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Hartford Federation names recipients of the 2015 Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism Award

WEST HARTFORD – Three members of Hartford’s Jewish community are recipients of the Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism Award presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford.

Jonas Steiner of West Hartford and Victor Bernstein of Windsor were presented with their awards at the Federation’s 2015 Annual Meeting and 70th Anniversary Celebration, held on June 18 at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford. Hedyth Fishman of West Hartford accepted the award presented posthumously to her husband, Robert B. Fishman z”l.

The Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism Award was established to honor individuals in the Hartford Jewish community who embody the Jewish values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (righteous giving), and achdut Israel, unity of the Jewish people.

“The award is given to unsung heroes who have given tirelessly of their talents, skills, time, resources and energy in service of building and strengthening our Jewish community locally and abroad,” said Eric Zachs, incoming chair of the board of the Jewish Federation, who presented the awards.

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Jonas Steiner accepts his award from Eric M. Zachs.

Jonas Steiner, vice president of Admissions and Social Work at Hebrew HealthCare, joined the staff of the West Hartford home and hospital in 1980. He was recognized with the Henry M. Zachs 2015 Spirit of Judaism award for his superb social work skills and his empathy for families and frail elderly in crisis. “Jonas’ compassion, skill, modesty and humility make him an exceptional listener and problem solver,” said Bonnie Gaulthier, president and CEO of Hebrew HealthCare.

Victor Bernstein, community co-Campaign Division chair of the Jewish Federation, was recognized with a 2015 Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism Award for devoting his life to the Jewish community in a humble and selfless manner and transmitting that love for Judaism to his community, and his children and grandchildren. In addition to his co-chairmanship of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Community Campaign division and Bess & Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy volunteerism, he has served on the board of the University of Hartford Hillel. He is an active member of the Brotherhood of Beth Sholom-B’nai Israel and in 2014 completed the Arava Bike Ride in Israel, a weeklong ride that supports environmental studies and a healthy sustainable world.

Robert B. Fishman z”l was posthumously awarded the Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism Award. A life-long resident of West Hartford, Fishman was a life member of The Emanuel Synagogue and an active board member and volunteer at the Bess & Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy. He was an avid volunteer at the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, serving on the Community Capital Campaign. ‘Bob’ and his wife, Hedyth, supported many causes of importance and believed that those fortunate enough should give generously.

CAP: Victor Bernstein accepts his award from Eric M. Zachs.

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