The Adam Madorsky Social Justice Award was created in 2016 in memory of Adam Madorsky, son of Karen and Jerry Madorsky, to recognize alumni who have continued to pursue social justice in their personal or professional life. Adam had a wonderful sense of humor and was a compassionate person with an overwhelming desire and ability to help those in need. The recipient(s) of this award will be recognized at the school’s Annual Meeting and will also visit Epstein Hillel to share with students their ongoing efforts, and the ways in which the school’s social justice experiences helped to shape and influence their pursuits and decisions. The recipients will also receive a donation to a charitable organization of their choice.
Nominees should be:
- Alumni of Cohen/Epstein Hillel (graduated or attended) of college age or older.
- A participant in an ongoing social justice project* (professional or personal), and/or someone who has demonstrated an outstanding effort or action in response to injustice.
- Available to share their experience at Epstein Hillel with our current students.
*Finalists will be asked to provide supporting references of their social justice work.
Current and former Epstein Hillel/Cohen Hillel families, faculty, staff and community members are invited to submit nominations for this year’s Adam Madorsky Social Justice Award.
Previous Recipients of the Adam Madorsky Award
2023 Madorsky Honoree
Lee Rosenfield '82
Lee Rosenfield (Cohen Hillel Academy, Class of 1982) lives a life in service to others every day, both professionally and personally. His philanthropy and volunteerism span many causes, particularly in the areas of Jewish communal services and LGBTQ+ organizations. Lee has been a lifelong, fierce advocate for individual freedoms including a women's right to
choose, marriage equality, right to die with dignity, and access to education for all.
“I grew up the child of a single mother,” says Lee. “And so I was really raised in part by my community.” That’s a big part of what motivates him to give back.
Lee always showed academic excellence and leadership qualities, beginning as early as his days at Epstein Hillel School (then known as Cohen Hillel Academy). “Cohen Hillel Academy served as the foundation for my entire educational career,” says Lee. “Hands down, Karen Madorsky, my 7th grade English teacher, had the greatest impact on me. She was the toughest yet kindest teacher I ever had… Cohen Hillel taught me to be a critical thinker, well-versed in Jewish knowledge, culture, and tradition which I have carried with me throughout my life. It embedded within me strong Jewish values which I seek to live by every day of my life and which I espouse and model to my family and community.”
After Cohen Hillel, Lee attended Salem High School and then received a full fellowship to the University of New Hampshire, where he majored in Communications and Spanish. Lee also holds two Masters degrees in Jewish Nonprofit Management and Public Administration, respectively, which he received concurrently at Hebrew Union College and University of Southern California. In 2020, Hebrew Union College awarded Lee an honorary doctorate for 25+ years of service to the community.
After decades of working at non-profit organizations, Lee is now a consultant for the non-profit sector as the CEO of Rosenfield Consulting. He deeply understands his clients’ missions, and that informs his philosophy of fundraising. “It’s really very simple,” says Lee. “I have never asked anyone for money. I’ve only asked them to invest in their values.”
Lee’s commitment to working with nonprofits has traveled with him from Boston to Los Angeles, to Israel, and to New Jersey, where he lives now. Among the dozens of community service and social justice organizations that he has been a part of, Lee is proudest of his advocacy for LGBTQ+ people. He has served on the board of Garden State Equality, the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in New Jersey, and on the board of Keshet, a national organization based in Boston that envisions and works toward a world in which all LGBTQ+ Jews and their families can live with full equality, justice, and dignity. Lee was also a service leader at Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim, the first LGBTQ+ synagogue established in the country. Most importantly, Lee says, “I am proud to be a role model for LGBTQ+ people through the way in which I live my own life as an out gay man, proud of my identity, and fiercely devoted to be an advocate against hate, prejudice, homophobia, transphobia, and all forms of oppression. I am very grateful that my Jewish identity and education— both at Cohen Hillel and beyond— gave me the wisdom and confidence to stand up for those in our society who are most vulnerable.”
Through these experiences, Lee says there are two life lessons that continue to drive him today. The first is, “Be true to yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you who to be.”
