William “Bill” Rubenstein was honored Feb. 1 at the Clinton Library in Little Rock with the Tikkun Olam Award, the highest award given by the Jewish Federation of Arkansas.
Rubenstein was honored for his dedication to the congregation of Temple Anshe Emeth of Pine Bluff. Over the last several decades, the congregation of Anshe Emeth has dwindled to a handful of members as Jewish young people moved away.
Rubenstein has worked diligently to make sure those who want to maintain a Jewish presence in Pine Bluff, and worship as Jews, have the opportunity to do so.
In Hebrew, the phrase Tikkun Olam means “repairing the world” suggesting humanity’s shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world to be a better place. In Jewish teachings, the expression Tikkun Olam indicates that a practice should be followed not because it is required by Biblical law, but because it improves social harmony.
Rubenstein was nominated by his congregation for his efforts as president of the synagogue, his care of the Jewish cemetery in Pine Bluff, and his efforts to maintain the rich Jewish heritage of the area.