Trio honored at outing for contributions to Temple Avodah


Temple Avodah in Oceanside held its annual Bob Harwood Memorial Golf Classic on June 10, honoring Dan and Rita Henick and Caryle Katz for their longtime contributions to the synagogue.

In addition, Katz was named the temple’s 2024 Person of the Year.

The golf classic is held in memory of Bob Harwood, a beloved member of the Temple Avodah community and former temple treasurer who passed away in 2016. Held at the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club, the fundraiser is a way to bring together members of the community as well as honor the life and memory of Harwood.

The honorees were presented with their awards at the reception, which was held at the temple at 6 p.m. The awards’ recipients embody the spirit of the congregation, displaying kindness as well as a sense of loyalty to the Temple Avodah community, temple leaders said.

“They care about this place,” Matt Phillips, temple president, said. “I think that’s really important. They care about the community, they care about us.”

Dan Henick and his wife, Rita, have both been members of the congregation for 35 years, supporting and contributing to the temple’s success for decades.

Practically raising their two children, Maggie, 42, and Adam, 38 in the congregation, the Henicks believed it was important to instill a strong sense of Judaism and Jewish community in their family.

Dan Henick has spent a combined 25 years on the temple’s Board of Trustees since 1995, and served as temple president from 2002-04. In 2023, he led the rabbi search committee, which then hired Rabbi Shai Belooseskey after Rabbi Uri Goren stepped down.

Rita Henick has spent 15 years on the temple’s Board of Trustees, as well as served as the Parent Teacher Organization president from 1994-96 and temple’s sisterhood president from 2000-02, even being singled out for the sisterhood’s “Woman of Valor” award in 2000. Rita has also spent many years on the planning committee for the Sisterhood’s annual fashion show.

The couple said they were grateful for the award and expressed their heartfelt joy for being chosen as honorees.

“Temple Avodah is where Rita and I made our closest friends, and we’re thankful for that,” Dan Henick said when they were called up to the stage to accept their award. “We have treasured sharing lifecycle events, schmoozing after Friday night services, and socializing at occasions inside and outside of temple. We’ve remained active in temple life over the years because we want to facilitate the continued success of the temple and help it flourish for many years to come. So thank you all for being part of this day.”

Katz has been a lifelong member of Temple Avodah, having been in the congregation for 60 years. She has organized a panel on antisemitism at Temple Avodah that was held this past October. Though the panel was planned before the attacks by Hamas, the coincidental timing drew a large crowd to the event and the attacks became the main focus of the panel. Katz is also a dedicated member of the Torah study group, and has tutored bar mitzvah students in the past.

Katz also sponsored the establishment of the Alan M. Katz Memorial Library at the temple in memory of her late husband, who died in 1987.

Katz said she sees the synagogue as her second home and its members as an extension of her family.

“Caryle’s been a founding member of the temple,” Stew Gubenko, president of the temple’s Men’s Club, said. “She’s one of our true members that have been involved in almost every facet of our temple life.”

She is a regular at temple services and enjoys spending her time studying and learning with the rabbi. Her dedication has surely not gone unnoticed.

“Frankly, Caryle has been the Person of the Year for many years,” fellow honoree Dan Henick said.

During the presentation of her award, Katz spoke at length about her experiences with the temple and the community, which she loves with her whole being.

“The America I was born in was still clinging to the romantic vision of wealthy individualism — the self-made man pulling himself up by his own bootstraps,” Katz said. “But I quickly discovered that together is even better than alone. That there is joy in community and that when we work together, we are capable of accomplishing more, faster and better. Community is what my dear husband Alan and I found when we joined Temple Avodah 60 years ago, and it is my great privilege to still be a part of this community.”