No organization has ever achieved success without the dedicated work of passionate leaders.
This past week, close to 100 congregants and supporters of Burbank Temple Emanu El and its early childhood center, gathered to honor Ira Lippman, a man who has brought that type of leadership to the Glenoaks Boulevard synagogue for over a decade.
Having served a 10-year term as the temple’s president, and now serving as its immediate past-president and chairman, Lippman has been at the helm in seeing physical improvements made to the temple’s structure and grounds, as well as playing a key role in rabbi selections, synagogue governance, building membership, establishing an annual family camp weekend and dealing with internal challenges, most notably a once declining school enrollment.
Leeron Tal Dvir, who serves as the temple’s director, credits Lippman for the turnaround in enrollment.
“When I started as the preschool director in 2011, the school was struggling to stay open,” Dvir said. “Ira had a vision of a flourishing and vibrant school and, as a creative and progressive leader persuaded the board that could be accomplished.”
Saying that to call Lippman a “mensch” is an understatement, Dvir said she considers him to be a mentor, friend, teacher and confidant.
“Ira is always stopping by the temple with a huge smile on his face, fresh cookies in his hand and an open heart to anyone that needs help,” Dvir added.
Among the special guests in attendance at last week’s dinner honoring Lippman were his wife, Tobi, sons, Eli, Harrison and Max, the temple’s current co-presidents Limor Zimskind and Lauren Conner, and officers Susan Colman, Jane Glass, Cori Schnieber, Lyle Zimskind, Johanna Moyal, Rachel Shalts, Melinda Novoa and Jerry Moss.
Other notables who honored Lippman by their presence or support included temple board members Carla Muller, Eric Conner, Josh Segal, Neela Woodard, Sarah Lerner, Sunny Singer, Beth Marcus, Ester and Hans Kastan, Ilene Dickman, Marty Perlmutter, Gil and Susan Grodsky, Nat Rubinfeld, Oshry Rabinovitch and Shirlee Yehudal.
The evening, co-chaired by Robin Schwartz Kapper and the honoree’s wife, was made possible by their committee which included Susana Schmerling, Pamela Huddleston, Miki Raver and Esther Kastan, with additional assistance provided by Laura Snow, Molly Blumberg, Rebecca Chernack and Stacy Schnaid.