Lillian KaveyResponding to the economic hard times of the European immigrants surging into New York in the early 1900s, Lillian Kavovitz opened a pawnshop in Port Chester, N.Y. Her business was highly successful in large part because she was fluent in Russian, Polish, German, Czech and several Italian dialects. After learning that many of her customers hoarded their savings under their mattresses until they had enough to bring over their next of kin, she transformed her business into a travel and loan agency. Customers deposited money with her to gather interest. When enough funds were available to purchase the ticket, she arranged passage with a steamship company. If newcomers had trouble with the immigration authorities, Lillian would travel on their behalf to Ellis Island, where she soon became a familiar figure.


Read more: From pawnbroker to banker, Lillian Kasindorf Kavey

Maxine Richman /Courtesy |  Maxine RichmanIt could be argued that each and every woman among our readership deserves an award as woman of the year. Our women readers, their friends and relatives, lead busy lives. They spend their time doing good for their families and their community.

And you let us know about a dozen of them. Moms, wives, friends and trusted companions who enrich the lives of those around them. We take our hats off to everyone who took the time to send us an entry. Our readers are what make this paper work.

Read more: Maxine Richman is a winner in our book

What happens when you combine theater activities and Jewish studies? That is a question that was raised in the Religious School at Temple Sinai in Cranston. Through a gift to the school, a connection was made with Seth Finkle, the Education Director and Production Manager at The Wilbury Theater Group.

Read more: Temple Sinai Religious School combines theater and Jewish studies

JJ Keki and his son. /Temple Habonim“Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music and Religious Harmony in Uganda,” a program on ecumenism with guest speaker Rabbi Jeffrey Summit of Tufts University, will be presented May 4 at 2:30 p.m. at Temple Habonim in Barrington.

This is the the story of JJ Keki, an Abayudayan, who traveled on foot, knocking on the doors of his Jewish, Christian and Muslim neighbors, asking them to put aside their differences and to join him to create an extraordinary partnership based on trust and emphasizing peace.

Read more: Learn about the Ugandan model of ecumenism at Temple Habonim

 Cantor Brian Mayer /Temple Emanu-ElWith a festive dinner and joyous concert on May 18, Temple Emanu-El in Providence is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Cantor Brian Mayer’s spiritual, musical, pastoral and educational contributions to Temple Emanu-El and to the larger Jewish community. 

Cantor Mayer’s resume is diverse and rich. He conveys Jewish knowledge through his love of chanting, teaching, composing, conducting and performing Jewish music. For  the past quarter century, Cantor Mayer has led Shabbat and High Holy Day services, using well-loved cantorial melodies and teaching new tunes that have become familiar favorites. Cantor Mayer has incorporated beloved Yiddish standards and his own choral compositions into this eclectic mix. 

Read more: Temple Emanu-El to honor Cantor Brian Mayer