2018-05-09 / Local News

Tribute event highlights Kellman Brown’s 60 years of achievement

By DAVID PORTNOE Voice Editor


1. Honored at the Kellman Brown Academy Tribute Dinner were (from left), Lauren Green, Sarah Salmansohn, Ilene Mautner, Zev Rose, Joanna Greenfield, and Marvin Samson. 1. Honored at the Kellman Brown Academy Tribute Dinner were (from left), Lauren Green, Sarah Salmansohn, Ilene Mautner, Zev Rose, Joanna Greenfield, and Marvin Samson. Kellman Brown Academy celebrated its 60th anniversary with a moving Tribute Dinner attended by over 400 supporters on Apr. 25. The 15th annual event celebrated the school and the visionaries who have helped to keep the school vibrant during its history and into the future. The 2018 Tribute Dinner honoree was community leader M. Zev Rose. Also honored were the Marvin Samson Foundation, teachers Ilene Mautner and Sarah Salmansohn, who received the Herman Fraint Memorial Award, and Lauren Green, recipient of the Bass Family Volunteer Award. There was also a special musical presentation by the third grade students and several videos highlighting school achievements, including a video on KBA’s new Jewish Community STEM Lab opening in the fall. The event was chaired by Abby Belafsky.


2. KBA Board members pictured were (from left), Robert Schwartz; Robert Benedon; Helene Sterling; Tribute Dinner Chair Abby Belafsky; Deena Sherman, executive director of Kellman Brown Academy; Susan Levine, president of Kellman Brown Academy; Rena Platt-Goldstein; Joanna Greenfield; Jeffrey Resnick; and Rachel Zivic, principal of Kellman Brown Academy. Not pictured are: Michael Bass, Cindi Hasit, Alexis Kushner, Neil Levin, and Allison Schulman. 2. KBA Board members pictured were (from left), Robert Schwartz; Robert Benedon; Helene Sterling; Tribute Dinner Chair Abby Belafsky; Deena Sherman, executive director of Kellman Brown Academy; Susan Levine, president of Kellman Brown Academy; Rena Platt-Goldstein; Joanna Greenfield; Jeffrey Resnick; and Rachel Zivic, principal of Kellman Brown Academy. Not pictured are: Michael Bass, Cindi Hasit, Alexis Kushner, Neil Levin, and Allison Schulman. Speaking prior to the start of the program at Cong. Beth El, KBA Board President Susan Levine said that it was truly an honor that so many people came out to pay tribute to Zev Rose, the teachers, volunteers, and the Marvin Samson Foundation. During the Tribute Dinner, she noted that the school was started by a handful of visionary families “who took a leap of faith and enrolled their children in the then-Beth El Hebrew Academy.” She said that their faith has been borne out, as today’s Kellman Brown Academy is devoted to Jewish continuity and is working hard for the Jewish future.


3. Helping to plan the Tribute Dinner were committee members (from left), Robert Benedon, Alicia Schwartz, Helene Sterling, Laurie Covington, Event Chair Abby Belafsky, Rena Platt-Goldstein, Joanna Greenfield, Jana Gelernt, Pamela Adler, and Sondra Agus. Not pictured were Tara Berman, Ellen Barmach, Andrew Barnett, and Candy Rubin. 3. Helping to plan the Tribute Dinner were committee members (from left), Robert Benedon, Alicia Schwartz, Helene Sterling, Laurie Covington, Event Chair Abby Belafsky, Rena Platt-Goldstein, Joanna Greenfield, Jana Gelernt, Pamela Adler, and Sondra Agus. Not pictured were Tara Berman, Ellen Barmach, Andrew Barnett, and Candy Rubin. “We, as a community, can make a difference for our kids and our local Jewish identity,” said Sid Brown, who welcomed people to the event together with his wife Sandy. In addition to the honorees, he pointed to the role played in the school’s continuity by the Jewish Federation, the Saltzman Foundation, parents, and Principal Rachel Zivic.

