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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 


March 22, 2013  RSS feed
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Text: T T T

JNF to honor Tampa Bay philanthropists at annual dinner

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) will honor Dr. Judy Genshaft and Steve Greenbaum, Dr. Zena Lanksy and Warren Rodgers, and Debbie and Brent Sembler with the Tree of Life Award at its annual dinner on Tuesday, April 30.

The event also will honor Judith and Ernest Lisi with the Lawrence D. Wasser Humanitarian Award.

“We truly believe that anything is possible in Israel through JNF,” said Betsy Marcadis and Mark Miller, JNF co-board Presidents, Tampa Bay. “Having been active in this organization for quite some time, we recognize the tremendous footprint that JNF leaves throughout Israel and its impact for many generations to come. Our honorees, through their personal and philanthropic endeavors, are an integral part of Israel’s future and the endurance and prosperity of the Israeli homeland.”

The Tree of Life Award is given in recognition of outstanding community involvement, dedication to the cause of American-Israeli friendship, devotion to peace, and security of human life.

Dr. Judy Genshaft & Steve Greenbaum

Dr. Judy Genshaft is currently the sixth president of the University of South Florida (USF) and has served as chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Tampa Bay Par tnership, and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100.

With support from Genshaft, USF has entered into agreements for student and faculty exchanges with Hadassah College in Jerusalem and Ben Gurion University in Beershava. The latter agreement was signed by Genshaft during a 2011 Florida trade mission to Israel.

Steve Greenbaum, her husband, works as a marketing research consultant in the Tampa Bay area. He serves on the board of the Florida Holocaust Museum and has served on boards for Jewish Family Services, TOP, and Actors Shakespeare Company. The couple’s philanthropic involvement includes the establishment of the Greenbaum/Genshaft Passport Scholarship, enabling study abroad opportunities for those who could not otherwise afford it.

Dr. Zena Lansky & Warren Rodgers

Dr. Zena Lansky is a retired surgeon, nutritionist, and entrepreneur who has practiced medicine in the Tampa Bay area for over 40 years. Lansky served as the Pinellas chair of last year’s performing arts mission to Israel, sponsored by the Tampa Orlando Pinellas Jewish Federation Alliance, although she was unable to go on the trip.

Warren Rodgers has more than 40 years of experience in marketing as a successful entrepreneur. He is the founder and president of the non-profit Tampa Bay and South Florida CIO Councils. Rodgers is a 66-year polio survivor with a long history of Rotary service, including being one of the original 11 Rotarians who helped launch Rotary International’s Polio Plus Campaign.

Since retiring in 2005, the couple have been involved with more than 23 local nonprofit organizations, and began a series of mini-workshops for non-profits that focus on potential areas of improvement in marketing, fundraising, operations, such as staffing and board development among other areas.

Debbie & Brent Sembler

A native Floridian, Debbie Sembler began her professional career in marketing and public relations in New York City. After marrying Brent Sembler and moving to St. Petersburg, she was the first marketing director at Old Hyde Park Village in Tampa. She is a longtime member of the University of South Florida’s Board of Trustees.

Brent Sembler is vice chairman of The Sembler Company, one of the country’s most recognized shopping center development and management companies. He has served on the boards of many charitable organizations, including the Republican Jewish Coalition, Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, All Children’s Hospital, and Shorecrest Preparatory School.

Lawrence Wasser Humanitarian Award

JNF established this award in memory of Lawrence “Larry” D. Wasser of Tampa, JNF Florida Southern Regional director for several states for years. His devotion to Israel, love of people, positive attitude on life and strong commitment to community continue as a standard to be emulated. This award is given annually to non-profit professionals that exhibit leadership excellence.

Judith & Ernest Lisi

Judith Lisi is a performing arts veteran with more than 30 years of experience as an artist, producer, presenter, educator and performer. She was CEO/President of New Haven’s Shubert Performing Arts Center from 1984-1992 and is now CEO/ President of the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.

Ernest Lisi is a retired corporate executive and educator. Ernest has consulted with major U.S. corporations on continuing professional development through in-house universities, as well as many not-for-profit organizations including the United Way and the Hillsborough County School System.

Judith Lisi was Hillsborough chair for the federation alliance’s performing arts mission. Ernest Lisi also went on the mission.

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The Tampa Bay Tree of Life Award Dinner will take place at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, beginning at 6 p.m. RSVP is required by April 10 by emailing or calling (800) 211-1502.

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