History of Keter ShemTov                                                        
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The following history of Keter Shem Tov was written by Arlene Gottlieb when she received the awared in 2016.

On May 21, 2016, Arlene Gottlieb (that’s me!!!) will be honored with Mishkan Torah’s Keter Shem Tov Award. I thought many of you, especially our newer members, would like to know why we have this award. It started about 15 years ago when Ethel Rosenzweig, z”l, commented to her son, Dick, that we didn't have any ceremony to regularly honor our members. She had just left a funeral where a lot of nice things were said about the person who died, but it was too late for him to hear it. Ethel, along with her husband Ben, z”l, were original members who stuck with Mishkan Torah through thick and thin, and were the epitome of Mishkan Torah. And as Dick was telling me this, I agreed and was eager to do something to rectify that issue.

First we needed a name for the Award that reflected the honor--and Rabbi Cohen came up with Keter Shem Tov from Pirke Avot,4:17. At the same time, we needed a recipient who personified “the crown of a good name is above them all.” Our first honoree had to be Ethel Rosenzweig. So we honored Ethel, then the Pearlmans, Hendels, Strassers, Tuckmans, Spevacks, Chopers, Silversteins, Spectors, Dick Rosenzweig, the Carmels, Oreskys, Herschlers and last year, Jeffrey and Sara Rosen.

This year the tables were turned on me. Ways and Means met while I was out of town and decided to give me the honor. I was not amused. I was pretty upset. How could they do this to me??? While I appreciated the thought, I didn’t think it was my time. There were still many others I wanted to honor. After talking with my friends and family who essentially told me to just go with the flow, I managed to calm down long enough to accept the honor and I’m glad I did. 

Keter Shem Tov has been my “baby” for the last 15 years. A few people have been tremendously helpful along the way--Alice Pearlman, z”l, Alyce Strasser z”l, Janet Davis, and Phyllis Oresky. For many years, Marsha Goldfine z”l, created a beautiful certificate for our honorees. Sisterhood catering now led by Martha Tomecek has always fed us delicious luncheons. Many help out to make the day special for each honoree. We have a Program/Memory book that friends and family contribute to. I love to read all the stories and find out new things about our honorees. This year I will have to wait until May 21st to see what is written. The good news is I won’t be spending Friday, May 20th printing, hole punching and ribboning the booklets I’ve run off on my printer for many years.

Keter Shem Tov for me has been a labor of love. Ethel Rosenzweig, was right. We didn’t do enough to honor our members who have given so much of themselves. But we do now! You’ll learn more about me in next month’s Trumpet. But for now, put May 21st on your calendar so you can help me celebrate this occasion. I guarantee, a memorable time will be had by all.