A radio presenter, a solicitor, a marathon runner and a local MP are just four of 30 nominees who hope to scoop top honours in this year’s Leeds Jewish Community Pride Awards announced last week.
Launched in 2008 by Jane Clynes after sitting on a fundraising committee at Leeds Jewish Welfare Board, the “and the winner is ...” ceremony has become one of the most anticipated events in the community.
“I always thought there were lots of unsung heroes in the community who didn’t get recognised, so I put the idea forward and out of this the annual award ceremony was born,” said Jane.
This year along with gongs for sportspeople of the year, business people and community staff, the prestigious ceremony will focus on youth with some new categories.
These include: those with the X-Factor; youth leaders and youngsters who are “up and coming”; as well as those nominated for young personality of the year.
Retired dentist Stuart Woolf, nominated in the community volunteer category, spent twenty years directing the now defunct Potato Room Players at Leeds City Varieties and is currently station manager of Radio JCom.
He said: “To be thrust into the limelight is a step out of my comfort zone but I’m really tickled pink.”
An early frontrunner in the business person of the year award is Russell Manning, founder of top UK estate agency Manning Stainton, and an active member of the Leeds community.
Humbled to receive the nomination he said he has learnt that life throws down good and bad things.
“The secret is to understand and really appreciate the good things when they happen because bad things unfortunately will.”
Also nominated is Ellie Ruhan, director of the Leeds Performing Arts Festival and member of Parliament Fabian Hamilton.
Last year’s ceremony attracted an audience of 250 raising in excess of £15,000 for LJWB.
The awards will be handed out on December 5 at the Etz Chaim synagogue on Harrogate Road. Vote online at www.ljwbprideawards.co.uk.