Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

JNF honors family of philanthropists


Louise and Dick Weiner

Jewish National Fund (JNF) will host its annual Tree of Life™ Award Dinner at the Rosen Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The event will honor two generations of the Weiner family, Dick and wife Louise and son Ben and wife Maura with the Guardian of Israel Award along with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer with the recipient of the prestigious Tree of Life™ Award.

“I believe that anything is possible in Israel through JNF,” said Aaron Gorovitz, JNF Orlando board member. “Having been active in this organization for quite some time, I recognize the tremendous footprint that JNF leaves throughout Israel and its impact for many generations to come. Both generations of the Weiner family, through their personal and philanthropic endeavors, are an integral part of Israel’s future and the endurance and prosperity of the Israeli homeland.”

The Guardian of Israel Award is a humanitarian award given in recognition of outstanding community involvement, dedication to the preservation of the environment and the protection of natural habitats.

Dick Weiner, a Winter Park/Orlando native, served active duty and reserves as lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry from 1957 -1964. He retired in 2010 after 47 years from Smith Barney (Wellspring Group.) An active member of the community, Weiner has served as past president of Central Florida Community Council and TOP Tampa-Orlando-Pinellas Jewish Foundation, Inc., commissioner of Orlando Utilities Commission, and as a board member of Winter Park United Way and JNF.

Louise Weiner worked as a teacher for the Orange County Public School System for 30 years; 10 years with Lee Jr. High School and 20 years with W.R. Boone High School where she was twice selected as Teacher of the Year. She is currently on the board of the GOLD Tennis League and is active in the League of Woman Voters.

Ben and Maura Weiner have been volunteers in the central Florida community for many years. Ben, an Orlando native, has been very involved in the Jewish community, serving on the Jewish Family Services board for more than 20 years, during which time he also served a term as president. He has also served on the TOP and UF Hillel boards. Ben has been an investment advisor for almost 30 years.

Maura currently serves as president of the board of Jewish Academy of Orlando where the couple’s children, Jacob and Joshua, attend school. She was also on the board of a Gift for Teaching for several years, sat on the JCC board and is a Leadership Orlando graduate. Maura also was in commercial banking for more than 20 years.

Ben and Maura Weiner

Orlando patrons Lois Tannenbaum, Sy and Debra Israel, and Mark and Caryn Israel will also be honored at the dinner with JNF’s Guardian of Israel award.

Stand-up comedian and writer Joel Chasnoff will entertain the crowd with his notorious comedy routines based on his own personal Jewish experiences. Chasnoff has performed at more than 1,000 colleges, clubs and Jewish organizations worldwide; including JNF’s National Conference in Orlando last October and has been seen on NBC and ABC TV.

The dinner will take place on Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, located at 9700 International Drive in Orlando.

Sponsorship information and tickets are available online at jnf.org/orlandotol. For more information, please contact Laura Abramson at labramson@jnf.org or 800-211-1502.


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