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2019-01-25 digital edition
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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. 


January 25, 2019  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Byron Kolitz to receive annual PRIMER Israel advocacy award Feb. 17

Byron Kolitz Byron Kolitz Byron Kolitz will become the 10th recipient of the annual PRIMER (Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting) Advocacy award on Sunday, Feb. 17.

The award and brunch is sponsored by the Greater Tampa Bay B’nai B’rith Unit 2603, in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties and the Tampa JCCs and Federation.

For many years, Kolitz served as the chair of the Israel advocacy group, “A-Team” at Congregation B’nai Israel in St. Petersburg. His efforts included preparing a “good news” article about Israel that focused positively on non-political issues such as environmental advances, technological achievements and health initiatives for the synagogue’s weekly e-newsletter. Kolitz also took the lead and organized “letters to the editor” classes, arranged for speakers on topics including BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), Israeli security and youth education. Prior to the last World Zionist Congress elections, Kolitz educated interested parties and encouraged participation in the process.

For his good work at Congregation B’nai Israel, Kolitz was recognized with the Men’s Club “Man of the Year” Award.

He is also a longtime board member of the Tampa Bay JNF, serving as the synagogue liaison. Kolitz continues to champion a partnership between his congregation and JNF that included the completion of two projects, each planting 5,000 trees, while a third is underway.

Several years ago, he became a member of the board of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and

Pasco Counties Jewish

Community Relations


Kolitz and his wife, Starr Silver, were recognized for their support of Israel Bonds in the Tampa Bay community. The couple are active in AIPAC, the Florida Holocaust Museum, the Jewish Museum of Florida and others.

PRIMER was established by Dr. Norm Gross and others to counter anti-Jewish messages in the media. The organization became inactive 10 years ago, but the board created the Dr. Norman Gross “PRIMER” Advocacy Award through the TOP Jewish Foundation to recognize individuals in Tampa Bay who best embody the PRIMER motto that “silence is NOT golden” when dealing with Israel and anti-Jewish bias.

Gross was the first recipient, followed by Herb Swarzman, Dr. Eric Steckler, Steve Schwersky, Hillel of the University of South Florida students, Stuart Berger, Jonathan Ellis and Dr. Robert Entel.

The event will be held at The Preserve (formerly Inn on the Pond), 2010 Greenbriar Blvd in Clearwater, beginning at 10 a.m. Cost of the bagel and lox brunch is $15, payable at the door.

RSVP to Maxine Kaufman at (727) 333-3106 or email her at no later than Wednesday, Feb. 13.

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