Five West Hartford residents to be honored by Young Israel

WEST HARTFORD – Five West Hartford residents will be honored at the annual awards dinner of the Young Israel of West Hartford on Sunday evening, March 6, at Marquee Events in Hartford.

Judie and Lal Patel will receive the Young Israel’s Lifetime Service Award. Judie is a member of the Orthodox synagogue’s Board of Directors; Lal is a past president (1996-1998). In the early 1980s, the couple was involved in fundraising and reconstructing the shul after a devastating fire. The Patels have hosted many shul and community events in their home and helped plan Purim Seudahs and Friday night dinners. Judie has produced the weekly YIWH bulletin since 2003. The Patels are the parents of two children, Ranit and Rafi.

Shayne and Stu Kesler will be presented with the synagogue’s Community Leadership Award. A former Young Israel Board member, Shayne currently serves on the Executive Board of the Bess & Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy in Bloomfield. Stu currently serves on the Young Israel Board of Directors and is a member of the Executive Board the Hebrew High School of New England. He also volunteers his time to help the Hartford Kashrut Commission and serves on several professional committees at Hartford HealthCare. The Keslers are the parents of four children, Elijah, Eden, Nira and Lexi.

Jay Gershman will receive the Young Israel’s Etz Chaim (Tree of Life) Award. A past president of the Board of Directors of Solomon Schechter Day School in West Hartford, he currently serves as treasurer of the University of Connecticut Hillel. At the Young Israel, Gershman has donated his time and resources on a number of beautification projects. Gershman, who in 2007 formed the retirement planning firm Retirement Visions LLC, is president of the Hartford Council and the 700-member State of Connecticut Financial Planning Association. He and his wife, Nancy, and the parents of two daughters, Haley and Emily.

The gala awards dinner will begin at 5:30, with cocktails and appetizers, followed by dinner and a program. For information visit www.youngisraelwh.org.

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