The special IJHS Honorary Board was created on December 31, 2003 to celebrate notable Jewish persons from Indiana and thereby enhance the visibility of our society. The Honorary Board was part of the society’s "Let’s Get Visual" campaign that coincided with nationwide celebrations marking the 350th anniversary of the first Jews arriving in North America, taking place in 2004.

The growing roster is a Who’s Who of Indiana Jewry, and of persons either born in the Hoosier state and also others who came here and acquired their importance. This register is also a great source of pride for any Hoosier. The panache is striking and includes:

Sidney Hyman Esq., a Gary native, and National Book Award recipient, and former speech writer for JFK, and Editor of The Aspen Institute Quarterly. Three of his books were chosen by librarians led by Yale for the White House Library c: 1961.

Melvyn N. Klein Esq., a native of Gary, author and noted columnist for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, and Horatio Alger award recipient in 1996.

Joseph A. Morris Esq., a Gary native who served under Ronald Reagan as the Director, with the rank of Assistant Attorney General of the United States, of the Office of Liaison Services; General Counsel to the United States Office of Personnel Management; Chief of Staff and General Counsel of the United States Information Agency, Washington, D.C. Also, U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (Geneva, Switzerland); and serves on B’nai B’rith’s International Board of Governors.

Hermann Gurfinkel, a German born sculptor for many years a resident of Valparaiso whom was awarded Germany’s highest civilian award in 2000. His sculptures are located in public spaces in LaPorte, Valparaiso, Hammond and Merrillville, Indiana.

Kay Rosen, a native of Texas and a Miller Beach artist and linguist, whose minimalist use of words in art are found in museums across the country and exhibited in galleries around the globe.

Cary Shafer, a native of Fort Wayne a noted sculptor now based in New York City whom added the finishing gargoyles to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and has done restoration work at the White House.

Martin Katz a native of South Bend and now of Beverly Hills, known as the Jeweler-to-the-Stars whose sensational baubles often dress up the Academy Award presenters.

Ronald D. Cohen PhD, a Grammy nominee for his best historical album when co-producing "Best of Broadside 1962-1988" and IUN’s definitive William A. Wirt Platoon School historian, and co-author of IU Press’ best seller "Moonlight in Duneland." A resident of Gary’s Miller Beach neighborhood since 1970.

Maia Wechsler, a native of Gary, presently of Brooklyn, Journalist, Film Director of “Sisters in Resistance” that was awarded the ‘Best Documentary’ at the Women’s Film Festival in Seattle and was named one of the outstanding documentaries of 2001 by the Academy Awards Documentary Screening Committee.

Hugh Fink, a native of Indianapolis and now of Los Angeles whom while writing for “Saturday Night Live” won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing for A Comedy Program.” He is the only comedian from Indianapolis ever to appear on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” and is the co-producer for “The Drew Carey Show” and has written for Steve Martin’s Academy Awards monologue.

Rabbi Albert T. Plotkin, a South Bend native, Notre Dame alumni, author, and namesake of both the Plotkin Judaica Museum and also the new headquarters of the Arizona Historical Society.

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, of Indianapolis, noted children’s author, Sagamore of the Wabash and the first ordained reconstructionist female rabbi.

Robin Rich, The Rapid Response Coordinator for District Seven, United Steel Workers of America; originally of Boston and resident of Miller Beach.

Carol A. Pollard, a native of South Bend, the quintessential sister and human rights activist whom commenced an international organization, Citizen’s For Justice, Inc. to free her brother Jonathan Pollard; An international lecturer whom has motivated numerous world leaders and governmental bodies to support her cause.

Lawrence Einhorn MD, of Indianapolis, the Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Indiana University at Indianapolis, He is the Associate Editor for Medical and Pediatric Oncology, and Investigational New Drugs.

Harvey Feigenbaum MD of Carmel, the Distinguished Professor, at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Founder and past president of the American Association of Echocardiography, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography.

Douglas Zipes MD, of Carmel, the Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Chief of Cardiology at IU and director of the Krannert Research Institute in Indianapolis.

Robert Werman PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Neurobiology at the Hebrew University whom made Aliyah with his family from Bloomington in 1967. His “Notes from A Sealed Room” by Illinois University Press chronicled the Persian Gulf War from Jerusalem and the departure of the IU Students.

Alvin H. Rosenfeld PhD, noted Judaica and Holocaust scholar, author and past Director of the Born’s Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University and the Director of the newly established Institute for Jewish Culture and Arts in Bloomington.

Golda Spiera Werman PhD, was born in Berlin and raised in the US where she earnt her doctorate in English Literature and published the highly commended “Milton and Midrash” by Catholic University Press. She made Aliyah with her family from Bloomington, in 1967 and served as the Indiana University’s Overseas Studies Director in Jerusalem until 1991 and subsequently for University of Wisconsin in Jerusalem.

Todd M. Endelman PhD, Judaic scholar and National Jewish Book Award recipient for his “The Jews of Georgian England,” formerly of Indiana and presently Director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan.

