years, reportedly helping about 150 families to resettle. He was on the board of many organizations and established academic and youth centers across the area.

The ceremony was introduced by Hall of Fame co-chairs Linda A. Hurwitz and Laura Rubenstein and JCC CEO Barak Hermann. WBAL-TV’s news anchor Deborah Weiner was the evening’s presenter.

In his introduction, Hermann said the 2019 inductees had “tackled some of the most complicated health issues, advanced Jewish and secular education, created an inspiring platform for arts and culture, demonstrated the love and importance of sports and how it brings people together, advocated for freeing Soviet Jews, and as philanthropists ensured the well-being of our Baltimore Jewish community.” He said the honorees “truly embody the Jewish value of tikkun olam, repairing the world, as they all have made significant contributions to our society.”

Dr. Henry Brem (Screenshot 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame video)

As a leading academic neurosurgeon, Dr. Henry Brem has been Johns Hopkins Medicine chief of neurosurgery and department director since 2000.

Mark Greenberg (Screenshot 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame video)

Mark Greenberg, famed Johns Hopkins lacrosse defenseman and Maryland State Athletic Hall of Famer, helped develop lacrosse programs in the Middle East and coached the Israel National Team.

David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn (Screenshot 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame video)

David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn are legendary philanthropists in the Jewish community, globally promoting education, social justice and human rights.

Dr. Barbara Heller (Screenshot 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame video)

Barbara R. Heller changed the face of hospital care and nursing and improved healthcare for underserved and vulnerable populations.

Rebecca A. Hoffberger (Screenshot 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame video)

Rebecca A. Hoffberger has championed mental health advocacy, the arts, education and equal opportunity as co-founder, director and curator of the American Visionary Art Museum.

Mark K. Joseph (Screenshot 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame video)

Mark. K. Joseph, president of The Shelter Foundation and founder of The Shelter Group/Brightview Senior Living companies, has worked in development and housing while championing arts and education.

Fabian Homer Kolker (Screenshot 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame video)

Kolker, one of the founders of the American Conference on Soviet Jewry, advocated for repressed for Jews 30 years, reportedly helping about 150 families to resettle. He was on the board of many organizations and established academic and youth centers across the area.

Paul Miller (Screenshot 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame video)

Paul Miller taught math for more than 80 years, a world record, at 20 institutions. He was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2011.

Rabbi Samuel Rosenblatt (Screenshot 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame video)

Rabbi Samuel Rosenblatt became Beth Tfoloh’s first rabbi in 1927 and was spiritual leader until 1972, including starting the day school in 1941 and day camp in 1943.

BT’s Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg has fond memories of Rosenblatt, whom he first met when he was 32.

“He warmly greeted me and said, ‘I will call you Mitchell, and you can call me Sam,’” Wohlberg remembered. “I told him he could certainly call me Mitchell, but I would never be able to call him Sam. And I never did! He was a giant in my eyes.”

Please see their accomplishments detailed at jcc.org/2019-honorees.

singram@midatlanticmedia.com

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