Ben Docktor Award Recipients
Honouring past recipients of the Ben Docktor Award of Excellence.
The Ben Docktor Award Of Excellence Recipients
Max Lipsman is a long-serving and much-admired Jewish communal professional and volunteer, who will receive the 2022 Ben Docktor Award of Excellence for his outstanding contributions to Jewish life in Calgary.
Richard Bronstein was born November 2, 1944 in a refugee camp in Austria, where his parents fled after their families were killed in Poland.
The family emigrated to Canada in 1948, becoming agricultural workers at a large farm in Brooks, Alberta that was owned by Harry Veiner, the colourful mayor of Medicine Hat.
Richard worked for a few years after high school and eventually attended Mount Royal College in Calgary where he graduated with a diploma in journalism in 1966, followed by a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at San Jose State University in California.
He returned to Calgary in 1968 and worked as a reporter first for the Calgary Albertan newspaper and later for CBC Radio in Calgary. In 1970 Richard joined a new radio program in Toronto called As It Happens and quickly rose to become senior producer in charge of all content of this five-nights-a-week news show with host Barbara Frum.
That was followed by the launch of the Sunday Morning weekly program on CBC Radio and The Journal on CBC Television.
Married at this time to Judy Shapiro, also a CBC producer, and with four-year-old Noa in tow, the family moved to Israel between 1986 and 1990 where Richard worked as a sub-editor at the Jerusalem Post before becoming CBC Middle East producer in Jerusalem. A second daughter, Talia, was born in Jerusalem.
Richard and his family returned to Calgary in 1990 when they started the Jewish Free Press newspaper with Judy as editor for the first number of years and Richard taking on the helm for the past 15 years.
It is with great pleasure that we present Stuart Myron as this year’s recipient of the Ben Docktor Award of Excellence. Stuart is the epitome of a committed volunteer. A review of his resumé quickly reveals a proven leader, team player and mentor. Those who have worked alongside Stuart attest to his analytical and rational decision making skills, and his profound attention to detail.
Professionally, Stuart built a successful career in commercial real estate including acquisitions and dispositions, brokerage, development, and property management. He has been an executive in a national real estate corporation and he has been recognized both nationally and locally for his projects and expertise.
Stuart was born and raised in London, Ontario. Educated in business in Eastern Canada, he came to Calgary in 1984 where he has made a life with his wife, Elaine, and two sons, Ian and Adam.
Stuart is a Director of the Beth Tzedec Synagogue, having served the agency for over twenty years running, including serving terms as President, Vice President, and Treasurer. During his tenure, he worked on several significant financial, strategic, and ritual initiatives. He was recognized by Beth Tzedec for this service with the Yasher Koach Award in 2016.
He has also served on the board of the Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary (JCFC) for the last seven years and is currently serving as its Chair. He is one of the drivers behind The Teen Philanthropy Program (Dorshei Tzedec), which brought him and the JCFC into partnership with Calgary B’nai Brith. This program is focused on teaching adolescents about philanthropy, including raising money and allocating resources to needed areas. The long range aim is to help prepare young people for future leadership roles in the community. Stuart is also leading another initiative, the Life & Legacy program, which is focused on developing sustainable sources of funding for our local Jewish agencies in the years to come. These involvements bring to light Stuart’s foresight in cultivating the future health of the community.
Stuart was recognized by Calgary Jewish Federation for his efforts with the Shem Tov Award in 2011 for service to the Beth Tzedec Synagogue, and again in 2015 for his work with the JCFC.
Stuart has also combined a little play in his volunteer activities. He served with the Calgary Basketball Officials Association from 1993 to 2001 as both an executive and a referee, and was a Boy Scout Leader from 1992 to 1997.
Darrell Janz is synonymous with Calgary having been the face of the city as anchor of CTV News Calgary for more than 40 years. Still, DJ (as so many of his friends call him) was born and raised on a farm in rural Saskatchewan, and began his broadcasting career at a radio station in Altona, Manitoba. After working in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Montreal, Darrell returned west of the city. That would embrace him for the rest of his career.
