The Vilna Shul Honors Community Leaders

The Vilna Shul Honors Community Leaders Image

The Vilna Gala: Honoring our Community Leaders

On June 19th, the Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture, hosted nearly two hundred guests of all ages at its annual tribute gala.  This year’s event titled "Generations Together,” honored two community leaders across generations, Arnie Slavet and Mike Ross.

The Vilna presented both with the Zvi Cohen Award.  The award honors those with inspirational commitment to Jewish values, tradition, and history. The late Zvi Cohen was a visionary who shared a lifelong interest in the welfare of the Jewish community and the preservation of heritage.

Upon accepting the award, Arnie said, “When I walk through these doors of this historic building, I feel a deep connection. I ask that tonight all of us commit to staying on course, to explore new ways to make relevant the enduring legacy of this place, its history and its purpose. Let us join in new conversations, new dreams and new actions for Vilna. The journey is worthwhile.”

In his acceptance speech, Mike remarked, “Vilna is a place that creates light where once there was darkness.”

Arnie and Mike both remembered their past but they both focused on the future, to create a better life for those around them and the community. Each walks in today’s world with a consciousness toward humanity’s needs. They are planners and action- takers; both are committed to the Jewish community, seeking to foster understanding through education.

Mike and Arnie appreciate the efforts at the Vilna creating a community of learners, seekers, and visionaries. This historic landmark has become a place where generations gather, learn, and wonder at the joys of Boston's diverse culture, its history and its community collaborations.

For more information about this topic, please contact Barnet Kessel at 617-523-2324, or e-mail

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