Irma Lee Ettinger Memorial Lecture

A Living Memorial… A Lasting Tribute


Established on June 15, 1999 by the NAASE Board of Governors, this living memorial was created to honor one of the profession’s venerated leaders and visionaries, by honoring professional beneficiaries of her legacy.

Proposed by the NAASE Convention 2000 Committee, this memorial to Irma Lee Ettinger, z”l, is envisioned to regularly and publicly highlight the contributions of the diverse corps of professional synagogue leaders, to enlighten executives on topics of current relevance and emerging impact, and to elevate professional standards through continuing study and enlightened discussion.

Featuring an annual address at the international convention of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives by a respected and experienced colleague on a topic relating to the continued professionalism of synagogue management, the Irma Lee Ettinger Memorial Lecture showcases dedicated colleagues presenting thought-provoking and stimulating lectures and challenges.

Excerpts and expansions of the annual presentations will occasionally appear in subsequent editions of the NAASE Journal, and often will lead to continuing dialogue and development among the colleagues influenced by the ideas and challenges put forward. In so doing, the impact is regenerative and sustaining, and provides an effective monument to one of the Conservative Movement’s most influential builders.

In part, the proposal that created this memorial lectureship, read:

Irma Lee was an esteemed colleague and pioneer in our field. She served with distinction for over 30 years at Adat Ari El Synagogue in North Hollywood, California. Prior to that, she was assistant to Shlomo Bardin who created the Brandeis Camp Institute (BCI) in Southern California (now called the Brandeis-Bardin Institute).

Irma Lee served NASA/NAASE as a member of the Board of Governors, chairperson of various committees, and most importantly, as a teacher and mentor to many of us. She led our Professional Surveys and Research Committee for many years, and was dedicated to the growing professionalism of the field of synagogue administration and the pursuit of scholarship in Judaic thought.

Although many of our colleagues have made significant contributions to our profession, Irma Lee’s dedication and commitment to scholarship, research and professional development are being singularly recognized, and make her a unique honoree. Additionally, we will use the occasion of the Annual Address as an opportunity to recognize and honor colleagues who have passed away during the preceding year.