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2022 Men's Club Man and Youth of the Year


2022 Beth Judea Men’s Club Man of the Year


ALAN MARCUS grew up in in the Northwest Suburbs.  He and his family were active members of Congregation BJBE (then located in Glenview), where he was profoundly influenced by his great teacher, Rabbi Mark Shapiro (z”l).


Alan married his wife, Marcie, in 1993.  They joined Congregation Beth Judea shortly after moving to Buffalo Grove in the summer of 1997 and adopted their son, Ross, in 2002.

Alan became active in CBJ’s Men’s Club shortly after joining the congregation. He owes debts of gratitude to Norm Kurtz for getting him involved and the late Burt Fishman (z”l) for his invaluable mentorship.  


Alan’s past service to CBJ Men’s Club includes terms first as recording secretary and then ritual vice president. He has continued to serve the Men’s Club in a variety of miscellaneous capacities after his terms expired and was honored to receive the Man of the Year Award in 2001. 


Most recently, Alan created and coordinated a Hearing Men’s Voices Program, entitled “Helping the Next Generation Learn From Us,” that focused on transitional leadership issues as part of last December’s CBJ Men’s Club winter retreat.  He has also devised and coordinated various other programs, including one that brought a sofer to teach about his craft as part of the World Wide Wrap.


Alan is also involved in numerous ritual activities, including serving as an assistant floor gabbi. He also leads Torah discussion groups and Alternative Minyonim whenever the regular leaders are unavailable.  However, Alan most enjoys serving as the shul bartender after Saturday morning Shabbat services and other special occasions, including Purim.  He always makes sure that non-alcoholic choices are always available for those who wish to have them and will be happy to pour you the L’Chaim of your choosing during your next Shabbat visit to CBJ.


Alan is grateful to the CBJ Men’s Club for bestowing this great honor on him and wishes to thank the clergy and staff CBJ, as well as his family and friends, for their support.



2022 Beth Judea Men’s Club Youth of the Year


BROOKE ROBBINS is currently a senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. In the fall, she will be heading off to the University of Wisconsin - Madison to major in Human Development & Family Studies.


Brooke has been an active member of USY since eighth grade. She has held many roles in Beth Judea’s USY Chapter (BJUSY) such as Freshman Representative, Membership/Kadima Vice President, and Chapter President. This year Brooke is serving on Chicago’s Regional Executive Board as the Communications Vice President for CHUSY.

Within the CBJ community, Brooke has become a welcoming face. In the religious school, she was a madricha for a variety of ages until becoming a Hebrew teacher this year for the Gimel and Dalet classes. She is proud of her place within Congregation Beth Judea.

She spends her time hanging out with friends or working with children. In the summer, she works as a counselor at Tamarak Day Camp, and during the school year she works at the Little Patriots Preschool. At school, Brooke is a member of the National Honors Society, Hebrew National Honors Society, Club Israel, and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).

Brooke is truly honored and proud to be named Beth Judea Men’s Club’s 2022 Youth of the Year. She would like to extend her gratitude to Marc Sender for his mentorship, encouragement, and leadership throughout her USY journey, her outstanding friendships in BJUSY and CHUSY, Rabbi Zimbalist, Mrs. Anna Besser, Cantor Bat-Sarah, and the entire CBJ Family. Brooke would also like to thank her parents, Joel and Heidi Robbins, and siblings Ari and Allison for their continued support and love. She would lastly like to thank her grandparents for encouraging and teaching the Jewish traditions that shaped her into the proud Jewish individual she is today.





2021 Men's Club Man and Youth of the Year


2021 Beth Judea Men’s Club Man of the Year


STEVE LIMER has been a member of CBJ for over 20 years and has been active in both the Board of Directors of the shul as well as the Men’s club. On the Men’s club level, he has regularly attended events and often taken leadership roles.

Currently he is the programming VP of the club and has focused on providing entertaining and interesting events throughout the year.  Working with others from the club’s board of directors has been a pleasure and he looks forward to many more years of service to the club and shul.

Steve is honored to be the CBJ Man of the Year and thanks the club for this award and Debbie his wife, for her patience with him always being at one meeting or another. 



2021 Beth Judea Men’s Club Youth of the Year


AMELIA TEHRANI just graduated from Vernon Hills high school and will be attending the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign next year majoring in special education.


