Governor John Lynch and Dr. Susan Lynch of New Hampshire will receive the Eternal Light Award at The Jewish Theological Seminary's 2009 Boston Dinner of Ideas. The evening of dining and conversation will take place on Thursday, April 30, beginning at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails, at Gann Academy, 333 Forest Street, Waltham.
In addition to Governor and Dr. Lynch, Marlene and Jonathan Leffell of Newton will be recognized with the Community Leadership Award and Rabbi Barry Starr of Sharon will receive the Rabbinic Leadership Award. Professor Arnold M. Eisen, Chancellor of JTS, will make the presentations. The program will begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentations at 8:30 p.m.
The Dinner of Ideas will focus on the theme of leadership in recognition of the honorees' contributions to their communities and society at large. Panelists will include Professor Marshall Ganz, lecturer in Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Robert S. Kaplan, JTS Board of Trustees and professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School; Nancy K. Kaufman, executive director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston; and Governor John Lynch. Chancellor Eisen will moderate.
Re-elected to a third term in November 2008, Governor Lynch has worked to increase access to health insurance, improve education, and preserve the state's environment. Under the Lynch administration, New Hampshire was named as "the most livable state" in the nation, as well as the "safest state." Prior to entering politics, Governor Lynch was the president and CEO of Knoll, Inc., a national furniture manufacturer. He also served as director of admissions at the Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA.
Dr. Susan Lynch is a pediatric lipid specialist at Concord Hospital in New Hampshire. As the state's first lady, she works to draw attention to the problem of childhood obesity and is a strong advocate of regular exercise and healthy eating habits for the state's children.
Jonathan and Marlene Leffell have been active in Jewish organizations throughout the thirty years they have lived in Newton. Mr. Leffell, a real estate developer, is also an architect who specialized in the design of synagogues, including Temple Israel in Sharon, Temple Aliyah in Needham, and Congregration Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill. As a lay leader he was also deeply involved in the planning and designs of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston and Gann Academy. Mr. Leffell is chairman of the New England region of Friends of the IDF. He grew up in Montreal, where his father, Rabbi Bernard Leffell, an alumnus of JTS, was the rabbi of the Conservative synagogue. Ms. Leffell, also a Montreal native, serves on the board of Gann Academy and is very involved in the Boston chapter of Hadassah. She is the president and owner of Daymor USA, a manufacturer of women's evening wear.
Rabbi Barry Starr has been spiritual leader of Temple Israel for sixteen years. He is a past president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, as well as a past president of the New England Region of the Rabbinic Assembly. Ordained at JTS in 1976, Rabbi Starr served as its first recruitment director and founded what has become known as KOACH, a Conservative movement-wide college outreach program. Rabbi Starr serves as a member of the Chancellor's Rabbinic Cabinet at JTS.
Proceeds from the Dinner of Ideas support scholarships for current and future JTS students and help meet an array of vital needs in JTS's mission to educate the next generation of Jewish leaders.
The couvert for the evening is $180 per person. A range of patron and sponsor opportunities are available. Reservations are required by Monday, April 20. Further information is available by contacting Joan Goodman, director of the Northeast Region of JTS at (212) 678-8861.