Each year the Fraternity recognizes individuals (undergraduate, alumni, and friends of ZBT for achievements in the interfraternal world and the greater community. See more about Zeta Beta Tau awards and those leaders previously honored here.
It is our great pleasure to share more about the 2023 honorees! These honors were celebrated as part of 2023 International Convention from Aug. 10 to Aug. 12.
Educational programming at 2023 International Convention is made possible in part by the generous support of the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation. Learn how you can support the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation at zbtfoundation.org!
Gottheil Medal — JWI
This award memorializes our spiritual founder, the late Professor Richard J.H. Gottheil, and is awarded periodically to “that individual or group that has advanced human understanding among all people.”
Jewish Women International (JWI) is the leading Jewish organization championing women and girls – of every race, culture, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation – by protecting their rights and safety, strengthening access to long-term economic security, and lifting and mentoring women leaders.
JWI is a strong advocate for and partner in ZBT’s mission and strategic plan to offer top-notch training to our brothers. JWI’s reach extends far beyond just women and Jewish communities and their impact can be felt in diverse communities across the globe.
Heritage Award — Foundation to Combat Antisemitism
The Heritage Award was created in 2005 to be presented occasionally, but no more than once per year, to a member of the Jewish community who distinguishes himself or herself in a communal, philanthropic, artistic or professional endeavor.
Foundation to Combat Antisemitism
FCAS’ mission is to win the hearts and minds of non-Jews and Jews through powerful positive messaging and partnerships, motivating and equipping them to be defenders of and upstanders for Jews.
With the launch this past March of the #StandUpToJewishHate campaign, the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism is utilizing crowdsourced social media efforts as well as traditional media to spread the message that antisemitic rhetoric is wrong. ZBT has been proud to be among the initial partners to this foundation taking part in the “blue square campaign” and engaging brothers in sharing the #🟦 message.
NIC Chapter of Distinction — Eta Mu
NIC’s Awards of Distinction recognize individuals, chapters, councils and organizations annually to highlight those who exemplify excellence in leadership, service and education within the fraternal community. Zeta Beta Tau is a Governing Council organization among NIC members.
Chapter Awards of Distinction recognize exceptional fraternity collegiate chapters demonstrating excellence in operations, involvement in their fraternity/sorority and campus community, and a commitment to a positive fraternity experience. Just eight chapters were selected this year and ZBT’s Eta Mu is the only chapter on the West Coast to earn this recognition.
Man of the Year — David S. Wax
The Man of the Year award honors those brothers who stand forth above other brothers and fellow citizens in living the Credo and honoring ZBT’s Ritual from a position of leadership and service. These brothers serve as role models for brothers of Zeta Beta Tau and American society in general.
David S. Wax, Alpha Rho (UCLA) 1977
After graduating from UCLA in 1977 and earning an MBA from National University in San Diego, Wax and his family moved, in 1984, to Salt Lake City, Utah. In late 1994, the Wax family returned to the San Diego area and rejoined the Lawrence Family JCC—the same JCC where Wax first set foot in the movement and where his grandson currently attends the J’s early childhood education program. He joined the J’s board in 1995, the executive committee in 2000, and became a vice president the next year. In 2006, Wax began a two-year term as board president. As a lay leader today, he advises the J’s current lay leaders as a member of a committee comprising past board chairs.
In 2004, Wax was invited to join JCC Association’s board in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and contributions to his local JCC community and to expand our reach and bring to the forefront the unique needs of west coast communities. During his tenure on the continental board, he has chaired the JCC Maccabi and professional development committees and served as a valued member of numerous others. Currently, he serves as a vice chair of JCC Association’s board and co-chairs the donor development and stewardship committee.
Wax also is a longtime supporter of the JCC Maccabi Games, which is a particularly meaningful part of his involvement in the movement. He was board president when the LFJCC hosted the San Diego JCC Maccabi Games® in 2008, served on the steering committee, and has criss-crossed the country to attend JCC Maccabi® Games.
In the wider Jewish community, David and wife, Sharon, together with his brother and sister-in-law, have been generous supporters of the Friends of the Jewish Chapel at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, which raised the funds necessary to construct the Commodore Uriah P. Levy Center and Jewish Chapel, formally dedicated in September 2005. This support is an outgrowth of the Waxes’ longtime giving commitment to JWB Jewish Chaplains Council, a signature program of JCC Association of North America. They generously supported the Torah for the Troops campaign, launched in 2011, and the second edition of the JWB siddur, published in 2016, is dedicated to Wax’s father, Morris, whose service during World War II—including a Bronze Star for meritorious service in France and his active role in liberating prisoners at Dachau in 1945—greatly inspired his son’s loyalty to Jewish military personnel who serve our country and protect our freedom.