In addition to his anchoring duties, Darrell taught journalism. First at the southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) for a dozen years, and then at Mount Royal University for 15 years.
Darrell continues to teach young reporters and producers. On a more casual, but equally committed basis at CTV. And whenever he speaks to aspiring broadcasters. He is eager to help and is always encouraging to younger journalists.
No one can recall Darrell ever saying no to a request for help, whether it's for an opinion on presentation or for advice on how to write a script, or for tips on how to conduct an interview.
“No, I can't.” Is something Darrell never says, part of what makes Darryl legend is his vast kindness and generosity in all things.
He is a star but he has never acted like one. He always takes pains to make others feel special. Not surprisingly, Darrell hosts a regular feature on CTV Calgary called inspired celebrating the lives of calgarians who make a difference.
Darrell is a member of the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame. He received the community advocate award from the City of Calgary for his volunteer work with Easter Seals this, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, to name a team but a few of the organizations he helps. Darrell has been singing most of his life with his family church choirs and choral groups. He has entertained many at countless charity events with his amazing baritone voice. Darrell is a tireless MC having volunteered at countless charity events or his career, including our very own but I prefer dinners.
Perhaps his only flaw is his penchant to hide his light under a bushel. But we can, we can see through the foliage. And we now know how Darryl’s life has always been about helping others in our community.
Bruce is the third is the children of the fourth generation to volunteer time, energy and passion to the Jewish community of Calgary. Bruce and Carolyn herself a dedicated volunteer in the Jewish and general communities, are delighted to see their five grandchildren enjoying doing mitzvahs and singing in nursing homes. Plant planting potatoes and community gardens and raising and donating funds and toys to the Children's Hospital.
Since being a leader in the B'nai Brith youth organization as a teen, Bruce has been involved in the Jewish community. He was the first chair of the Jewish Calgary Jewish center when it opened in 1979 and served as the president of the Calgary Jewish Community Council, chaired for several years. The United Jewish appeal campaign chaired the Israeli bonds campaign and served on the board of several local, national and international organizations in and for the Jewish community. In addition, he was the chair of the board of SAIT, and was on the boards of Calgary health region Calgary health trust, and the United Way of Calgary, among others. He is currently the president and chair of the Calgary Jewish Federation.
Bruce has been recognized for his community involvement with Canada, one to five metals, and an honorary degree from SAIT. He also has the Queen's counsel designation.
Calgary B'nai Brith is pleased to present its Ben Docktor Award for 2016 to David Brodsky. This award is given annually to an individual who exemplifies the ideals of B'nai Brith: Benevolence, Brotherly Love and Harmony.
David was born in Calgary sixty-one years ago and lived in this community his entire life. He was a graduate of the I.L Peretz School, which is now part of the Calgary Jewish Academy. David has served on the boards of several organizations in the Jewish community, including the Calgary Jewish Academy and the Calgary Jewish Family Loan Association. He is a past president of the latter organization.
David has been a member of the Calgary B'nai Brith for twenty years. For the past several years, he has been a member of the Lodge executive, serving as coordinator of our fundraising casino. Dinner patrons who belong to organizations that host casinos may recognize David as he has been a casino advisor for many years, which has raised millions of dollars for local community organizations.
David is married with three children. He is particularly thrilled to be a brand new grandfather.
Harold was born and raised in Calgary into a family committed to community service. “My late parents and grandmother, of blessed memory, set a clear example for my brothers and me of the importance of giving back to one’s community. They were always involved in organizational work, attended meetings, fundraisers, and so on”.
Harold was involved from an early age in community work. He has been a volunteer member, and served on the boards and executives of multiple organizations, including: B’nai Brith Youth Organization, Shaarey Tzedec Synagogue, Congregation House of Jacob Mikveh Israel, Calgary Jewish Academy, Calgary Jewish Centre, Chevra Kadisha of Calgary, and Calgary B’nai Brith Lodge #816.
Harold was trained as a psychologist at the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia. He worked in the children’s mental health field in Calgary for thirty six years before retiring in June 2014.
