Arkansas Federation honoring volunteers at “Celebrating Community” event

Richard Williams

The Jewish Federation of Arkansas will recognize its volunteers at the 13th annual Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Awards ceremony, Sept. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Little Rock Marriott Downtown.

Richard Williams will be the Grand Honoree at the “Celebrating Community” event. An attorney at Mitchell Williams, one of the largest law firms in the state, Williams was a co-chair of the 150th anniversary celebration at Little Rock’s B’nai Israel.

A Texas native, Williams got into law by accident after taking an international law class while working as a campus reporter. After graduation, large law firms in Houston did not want to interview Jewish graduates and Dallas firms had a quota system. He then rejected the idea of practicing law in Texas, opting for his wife’s hometown of Little Rock.

He was president of the Federation during the Six Day War, and has been active with numerous non-profits in Arkansas and is an educator at LifeQuest, a continuing education group for seniors.

Also being honored are Terri Cohen of Agudath Achim in Little Rock; Muriel Lederman of B’nai Israel in Little Rock; Helene Carter of Etz Chayim in Bentonville; Anita and Dennis Williams of House of Israel in Hot Springs; Kathy Pearson and Leonard Smith from Lubavitch of Arkansas; Gene Tweraser of Temple Shalom in Fayetteville; Maria and Richard Horowitz of United Hebrew Congregation in Fort Smith; Rachel Dranoff of Ati’Day Yisroel Early Childhood Center in Little Rock; Jim Wiltgen of Hendrix Hillel; Mark Krain, Rickie Lockwood and Susan Strauss of the Jewish Federation of Arkansas; and Richard Sonn of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

The Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Awards, established through the TRG Foundation, were created to enable the Federation to honor outstanding members of the Jewish community in Arkansas.

Marianne Tettlebaum, Federation executive director, said “From scholarships to Jewish camp to Caregiver Support to the Jewish Food and Cultural Festival, everything we do is intended as a celebration of our community.”

Single tickets to the event are $125, sponsorships start at $500.