Amelia has been involved in USY all throughout high school with serving on the BJUSY executive board as the 2018-2019 communications vice president, to then serving as the 2019-2020 BJUSY chapter president, to then serving on the CHUSY regional executive board as the 2021-2021 communications vice president.  Amelia also had the opportunity to serve on CHUSY regional general board and on the international general board.  She also had the incredible opportunity of getting to do a USY Talk at USY's 2019 international convention about mental health (It's okay to not be okay). 

Besides USY, in high school she was involved in student council, best buddies, voices in prevention (VIP), and VHgive.

Amelia would like to thank everyone at Beth Judea for being so supportive in everything she does.  She also would like to thank her mom and dad, Robin and James, her little brother, Dylan, and her dog, Oreo for always supporting her and for being her best friends in the whole world.


Amelia is very appreciative of this honor and feels so blessed to be a part of an amazing Jewish community. She can’t wait to continue her involvement in Jewish life when she goes to college next year.



2020 Men's Club Man and Youth of the Year


2020 Beth Judea Men’s Club Man of the Year


RABBI MORRIS ZIMBALIST is the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Judea in Long Grove, Illinois. Through his leadership and vision, Rabbi Zimbalist has partnered with lay-leaders to advance Congregation Beth Judea’s commitment to embrace every synagogue religious and spiritual journeys with warmth, compassion, and kindness. Rabbi Zimbalist has advanced Congregation Beth Judea’s involvement in Israel education and advocacy; interfaith and tolerance dialogues with the local Christian and Muslim communities; inclusion initiatives for all people seeking to engage with the congregation irrespective of cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges; and strategic planning to ensure a vibrant future for the congregation and for the member on their Jewish community in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.


Rabbi Zimbalist was one of the founding rabbis and educators of jCo-Op, the newest collaborative Hebrew High School program in the northwest suburbs, meeting the needs of students from both Congregation Beth Judea and Congregation Beth Am. He also serves as the treasurer of the Community Mikveh for the Conservative Movement in Wilmette. In addition, Rabbi Zimbalist is one of 22 Conservative rabbis in the world certified by the Joint Bet Din of the Conservative Movement as a Messader Gittin – one who can help facilitate Jewish divorce, including writing the writ of divorce itself.


Prior to moving to Chicago, Rabbi Morris Zimbalist served for five years as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Synagogue Initiative Director for AIPAC. As part of the regional team, Rabbi Zimbalist engaged rabbis and synagogues of all denominations from southern New Jersey through northern Virginia in pro-Israel political activism. At that time, he also assumed the pulpit of Bet Chaverim Congregation as its first rabbi and launched the first religious school for the congregation. Rabbi Zimbalist was also privileged to serve in the pulpit of two congregations in New York, totaling 14 years.


Rabbi Zimbalist earned his Bachelor’s degree from Boston University in psychology with a minor in political science, and he has published articles on genetic links to mental illness and adoption within the Jewish community. He earned his Master’s degree and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 2002. He resides in Buffalo Grove with his wife and two children.



2020 Beth Judea Men’s Club Youth of the Year


ABBEY FINN is a senior at Buffalo Grove High School and has been very involved in USY the past four years. She was the Communications Vice President her sophomore year and worked to keep the chapter updated and connected through engagement on a variety of media. Last year, she served as BJUSY President, and was honored to provide leadership to the chapter alongside the rest of the board. She is currently assisting in a mentorship role as the Immediate Past President. She has also had positions on CHUSY’s regional general board.


In addition to her work with USY, Abbey has also been a student council representative for four years at BGHS. She is a member of National Honor Society and started a club called Bison Buddies, where students meet to form friendships and foster inclusivity. She is on the board of directors of the Children of Abraham Coalition, an interfaith group that works to educate and promote peace. Abbey also volunteers for Keshet, which is an organization that provides programming for individuals with disabilities. She hopes to take the skills she’s learned and pursue a degree in Special Education.


Abbey would like to thank everyone at Beth Judea for being so supportive of her for nearly her whole life. She loves the community of clergy, educators, and staff that have provided her with so much. She’d also like to thank her mom and dad, Michelle and Ira, and sisters, Allison and Charley, for allowing her to engage in her passions and encouraging her every step of the way.


Abbey is very appreciative of this honor and feels so blessed to be a part of an amazing Jewish community. She can’t wait to continue her involvement in Jewish life when she goes to college next year.

Fri, December 2 2022 8 Kislev 5783