Community Heroes finalists announced


NEW YORK (JTA) — The Jewish Federations of North America has announced the five finalists for its 2010 Jewish Community Heroes award.

Dmitriy Salita, Jay Feinberg, Mordechai Tokarsky, Dr. Stephen Kutner and Zvi Gluck were chosen by a panel of judges from the top 20 vote getters in a contest that solicited nominations from the public of Jews engaged in Jewish projects. The vote was held on Facebook.

The panel will select the winner in time for the JFNA’s General Assembly to be held in New Orleans starting Nov. 7. The winner will receive $25,000 for his project. 

Salita, a Russian-born boxer, founded the Dmitriy Salita Youth Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., to help bring the community together and promote Jewish learning. Feinberg, of Boca Raton, Fla., is the director of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, which he founded after he had trouble finding a match when he was in need. He is working to grow and diversify the bone marrow registry’s donor base. 

Tokarsky, also of Brooklyn, is educating young Russian-Jewish immigrants about their common history and shared culture. He became one of the first Russian-American Jews to receive rabbinic ordination following the fall of the Soviet Union. 

Kutner, an ophthalmologist in Atlanta, founded and is the volunteer medical director of Jewish Healthcare International, a group that sends health care professionals around the world to meet the needs of communities in crisis. Gluck, of Queens, N.Y., is a one-man operation devoted to promoting kindness and helping those who have suffered unjustly.

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