Judith E. Endelman formerly of the state capital and presently the Director of Historical Resources and Chief Curator at the Henry Ford Museum, and author of “The Jewish Community of Indianapolis 1849-Present” an-out-of-print tome by IU Press published in 1985 and now selling for as much as $250.00!

Dr. Irving Borish, (b. 1914 Philadelphia) a former resident of Kokomo, he was named optometrist of the CENTURY and bestowed the honor by readers of the professional magazine Review of Optometry. Borish served on the committee that founded the IU School of Optometry in 1953, and the school's Center for Ophthalmic Clinical Research is named in his honor.

Joseph E. Stiglitz Ph.D., (b. 1943) native of Gary, Indiana, and a Nobel Prize recipient for Economics, 2001. Recognized around the world as a leading economic educator, he has written textbooks that have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He founded one of the leading economics journals, The Journal of Economic Perspectives. His book Globalization and Its Discontents (W.W. Norton June 2001) has been translated into 35 languages and has sold more than one million copies worldwide.

Eva Mozes Kor, and her twin sister Miriam were put through many extremely brutal surgeries and experiments by the Nazi, Dr. Josef Mengele, who experimented mainly on twins. She is the author of books on her experience and she has spoken to over 400 schools, universities, conferences, synagogues, and civic groups. She is the founder of the Holocaust Museum and Education center in Terre Haute, Indiana, and the C.A.N.D.L.E.S., an acronym for "Children of Auschwitz Nazi Lab Experiment Survivors." The museum destroyed by arson in November 2003 attracted worldwide attention and was rebuilt.

Leah S. Tragott, Painter, resident of Indianapolis. Graduate of Herron School of Art, Indianapolis. She has had 43 one-person shows, received numerous awards in juried exhibitions (more than 80 exhibitions), and her work is in the permanent collections of three Indiana museums. She served on the Board of Directors at the Indianapolis Art Center and three terms as a visual artist panelist of the Indiana Arts Commission. She has been an instructor at the Indianapolis Art Center for 30 years. She is also a Cardinal member of the Indiana Watercolor Society. She has been a longtime instructor of watercolor and pastel and was recognized as Faculty of the Year at the Art Center in 2000.

Neil Goodman teaches sculpture, fundamental studio, and drawing at Indiana University Northwest. He is an accomplished bronze cast sculptor in the Midwest. He has shown in numerous exhibitions (internationally) including the Art 1997 and SOFA exhibitions at Navy Pier in Chicago. One of his most notable achievements was a large-scale wall sculpture at the new wing of the McCormick Place in Chicago (He has large Bronze wall reliefs at Temple Jeremiah in Northbrook, IL and The Reutlinger Center for Jewish Living in Danville, CA). Sculptor Neil Goodman, a native of Hammond, Indiana, is a professor of Fine Arts is the chair of the Indiana University Northwest Center for Cultural Discovery and Learning.

Jack Jaffe, Photographer, a native of Chicago, is a long time resident of Miller Beach, Gary, Indiana. Founder of Car X muffler. Noted for his photography. A Freelancer for Life, Fortune, Saturday Evening Post, New York Times Magazine, Look Magazine. His photography can be found in the Art Institute of Chicago; The Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia; Columbia College’s Museum of Contemporary Photography Collection; The Stein Roe Collection; The Savid & Sara Jean Ruttenberg Collection; The Israel Museum; Various Private collections. He is the founder and operated the Focus/Infinity Fund, a not-for-profit corporation producing films and photography projects of social and artistic significance.

Joan Peters, a native of Chicago, who maintained a beach house in Michigan City, and author of a landmark tome on the Middle East “From Time Immemorial” published in 1984 and earning The National Jewish Book Award. She has also written for magazines such as Harper's, Commentary, The New Republic, and The New Leader in the 1970s and early 1980s. She is also is a former CBS news producer. She also helped to create a series of TV news documentaries for CBS in 1973 regarding a recent war in the Middle East and offered Middle East opinions on PBS programming. Her work exclusively centers on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During the Carter administration she served in the government as a subject expert on issues releated to the Middle East.

June Wayne, a native of Chicago briefly resided in Gary, Indiana during her childhood, is widely acknowledged to have significantly influenced the art of modern print. Wayne’s artistic accomplishments exceed her role as “the incontestable pioneer of contemporary lithography.” In 1959 she established the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. This evolved in 1970 as the Tamarind Institute of the University of New Mexico. In 1974 she was also nominated for an Oscar for “Four Stories for Kanemitsu,” regarded as the leading documentary on the art of lithography. June Wayne’s art is represented in many museum collections in the USA and abroad. She has received dozens of awards as well as honorary doctorates. She also is a Visiting Professor of Research at the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper but she still spends much of the year at her Tamarind Avenue studio in Hollywood, California.


Cary Shafer a noted sculptor originally of Fort Wayne and IJHS Honorary Board Member. His works can be found on the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Shoah refugee, and late IJHS Honorary Board Member Hermann Gurfinkel’s 1975 sculpture “Big Steel” in Harrison Park, Hammond. Photo by Trent D. Pendley 2004.