Brother of the Year


Under normal circumstances the TAE Brotherhood would announce their pick for the coming year’s Brother of the Year at the Brotherhood’s annual Erev Shabbat service, which was to place in mid-March.  The selectee does not know in advance that he’s been selected, and the announcement is therefore a surprise to him—at least that is the hope.

But this year’s circumstances are not normal, so we are making the announcement via this e-mail to all of our Temple Adat Elohim membership.  Hopefully, when our selectee reads this e-mail, it will be a surprise to him.

First, however, we wish to explain why we call our Brother of the Year the Bernie Entin Brother of the Year.  Bernie Entin, of blessed memory, was the first man to be selected as our Brother of the Year.  His devotion to TAE, expressed in so many ways during his years of membership at TAE, was legendary.  He was a tireless volunteer at our synagogue, both within the Brotherhood and the larger TAE community.  He was even selected as TAE’s Volunteer of the Year on multiple occasions because, were you to visit the TAE campus, you would likely find Bernie on the office’s second floor doing numerous volunteer activities:  folding bulletins, stuffing envelopes, or whatever else needed doing.  Just before Bernie’s death due to cancer, the Brotherhood Board voted to rename TAE’s Brother of the Year award as the Bernie Entin Brother of the Year, and Bernie was made aware of this.  We hope, if Bernie is looking down on us, that he’d be pleased with our subsequent selections.

This year’s selectee has also been a tireless worker for TAE.  He’s served on the TAE Board of Directors as well as the Brotherhood’s Board of Directors, including serving as TAE’s President.  He’s volunteered at many TAE events, including our annual Purim Carnivals.  Indeed, he personifies the spirit and tradition of volunteerism that Bernie Entin himself personified.

Our selectee was born near the Great Lakes and, by his wife’s admission, was a mediocre student in high school.  This was probably due to his love of bowling because, also by his wife’s admission, he spent most of his spare time at the bowling alley.

Be that as it may, he demonstrated his keen intelligence and “aced” the college entrance exam, gaining admission the Wayne State University.  Staying true to his love for bowling, he spent the first year at Wayne State bowling for dollars.

After a year at Wayne State, our selectee’s family moved to Los Angeles, and he enrolled in Los Angeles City College.  While there he met the woman who would become the love of his life, and their first date was at … you guessed it … a bowling alley.  You’d think that our selectee would go easy on his date, but such was not to be.  She survived the humiliation of defeat, and they shared their first “shy kiss” at the end of the date.  In his wife’s words, the rest is history.

By now we’ve given enough information that our selectee probably knows who he is, but we’ll continue this story.  They married in 1963 while he was attending Los Angeles State University (now Cal State LA) and his wife was pursuing an education degree at UCLA.  While his wife taught school, our selectee pursued a law degree at UCLA.

After our selectee graduated and passed the bar, he worked while his beautiful wife became a homemaker and raised their two red-headed children.  Our selectee became active in B’nai B’rith, serving as its youngest president.  He and his family also joined Temple Judea where he served on its board.

After moving to the Conejo Valley they joined Temple Adat Elohim, and both became very active in the TAE community.  Our selectee served as TAE President, and he’s also held many other positions.  He’s been the go-to person whenever there was a tough issue to address, and he’s a fountain of information on TAE’s history.  He also barbeques the best hamburgers and hot dogs for TAE’s Purim Carnival.

His beautiful wife Judy has supplied most of the information presented here, but we would like to add one more volunteer activity in which our selectee is involved, a full-time job in itself.  He is into his second year serving on the Ventura County’s Civil Grand Jury, spending untold hours conducting investigations for the betterment of the Ventura County community.

We are both honored and happy to announce the TAE Brotherhood’s selection of Larry Levine as our Bernie Entin Brother of the Year.