Joel Kramer

Joel Kramer will receive the Medal of Honor from the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix at the Federation’s donor appreciation and awards brunch at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.   

Kramer will be honored for his role in strengthening the Valley’s Jewish community. 

He has been board chair of both the Federation and the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center and has served in leadership roles with numerous other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations. He has also played a meaningful role with the Federation annual campaign, the original campus campaign and continues to serve on the board. He is the first Medal of Honor recipient who was a professional athlete – he played for the Phoenix Suns from 1978 to 1983.

The guest speaker will be Izzy Ezagui, an American-born IDF veteran.  At age 18, he lost his dominant arm while serving on the Gaza border during Operation Cast Lead in 2008. Despite the loss, Ezagui was determined to return to combat and he did, within two months. In 2011, Shimon Peres, then president of Israel, awarded him the highest accolade a soldier outside the battlefield can receive.

The Federation will also honor outgoing leadership: Steven Schwarz, chairman of the board; David Weiner,  2016 campaign chair; Esther and Don Schon, 2016 Major Gifts chairs; Julee Landau Shahon, Women’s Philanthropy chair; and Sally Oscherwitz, Women’s Campaign Chair. The Belle Latchman Community Service Award will also be presented.

Registration is required at jewishphoe or 480-481-7031.

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