Honoring the community’s ‘Unsung Heroes’

Unsung Heroes cover

STAFF REPORT

After a rousing start with last year’s Unsung Heroes magazine and an event with over 325 attendees, the Jewish Light is once again seeking the community’s help in honoring the Unsung Heroes among us.

Last year, the Light inaugural Unsung Heroes magazine highlighted the work of individuals and groups making a major impact – but working largely behind the scenes and without substantial public recognition for their efforts.

Unsung Heroes – one of the Light’s four Oy! magazines each year – depends on community participation to help nominate and select the year’s Heroes.

Readers nominate their Unsung Heroes and then a panel comprising diverse voices in the community reviews nominations and selects the year’s honorees. Those selected will be featured in articles in Unsung Heroes and honored during a major community event taking place Monday, May 23. Last year’s event drew hundreds of people to the Jewish Community Center’s Performing Arts & Banquet Center to recognize the 17 Unsung Heroes. This year’s event is co-chaired by Susan Fadem, Betsey Rubenstein and Sheri Sherman.

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Nomination forms are available in the ad on page 6 of today’s paper, and will run for the next six weeks. The forms are also available on our website, www.stljewishlight.com.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 18.

“Unsung Heroes seemed a perfect fit as a concept for the Light’s newest magazine,” said Publisher/CEO Larry Levin. “The community is full of individuals and groups making amazing contributions, and often not receiving the recognition they deserve. This magazine aims to help change that.”

Editor Ellen Futterman noted that last year’s Unsung Heroes represented a broad swath of people making an impact in the community. “Our nominees ran the gamut: young and old, Orthodox to Reform, Jew and non-Jews alike. We found people and groups doing incredible work in a variety of disciplines – volunteer service, environment, social advocacy, education, social services. The common thread was their commitment to going above and beyond in serving their community.”

Sherman, who also co-chaired last year’s Unsung Heroes event with Rubenstein, said the community’s response for the Unsung Heroes was tremendous. “We weren’t quite sure what to expect last year, since it was our first time planning the event. However, the concept truly resonated with the community and we were overwhelmed with the support – and the turnout.”

Light President Gianna Jacobson said Unsung Heroes is a perfect fit for the newspaper’s mission of “Connecting the Community.”

“The media are often criticized for ignoring the ‘positive’ stories in the community. This magazine is focused on highlighting the wonderful work taking place in our community – and giving our readers the opportunity to have a voice in nominating those Unsung Heroes among us.”