Shul stalwart awarded Progressive honour

Posted: 23 September 2016

Sandy Graetzer’s unstinting efforts over many years as a voluntary contributor to the shul and the wider community were recognised in a festive Erev Shabbat service at Hobart Synagogue on September 2.

Roger Mendelson as president of the Union for Progressive Judaism—the roof body for the Progressive movement throughout the Asia-Pacific region—paid a special visit to our congregation to confer the prestigious Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) Award on Sandy.

The Ner Tamid Award honours members of Progressive congregations other than current or past presidents who have performed exceptional service to their congregations, community—both Progressive and Jewish—and the wider society.

Sandy was one of only four people from the 27 congregations and organisations served by the UPJ to win the award in 2015.

Her husband Stephen was full of pride as he recounted Sandy’s decades-long contributions to the WIZO movement in Hobart while at the same time taking a lead role in organising shul events such as the communal Seder and Hannukah picnic, and hosting numerous social gatherings for the congregation in their home.

Sadly, illness has curtailed Sandy’s involvement in recent times, but she remains the congregation’s Welfare Coordinator, as always  helping to look after members who are unwell or in need.

The buoyant atmosphere for Sandy’s award was heightened by the presence of three other distinguished interstate visitors. Roger Mendelson was accompanied by his wife Sue, while the service was ably conducted by Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black whose wife Sue was also in attendance.

Congratulations, Sandy—may we continue to benefit from your unselfish labours for many years to come.