Harold has been married for over thirty six years to the former Saundra Sherman, who is also active in the local community. They have two sons and daughters-in-law (Michael and Tami, and Tevie and Alex), a daughter (Debra), and most recently, a granddaughter (Hailey). “My wife and I both feel an obligation to ensure that our children and grand children inherit a community that is vibrant and able to meet the needs of a young family as well as those less fortunate. At the same time, we are hoping that our children learn the importance of giving back to the community for the benefit of future generations”.
Harold has been a member of Calgary B’nai Brith Lodge #816 for ten years. He has been particularly proud to work with other Lodge members in the significant support provided by Calgary B’nai Brith to the organizations in the community. This includes helping those less advantaged, the elderly, young people, families of those serving in the military, and other organizations meeting the needs of the Jewish community.
The Ben Docktor Award, formerly given to a B’nai Brith Calgary Lodge #816 member for service, has been redesignated to honour someone who has given outstanding service to the Calgary Jewish Community. The unanimous selection for this year is Dr. Gary Gelfand.
Gary was born in Calgary, the son of Phyllis and Sydney Gelfand, a past president of B’nai Brith, and was raised in Calgary with brothers, Lewis and Joel, and sister Roberta. He attended the Universities of Calgary, Alberta, Toronto and British Columbia for 17 years, completing a multitude of degrees and was clearly a slow learner. Upon completing training as a Thoracic Surgeon, he entered practice in Calgary in 1993 and is based at the Foothills Hospital and University of Calgary. Most importantly he has been incredibly fortunate to be married to Jamie since 1989 and is the proud father of Aaron, Sydney and Michael.
Gary has always been proud of being a member and supporter of the Calgary Jewish Community. He was very active with Akiva Academy for many years where he was honoured to be president. In addition, he has served on Community Council and is currently on the executive of the Calgary Chapter of Weizmann Canada. He is a long-time member of House of Jacob Mikveh Israel. Professionally, Gary was head of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Calgary from 1998 until 2012 and the president of the Canadian Association of Thoracic Surgeons from 2008 to 2010. Gary is most passionate about family but has many outside interests.
Please join us in congratulating Gary as the recipient of the Ben Docktor Award of Excellence this year.
Nelson was born in Edmonton but grew up in Calgary with his two sisters in a traditional Jewish home. He became a Chartered Accountant in 1985 and continues to practice in the firm Kahn Halpern Marshall Chartered Accountants. Nelson has been married to his wife, Debbie, for twenty-eight years and together they have raised three children, Alex (now married and living in Montreal), Lisa and Joanna.
Nelson is being recognized for his long and extensive contributions to the Calgary Jewish Community. He began this journey in 1985 when he became active in the House of Jacob Mikveh Israel Synagogue (HOJMI) and its affiliate Akiva Academy. Nelson became president of the school in 1989 when his son enrolled. He was instrumental in helping the school relocate to its current home on Haddon Road.
After first serving as treasurer of HOJMI, Nelson was elected synagogue president in 1993. He was active in helping the community fundraise and then build the community mikveh (ritual bath) in 1997. In 1998, he again became president of HOJMI for another term.
In 2001, Neslon reassumed the role as president of Akiva Academy, helping the school navigate its way through a very difficult journey. In 2010, Nelson took on the co-presidency of HOJMI for a third time where he continues to serve.
Nelson’s volunteer work was not confined to school and synagogue. He joined the board of directors of Calgary Jewish Community Council in 1989 where he continues to work. He was the founding chair of the joint Calgary Jewish Community Council – Calgary Jewish Centre finance and audit committee where he served until 2003. He received the Cheryl Shore Emerging Leadership Award in 2002. Between 2004 and 2007, Nelson served as president of the Calgary Jewish Community Council and is still a member of its successor body, Calgary Jewish Federation.
Nelson became a member of the board of United Israel Appeal in 2004. This is the national body that administers United Jewish Appeal funds designated for use in Israel. He became an executive member in 2008 and is still a board member. He served on the Program and Services Committee between 2006 and 2008, and in 2008, became a member of UIA’s budget and finance committee and the Canada Israel Jewish Advocacy Committee’s audit committee.
