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Eight over 80 honors contributors to Jewish community

Eight individuals or couples who have made significant impacts on the Jewish community will be honored by the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties in an "Eight over 80" award ceremony Sunday at the St. Petersburg Coliseum.

Walter Loebenberg

Born in Waechtersbach, Germany, in 1924, he and his family escaped Nazi Germany in 1939. He owned health facilities and became a significant philanthropist. He helped found the Florida Holocaust Museum.

Gerald and Joan Benstock

Founding members of the Pinellas County Jewish Day School and owners of a company that makes surgical uniforms, the couple have made significant contributions to the Jewish community locally, in Israel and around the world.

Harold Haftel

He spent time in Israel on a kibbutz and found his way to the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he sits on the board of directors. A Brooklyn native, he worked for the Department of Agriculture and owned an orange grove in North Pinellas County.

Marilyn Benjamin and Sonya Miller

The Haliczer sisters are the only St. Petersburg natives within the group of honorees. Their parents were of modest means but were deeply committed to creating a thriving Jewish community. They were founding members of Congregation B'nai Israel in St. Petersburg.

Benjamin and her late husband, Philip, were instrumental in the creation of Menorah Manor, Philip Benjamin Tower and the Jewish cemetery Chapel Hill Memorial Park.

Miller and her late husband, Irwin, ran the Hotel Rellim on St. Pete Beach, which was the center of Jewish social life in St. Petersburg for many years.

Harvey Hertz

Retired stock broker and Brooklyn native, Hertz is a passionate philanthropist, supporting the Jewish National Fund, Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services and Temple Beth-El.

Reva Kent

She and her late husband, Marshall, were founding members of the Kent Jewish Community Center. She is a founding member and board president of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, founding member and president of Tampa Orlando Pinellas Foundation and founder of Menorah Manor.

Loren and Joy Pollack

Born in Chicago, Loren Pollack, a commercial real estate developer, was Temple B'nai Israel's board president when the Belcher Road temple opened.

He and his wife are generous supporters of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties and the Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services.

Mel and Betty Sembler

The former U.S. ambassador to Australia and Italy and his wife were involved in Jewish communities around the world.

They have served on the boards of the Florida Holocaust Museum and Menorah Manor and have been members of Temple Beth-El.

For more information, contact Elana Gootson, director of development, at or (727) 530-3223.

Eight over 80 honors contributors to Jewish community 03/21/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 22, 2014 4:22pm]
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