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2014-10-10 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


October 10, 2014  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

2 attorneys to receive award for community contributions

Attorneys Michael Kass and David Robbins will receive the Tampa Bay Cardozo Society Leadership Awards for their outstanding commitment to the legal community and for their contributions to the Tampa Bay Jewish community during a ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at The Bank of Tampa, 200 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

The annual Cardozo Society reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres immediately followed by the program at 7:15 p.m.

The awards will be presented by the Tampa Jewish Community Center & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties.

The guest speaker for the evening will be Martin Raffel, who will discuss the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and how to mount an effective response.

The honorees are both veteran attorneys and longtime residents of the Tampa Bay area.

Martin Raffel Martin Raffel Michael Kass

Michael Kass received a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and a law degree from Loyola University. He was admitted to Florida Bar in 1972 and founded the Kass Shuler Law Firm in 1978. The firm has nearly tripled in size over the last decade, evolving into a full-service commercial firm with nearly 450 employees and 14 practice areas.

Kass takes particular interest in using technology and other innovations to improve the firm’s processes and business productivity. He is an active and longstanding member of Vistage, formerly known as TEC (The Executive Committee), an organization focusing on best practices in businesses across all industries.

In addition to his work as an attorney and his commitment to Federation, he and his wife, Janet, have been and continue to be members and significant supporters of Congregation Schaarai Zedek, both financially and as volunteers.

Janet and Michael Kass have lived in Tampa for more than 40 years and are the parents of Lara Zielin and Caroline Schwartz (Matthew) and are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.

David Robbins

David Robbins is a retired partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he was a member of the firm’s Transactional & Securities and Commercial Transactions & Business Counseling Practices. A graduate of the University of Florida College of Law and the University of North Carolina, he joined Foley & Lardner in 1994 after having practiced law in St. Petersburg for 26 years with a firm he helped establish. With more than 40 years of business law experience, Robbins frequently served in the capacity of “general counsel” with direct, hands-on client involvement.

He has held numerous positions across the Jewish community, including as the former treasurer of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties. Robbins also is the founder and a board member of the Jewish Burial Society of Pinellas County.

In the general community, the list of involvement includes serving as a member of the board of governors for the National Conference of Christians and Jews, chairman of the Pinellas County Chapter of the March of Dimes; chairman of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce; chairman of the board for Bayfront Health System, Inc. and Bayfront Medical Center.

He and his wife Teddi have two children, Michael and Lisa, who both live and work in Tampa.

The speaker

For 27 years, Martin Raffel served as the senior vice president and director of the Task Force on Israel, World Jewry & International Human Rights at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA). In that capacity, he served as the primary resource on a broad range of Israel-related and other international issues for a network of 16 national and 125 local Jewish public affairs/ community relations organizations throughout the United States. He communicated regularly with U.S. government representatives and maintained an ongoing liaison with senior Israeli officials in Jerusalem and the U.S.

In 2010, Raffel was named project director of the Israel Action Network, a major initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the JCPA to combat the assault on Israel’s legitimacy and BDS, an initiative he took the lead in conceptualizing.

Raffel was admitted to both the Israel and the Pennsylvania Bar Associations. He received his law degree from the Hebrew University School of Law in Jerusalem (1976) and a BA in Political Science from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA (1970). He has written numerous articles and op-ed pieces on issues related to Israel, and prepared a chapter on the history of Israel advocacy in the American Jewish community as part of the book, Jewish Polity and American Civil Society.

The reception and awards presentation ceremony is open to the entire community. It is free for all Federation donors and costs $25 for non-donors. For more information or to RSVP, visit or

The Cardozo Society is an honorary society for Jewish attorneys in the Tampa Bay area that aims to celebrate the legal profession’s commitment to the principles of the Federation. The society hosts programs that integrate Jewish and legal concerns and provides educational, leadership, social and networking opportunities for attorneys.

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