With Our Thanks:

-Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
-Former NY City Councilman Michael C. Nelson

Councilmembers: -Darlene Mealy, Stephen Levin, Chaim Deutsch, David Greenfield

-Jim Goldman, Charles Diker, Lloyd Handwerker, Hon Alice Fisher Rubin, Lowell Rubin, Raoul Felder bhs-logo2

Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame 2016


Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative (BJHI)

Second Annual BJHI

Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame Celebration

Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative Hall of Fame 2016

Class of 2016 Inductees

Simon Bergson  |  Neshama Carlebach

Nicole Dweck  |  Jake Ehrenreich

Raoul Felder  |  Lloyd Handwerker

Lainie Kazan  |  Jack Laub

Bruce Ratner  |  Alice Fisher Rubin


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Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative (BJHI, Inc) is a 501c3 organization incorporated in New York State and located at 3603 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, NY 11234



Simon Bergson is the Founder, President and CEO of Manhattan Beer Distributors.  He started Manhattan Beer Distrfibutors in 1978 with not much more than a dream, a desire to work hard and a handful of employees.  Manhattan Beer Distributors’ first warehouse was a 4,000 square foot garage located on East 5th Street in Manhattan, hence the name.

Today, Manhattan Beer Distributors has grown to employ over 1,800 people and is one of the largest beer distributors in the country, delivering over 45 million cases of beer annually.   Operating out of five warehouses:  the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Wyandanch, and Suffern, Manhattan Beer Distributors’ warehouse capacity has grown from 4,000 square feet to over 1,500,000 square feet… Read More


Neshama Carlebach, a leading superstar in Jewish Entertainment, is continuing the legacy established by her father Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Like her father, Neshama’s talent and charisma captivate and endear her to people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds. Neshama has performed and taught in cities worldwide, sung on the Broadway stage, sold more than one million records, and was a six-time entrant in the 2011 Grammy Awards. Neshama was one of the creators of the Broadway play “Soul Doctor”… Read More


Nicole Dweck holds a BA in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Global Affairs from NYU. When The Debt of Tamar, her debut novel, was published, it was a USA Today bestseller and received a fiction award from Writer’s Digest. She lives in New York City with her husband and children and is currently working on her second novel.



Jake Ehrenreich is a musician, author and performer. A Brooklyn born child of Holocaust survivors, he is best known for his award winning show A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, which broke box office records at the historic Lambs Theater in the heart of Broadway, and is now also a best selling book by HCI (the Chicken Soup for the Soul publishers).

The Borough of Brooklyn and the City of New York honored Jake by proclaiming March 17, 2012 A Jew Grows in Brooklyn Day, and the Carnegie Deli followed suit by likewise naming a sandwich to honor the occasion… Read More


Raoul Lionel Felder (born in Brooklyn, is an American lawyer and matrimonial attorney. Felder has written eight books and has published numerous articles related to matrimonial law, politics and social issues. Felder is listed in New York Law Journal’s 100 Most Powerful Lawyers in America and in all editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law and was profiled in the cover article of the May, 2008 issue of The New Yorker Magazine… Read More

BJHI Family Recognition

Acceptance by Lloyd Handwerker

The Handwerker Family is famous for Nathan’s Famous, the hot dog stand in Coney Island that began in 1916 by Nathan and Ida Handwerker. A jewish immigrant, Nathan arrive in New York in 1912 and found work in Coney island, then a resort that attracts thousands each summer to its rides and beach. Nathan and Ida spent their life savings of $300 to begin the business. Nathan’s expanded, franchised, and was sold in 1987 to private investors. The original Coney Island hot dog stand still exists and is open for business 365 days a year… Read More


Brooklyn-born Lainie Kazan (born May 15, 1940) is an American actress and singer. She was nominated for the 1988 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for St. Elsewhere, and the 1993 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for My Favorite Year. She had previously received a Golden Globe Award nomination for the film version of My Favorite Year (1982). Her other film appearances include The Delta Force (1986), Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Beaches (1988), My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)… Read More


Jack Laub’s incredible basketball career, his service as a U.S. Officer during World War II and his pioneering initiatives in the pharmaceutical world testify to his great accomplishments which have earned him distinct honors during his lifetime.
Laub’s basketball career began at an early age, as a varsity player for Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY… Read More


A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Alice Fisher Rubin has had an auspicious career as an attorney (2011-) and a NYC Civil Court Judge (1998-2011). A Brooklyn native, she was An Administrative Law Judge for the Dept of Motor Vehicles (1994-1998) , Associate General Counsel for the Health Insurance Plan of NY (1992-1993), and Law Secretary for the NYS Supreme Court in Kings County (1991-1992). Alice was a full professor at Long Island University (1975-1999, 2012) and lecturer at CUNY Technical College (1986-1988)… Read More


Bruce Ratner is the Executive Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, a New York-based real estate development company which he started in 1985. As one of the largest urban real estate developers in the country, Mr. Ratner has developed 44 ground-up projects in the New York City area over nearly 30 years, including several important to Brooklyn.

Mr. Ratner developed Barclays Center, the new state of the art entertainment venue in Brooklyn… Read More