The second lesson is, “Life throws you curveballs, and you have to figure out how to live with them and roll with them.” The biggest curveball in Lee’s life was when his beloved husband of 23 years, Jack Fastag (z”l), died of glioblastoma. Despite this devastating loss, Lee continues to find joy in life as the proud father to two children, Ethan and Eliana Fastag Rosenfield. Lee also found love again and married Uwe Schreyer last year. “As I moved forward in grief, I stayed true to my love for Jack and his guiding values. He always said, ‘Lee, always look on the bright side of life.’ In his memory, I do so and have rebuilt my life and the life of my children in a way that honors and perpetuates his memory.”
Lee said he is truly honored to receive the Adam Madorsky Social Justice Award. “I did not know Adam personally, but I do know his parents and I admire them immensely. I am humbled to receive an award in memory of such a wonderful man and all that he represented. May Adam's memory always be for a blessing!”
2022 Madorsky Honoree
Ariele Goldman '03
Ariele Goldman graduated from Epstein Hillel School in 2003 and went on to a local high school, where she struggled with mental health, including social anxiety. Ariele began using drugs to cope, and eventually became addicted.
Through her twenties, she fought for her sobriety, and finally, at age 28, she was able to conquer her addiction through the help of her family and the 12-Step Program.
Ariele is now a Family Navigator with the Middlesex House of Corrections, MATADOR (Medication Assisted Treatment and Directed Opioid Recovery) program. She works with a caseload of inmates and their families in a program called Families in Treatment, where she provides support, psychoeducation, and Narcan training to help bridge the gap between incarcerated individuals and their families. She helps to build a therapeutic relationship that continues even after their release. This essential and meaningful work is a testament to her deep compassion for those who have fallen prey to the opioid epidemic.
Ariele’s journey and her commitment to helping others personify the values of the Adam Madorsky Alumni Social Justice Award. Ariele’s life path exemplifies the spirit and intent of the award presented to her on June 8, 2022, at EHS’s Annual Meeting.
2021 Madorsky Honoree
Joshua Heerter '99
For over a decade, Joshua has been tutoring, mentoring, and teaching English to non-native-English-speaking students at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. Joshua is a tenured professional staff member of the Language Lab, which is an especially diverse and dynamic space at the College whose mission is to provide a welcoming environment and academic support for students from underprivileged populations. In addition, he is currently tutoring a dual-enrolled Bridges to College class at Chelsea High School, the students of which are primarily Spanish-speaking immigrants. Through his work, he embodies the Jewish value of welcoming the stranger by supporting his non-English-speaking students with their transition into the United States.
Following Hillel, Joshua attended the New Jewish High School (now Gann Academy). While a student there, he interned for The Jewish Journal writing editorials and human interest stories. Joshua then went on to earn a degree in English Literature at UMass Amherst, completing an honor’s capstone project in creative writing and obtaining a certificate of professionalization in technical writing and professional communication. He attests that none of this would have been possible without the rigorous learning he was provided by Mrs. Madorsky at Hillel.
2020 Madorsky Honorees
Jason Sidman '91
Jason Sidman is the President of the Board of Directors of My Brother's Table in Lynn. My Brother's Table is the largest soup kitchen on the North Shore, serving over 3 million meals since its founding in 1982, including 186,000 meals last year alone. Jason's involvement with the Table developed from a personal concern about growing income inequality and the desire to make an impact locally. Jason's goal is to foster the relationship between the Table and the larger North Shore community. In doing so, he emphasizes shared responsibility for each other and recognition of the human dignity inherent to every person.
A graduate of Cohen Hillel Academy in 1991, Jason earned his PhD in Experimental Psychology from Tufts University. For over 15 years he has designed and executed innovative research and development collaborations between academic, industry, and government partners. He currently works at Northeastern University, and resides in Marblehead with his wife Renee and sons Caleb and Micah. He has a strong connection to Hillel, including through his parents, Barbara and Alan Sidman, and many of his best friends from Hillel who still remain among his closest friends.
Naomi Remis Sugar '97
As Deputy Director of Programs, Naomi Sugar oversees and manages Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago's (PHIMC) program portfolio including workforce development, behavioral health, substance use, reentry, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and quality management. Naomi develops data-driven public health interventions at the systems level and supports operational and organizational advancement…
Prior to joining PHIMC, Naomi served as Program Director at Project Sunshine, Inc., where she supervised and provided technical support to teams in the United States and four global sites: Canada, China, Israel, and Kenya. In addition to her role at PHIMC, Naomi is Course Director at Northwestern University’s Program in Public Health, within the global health concentration. Naomi holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health; she received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis.
