Each year at our Birmingham Jewish Federation & Foundation Community Event, we also have an Israel Bonds drive where we honor a person(s) for their commitment to Israel Bonds over the years. Below is a list of our honorees starting in 2010.
2010, Carol & Jimmy Filler – For decades, Jimmy has been a major leader in Birmingham and has had a dramatic impact on our Jewish community. Jimmy, with Carol as his partner, has held major leadership positions in our community and also has played major critical roles “behind-the-scenes.” Through their generosity, passion for our Jewish community, and compassion for those less fortunate, the Fillers have created a remarkable record of service which continues to grow. Jimmy is currently President of the Birmingham Jewish Federation and Fundraising Chair for “Our Next 100 Years,” a historic Jewish community initiative. In addition, he is completing his 36th year – “double Chai” in Jewish tradition – as Chair of Israel Bonds. “We’ve been blessed and have a passion for making life better for others,” explains Carol. We thank the Fillers for all that they have done and congratulate Jimmy, Carol, and their daughter, Nan, on this wonderful occasion.
2011 We honored our partnership between Birmingham and our sister city in Israel, Rosh Ha’ayin – Birmingham’s relationship with Rosh Ha’ayin began in the late 1970s when Tillie and Max Kimerling, of Birmingham, donated funds to build a community center in Rosh Ha’ayin. Partnership 2000, which it is called today, is a program between Birmingham and our Sister City in Israel, Rosh Ha’ayin, that focuses on strengthening ties between our communities through “people-to-people” exchanges. The city of Birmingham has adopted Rosh Ha’ayin as an official Sister City.
2012, Sheryl & Jon Kimerling – are major national Jewish Federation leaders and, among other roles, chaired the annual Birmingham Jewish Federation campaign in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, prior to the recession, the BJF Campaign, under their leadership, attained its highest level ever – $2,645,000. They continue to inspire others with their Jewish philanthropy, love for Israel and passion for Jewish life. Sheryl is a member of the national board of Jewish Federations of North America and Vice Chair for Campaign for JFNA’s National Women’s Philanthropy. She also serves on JFNA’s Prime Minister’s Council Advisory Committee and its Development Cabinet. In the broader community, Sheryl, with Jon’s support, has held a series of major Birmingham community leadership roles, including serving four years as President of the YW Central Alabama. They have been honored for their leadership and philanthropy and continue to make an extraordinary impact on all of Birmingham. Together, they chaired the Toqueville Society for this year’s United Way Campaign, a critically important component of our annual United Way drive. Sheryl also serves on United Way’s National Planned Giving Council.
2013, Brenda & Fred Friedman – are among the most generous and caring philanthropists in the history of the Birmingham Jewish community. Through the Frank and Fred Friedman Family Foundation, they support a wide array of causes benefiting our local community and Israel. Together, they chaired two of the most successful Birmingham Jewish Federation Campaigns in our history, exceeding our campaign goal both times and finishing in record time. Their leadership roles took them to Tbilisi, Georgia, as part of a national delegation of Jewish Federation leaders who traveled there to learn more about Jewish needs. They have served on our Federation Executive Committee and the Boards of our Federation and Foundation, as well as on many other committees and boards within our Jewish community. With their children Jordan and Leah and her husband Jeremy, they continue to build a remarkable legacy of service and philanthropy — one that will no doubt be transmitted to their grandchildren, Wyatt and Hunter, through the enduring impact of their family foundation.
2014, Harold Ripps – a native of Mobile, moved to Birmingham in 1969 and formed The Rime Companies. He and his brother-in-law, Herbert Meisler, are co-owners of The Rime Companies, which is a real estate development, construction and management firm. In 1994, The Rime Companies and Colonial Properties Trust consummated one of the largest single transaction acquisitions of developed properties in the history of U.S. REITS. As a result of this exchange, both Harold and Herbert became substantial owners in Colonial. In 2013, Colonial Properties was acquired by MAA, Memphis, Tennessee. Harold currently serves on their Board of Directors. Harold is civic minded and a major Birmingham philanthropist. His many community activities have included the Executive Committee of the Birmingham Council of The Boy Scouts of America, the President’s Advisory Council of The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce, the Quarterback Club, the Tocqueville Society of United Way of Central Alabama, and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.