Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame 2015
“BJHI was created to tell the extraordinary story of the Jewish community of Brooklyn, so the world would know’ said Howard Teich, BJHI Founder and Co-chair, “and the BJHI Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame will recognize the leading Brooklynites who have truly made a difference in the world, and there are many.”
“We wanted to be sure that the first class had a representative balance,” said Sarina Roffé, BJHI Co-chair. “So we have someone from the Russian community, the Syrian community, etc., as well as business leaders, social activists and entertainers.”
Brooklyn Daily Eagle Reports: Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative inducts 12 into its first Hall of Fame
Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame Celebration
Julie Budd is considered to be one of the most exciting singers on the scene today. Winner of the Broadway World Award for Best Show – “They Wrote The Songs” – Julie Budd has enjoyed a very multi-faceted career that ranges from television to film, along with the New York stage and symphonies all over the country. The New York Times raved with a full two page glowing retrospect of Julie’s career, declaring Ms. Budd “The Consummate Performer.” She appeared on over 100 Merv Griffin’s shows, The Tonight Show, Entertainment Tonight, and every major TV show in the country. She co-starred with such legendary performers as Frank Sinatra, Liberace and Carol Burnett. Julie’s concerts have included performances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The London Palladium, Tel Aviv’s Israel Performing Art’s Center, venues in Las Vegas, and major Symphony Halls all over the United States. Julie also toured as Guest Artist for seven years, with the late great Marvin Hamlisch. She has also had an amazing career as an actress. www.juliebudd.com
Hon Elizabeth Holtzman
Hon Elizabeth Holtzman is a former 4-term member of the US House of Representatives (US 16th District). She was the first woman to hold office as the New York City Comptroller, and the District Attorney of Kings County, NY. A daughter of Brooklyn, she drew national media attention in 1974 as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which recommended three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. A graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School, she is now a private practice attorney and author on politics. She published a memoir in 1996, Who said it would be easy: one woman’s life in the political arena (Cynthia L. Cooper, coauthor).
Alan Dershowitz – an American lawyer, jurist, author, and political commentator. He is a prominent scholar on United States constitutional law and criminal law, and a leading defender of civil liberties. He spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history. He held the Felix Frankfurter professorship there from 1993 until his 2013 retirement. A Brooklyn native, Dershowitz has been involved in several legal cases and is a commentator on the Arab–Israeli conflict. As a criminal appellate lawyer, he has won 13 of the 15 murder and attempted murder cases he has handled, and has represented a series of celebrity clients, including Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, and Jim Bakker. His most notable cases include his role in 1984 in overturning the conviction of Claus von Bülow for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny, and as the appellate adviser for the defense in the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995. Read More
Hon Marty Markowitz
Hon Marty Markowitz – A State Senator for 23 years and Brooklyn Borough President for 3 terms, Markowitz is Brooklyn’s most avid cheerleader. Born in Crown Heights, he formed the Flatbush Tenants Council which grew into Brooklyn Housing & Family Services, the largest tenant advocacy organization operating in New York State today. Markowitz used the Boro President’s office to be an aggressive advocate for Brooklyn, promoting mainstream tourism and events, such as his well known summer concert series. Read More
Charles Diker has had wide-ranging experience in the investment advisory field, as well as in the management or on the boards of several operating businesses. He is the Managing Partner and Chairman of Diker Management, LLC. and is a Non-Managing Principal at Weiss, Peck & Greer, an investment management firm. He is a Member of Office of Chairman at Cantel Medical Corp. and its Chairman of the Board. He served as an Investment Manager at Cantel Medical Corp. He is Chairman of Cantel Industries and a Trustee at Brooklyn Academy Of Music Inc. A Brooklyn native, he is a Director of Loews Corp; a Member of the Board of Trustees at WNYC Radio; a Director of International Specialty Products; Director at Chyron Corporation (aka yronHego Corp.) and AMF Bowling Worldwide; Director at Carolina Group and a Director of AMF Bowling Inc., and Beauticontrol Inc.
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik – is a rabbi and radio show host. He currently serves as the Executive Vice-President of the New York Board of Rabbis, the largest interdenominational body of its kind. Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights, he is co-host of Religion on the Line on WABC 770 AM. Rabbi Potasnik has served as Chaplain of the New York City Fire Department, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the New York Press Club, maintaining a high profile in public affairs in the City. Rabbi Potasnik received a BA from Yeshiva College and an MS from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University. He received rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University in 1972, and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.
Fyvush Finkel – is an American actor best known as a star of Yiddish theater and for his role as lawyer Douglas Wambaugh on the television series Picket Fences, for which he earned an Emmy Award in 1994. He is also known for his portrayal of Harvey Lipschultz, a crotchety U.S. history teacher, on the TV series Boston Public. Born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, he adopted the stage name “Fyvush.” Read More
Joseph Shamie – is a philanthropist and member of Brooklyn’s Sephardic community. He is President of Delta Enterprises, the world’s largest manufacturer of cribs and baby furniture, started by his father Louis Shamie. The company donates tens of thousands of cribs each year. In 2011, Joseph Shamie received the Humanitarian Award from Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.). Joseph is leading the industry efforts on safety by educating parents on sleeping habits, as well as donating new cribs to children in need worldwide, since forming his relationship with K.I.D.S. over twenty years ago. Joseph serves as treasurer of the Sephardic Community Center and is a Project Education Board Member.
Henry Foner is a social activist and former president of the Joint Board of Fur, Leather and Machine Workers Union. A native of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as labor union leader and social activist, he worked on issues from promoting civil rights to protesting the Vietnam War. He served as vice-chairman of the Liberal Party of New York. In 1973, he went to Spain to observe a Carabanchel Ten trial. Foner worked to keep the union free of corruption, and to insulate the union from criticism that it was Communist-led. For many years, he taught labor history and wrote a column for the journal Jewish Currents magazine. He served as president of the Paul Robeson Foundation, on the editorial board of Jewish Currents magazine, and editor of Work History News (newsletter of the New York Labor History Association.
Hon Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Charles “Chuck” Ellis Schumer has dedicated his career to protecting the middle class and helping those working to reach it. Though he has become a leader in finding common sense solutions to national issues, Chuck has built a reputation as a tireless fighter for New York, visiting all 62 counties every year and talking to constituents in every corner of our state. Chuck was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 23, 1950 to parents Selma, a homemaker active in the community, and Abe, who owned a small exterminating business. Chuck grew up the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood and with his siblings, Fran and Robert, attended PS 197 and Madison High School. Chuck has two daughters, Jessica and Alison, and he still resides in Brooklyn with his wife, Iris Weinshall. Read More
Mordecai Tokarsky – Iris Weinshall was appointed Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction, and Management at The City University of New York in April 2007, after having served the City of New York City for more than 25 years, most recently as Commissioner of Transportation. A Brooklyn native, Ms. Weinshall graduated cum laude from Brooklyn College, and earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In 2000, she was named Alumna of the Year by the Brooklyn College Alumni Association, the group’s highest honor, in recognition of her commitment to the betterment of the community through her many professional and civic achievements.
Iris Weinshall – is a Jewish Educator and community activist in New York. A Refusnik, he was born in the former Soviet Union and is one was one of the first Jewish Educators from the former Soviet Union to be educated in the US. In 2006, he helped found Russian American Jewish Experience and is currently the National Director of the organization.
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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