Congregation Ohav Shalom

Building Community Celebrating Tradition

113 New Krumkill Road, Albany, NY 12208 / (518) 489-4706 / Email Us /

Ohav Shalom Honors Dorothy & Rob Ganz and Sheila & Ira Lobel with Prestigious Shomrei Habayit Award at Annual Volunteer Brunch

Posted on October 22, 2019

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Congregation Ohav Shalom will honor Dorothy and Rob Ganz and Sheila and Ira Lobel at its annual Shomrei Habayit Gala Brunch on Sunday, November 17, 2019 from 11 AM to 1 PM at the synagogue located at 113 New Krumkill Road in Albany. The award recipients are being honored for their ongoing and outstanding commitment to Congregation Ohav Shalom. The Honorary Co-Chairs are Judy Avner and Stephen Eckert and the 2019 honorees, Laura and Ed Jacobs and Terry and Dan Tyson.

“We are fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers at Ohav Shalom,” said Judy Avner, president of the Board of Trustees of Ohav Shalom. “Dorothy, Rob, Sheila, and Ira are dedicated volunteers of Ohav Shalom and incredible people. Each of them has served on the Board of Trustees, on numerous committees or in various other roles connected with our synagogue, and though they have done so much, they continue their work on behalf of Ohav Shalom. Together they make a powerhouse of positive energy from which Ohav Shalom has benefitted for many years.”

Robert Ganz, who is an attorney with more than 25 years of experience and the founding and managing partner of Ganz, Wolkenbreit & Siegfeld, is a past president of the Board of Trustees of Congregation Ohav Shalom, having served as president from 1996-1998. He has held a variety of additional roles at Ohav Shalom, including board member, membership vice president, chair of the first strategic planning process Project Joseph, founder and chair of the Ohav Shalom Endowment Board, and member of the search committee which brought Rabbi Dan Ornstein to the congregation. He also served as Synagogue Counsel for the past 35 years. Rob is credited with innovative enhancements to Ohav Shalom during his presidency, including Project Nehemiah, a voluntary program of giving beyond standard annual congregational dues, creating a constitutional committee and implementing an executive director management system for the shul. Rob is an active member of the greater Jewish and Capital Region community as well. He is currently completing his five-year term as President of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) of the Capital Region, in which role he oversaw the establishment of the Annual Breakfast for Israel and expanded the base of knowledge about JNF’s work beyond tree planting, and started an education program available to all Capital Region religious schools. He has also served as vice president of the Daughters of Sarah Foundation, chair of the Campus Commission, chair of the State University of at Albany’s Interfaith governing board, a public library trustee for 16 years, and for three years President of the Guilderland Public Library. He has been honored by the Regional Library Association as Trustee of the Year, and by the Guilderland Public Library with its Founders’ Award.

Dorothy Ganz served on the Board of Trustees of Ohav Shalom for many years and co-chaired its Centennial Gala. She is a past fundraising vice president and chaired several of the congregation’s dinner dances. She is currently the National Hadassah Young Judaea Leaders of Tomorrow Chair, a past president of the Upper New York State Region, and past president of the former Colonie Chapter and coordinated the merger of seven local chapters into the Hadassah Capital District Chapter, after which she served as its president. Dorothy graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in Sociology. Professionally, she has worked as Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of the Greater Albany Jewish Federation; Executive Administrator of the Lupus Foundation of America, Northeastern New York Chapter; and Financial Administrator for two medical practices.

Dorothy and Rob, who were married at Congregation Ohav Shalom, are the parents of five adult children, all of whom were educated at Ohav’s Hebrew School and who celebrated their B’nai Mitzvah here. They are grandparents to Jonah Shai, Micah Rashi, and Atara Selah Horwitz.

Ira Lobel, who is an attorney specializing in labor relations, has been an active member of the Board of Trustees of Ohav Shalom, chair of its Endowment Committee for many years and a regular Tuesday minyan participant. He is extremely active in the Albany Jewish community, having served as a member of the Board of the Jewish Community Center from 1985 to 1995 during which time he served as chair of its Personnel Committee. He was a member of the Board of the Daughters of Sarah, the Daughters of Sarah Foundation and chair of its Nominating Committee, the Jewish Family Services during which he served as Treasurer, and Project Strive. Ira is a former commissioner of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and is currently practicing as an independent mediator and arbitrator. He’s served on panels of the American Arbitration Association, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, New York State Public Employment Relations Board, New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, New Hampshire Board of Labor Relations, and the Massachusetts Board of Arbitration and Conciliation.

Sheila Lobel, who is an educator by trade, has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Ohav Shalom, and has served the synagogue in many roles including Hebrew School teacher, former membership vice president, former member of the Youth Commission, Scholarship Committee chair, office volunteer, and as a Mashgiach as needed. She’s also taught Hebrew School at Temple Beth El in Oneonta. Professionally, Sheila has held positions of Reading Specialist, Nursery School teacher, Middle School (World History) teacher for more than 35 years, and has taught grades pre-K thru 11, is a former vice president of the Teachers Union of East Greenbush Central School District and a union activist at Voorheesville Central School District. She was one of the first Middle School teachers accepted to the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers’ Program in Poland and Israel. She is also a former Girl Scout leader, a docent at the Albany Institute of History and Art specializing in Egyptian studies and a humane educator and general volunteer at Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

Sheila and Ira are the parents of Melissa (Michael) and Becca (Noam), who were one of the first to celebrate their B’nai Mitzvah with Rabbi Dan Ornstein. They are the grandparents of five: Juliet, Max, Nate, Eitan, and Lily. They have been members of the Flexible Havarah for more than 35 years, Members of Project Nehemiah, and are frequent ushers at High Holy Day services.

The cost to attend the brunch is $72 per person. Reservations are required. Please visit to become members of the Honorary Committee, place an ad in the event program, become a sponsor of the Shomrei HaBayit Volunteer Recognition Brunch or to buy tickets to the event. You may also contact the Ohav Shalom office at 518-489-4706 X10 to buy tickets or to support the event. Payments may be made by check or credit card.

Congregation Ohav Shalom, led by Rabbi Daniel Ornstein and Rabbi Rena Kieval, is a Conservative/Egalitarian Synagogue affiliated with The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.