Meet Our 2022 Award Recipients

Each year, the Jewish Federation of Madison gives out several awards at our Annual Meeting recognizing outstanding service and leadership within our community. We are proud to introduce you to this year's recipients, who will be recognized at the 82nd Annual Meeting on November 30.

Andrea J. Stein Jewish Community Professional Award

The Andrea J. Stein Jewish Community Professional Award was established in 2014 by the Jewish Federation of Madison and the Stein family to honor the memory of Andrea, a beloved member of the Jewish Federation of Madison staff and the Madison Jewish community. This annual award recognizes a Jewish community professional who promotes Jewish community outreach, engagement, and action that best serves Klal Yisrael.

This year's recipient, Rabbi Andrea Steinberger, has been serving as a rabbi at the Hillel Foundation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since July 1999. In an ever-changing world, her deep spirituality, thoughtfulness, and compassion have created a welcoming sense of community and home for Jewish students on campus - particularly during the challenges of COVID. She is a teacher, a learner, a questioner, and a spiritual seeker. At UW Hillel, Rabbi Andrea provides opportunities for students on to explore spiritual practices, experience Jewish learning, ask difficult questions, and come together for Shabbat and holidays. She helps students create and expand their Jewish lives and practices during their college years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rabbi Andrea received her ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1997 and her BA from Northwestern. In March 2022, she received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR for serving 25 years as a rabbi in the Reform Movement.

Congratulations to Rabbi Andrea Steinberger on this well-deserved award!

Miriam Singer Sulman Young Leadership Award

Named in 1975 in memory of Miriam Singer Sulman, a much admired and dynamic young Jewish Federation of Madison leader, this award recognizes young leadership and enables the recipient to attend the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly through an endowment fund established by Miriam's parents, Isadore and Ida Singer, z "l.

This year's award recipient, Robyn Sperling, has demonstrated exceptional leadership within the Jewish Federation of Madison as chair of the Gan HaYeled Committee and a member of the Community Grants Committee. Robyn generously shares her expertise in the field of education, sharp mind, warmth, and superb organizational skills in her role with this Board committee. She provides invaluable support to the Gan HaYeled Preschool director and strong leadership in planning for Gan's expansion. Robyn is also a member of the Community Grants Committee, which oversees the allocation of grants made by the Jewish Federation of Madison through the Cheryl Rosen Weston Fund. Her research and grant knowledge, combined with her broad community perspective, is vital to this committee's decision-making process.

Robyn holds a BS in Communications from Ohio University, an MA in Education, Teaching and Curriculum, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from New York University. Robyn serves as Director of Research and Innovation at Families & Schools Together.

Congratulations to Robyn Sperling on this well-deserved award!

Ben Minkoff Volunteer Service Award

Named in memory of former Jewish Federation of Madison president and founder of Camp Shalom, the Ben Minkoff Volunteer Service Award honors an individual with a record of committed service to the Jewish Federation of Madison and the Madison Jewish community stretching over an extended period of time, doing volunteer work beyond its usual definition. The award recognizes the accomplishment of a one-person task that is generally very time-consuming, and continued assistance in a specific area.

The recipient of this year's award, Fred Gants, has a lengthy history of leadership and volunteerism with the Jewish Federation of Madison. In 1982, he received the Miriam Singer Sulman Young Leadership, and he has thankfully remained an active and committed leader of our organization to this day. He currently serves as chair of the 2022 Annual Tzedakah Campaign, which he has co-chaired twice in the past, in addition to chairing our Administration & Personnel Panel. Fred is currently a member of the Executive Committee and will be serving as the first vice president in the upcoming term.

Fred is a long-time resident of Madison whose connection to the community runs very deep. Having three sons who grew up here, Fred is immensely proud that they participated in many of the programming opportunities the Jewish Federation of Madison provides. Fred is engaged in activism and advocacy with both the Jewish and greater Madison communities. He is an active member of Temple Beth El, involved in the Social Action Committee, and a dedicated volunteer at the Literacy Network, including having served many years on their Board. He is also extremely passionate about baseball.

Fred is a retired partner at Quarles & Brady LLP and was a member of the firm's Labor & Employment Practice Group. He has a BA from Yale University and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.

Congratulations to Fred Gants on this well-deserved award!

82nd Annual Meeting
See annual meeting photos, annual report & program, and who is on the Board >