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BBYO Announces Alumni of the Year

February 28, 2011

Abigail Porth Awarded BBG Alumna of the Year Award

BBYO is proud to announce Abigail Michelson Porth as the Anita Perlman Distinguished Alumna of BBG Award Winner. Anita Perlman z”l dedicated her career to developing leadership potential in young Jewish women in order to strengthen the greater Jewish community. The recipient of this award is chosen by BBG members and presented annually to a BBG alumna who embodies the qualities Anita Perlman valued and possessed: sisterhood, tzedakah (charity), loyalty and compassion.

Porth accepted her award on February 20 while addressing more than 700 teens at BBYO’s International Convention in Los Angeles, CA.

Porth, an alumna from Central Region West, San Francisco BBG #1, is currently the associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The JCRC represents more than 70 synagogues and Jewish organizations throughout the Bay Area on matters of public affairs and community relations. Under Porth’s leadership, the JCRC, in partnership with the Jewish Community Federation and the Board of Rabbis of Northern California, launched a major community-wide Year of Civil Discourse Initiative. The Initiative is designed to elevate the level of Jewish community discourse on controversial matters. This effort is creating a more inclusive Jewish community where people from across the political spectrum can come together, discuss challenging topics, and inspire and empower one another to foster a stronger, more vibrant, and engaging Jewish community.

Porth also serves as an Officer of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Interfaith Council, the San Francisco Foundation’s FAITHS Leadership Group, and on the Advisory Committee of San Francisco CARD, which trains social services that deal with the most vulnerable populations to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters.

Married to a former Grand Aleph Godol, Jason Porth, whom she met as a teen at BBYO’s International Convention in Starlight, Pennsylvania, Porth is extremely appreciative of all of the opportunities BBYO has provided her throughout her life.

“When I was in BBG, I was told that I would get out of BBYO what I put in. In truth, BBYO has given me gifts for a lifetime, far beyond the contributions I may have made as a teen,” said Porth. “BBYO trained me in leadership skills – in speech writing and public speaking, in innovation and program design. BBYO introduced me to Jews whose observance and beliefs were different from my own, and taught me to appreciate and learn from the diversity within our community. BBYO showed me that it is possible to dedicate a career to one’s personal values, working on behalf of the Jewish community in pursuit of a just society and secure Jewish future.”

To make a donation in honor of Abby Porth, please visit bbyo.org/abbyporth.

Steven Windmueller Awarded AZA Alumnus of the Year Award

BBYO is proud to announce Dr. Steven Windmueller as the Sam Beber Distinguished AZA Alumnus Award Winner. Sam Beber z”l recognized the importance of developing leadership potential in young Jewish men in order to strengthen the Jewish community as a whole. The recipient of this award is chosen by AZA members and presented annually to an AZA alumnus who embodies the qualities Sam Beber valued and possessed: fraternity, charity, honor and loyalty.

Windmueller accepted his award on February 20 while addressing more than 700 teens at BBYO’s International Convention in Los Angeles, Calif.

Windmueller is the past Dean of the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and has held a number of other prominent positions within the Jewish community over the course of a thirty year professional career. Prior to coming to HUC, he served for ten years as the Executive Director of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. Dr. Windmueller had previously served for twelve years as a federation director in upstate New York.

At the College, Dr. Windmueller is currently engaged in teaching, writing about issues affecting the Jewish community, and serving as a national consultant to Jewish and non-Jewish institutions. Active in the Jewish community, he currently serves on various community boards and is currently writing about Jewish political behavior.

Windmueller is a past Aleph Godol of Monarch AZA in Richmond, VA and says he attributes many of his professional accomplishments to skills he learned in AZA.

"During my high school years, AZA represented both the most positive Jewish experience and social connections,” said Windmueller. “In many ways my involvement with BBYO helped to prepare, inspire and teach me about those complex issues that challenge and impact the lives of teens. I shall be forever grateful for the friendships and connections afforded to me through BBYO."

To make a donation in honor of Dr. Windmueller, please visit bbyo.org/windmueller.

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