Rabbi Aaron Krupnick, of Cong. Beth El, who gave the D’var Torah, mentioned that in the early days of the school, Rabbi Isaac Furman would pick up children in his car to bring them to school. Furman, last year’s KBA honoree, was the longtime principal and head of school. He was in attendance this year and did the Motzi.


4. Sandy and Sid Brown (right) congratulate honoree Zev Rose. 4. Sandy and Sid Brown (right) congratulate honoree Zev Rose. In his remarks, Krupnick spoke about the wisdom that comes from life experience. In a moving gesture, he asked Zev Rose to stand and look around the room. As the crowd applauded, Krupnick asked Rose to feel the love in the room.

Joanna Greenfield presented a special Tribute Award to her father, Marvin Samson and the Marvin Samson Foundation. She spoke about KBA’s role in the community and her father’s devotion to both KBA and the Jewish community. She said that the more successful he became during his career, the more he gave back to the community. She read a special letter of recognition from New Jersey Sen. James Beach in honor of her father and the foundation.


5. Representing the Raymond & Gertrude R. Saltzman Foundation were (from left), Executive Director Vicki Zell, Alan Wechsler, Donald Love, Foundation President Harvey Shapiro, Janine Sobel, Richard Goldstein, Robert Schwartz, and Arthur Abramowitz. 5. Representing the Raymond & Gertrude R. Saltzman Foundation were (from left), Executive Director Vicki Zell, Alan Wechsler, Donald Love, Foundation President Harvey Shapiro, Janine Sobel, Richard Goldstein, Robert Schwartz, and Arthur Abramowitz. “How great is it to be introduced by your daughter. I’m still kvelling,” Marvin Samson said in accepting the award. He spoke about why he supports Kellman Brown Academy and why it is so needed in the community. “I see firsthand the education my grandchildren receive,” he said.

The Hon. Judith Wizmur urged the audience to support KBA financially. The extremely successful event raised $430,000.

Wizmur spoke about growing up in communist Hungary. Here in the US, she and her husband started sending their children to the local Friends school. When family friends convinced them to look at Kellman, it was Rabbi Furman who sealed the deal when he said, “You’re a Jew, not a Quaker.” She said that at Kellman, her children were imbued with Jewish values. She said that her entire family learned from the children, and the family’s sense of Jewish connection grew.


6. Jewish Federation CEO Jennifer Dubrow Weiss and Federation President Glenn Fuhrman helped celebrate Federation’s vital role in ensuring KBA’s continued vitality. 6. Jewish Federation CEO Jennifer Dubrow Weiss and Federation President Glenn Fuhrman helped celebrate Federation’s vital role in ensuring KBA’s continued vitality. The evening concluded with the Tribute Award presented to M. Zev Rose, a devoted philanthropist and longtime community leader. The award was presented by Robert Schwartz, a law partner at Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky, a friend, and someone who was mentored by Rose.

Schwartz said that Rose shows by “deeds, not words.” His name is synonymous with commitment—to his family, his practice, and his community. Schwartz concluded his remarks by reading a proclamation from the State Assembly and Senate recognizing Rose on the occasion of his KBA honor.

In accepting the award, Rose, who often chocked back tears, spoke of the Jewish community that arose from Camden and its social conscience that has been transmitted from generation to generation. This social conscience, said Rose, “permeates Kellman Brown Academy, a crown jewel of our community.”

Rose, a past chair of the KBA Board, and together with his beloved late wife Carol, the founder of the Friends of Harry B. Kellman Academy, spoke of the school’s incredible Jewish and secular education and the high ideals that the students embody. He said the students are “committed to the greater good, to have a social conscience, and to be good human beings.”

Rose paid tribute to many of those who were—and are— instrumental in the school’s continued success—Rabbi Harry B. Kellman, Cong. Beth El, Rabbi Isaac Furman, Sid and Sandy Brown, Marvin Samson and his Foundation, the Raymond & Gertrude R. Saltzman Foundation, and the Jewish Federation. He also thanked the many devoted leaders, staff, and volunteers—“the heart and soul of the Academy.” Rose also paid tribute to his family, his mentors, law partners, and his friends. 

Return to top