Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Call for Hurst Award Nominations

NMJHS Seeks Nominations: The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society (NMJHS) is seeking nominations for the Dr. Allan and Leona Hurst Award to be presented at the NMJHS Annual Meeting on June 9 in Santa Fe.

This is a prestigious award that recognizes a person, persons, or organization that has contributed to New Mexico Jewish history, culture, and community for a substantial period of time. The first award was bestowed in 1998 in honor of Dr. Allan Hurst, a founding member of the Society, and his wife.

Previous award recipients are: Stanley M. Hordes, PhD, Walter Kahn, Henry Tobias, PhD, Melanie LaBorwit, Claire Grossman, Taos Jewish Center, Leah Kellogg, Rabbi Leonard A. Helman, Noel Pugach, PhD, Abraham S. Chanin, PhD, Lance Bell, Dorothy Corner Amsden, Naomi Sandweiss, Sharon Niederman, and Lisa Kaplan Witt.

If you would like to nominate someone to receive this award, please fill out the Nomination Form and return it to the NMJHS office by March 7. Mail your nomination to:
NMJHS, Attn: Ruth Carter, Hurst Award Nomination,
5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.
So who was Dr. Allan Hurst? He was the Medical Director of the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, which treated tuberculosis patients. After retirement, he and his wife Leona moved to Santa Fe where they joined Temple Beth Shalom.

Then Dr. Hurst decided he wanted to give consultations to older people, so he had to take classes and pass tests to receive his New Mexico medical license. As Leona wrote in the September 2005 NMJHS newsletter:
A group of eleven dedicated, bright, interested people, which included Rabbi Leonard Helman, Manny Rodriguez, Dr. Allan Hurst, Stanley Hordes, Ralph Thaler, Walter Kahn, David Scholder, Peter Hess, Jerry Wertheim, Jim Mafchir, and Leah Kellogg, met at Temple Beth Shalom, when Allan suggested there was a need for a New Mexico Jewish Historical Society. The group readily and quickly agreed. 
Allan, who had been one of the founders and the first president of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society in Denver, led the group in what needed to be done, i.e., mission statement, committee boards, programs, etc., to get the organization going.
Dr. Hurst died in 1989. Leona was invited to join the NMJHS Board after her husband’s death. It was her idea to give an annual award to someone deserving. When the time came to present the first award in 1998, the board realized that the award had no name.

Stan Hordes proposed that the award be named the Dr. Allan Hurst Award. Stan was the first recipient. It was also Leona’s idea to have a pin with the NMJHS logo on it. The pins were designed by Irma Thalis and cast in sterling silver.

In 2007 the board voted to add Leona’s name to the award, after she passed away, in recognition of her service to the Society.
- Dorothy Amsden, NMJHS President

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