PHDS to honor community members at annual dinner


Jeffrey Savit, a longtime champion of Jewish day school education in Providence and Boston, will be honored with the Amudim Award at the Providence Hebrew Day School’s 72nd annual awards dinner, on June 16 at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center.   

Savit is currently the chief development officer of Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.  Before Prizmah, he served from 2011 to 2017 as the first president and CEO of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.  

Prior to becoming a Jewish community professional, Savit practiced trust and estate law for 18 years, and then worked as a geriatric social worker for Hebrew SeniorLife, in Brookline, Massachusetts, for four years.  

Savit also has extensive experience as a lay leader. In addition, he has served as the board chairman of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston, of its Endowment Foundation, and of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Boston.  He has also served as a trustee of The Miriam Hospital, in Providence.  

Savit and his wife, Lori Barnet, are the proud parents of two daughters who attended the former South Area Solomon Schechter Day School, the Rashi School and Gann Academy, all in the greater Boston area.

The Providence Hebrew Day School salutes Jeffrey Savit as one of the “Amudim” (pillars) of the Jewish community in Providence.

Anschel and Deborah Strauss are this year’s recipients of the Community Service Award.

The couple moved to Providence in 1980.  Anschel worked as an archaeologist while also serving as a mashgiach (kashrutsupervisor) for agencies in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Deborah has worked as a human resources manager, finance auditor and risk manager for the manufacturing and financial services industries.  She currently works for Citizens Bank in risk management.  In her spare time, Deborah is a flight instructor.

The Strausses have sponsored special programs and inspirational guest speakers on Jewish topics.  Their son, Gavriel, attended the Providence Hebrew Day School through ninth grade.    

The 2019 Young Leadership Award will be presented to Rabbi Menachem and Ilana Weissmann.

Rabbi Weissmann spent his formative years in Baltimore, and graduated from the New England Rabbinical College.  As a young student in Providence, Weissmann volunteered to run several inspiring programs for Jewish youth. 

He is currently a middle school teacher at the Providence Hebrew Day School, where he is beloved by his students.  In the afternoons, Weissmann serves as a mentor to students at the rabbinical college. He continues to work with Jewish youth and manages the local chapter of Adopt-A-Kollel.

Ilana Weissmann, a Providence native, began her teaching career in Baltimore, at Bnos Yisroel middle school. She received her B.A. from Thomas Edison State College and an M.S. in curriculum and instruction from McDaniel College. She served as a madricha (leader/mentor) at She’arim College, in Israel, before she and Menachem married and settled in Providence. She is a passionate and caring educator who has been teaching general studies at the Providence Hebrew Day School for 10 years.

The awards dinner is open to the public.  For details or to make a contribution in honor of the event, please call the school at 401-331-5327, ext. 21.   

RUCHAMA SZENDRO is a member of the Amudim committee