In 2015, Wax received the Heritage Award from Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT), recognized as the first Jewish collegiate social fraternity in North America. Presented only occasionally to members of the Jewish community who distinguish themselves in a communal, philanthropic, artistic, or professional endeavor, the award recognized Wax for his deep commitment to the JCC Movement, both locally and across the continent.
In 2019, after serving as a board member of NETWORK Services Company, Wax was elected as board chair of the organization, the largest member-owned, global distribution and supply management entity, which represents 125 independently owned businesses. Like JCC Association, NETWORK® provides member businesses with national resources and opportunities.
Wax retired in 2020 from the family-held company, WAXIE Sanitary Supply, which recently joined forces with Chicago-based North American Corporation and FEMSA, a multinational beverage, retail, and logistics company, to become the premier national platform for janitorial and sanitation products, packaging, and specialized distribution in the United States.
Within the local community, Wax and his family are members of Temple Solel, in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. He also currently serves on the board of Computers 2 Kids San Diego, an organization that, since 2004, has refurbished donated electronics for families in need.
Stephen P. Ehrlich Award — Steven E. Gold
The International Fraternity is blessed by the support of many alumni volunteers who are dedicated to furthering the ideals of our Brotherhood and work to ensure the Good & Welfare of ZBT. In 1970, one such remarkable alumnus began his work on behalf of our Fraternity. While completing his law degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Stephen P. Ehrlich, Esq., Iota (University of Denver) 1970, worked with ZBT’s Alpha Xi Chapter. He quickly became involved with the Fraternity on an international level. His work and dedication culminated with his serving as President of the International Fraternity from 1990-1992.
He has a true passion for the Fraternity. He is committed to the success of each chapter within ZBT. In honor of this brother’s gifts to ZBT, the leadership of the Fraternity created this award in 2000 to be styled in his name. This award is presented to those alumni who make significant contributions to the operations of the International Fraternity and those who give of themselves to make ZBT a better Fraternity. Brother Ehrlich was the first recipient of this award named in his honor at the 2000 International Convention.
Steven E. Gold
Brother Gold, Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 2000, is Immediate Past President of the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation and a long-time volunteer for the organization. He is a Managing Director in Private Wealth Management for UBS.
Riegelman Jacobs Award — Kristin Torrey
This award is to commemorate two outstanding brothers of ZBT. Brother Harold Riegelman of Kappa Chapter at Cornell University was from the class of 1914. Brother Maurice Jacobs was from Pi Chapter at the University of Maine and from the class of 1917. Both served as President of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, and Brother Jacobs received the NIC’s highest award, the Gold Medal. Brother Riegelman founded his own law firm and was a high-ranking officer of the U.S. military. Brother Jacobs entered the field of publishing owning his own publishing house in Philadelphia and being the first American to own and operate a Hebrew typeface font. It is fitting for the Fraternity to memorialize Brothers Riegelman and Jacobs with an award honoring outstanding service to the interfraternity community.
Kristin has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University, where she double majored in marketing and organizational communication. Upon graduation, she decided to pursue a career in student affairs and earned her masters of arts in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University. She has worked in the Office of Greek Life at Vanderbilt since August 2002, serving as the Director of Greek Life since 2005. Outside of her work at Vanderbilt, Kristin has served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Foundation and is actively involved in the Junior League of Nashville.
James E. Greer, Jr. Staff Award — Faron A. Lewitt
Presented from time to time to a past or current staff member for contributions to the Fraternity. Named in honor of Brother Greer, a 1964 graduate from the Beta Pi Chapter at California State University-Long Beach. He worked for the Fraternity for 37 years, retiring as Executive Vice President Emeritus. In his time on staff, he saw ZBT through a period of great change for the fraternal world. He advocated ZBT’s entry into non-pledging as a move to eliminate hazing and provided strong leadership through the years of change that followed. He is a past president of the Fraternity Executives’ Association, namesake of the ZBT Presidents’ Leadership Academy, and an NIC Gold Medal Award Winner in 2013.
Faron A. Lewitt
A 1997 alumnus of Psi Chapter at the University of Alabama, Brother Lewitt is a past undergraduate member of the Supreme Council and Chapter Secretary. He has served on the Fraternity staff as a Chapter & Expansion Consultant, Director of Chapter Affairs and Director of Operations. He is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation.
