Congregation B'nai Israel

2710 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 | (203) 336-1858 | |

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Mitzvah Hero Award

January 28, 2018 - 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County
4200 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604

The Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County is holding its first ever Mitzvah Hero Award program where they will be paying tribute to the men and women of the community who step up to repair our world and embody the true values of Tikkun Olam. One Mitzvah Hero from each of the temple’s in the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County will be honored. Sherry Portnoy is the Mitzvah Hero Award recipient from B’nai Israel. 

Following article from our January bulletin speaks to why Sherry was nominated by B’nai Israel:

Chances are, that even if you do not recognize Sherry Portnoy’s name, you would recognize Sherry Portnoy. She is an upbeat, energetic presence in very aspect of life at B’nai Israel. 

“She is one of the more recognized faces at the Temple,” Rabbi James Prosnit said. “From the children in Religious School to the seniors, her presence is known, felt and appreciated.” That appreciation will be expressed for the greater Jewish community to appreciate, as B’nai Israel nominated Sherry to be recognized at the First Annual Mitzvah Heroes Awards, sponsored by the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County. The awards will honor an individual from each of the 18 congregations in the Federation’s region. These Mitzvah Heroes “embody the values of tikkum olam,” according to the Federation press release. “We are looking for a “doer,” not a donor – someone who is a positive role model and who may not have been previously in the spotlight or otherwise recognized for his or her efforts.”

Sherry Portnoy embodies just that spirit, says B’nai Israel Congregation President Michael Blumenthal. “Sherry is always willing to help out behind the scenes to do whatever is necessary to make a program successful,” he said. “Sherry will happily come early to help set up or stay afterwards to help clean up. She will shop, drive, pick up or deliver, without most people knowing what a tremendous help she provides for B’nai Israel. She does the same to help individual congregants, and she does it all without any desire for recognition. Sherry is the definition of an unsung hero for our congregation.”

Now her praises will be sung, along with those of the other Mitzvah Heroes, 
during the awards ceremony on Sunday, January 28, from 5:00 to 7:00  p.m. at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Campus, 4200 Park Avenue in Bridgeport.

The program is aimed at the broader Jewish community of Fairfield County, 
with ticket prices designed to be accessible at $18 per person or $36 per  family. The event will include a kosher wine-and-cheese reception and will  feature a wonderful speaker, David Jaffe, author of Changing the World from  the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal and Social Change.

“Sherry is an exceedingly humble salt-of-the-earth volunteer who does so much for the synagogue,” Rabbi Prosnit said. “There’s a Hebrew expression, skar mitzvah, mitzvah — the reward for performing a mitzvah is the mitzvah itself. Sheri is the embodiment of this, always there, always willing, with no expectation of recognition or reward.” 

To make a reservation to attend, click here or contact the Federation office at (203) 226-8197 or

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