Wide range of helping earns couple Spirit of Giving Award

Ashland residents Myra and Ron Silverman have been named recipients of the Spirit of Giving Award in honor of their volunteer work and commitment to the Rogue Valley.

Among the organizations they have served are the Ashland Family YMCA, Mediation Works, the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, Southern Oregon University, the Southern Oregon Leadership Council, Ashland Independent Film Festival and Temple Emek Shalom, the organization that is honoring them.

The Temple's 2011 Spirit of Giving Gala will be held Saturday, Oct. 22, and the award will be presented to the Silvermans by honorary co-chairmen Dick Heimann and John Schweiger. The event, which is open to the public, will feature dinner and dancing, as well as the award presentation.

Ron Silverman worked as a newspaper journalist before launching a career in film and television. He produced films such as "Brubaker" with Robert Redford, "Shoot To Kill" with Sidney Poitier, "The Last Innocent Man" with Ed Harris and "Krull" with Liam Neeson. He also served for three years as dean of the American Film Institute's conservatory, which this year was named the top film school in the world.

Myra Silverman has a long history of nonprofit fundraising and political involvement. She raised money for a major athletic center at the Foundation for the Junior Blind and devoted considerable time working in the campaigns of Robert Kennedy for president, Tom Bradley for Los Angeles mayor and Alan Cranston for U.S. Senate. She worked as a fundraiser for the United World College and Stop Cancer and as deputy director of the Southern California office of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

In 1996, the Silvermans came to Southern Oregon, where she has served on the board of the Ashland Family YMCA and been a volunteer for Mediation Works' Victim Assistance Youth Accountability program. She also was a Hillary Clinton delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Ron Silverman is on the board of the Craterian theater in Medford and served as its president for two years. He also is a member of the Oregon Community Foundation's Southern Oregon Leadership Council, is a former member of the Southern Oregon University Foundation board, taught film classes at SOU, was on the readers' board of the Ashland Daily Tidings and for a number of years served on the advisory board of the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

As members of Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, they have co-chaired the temple's annual auction and conceived and led a campaign to raise more than $3 million to build a new synagogue, which the congregation moved into in 2003.

For more information about the Spirit of Giving Gala, contact Temple Emek Shalom at 541-488-2909 or teshalom@mind.net.

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