The Roswell "Buddy" Messing Award — Jacob T. Rathgeb
This award for ZBT’s Most Outstanding Individual Brother is named in honor of Roswell “Buddy” Messing, Jr., Omega (University of Missouri) 1938. Throughout his long career in ZBT, Messing served as trustee to the Omega Chapter and was often sought for his counsel on matters of importance to the International Fraternity. His fraternal spirit remained strong until his death in the late 1980s. The Messing Award is presented to the undergraduate man who most fully embodies the precepts of our Fraternity.This award is to commemorate two outstanding brothers of ZBT. Brother Harold Riegelman of Kappa Chapter at Cornell University was from the class of 1914. Brother Maurice Jacobs was from Pi Chapter at the University of Maine and from the class of 1917. Both served as President of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, and Brother Jacobs received the NIC’s highest award, the Gold Medal. Brother Riegelman founded his own law firm and was a high-ranking officer of the U.S. military. Brother Jacobs entered the field of publishing owning his own publishing house in Philadelphia and being the first American to own and operate a Hebrew typeface font. It is fitting for the Fraternity to memorialize Brothers Riegelman and Jacobs with an award honoring outstanding service to the interfraternity community.
Jacob T. Rathgeb
Brother Rathgeb, Delta Lambda (Monmouth College) 2023, is a strong leader within ZBT and on the Monmouth College campus. He was Chapter President of Delta Lambda when they won the 2021 Brummer Cup, and he has served in student government and as IFC president. Since graduating, he has been working for Charles Schwab as a Financial Representative, studying to become a licensed broker.
Outstanding Young Alumnus — Robert F. Smith, Delta Omicron (University of Tampa) 2017
Given to an alumnus who has graduated within the last 20 years and has made an impact in his community and lives the ideals expressed within the Credo and Ritual of Zeta Beta Tau.
Maxwell Hyman Chapter Advisor Award (Outstanding Advisor) — David I. Burrows, Kappa (Cornell University) 1991
The Maxwell Hyman Chapter Advisor Award is named for a founder of Phi Sigma Delta Fraternity and a member of that Fraternity’s Alpha Chapter at Columbia University. Brother Hyman figured prominently in the early history of Phi Sigma Delta as an advocate for, and trainer of, Chapter Advisors.
This honor will be announced at the Grand Awards Banquet on Aug. 12.
About the Grand Awards Banquet
Presiding — International President Jonathan D. Frieden
Jonathan D. Frieden, Phi Epsilon (University of Virginia) 1994
A 1994 alumnus and past President of the Phi Epsilon Chapter at the University of Virginia. He has been a long-time advisor to Phi Epsilon and is currently the International President. He is a judge in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters.
Co-Masters of Ceremonies — Past International Presidents Norman M. Waas and Ronald A. Pardo
Past International PresidentS
Ronald A. Pardo, Alpha Omicron (University of Arizona) 1988
Brother Pardo has been a decades-long volunteer for Zeta Beta Tau, culminating in a term as International President from 2010-2012. Starting as two-term Chapter Treasurer and Undergraduate Supreme Councilor, after graduating he went on to serve as Director of Expansion from 1988-89, Trustee of the Alpha Rho at UCLA, President, Alpha Omicron Building Corporation, and then in several positions on the ZBT Supreme Council and ZBT National Housing.
Brother Pardo worked for Citibank’s Investment bank from 1989 to 1991 as a Financial Analyst in Foreign Exchange. He then moved back to Los Angeles and purchased a gift and stationery manufacturing company in 1991. In 2009, he sold the manufacturing company and went to work for his family’s home health business as a Vice President. He and his wife, Julie, have three sons: Jacob, Jordan and Matthew (all ZBTs).
Norman M. Waas, Esq., Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 1982
A Miami native, Norman M. Waas, Esq., is a 1982 alumnus of the Alpha Omega Chapter at the University of Miami. He served as Chapter Advisor and Executive Trustee to the chapter from 2007-2016 and has served on the Supreme Council since 2010.
Brother Waas earned his law degree with honors from the University of Miami in 1986 and immediately joined the firm which is now known as Falk, Waas, Hernandez, Cortina, Solomon and Bonner, P.A. For the past 12 years, he has served his firm as its Managing Shareholder and has helped expand the firm to Coral Gables, Plantation, Boca Raton and Orlando. Brother Waas, who has received a Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rating, has tried over 75 cases to verdict and also has over 25 reported appellate decisions. He lectures extensively throughout the state of Florida on matters related to tort litigation and medical negligence and he has been recognized by his peers as a “Florida Legal Elite” and a “Florida Super Lawyer”. He is also a past president of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in Florida.
Brother Waas and his wife, Deborah, live in Palmetto Bay, Florida. Together, they have six children: Vanessa, Jessica, David, Jonathan, Michael and Benjamin. Benjamin is a brother of the Alpha Omega Chapter, Class of 2014.