Community Leadership Awards

Nominations are now closed.

Winners will be recognized at the Federation’s virtual Community Awards Night on Tuesday, June 14.
Hans Mayer Jewish Communal Professional Award

Nominations for the Hans Mayer Jewish Communal Professional Award may be made by the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston Board members, staff, beneficiary agencies, lay and professional leadership, synagogues, and all other Jewish established organizations which support Jewish life in the greater Houston community.

The winner of the Hans Mayer Jewish Communal Professional Award will be selected by a committee made up of the last five award recipients.

The award recipient will receive:

  • $1,250 stipend for attending an in person or virtual continuing education or professional development program or Israel experience.
  • Honor and acceptance of award at the Federation’s Community Leadership Award Ceremony.
  • Gift/ plaque from the Federation.

Criteria and Eligibility for the Hans Mayer Jewish Communal Professional Award: 

The endowed award is named for Hans Mayer, a former head of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. This award is presented to an outstanding Jewish Communal Professional in the greater Houston Jewish community whose career is distinguished by creative thinking and strong interpersonal relationships with lay leadership and professional colleagues. The recipient should:

  • have demonstrated the capacity to bring creative new thinking to his or her responsibilities.
  • have developed positive working relationships with both lay leadership and professional colleagues.
  • serve as a Jewish role model in the community.
  • have worked a minimum of three years in a greater Houston area Jewish institution/organization in a Jewish Communal Professional capacity.

Barbara and Harold Falik Young Leadership Award

Nominations for the Barbara and Harold Falik Young Leadership Award may be made by the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston Board members, staff, beneficiary agencies, lay and professional leadership, synagogues, and all other Jewish established organizations which support Jewish life in the greater Houston community.

The winner of the Barbara and Harold Falik Young Leadership Award will be selected by a committee made up of the last five award recipients.

The award recipient will receive:

  • $1,250 stipend for attending an in person or virtual continuing education or professional development program or Israel experience.
  • Honor and acceptance of award at the Federation’s Community Leadership Award Ceremony.
  • Gift/ plaque from the Federation.

Criteria and Eligibility for the Barbara and Harold Falik Young Leadership Award: 

The endowed Young Leadership award is intended to recognize an outstanding Young Leader in the greater Houston Jewish community who is actively involved in the Jewish community in a leadership capacity. The Barbara and Harold Falik Young Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding young woman in the community. The recipient should:

  • have considerable involvement across the Jewish community. (The individual involvement will be judged on the total scope of the Jewish community, encompassing the Federation, community agencies, institutions, synagogues, and Jewish organizations).
  • demonstrate significant current leadership ability and potential for greater future leadership.
  • have active involvement with Jewish causes, issues, or organizations.
  • be a volunteer or lay leader, not a Jewish Communal Professional.
  • be in her early 40’s or younger.

Ben Susholtz Young Leadership Award

Nominations for the Ben Susholtz Young Leadership Award may be made by the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston Board members, staff, beneficiary agencies, lay and professional leadership, synagogues, and all other Jewish established organizations which support Jewish life in the greater Houston community.

The winner of the Ben Susholtz Young Leadership Award will be selected by a committee made up of the last five award recipients.

The award recipient will receive:

  • $1,250 stipend for attending an in person or virtual continuing education or professional development program or Israel experience.
  • Honor and acceptance of award at the Federation’s Community Leadership Award Ceremony.
  • Gift/ plaque from the Federation.

Criteria and Eligibility for the Ben Susholtz Young Leadership Award: 

The endowed Young Leadership award is intended to recognize an outstanding Young Leader in the greater Houston Jewish community who is actively involved in the Jewish community in a leadership capacity. The Ben Susholtz Young Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding young man in the community. The recipient should:

  • have considerable involvement across the Jewish community. (The individual involvement will be judged on the total scope of the Jewish community, encompassing the Federation, community agencies, institutions, synagogues, and Jewish organizations).
  • demonstrate significant current leadership ability and potential for greater future leadership.
  • have active involvement with Jewish causes, issues, or organizations.
  • be a volunteer or lay leader, not a Jewish Communal Professional.
  • be in his early 40’s or younger.

Irving L. Samuels Outstanding Teacher Awards for Judaic Studies

Each year the Federation recognizes two outstanding Jewish Educators through the Irving L. Samuels Outstanding Teacher Awards for Judaic Studies. Winners are selected from teachers whose current primary role is classroom teaching in Judaic subject matter with one winner selected from a Jewish Day School or Jewish Early Childhood program and one winner selected from a Congregational Religious School. Award funds are made possible by proceeds from the Irving L. Samuels Outstanding Teacher Award Fund of the Houston Jewish Community Foundation.

Irving L. Samuels z”l was a respected Jewish educator who taught at Congregation Emanu El for 21 years. His high standard of professionalism, vision and dedication to excellence in Jewish education, commitment to Jewish life and values, sense of warmth and sensitivity, and high expectations for his students make him the ideal role model for local teachers to aspire to emulate.   This award has been established as a loving tribute in Samuels’ memory by his late wife, Elsie z”l, and his children, Irene Loots z”l, Vic z”l and Bobbi, Tom z”l and Mary z”l, Mitch, and Rabbi Robert z”l and Annette Samuels.

Award Criteria:

  • Dedication to excellence in Jewish education
  • High standard of professionalism
  • Role model
  • Attention to the varied academic and emotional needs of students
  • Commitment to innovative and creative educational experiences

Harold Reingold Yavneh Award for Jewish Educators

The Harold Reingold Yavneh Award for Jewish Educators honors a supervisor or administrator of Jewish education at any level, including Early Childhood, Day School, Congregational School, informal or adult education programs.

Harold Reingold, z”l, lovingly touched the lives of the children of Emanu El for more than 30 years. Prior to becoming religious school director in 1956, he served as director for Houston-Galveston BBYO. He was a past chairman of the Bureau of Jewish Education and the first recipient of the Yavneh Award for Jewish Educators.

Award Criteria:

  • Primary role as supervisor or administrator of Jewish education at any level, including Early Childhood, Day School, Congregational School, Informal or Adult Education programs
  • Outstanding commitment to Jewish education and leadership in the general Jewish community
  • Achievements rise above and beyond the job description or unique educational accomplishments. These accomplishments need not be provided to more than their primary work institution
  • Nominee should not be primarily a classroom teacher