Harry R. Nemer
Service Award Brunch

Honoring Daniel and Leslie Petcher

Sunday, June 30, 2024, 11:30am

The Men’s Club is pleased to announce that the 2023-2024 recipients of the Harry R. Nemer Service Award for his years of outstanding volunteer service to Congregation Shaarie Torah are Daniel and Leslie Petcher.

The Petchers' Biography, written by Sara Staggs

On June 30, 2024, Daniel and Leslie Petcher will receive the Harry R. Nemer Service Award. Congregation Shaarie Torah Men’s Club presents the award to congregation members in recognition of distinguished and outstanding volunteer service to Shaarie Torah.

Leslie’s family have been members of Shaarie Torah for 55 years. She attended Sunday school at Shaarie Torah and went through confirmation with Rabbi Geller. She remembers setting tables at the synagogue as a child and helping to serve food cooked by her parents’ catering company, CHP Catering, for Shaarie Torah. Leslie volunteered with her mother, Phyllis, to make hamantaschen, and learned how to divide the fruit from Diane Nemer, Harry Nemer’s wife. She worked as the synagogue receptionist from 2019 – 2023, and has been on the Shaarie Torah Sisterhood Board for over 20 years.

Daniel acquired his Jewish background as a self-described “interested, seeking adult.” He joined the Shaarie Torah Board in 2016 as secretary, and has been president of the synagogue for the past five years. He is a regular at morning minyan and attends Shabbat services frequently, often serving as Gabbi or helping to lead part of the service. Daniel and Leslie met at a Jewish singles’ event in Tennessee. When they moved to Portland they immediately returned to Leslie’s Jewish home, Congregation Shaarie Torah. Leslie and Daniel often look for ways to volunteer as a couple, whether it be helping in a cooking project at Shaarie Torah or volunteering at the Portland Center for Performing Arts.

“We don’t do things for accolades,” Daniel says. “We do things because they need to get done.” Leslie and Daniel hope that they can inspire others to look at their lives and see where they can fit in ways to help their Jewish community.

“Supporting a community is not always financial,” Leslie says. “Volunteerism can be small or large. An hour can go a long way to help a community move itself forward. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.” Although financial support is important to the life of a synagogue, the couple wants to encourage others to find their niche and volunteer in the Jewish community in ways that are meaningful to the individual, pointing out that “small amounts of good are just as important as the big amounts.” The Petchers are a true example of what the Nemer Service Award stands for: giving back to the Jewish community in any way one can and ensuring that the needs of a synagogue are met by the involvement of its members.​

Thank you for supporting the Harry R. Nemer Service Award Dinner.