2019 Madorsky Honoree
Aaron Lawee '97
Aaron Lawee developed a passion for immigration law in his first year of law school and has been working with immigrant communities ever since. He focuses his practice on removal defense and family based immigration, including naturalization applications, family petitions, U-visas, and VAWA self-petitions.
A native of Marblehead with both Iraqi and Ashkenazi roots, Aaron attended CHA from Kindergarten through 8th grade. He then went to Marblehead High School, earned a B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Georgetown Law School. As a law student, he interned at various immigrants’ rights organizations in Washington D.C. Aaron also participated in a fact-finding mission regarding the resettlement of Iraqi refugees, for which he received highest honors.
Following his graduation from college, Aaron served in AVODAH (the Jewish Service Corps) where he worked at a legal services organization, helping people on food stamps and welfare who had lost their benefits. He then spent time in South America learning Spanish before beginning law school, which led to his work in the Hispanic community.
Aaron currently lives in Chicago with his wife, Sara, is a member of Congregation Anshe Emet, and attends services at Temple Sholom. Aaron is also a member of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a Chicago organization that advocates for positive social change and works to combat poverty, racism, and antisemitism.
2018 Madorsky Honorees
Jacob Abbisso '14
After Jacob’s Cohen Hillel teacher challenged his classmates to be like a giraffe and “stick their necks out” for others, Jacob decided to help Marblehead’s abandoned animals and raise money for a local animal shelter. He taught himself to twist animal balloons and became known as The Balloon Kid who entertained at birthday parties and local events. To date, he has raised almost $20,000, for the Marblehead Animal Shelter. He has also donated his time and talents to Boston Children’s Hospital, SPUR, Sailing Heals, Save a Children’s Heart (in Tel Aviv), and other non-profits. Jacob has been a Madrich at Temple Emanu-El, a Sloane Peer Leadership Fellow, president of the Environment Club at Gann Academy, and is on the Stand With Us teen council - a national organization that helps teens advocate for Israel. Jacob also serves on the EHS alumni engagement committee. He is a 2014 graduate of Cohen Hillel Academy, and will be a 2018 graduate of Gann Academy attending Wesleyan University in the fall.
Ashley Orenberg Waterberg '98
Ashley has spent over 20 years exemplifying the spirit of tikkun olam in myriad ways. While in college, she spent time repairing homes in Mississippi that were damaged from Hurricane Katrina and taking care of children in Dominican Republic. After college, she was accepted into the AmeriCorps Program where she helped empower residents in low income areas in Vermont to create change in their communities. She later pursued graduate study in social work and currently works in the Revere Public Schools. Ashley spearheaded the approval of the Gay Straight Student Alliance organization in all the Revere middle schools. She began and is still active in the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Youth and facilitates the planning of LGBT-related events in the Boston area. She also has worked for many years on the Governor’s commission for LGBTQ Affairs. Ashley is a 1998 graduate of Cohen Hillel Academy and a 2002 graduate of the University of Vermont. She earned her MSW from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis in 2010.
2017 Madorsky Honorees
Shane Skikne '07
Fueled by his passion for engineering and helping others, Shane started a non-profit company in California, The Launch Studio, which is dedicated to teaching Title I students about entrepreneurship. Students are supported as they design, prototype, manufacture,and market their own products to local businesses. Shane’s Launch Studio has expanded to three schools in the upcoming school year. Shane is a 2007 graduate of Epstein Hillel School, 2011 graduate of Gann Academy and a 2015 graduate of the Olin School of Engineering.
Zach Shwartz z"l '08
Zachary z"l was a mensch who dedicated his life to helping others. Zach coached softball and basketball teams for the Special Olympics. Additionally, he volunteered at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home and lead bingo for the elders at his temple in Malden. Zachary was a 2008 graduate of Epstein Hillel School, a 2012 graduate of Gann Academy, and a 2016 graduate of Boston University. He served on Hillel's Board of Directors and was the first "young alumnus" member of the Board.
Please nominate an alum of Cohen Hillel Academy/Epstein Hillel School for the Adam Madorsky Social Justice Award!
For more information about the award, the nominating criteria, and past recipients, please click here.