From the dawn of each year on through the end of February, just about every imaginable award, from Oscars and Grammys to the certificates of recognition of local organizations, is bestowed upon those who have made a significant contribution throughout the previous year. This past Sunday evening, while the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was doling out its annual accolades on the south side of Mount Lee, congregants and supporters of Burbank's Temple Emanu El gathered in the Castaway Restaurant overlooking Lee's northern exposure to honor Jerry and Barbara Starkand as their Couple of the Year.
Temple Emanu El, celebrating its 64th anniversary, paid homage to the Starkands for their longtime service, support and volunteerism to the temple and the Burbank community. Married for 22 years, the Starkands have been Burbank residents and temple members since 1989. Jerry, who is a real estate agent for Century 21 Paul and Associates, has served on the temple's board of directors, while Barbara, who works in the garment industry, has been an active volunteer for the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, the Burbank Coordinating Council and the Burbank Public Library, where she has delivered books to the elderly.
"Barbara and Jerry not only emanate love and kindness, (they) are of oneness of mind for all the charitable endeavors they pursue," said the Starkand's longtime friend Sandy Murphy. "It is immeasurable when we encounter two people, who work as one, that touch both our lives and our hearts."
Among the special guests in attendance at Sunday's celebration were Temple Emanu El Rabbi Richard Flom, his wife Lynn Kronzek, Jerry and Barbara's son Daniel Starkand, who is a junior at Burbank High School where he's a pitcher and first-baseman on the varsity baseball team, their daughter Elisabeth Starkand, who attends Cal State Northridge, where she is majoring in child development, and members of Jerry's family including Lil Kittower, Joseph Wright and Annette Duffy of Chicago.
Chaired by Evie Cowan, Sunday's event was made possible by Ira Lippman, who serves as the president of the temple's board, Chairman of the Board Jerry Moss, and the event committee comprised of Michael and Lili Bader, Bobbie Chasen, Peter and Rebecca Chernack, Ilene Dickman, Gil and Susan Grodsky, Kristy Kelly, Lori Kluger, Jan and Ron Levitt, Steve Harris, Tobi Lippman, Rachel and Gil Robbins, Alma and Nat Rubinfeld, Stacy Schnaid and Robin Schwartz Kapper.
Others who gathered to offer their love and mazel tov to the Starkands were Rabbi Mervin Tomsky, Vicki Williams, Mort Solad, Laura and Jeffrey Snow, Mike Shanks, Gena and Kelly Sanders, Helen and Len Ritter, Phyllis and Bernie Rubin, Dana Russo, Rilla and Richard Raad, Mandy and Sunder Ramani, Denise and Bruce Osgood, Cindy and Dan Moran, Glen Forsch, Beth Marcus, Betty Kalkin, Nancy Goldberg, Craig Frank, Doug Cowan, Bob Dickman, Barry and Angela Burnett, Claudia Bonis, Linda and Jon Acuff, Vicky and Emilio Alarcon, Pat and Dave Augustine, Paul and Jonathan Rubinfeld, Stephanie Tanner, Lois Bennet, Don Bender and Sam Bethany.