The 2016 Elsie P. Judah Award for volunteer service to the Senior Adult Department will be presented to Joe Rothstein at the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Annual Meeting in June.
Although Rothstein still works, selling promotional products, on most weekdays he can be found in The J’s Senior Adult Lounge where he helps serve lunch and lends a hand wherever his help is needed. He also exercises regularly and is a member of a walking group, and on Wednesdays, he enjoys participating in Rabbi Michael Wolk’s Jews and Brews study group that meets in the J’s Library.
In fact, The J has always been an important part of Rothstein’s life. “I grew up at the YMHA,” he said, “and my kids grew up at the JCC.” His earliest memory of the organization is participating in a gymnastics performance at the State Fair for the YMHA. He enjoyed sports and was a member of the Cardinals Intermural which became AZA 404. Several years later, he served as president of the YMHA’s young adult group.
The award came as a surprise to him and he insists that he really doesn’t do that much for the Senior Adult Program.
He shared that his wife, Elinor Myers Rothstein died less than a month ago, and much of his time in the last few years was spent visiting her.
Joe Rothstein’s three children are Shelley (Harry) of Centerville OH, Michael (Doreen) of Chicago, and Jack (Debbie) also of Chicago. Joe’s grandchildren are Eric Barnes, Hilary Soroosh (Tim), Evan Rothstein, Connor Rothstein, and twins Alex and Nikki Rothstein. Michael Rothstein is a former chair of the Anti-Defamation League’s Chicago Regional Board.
Throughout his life, Rothstein worked in retailing. He’s also tech savvy, and served on the Board and as software editor for KIPCUG, a personal computers users group.
Rothstein said he was raised at Adath Jeshurun and his wife was raised at Keneseth Israel, so when they married, they joined KI. Today, he is a regular member of KI’s Thursday evening minyan.
Elsie P. Judah and her friend, Ronetta Mayer, established the Golden Age Group for active seniors when the Jewish Community Center was built on Dutchmans Lane. When she died in 1972, she left a bequest to the JCC, and her son, Clarence F. Judah designated the proceeds for the Elsie P. Judah Award to be made annually to a Club 60 member for meritorious service.
Watch for details about the JCL Annual Meeting in the next issue of Community.