SWFS Spring Benefit

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SWFS Spring Benefit


June 5, 2023
6:15 pm - 9:30 pm
The Times Center
242 W 41st St
New York, 10036 United States

Join together in support of
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
at our Spring Benefit

June 5, 2023, 6:00 PM

The Times Center
242 West 41st Street
New York City



More than a century ago, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise imagined a new kind of synagogue — one where rabbis would be free to speak truth to power from a free pulpit. 

Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is known for breaking the mold. More than a pioneering spirit, ours is a history of leadership. It’s in our blood. We follow in the footsteps of those who came before us — and stand as examples for the next generation.


In Jewish tradition, a shem tov — a good name — stands above all. Stephen Wise Free Synagogue bestows the SHEM TOV AWARD upon extraordinary congregants for their boundless humanity and strong leadership. Each honoree generously gives their time, wisdom and financial support. Their involvement in community service, education and philanthropy enriches our synagogue and their impact extends far and wide.

When MELISSA and KEN GLASSMAN decided to raise their children to be proud Jews, they chose Stephen Wise Free Synagogue as their spiritual home. A pediatrician and breastfeeding medicine specialist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Melissa has dedicated her career to supporting new mothers and their infants while expanding access to care, especially for low-income, Medicaid-insured patients. Ken oversees investments for a family office and is deeply engaged in civic life as the former chair of Arbor Rising and former vice chair of Ethical Culture Fieldston School’s board of trustees. Their children, Lilah and Noah, are alumni of our Early Childhood Center and Religious School and now volunteer as madrichim (teaching assistants), supporting our staff and serving as role models to their younger peers. The Glassman family enriches our community through their commitment to philanthropy and activism — and they inspire us with their dedication to Jewish life and service.


For the first time since 1999, our synagogue will be conferring a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, reserved to recognize those whose life’s work has changed our world for the better.

For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson, ROBERT A. CARO has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, twice won the National Book Award, three times won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has been awarded virtually every other literary honor for “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York” and his four-volume biography “The Years of Lyndon Johnson.” His groundbreaking work in chronicling the lives of these powerful figures has left an indelible mark on our understanding of our city and country. In addition to his being an American literary icon, he is also a dedicated member of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. Robert grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where he lives and works with his wife, the historian Ina Caro, who has written two classic books of her own.

During this year’s Spring Benefit, Robert will sit down for an intimate conversation with Lizzie Gottlieb, director of “Turn Every Page,” which explores the author’s 50-year relationship with his longtime editor and Lizzie’s father, Robert Gottlieb.

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