Founders’ Service Award Remarks at June 2015 Congregation Meeting

Sandra award
Founders’ Service Award: Sandra Mamis
June 2015
Written and presented by: Marge & Art Groten

It is an honor to have the opportunity to recognize Sandra Mamis for her dedication and her commitment of time, energy and creativity to Vassar Temple. In the 26 years her family has belonged to Vassar Temple, her work has helped to sustain the congregation.

“The Vassar Temple Founders’ Service Award is given annually to identify and honor an individual, or a household, who has provided consistent and beneficial service to Vassar Temple over an extended period of time. The awardee’s service acts as an inspiration to others, demonstrating leadership by example.”



To provide a list of the many roles Sandra has fulfilled with excellence would not be as interesting as to consider the impact of her far-ranging activities at Vassar Temple. Sandra has touched every aspect of Temple life in a meaningful way, often playing a leadership role. Indeed she has led this congregation as Sisterhood President, Temple President, Board Secretary and a board member for 14 years.

Sandra has also led by inventing and spearheading new Vassar Temple traditions. Sandra initiated and continues to chair the annual Passover Seder. She also started the well-attended annual Vassar Temple Break Fast and coordinates them each year. Sandra chaired the Nachamu Bereavement Committee, which created an invaluable Vassar Temple guide to bereavement. These initiatives have enriched and enlarged our Temple family.

Sandra has re-invented the Vassar Temple Scrip program, expanding and improving it. It now provides between $10,000 and $14,000 in income for our budget annually. (I will take this opportunity to remind you that if you make your purchases using scrip, it will support the Temple at no cost to you. We could easily be raising $20,000 or more with scrip.)

Sandra has chaired numerous committees: the 2014/15 Rabbi Search Committee; the 2015 Gala, which netted almost $90,000; the High Holy Day Committee and the effort that renovated our restrooms. She always leads the way with thoroughness and attention to detail that exceeds all expectations, with consistently excellent results.

Sandra has participated as a member of committees that are the lifeblood of our Temple: the Moveable Feast Committee; the Eternal Torah Committee; and the Ritual Committee. A member of Ritual for 7 years, she is now incoming chair.

Lastly Sandra has contributed to the Temple the work of her hands and of her heart by sewing new red covers for the Rabbi and Cantor’s podiums, creating the garden in front of our building and by leading lay services during the summer

This may not be a comprehensive list, but it surely demonstrates the qualities we seek in the recipient of the Founders’ Service Award. Hopefully it will inspire others to contribute the work of their minds, hands and hearts to do the same. Thank you, Sandra, for all you do for our Temple Family.

Marge Groten

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