[by Deb Aubespin and Shiela Steinman Wallace]
Marie and Ron Abrams will be honored at The Temple’s 7th Annual Tribute Dinner on Sunday, June 3, at 6 p.m. at The Temple.
The Abrams have been long-time civic volunteers whose commitment to both the Jewish community and the Louisville community at large is well known. For those of us either new to the area or simply unfamiliar with their advocacy on behalf of those who have suffered from social injustice, it is time for a lesson in tikkun olam – the repair of the world.
The Abrams have worked side by side not only in Louisville but also at the state and national level, creating awareness of the need for human rights and equal opportunity for all. They’ve also encouraged others to follow in their footsteps and created a permanent legacy to honor those who devote their lives to tikkun olam with the Ronald and Marie Abrams Volunteer of the Year Award, presented by the Jewish Community of Louisville.
Marie is a former chair and long-time board member of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which affords her the opportunity to confer with high-ranking American and international officials, including Israeli prime ministers, journalists, and prominent Palestinians. She also served United Jewish Communities (now Jewish Federations of North America) as a trustee and member of the Human Services and Social Policy Pillar.
Marie currently holds a seat on the University of Louisville Board of Trustees and is a member of the Health and Long Term Care working group for Jewish Federations of America.
In Louisville, she previously served as a member of the boards of the University of Louisville, the Center for Women and Families, Jewish Hospital; as president of National Council of Jewish Women and chair of the Kentucky Commission on Women; Jewish Community Federation Board member, chair of its Jewish Community Relations Council, leader of several task forces and a leader in the Federation’s Annual Campaign.
Through participation on these and many other boards in the community as well as numerous governmental boards and committees, Marie has earned a reputation as a compassionate community advocate.
She received the Jewish Community Center’s Blanche B. Ottenheimer Award in 1999 in recognition of her years of dedicated leadership in the community and the difference she has made for good in Louisville. She also received NCJW’s Hannah G. Solomon Award, the Federation’s Lewis Cole Young Leadership Award, the National Conference’s Brotherhood Award, the Wilson Wyatt Sr. Award from Leadership Kentucky. She was chosen as a Woman of Distinction by the Center for Women and Families in 2003. She’s also a graduate of Leadership Louisville.
Ron served as president of The Temple – Adath Israel B’rith Sholom (B’rith Sholom) from 1975-1977. He has also served as president and treasurer of the Jewish Community Federation, co-chair of the Federation’s Annual Campaign and chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council. He has also served in numerous capacities with the Federation’s endowment.
Ron has served as Chairman of the Board of Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Health Care, as well as on boards as diverse as The Urban League, The Actors Theatre, and the Council on Peacemaking.
Nationally, he served as treasurer of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and as a member of the Task Force on Equal Opportunity and Social Justice.
He, too, has also served on many community service boards and governmental committees and taskforces and has received awards from both the local Jewish community and local and statewide non-profit groups, including the Jewish Community Federation’s Young Leadership Award in 1974; B’nai B’rith’s Person of the Year Award in 1992; and Metro United Way’s Allen Society, Volunteer of the Year Award in 1994.
Other awards, honors and accolades have followed for Marie and Ron Abrams, but they say that they have always been motivated by the saying from Pirkei Avot, “We are not required to complete the task, but neither are we free to desist from it.”
The community is invited to join in the celebration as The Temple recognizes this amazing couple, while continuing its efforts to raise funds for the congregation and to work for a vibrant Jewish community in Louisville.
A memory book is also being prepared for Ron and Marie, with a deadline of May 18 to purchase space.
For information about tickets for the dinner or contributions to the memory book, contact The Temple at 423-1818 or visit their website at: www.templeaibs.org.