Professionally, Nelson was honoured in 2004 with a Distinguished Service Award by the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Alberta for outstanding service to the profession. Nelson has been a member of Calgary B’nai Brith Lodge #816 for the past twenty-five years.
Gordon Hoffman Q.C.
Gordon Hoffman Q.C.
The Ben Docktor Award of Excellence is presented to an individual who has contributed to fostering the growth and development of our Annual Gentlemen’s Dinner, and someone who exemplifies B’nai Brith’s principles of benevolence, brotherly love and harmony in the community.
Gordon was born on January 15, 1946. He is married to Eva, and they are the proud parents of J.J. and Tiffany. Gordon earned his B.A., his M.Ed., and his LLB at the University of Alberta. He was granted the Law Wives Award in 1971, (Highest standing Completion First Year Law), and received his Queen’s Counsel appointment in 2000. Gordon is a partner at Hoffman and Dorchick, specializing in Personal Injury, Real Estate and Corporate Law.
Over and above his dedication to his practice, Gordon’s commitment to community service has made him a major philanthropist. In the past five years, he has been honoured for his contributions to: The Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta; The Gordon Hoffman Charity Golf Classic; Child Find Alberta; Western Legacy Award; JNF Negev Gala; The Wild Rose Foundation; The Summit Foundation; Volunteer Calgary; Legal Archives Society of Alberta; Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association; and Calgary Chabad.
Between 1998 and 2005 Gordon’s community work included The Calgary Jewish Centre, The Alberta Branch of The Canadian Bar Association, The Law Society of Alberta, The University of Calgary Alumni Association, B’nai Brith Calgary, The City of Calgary and The Province of Alberta. Gordon is also Founder, President, and Director of Project Warmth Society of Alberta, and Kids’ Koats, The HDD Charitable Foundation, Operation Kickstart Society of Alberta, and the Alberta Champions Society. Gordon has sat on more than 100 volunteer boards. In his spare time he is a student of the Korean Martial Arts School, a Hap-Ki-Do Black Belt, a Second Degree Dan, and a part time mystery crime writer.
Gordon’s passion for serving those in need, his guidance, counsel and selfless dedication for community service is truly remarkable. We are honoured and privileged to have Gordon as a member of B’nai Brith Calgary Lodge #816, and this year’s recipient of the Ben Docktor Award of Excellence.
Lou is 78 years young, having been born in Montreal in 1931. He moved to Calgary in 1939 and became involved in several organizations, including Young Judeans, ASA and B’nai Brith Young Men. He joined B’nai Brith Calgary Lodge #816 in 1954, 55 years ago, and has been a dedicated member ever since. Lou was President of the Calgary Lodge from 1977 to 1980. He has been Master of Ceremonies of our Annual Gentlemen’s Dinner for many years. He was our well-deserved Dinner Honouree in 1993. His sense of humour is well known and he always lighted up the proceedings with some of his seemingly endless whit and repertoire of jokes. If a job needs doing, from selling advertising in the Program, to selling tickets, to volunteering at the door, Lou is always the first in line to lend both hands.
Lou has also been active in general community, having served on the Calgary Tourist and Convention Bureau for twenty-five years. Many of you will know him from Western Outfitters Ltd., which he operated on 8th Avenue for fifty years and as a long-time member of Rotary. Lou volunteers at the Calgary Inter-faith Food Band and the Feed the Hungry Project on a regular basis. He is a member of the Board of Directors at the Beth Tzedec Synagogue. Lou believes very strongly in volunteering and is the first one to canvass or work a charity casino. He believes helping others gives you great peace of mind and great satisfaction having helped others less fortunate than yourself. Lou’s motto is:
“Keeping busy keeps you young and volunteering is the rent you pay for being on earth.”
Lou and Edith have been happily married for fifty-five years, have three children and five grandchildren.
Rudy, at age 81, has been a member of the B’nai Brith Calgary Lodge #816 for over 50 years. Rudy was President of B’nai Brith Calgary between 1996 and 1999 and a previous Dinner honouree in 2001. Over the years Rudy has been instrumental in the success and growth of our Gentlemen’s Dinner overseeing many of the sub-committees which are required to produce tonight’s event. Rudy remains active as a full-time member of the Dinner Committee, where his wealth of knowledge and experience continues to guide our Dinner Executive.
