On Monday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m., Wagner College’s Chai Society will hold its second annual Mitzvah Award Dinner. The Mitzvah Award program was created to recognize individuals who have enhanced and promoted Jewish life on the Wagner College campus and within the broader community. The event will take place in the Faculty Dining Room of the college’s Union Building.
Tickets are $90 per person, with all proceeds benefiting the Chai Society Mitzvah Scholarship. For reservations and information, contact Betty McComiskey, 718-420-4014, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Four people are being honored this year:
- David Norman — Outstanding Student Award
- Dr. Dennis and Elaine Bloomfield — Outstanding Chai Society Member Awards
- The Hon. Ralph J. Lamberti — Outstanding Community Member Award
Dennis & Elaine Bloomfield
David J. Norman is a senior at Wagner College. He is an arts administration major with a concentration in theatre. During his time on Grymes Hill, David has served as president of the Society of Arts Administration Students, vice president of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, and president and co-founder of the Wagner Shakespeare Society.
An active member of the Wagner College Hillel Foundation for four years, David has served as vice president, coordinator of religious activities, cantorial soloist and student worship leader. He has coordinated and assisted in numerous programs and events, including Shabbat and High Holiday worship, Passover Seders, and interfaith activities. He attended the Union for Reform Judaism’s 2007 Biennial in San Diego. Deciding that he wanted to further his Jewish education, David studied for an adult Bar Mitzvah in 2008.
Long-time neighbors of Wagner College, Dennis and Elaine Bloomfield started becoming directly involved with the college several years ago at the invitation of President Richard Guarasci, becoming the first co-chairs of the newly created Chai Society.
A native of Australia, Dr. Dennis Bloomfield was educated at Adelaide University. He has held many clinical and academic appointments during his career. Today, he is professor emeritus of medicine at New York Medical College. He also serves as emeritus chairman of medicine, attending physician, and director of clinical research in the Department of Medicine at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island.
Dennis Bloomfield has served in several leadership positions for the Staten Island community, including president of Art Lab, past president of the Staten Island Heart Society and the Staten Island Jewish Community Center, and co-chair (with his wife Elaine) of Wagner College’s Chai Society.
Elaine Bloomfield became active in community affairs shortly after moving to Staten Island in 1967. She was a founding trustee and served as board president of the Staten Island Children’s Museum at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. She was also instrumental in forming the Snug Harbor Constituents Committee and, later, the Alumni Circle for former board members.
Elaine Bloomfield was president and chairwoman of the board of the Staten Island Jewish Community Center.
She served as an assistant to Staten Island Borough President Ralph Lamberti, community representative for New York state Assemblyman Robert Straniere, and for many years was a CTV volunteer producer of “Assembly Spotlight” for Assemblywoman Elizabeth Connelly. While a board member of Staten Island Community Television, she co-chaired the Nova Award ceremony for two years.
She has been an officer and/or committee chairwoman while serving on the boards of the Seamen’s Society for Children and Families, the Jacques Marchais Center for Tibetan Art, and the Staten Island Symphony, and she has chaired the Festival of Chefs for the Staten Island Heart Society.
She is a recipient of the Allan Weissglass Distinguished Leadership Award and has been honored by the UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.
Elaine Bloomfield is the mother of three and grandmother of six and continues to enjoy being involved in the Staten Island community.
Ralph Lamberti is a lifelong Staten Islander. His education at P.S. 18, Curtis High School, Wagner College and the College of Staten Island reflect that. His term as borough president (1984-90) capped a career in public service that spanned some 40 years, assuring that his best efforts benefited the borough and its residents.
Lamberti has received awards and recognition from virtually every organization on Staten Island. Among his proudest distinctions are an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree from St. John’s University, a Distinguished Citizenship Award from Wagner College, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Lamberti has served various roles on several Staten Island committees, including past chairman of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, chairman of the Wagner College DaVinci Society, former chair of the Staten Island United Way, member of the New York City Board of the United Way, and founder of the annual Harmony Street Fair. In addition, he is a former member of the boards of the American Red Cross, Aid for Retarded Children, VNA, the Heart Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the American Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
As a friend of the Jewish community in Staten Island, Lamberti’s service has been recognized often. The board of directors of the Jewish National Fund of America presented him with its civic achievement award. He was named Man of the Year by the Israel Bond campaign. His dedication to the Jewish Foundation School earned him its gratitude, and the Congregation Ohel Abraham acknowledged his “dedication, loyalty and friendship to the Jewish community.”
Ralph and his wife, Susan, live in Sunset Hill, where they have reared four children.