Community Awards are an important way for the JCA to elevate and share the incredible work being done throughout Southern Maine. We will celebrate all of our 2020 awardees at the Annual Meeting on September 10th, 2020 at 5:30pm.

This year, since everything is different, we are excited to announce our Karen M. Lerman Volunteer award winner in advance of our meeting! As Karen herself describes below, our winner this year is someone who brings so much to our community. Her behind-the-scenes work may not be well-known, but it is deeply felt by all who interact with her, and all who benefit from the systems and organizations she has helped to build and support.

 

 THE KAREN M. LERMAN AWARD 2020
-By Karen Lerman

 

We are all familiar with the expression, “it takes a village,” and while that is so true, I’ve chosen a theme for my article reflective of today’s world, “it took a virus.” You see, I believe that unfortunately, it took a devastating virus for many of us to put into perspective what, in our lives; truly matters most. Our freedom and daily frivolous activities, once taken in stride, have been halted, almost frozen. Daily routines of going here and there and meeting family and friends became “stay at home orders” and only venturing out for essentials. Multi-generational gatherings were deemed taboo as this virus was/is very contagious and the elderly and those with health conditions are most vulnerable. Yet we crave human interaction. Together, we are stronger, happier and accomplish our best work when we collaborate. It’s just who we are.

So just as we try to adjust our lives around the virus, one thing that’s become abundantly clear is that we should not take life, or any of our relationships for granted. We must never forget to appreciate the special people in our lives and in our community who always give without asking for anything in return.

Our amazing 2020 recipient is SHERRI QUINT.

It seems like this year defines Sherri. She lives her life never expecting anything in return and shuns the spotlight when recognized for doing all of the mitzvot she does on a regular basis. She has set the bar high with respect to unconditional volunteerism and has been doing so for nearly a decade. Her involvements are innumerable and her achievements are impressive.

In addition to her “day job” as Temple Beth El’s full-time Controller, Sherri directs TBE’s Memorial Park, serves as Treasurer and managing director for the Southern Maine Jewish Cemetery Association (SMJCA), and is bookkeeper for Hebrew Free Loan of Maine. In addition, she is Financial Director for Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh, has assisted for many years with our Chevra Kadisha, and is a licensed Funeral Attendant in the state of Maine. In recognition of Sherri’s commitment and skills, she has just been elected Chair of the Board of Jewish Cemetery Association of North America (JCANA).

We have worked together for many years and have served on several committees together. I can honestly tell you that Sherri is as lovely as she is ambitious and smart. There is simply no issue she cannot resolve expeditiously. Sherri Quint can (and has) done it all, making time for the most honorable causes of all: “Doing for those who cannot repay us, is the greatest mitzvah of all.”

Sherri, my friend; I promise you, you are not taken for granted. Our community is better because you play such an integral role here. Mazel Tov!

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