Congregation Ohav Shalom to honor Dorothy, Rob Ganz and Sheila, Ira Lobel with Shomrei Habayit Award at Nov. 17 brunch

ALBANY– Congregation Ohav Shalom will honor Dorothy and Rob Ganz and Sheila and Ira Lobel at its annual Shomrei Habayit Gala Brunch on Sunday, Nov. 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the synagogue, 113 New Krumkill Rd., Albany.

“We are fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers at Ohav Shalom,” said Judy Avner, president of the Ohav Shalom Board of Trustees. “Dorothy, Rob, Sheila, and Ira are dedicated volunteers of Ohav Shalom and incredible people. Each of them has served on the board of trustees, on numerous committees or in various other roles connected with our synagogue, and though they have done so much, they continue their work on behalf of Ohav Shalom. Together they make a powerhouse of positive energy from which Ohav Shalom has benefitted for many years.”

Dorothy and Rob Ganz

Robert Ganz, who is an attorney with more than 25 years of experience and the founding and managing partner of Ganz, Wolkenbreit & Siegfeld, is a past president of the board of trustees having served as president from 1996-1998. He has held a variety of additional roles at Ohav Shalom, including board member, membership vice president, chairman of the first strategic planning process Project Joseph, founder and chairman of the Ohav Shalom Endowment Board, and member of the search committee, which brought Rabbi Dan Ornstein to the congregation. He has also served as the synagogue counsel for the past 35 years. He is credited with innovative enhancements to Ohav Shalom during his presidency, including Project Nehemiah, a voluntary program of giving beyond standard annual congregational dues, creating a constitutional committee and implementing an executive director management system for the shul.

Ganz is active in the greater Jewish and Capital Region community as well. He is completing his five-year term as president of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) of the Capital Region. He has also served as vice president of the Daughters of Sarah Foundation, chairman of the Campus Commission, chairman of the State University of Albany’s interfaith governing board, a public library trustee for 16 years, and for three years president of the Guilderland Public Library. He has been honored by the Regional Library with its Founders’ Award, Library Association as Trustee of the Year, and by the Guilderland Public

Dorothy Ganz served on the Ohav Shalom Board of Trustees for many years and was co-chairperson of its centennial gala. She is a past fund-raising vice president and has been chairwoman of several of the congregation’s dinner dances. She is the National Hadassah Young Judaea Leaders of Tomorrow chairwoman, a past president of the Upper New York State Region, and past president of the former Colonie chapter and coordinated the merger of seven local chapters into the Hadassah Capital District Chapter, after which she served as its president. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Professionally, she has worked as administrative assistant to the executive director of the Greater Albany Jewish Federation; executive administrator of the Lupus Foundation of America, Northeastern New York Chapter; and financial administrator for two medical practices.

Dorothy and Rob, who were married at Congregation Ohav Shalom, are the parents of five adult children, all of whom were educated at Ohav’s Hebrew School and who celebrated their b’nai mitzvah here.

Ira Lobel, who is an attorney specializing in labor relations, has been a member of the Ohav Shalom Board of Trustees, chairman of its endowment committee for many years and a regular

Sheila and Ira Lobel

Tuesday minyan participant. He is active in the Albany Jewish community, having served as a member of the Jewish Community Center Board from 1985 to 1995 during which time he served as chairman of its personnel committee. He was a member of the board of the Daughters of Sarah, the Daughters of Sarah Foundation and chairman of its nominating committee, the Jewish Family Services during which he served as treasurer, and Project Strive. He is a former commissioner of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and is practicing as an independent mediator and arbitrator. He has served on panels of the American Arbitration Association, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, New York State Public Employment Relations Board, New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, New Hampshire Board of Labor Relations, and the Massachusetts Board of Arbitration and Conciliation.

Sheila Lobel, who is an educator by trade, has been a member of the Ohav Shalom Board of Trustees and has served the congregation in many roles including as a Hebrew School teacher, former membership vice president, former member of the youth commission, scholarship committee chairwoman, office volunteer, and as a mashgiach as needed. She has also taught Hebrew school at Temple Beth El in Oneonta. Professionally, she has held positions of reading specialist, nursery school teacher, middle school (world history) teacher for more than 35 years, and has taught grades pre-K thru 11, is a former vice president of the Teachers Union of East Greenbush Central School District and a union activist at Voorheesville Central School District. She was one of the first middle school teachers accepted to the “Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers’ Program” in Poland and Israel. She is also a former Girl Scout leader, a docent at the Albany Institute of History and Art specializing in Egyptian studies and a humane educator and general volunteer at Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

Sheila and Ira are the parents of Melissa (Michael) and Becca (Noam), who were among the first to celebrate their b’nai mitzvah with Rabbi Dan Ornstein. The senior Lobels have been members of the Flexible Havarah for 35 years, members of Project Nehemiah, and are frequent ushers at High Holy Day services.

The honorary co-chairpersons for the brunch are Judy Avner and Stephen Eckert and the 2019 honorees, Laura and Ed Jacobs and Terry and Dan Tyson.

The website, https://www.ohavshalom.org/events/shomrei-habayit-2019/ can provide additional information and tickets. Information is also available by contacting the Ohav Shalom office at 518-489-4706, ext.10.

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