Rudy is happily married to Jeanette and they both enjoy cross country skiing, golfing, dancing, and walking. Rudy was born and educated in Calgary and graduated from Western Canada High School. He subsequently attended the University of Toronto, McGill, and the University of Calgary and the Holiday Inn University as part of his career in the Hospitality industry. Rudy started his career at the Calgary Stampede where he operated a major food concession which led to a successful career in restaurant management, then in turn to a career in hotel management. This included managing hotels in Toronto, Montreal, Atalanta, Medicine Hat, and Calgary. Rudy was a past President of the Montreal Hotel Association.
Rudy retired in 1988 but remains a committed community volunteer. He was fundraising Chairman of the Beth Tzedec Synagogue, where bingos and casinos were his primary responsibility. Rudy is a past President of the Blackfoot Bingo Association, and sits on the board of two Condominium Associations. Rudy is a member of the Chevra Kadisha and an associate member of the Jewish War Veterans of Canada, Calgary Post.
Rudy is a regular participant at the B’nai Brith and Jewish Family Service Shabbat Program at the Beverly Centre, the B’nai Brith Monthly service project at the Inter-Faith Food Bank, as well Rudy personally heads up the B’nai Brith gift basket program to the Calgary Police and Fire Halls on Christmas day.
Ken has a big heart, a strong handshake, and a soft spot for Calgary, the Calgary Flames and their fans.
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Flames since summer 2001, Ken puts his family first.
Born and raised in Handley, Saskatchewan, King launched a 30-year career in the newspaper business that included senior executive positions in Canada’s leading newspapers including President and Publisher of the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald.
During his newspaper career in Calgary, King was acknowledged for his innovative marketing, establishment of healthy corporate relationships, spirited community leadership and appreciable growth for the newspapers.
King is a strong believer in contributing to the community and he spends an enormous amount of time with community efforts. His current involvement spans numerous organizations, including co-chair of REACH (a $300 million medical fundraising initiative), the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness, the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority, the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede, Borden Ladner Gervais CIAU Athlete of the Year Awards Committee and the Rotary Club of Calgary.
Previous support and commitment involved the Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre, Calgary Philharmonic Society, No Ka Oi Ranch Foundation, and past chairman of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
In 2005, King received an Alberta Centennial Medal for outstanding contributions to the province of Alberta. Other awards include the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for community service and the commemorative medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. In 1991, he was honoured as B’nai Brith Man of the Year, and has been a valued advisor to our Dinner planning committee in recent years.
We are proud to announce the 2006 recipient of the Ben Docktor Award is Mr. Jason Kenney, M.P. for Calgary Southeast. Jason Kenney was first elected to Parliament in 1997 and has been re-elected three times. He served in the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet as Finance Critic, Foreign Affairs Critic for Canada-US relations and as Opposition Deputy House leader. Jason now serves as Parliamentary Secretary to the P.M.
Mr. Kenney has been named one of Canada’s “100 Leaders of the Future” by Maclean’s magazine, “one of Canada’s leading conservative activists by the Globe & Mail”, and “one of 21 Canadians to watch in the 21st century” by the Financial Post Magazine. Not only has Jason demonstrated his leadership on both sides of the House, but he has also been a dedicated champion of the founding principles of B’nai Brith which include “benevolence, brotherly love and harmony” on issues of local, national, and international importance.
Congratulations Mr. Kenney and thank you for your continued support of the B’nai Brith Calgary Lodge #816 and our community at large.
We are proud to announce the 2005 recipient of the Ben Docktor Award is Mr. Paul Jackson. Paul is an honorary member of B’nai Brith Calgary Lodge #816 who has worked tirelessly over the years to promote not only our Annual Gentlemen’s Dinner, but also our founding principles of benevolence, brotherly love and harmony through his dedication to the Community at large and “the pen” as an award-winning journalist with the Calgary Sun.
Congratulations Paul and Thank You for the continued support of B’nai Brith Calgary Lodge #816 and our Annual Dinner.
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