Much of the strength of Akron’s Jewish community lies in the passionate dedication of its members. This year, the Annual Campus Gala honors four people whose “love for our community is truly inspiring,” as one of the gala chairs, Joel Goldstein, remarks.
Mark and Lyn Bober are this year’s Campus Gala Honorees. Additionally, Rabbi David J. Horowitz will receive the Tikkun Olam award, and Lila Marks will receive the Community Spirit Award. The Campus Gala committee, led by chairs Joel and Kathy Goldstein and Sharon and Marc Merklin, chose to honor these individuals for their lasting impact on the Akron Jewish community.
With the theme “Autumn Elegance,” the gala will be held Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Schultz Campus for Jewish Life. The signature event benefits The Shaw JCC, The Lippman School and Jewish Family Service.
Campus Gala Honorees: Mark and Lyn Bober
“There is hardly a worthy organization in the Jewish and general communities that has not been touched and bettered through the involvement of Mark and Lyn Bober,” says gala co-chair Marc Merklin.
Lyn is a fixture at a variety of charitable events and causes in the Jewish community and in the Akron area. She has chaired Purim Ball, Akron Children’s Hospital 125 Gala and the Akron Art Museum Wine Auction. Lyn has also served on Akron Children’s Hospital Women’s Board and as a president of the Shaw JCC Auxiliary.
Lyn and Mark together co-chaired our Jewish community’s Young Leadership Mission to Israel in 1998.
“The Bobers bring not only passion and caring to their community involvement, but Mark’s keen analytical and financial skills and Lyn’s sense of taste, color and style,” adds Merklin.
Mark, a partner at regional accounting firm Bober Markey Fedorovich, has led many of Akron’s Jewish institutions, as president of both the Jewish Community Board of Akron and the Shaw JCC. He has chaired the Annual Campaign and the Akron Jewish community’s 100-year Anniversary Celebration.
Outside the Jewish community, Mark has been a board member of a wide variety of Akron’s nonprofits, including the Akron Community Foundation, Akron General Health System, Hospice Center, Bluecoats and Association for Growth, among many others. An alum of Leadership Akron, he has held a variety of fundraising leadership positions for the United Way of Summit County. Mark was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business in 1997 as one of the region’s “40 Under 40” business leaders.
Tikkun Olam Award: Rabbi David M. Horowitz
“Rabbi Horowitz is a fitting recipient of the Tikkun Olam Award based on the difference he has made in a lifetime of service,” says Merklin.
As rabbi emeritus of Temple Israel in Akron, “he spent a career serving not only his congregants, but leading them in understanding that social justice and social action is a mitzvah, literally a commandment to better his fellow man and the world around him,” Merklin continues.
Rabbi Horowitz is also a past president of PFLAG National (the family voice of the LGBTQ community) and a sought-after speaker in the interfaith community. He is married to Toby. They have two children: Wendy (Julian Bowers) and Daniel. His grandchildren are Alexandria, Talia Grace and Rylee Summer.
Community Spirit Award: Lila Marks
Born, raised and educated in New York City, Lila Marks moved to Akron with her husband Ted in 1948. While raising their three children, she became a very active volunteer in many local and civic organizations— sometimes leading, sometimes singing, sometimes acting, but always involved.
“Whether breaking out in song or dance, volunteering to assist with resettling immigrants, or providing the funding for scholarship assistance for youth in BBYO, Lila’s ever-present smile and dogged enthusiasm makes her the ideal candidate for the community’s Spirit Award,” says Merklin.
Through her life of dedicated involvement, Marks’ volunteerism has been recognized with awards from the JCC, B’nai B’rith Women and Jewish Family Service. She was president of the board of Hillel at Kent State from 1983-1988, helped run B’nai B’rith Women’s Gift Wrap for 20 years and volunteered at Ronald McDonald House for 10 years. Marks served as chair of Purim Ball, as a United Way Bell Ringer, as chair of the outdoor pool committee at the JCC and chaired the Theodore B. Marks BBYO Scholarship Fund for 36 years.
For more information and/or to purchase tickets to the Campus Gala, visit www.jewishakron.org/campus-gala. Or call Ceil Cohen at 330-835-0419 to purchase an ad in the Tribute Publication.