Supporters and clients of Jewish Family Service in Seattle are already aware of the construction project that has dominated the organization’s land at the corner of 16th Avenue and Pine Street for the past few months.
Ed Weinstein, architect of JFS’s new offices, just received the 2011 American Institute of Architects Seattle Medal of Honor, presented to him at the annual AIA Honors dinner in May.
AIA board president George Shaw recognized the “consistently exceptional quality of [Ed’s] firm’s work” as well as “Ed’s generous, open, engaging, down-to-earth personality [which has] has clearly made its mark on our profession and our community.”
“I felt very honored,” said Ed, noting that while the award is given for lifetime achievement, “in many respects I feel that I’m only mid-career.
“It was very much a surprise; I consider myself to be a young pup.”
Ed has been involved in the Jewish community both as a professional and a volunteer for many years. He and his wife Marcia Friedman are long-time members of Temple De Hirsch Sinai and of the Stroum Jewish Community Center, and he has served on the facilities committee of the former and the board of the latter.
Growing up in Aberdeen, Wash., in a merchant family, he was always interested in architecture.
“I enjoyed drawing and building models,” and his mother suggested the career over those more traditional “Jewish” careers of doctor or lawyer. She thought his clients might be happier. Ed shared this anecdote with the audience at the awards dinner to quite a bit of laughter — which you’ll understand if you’ve been on either end of a building or remodeling project.
Coming to Seattle in the late 1960s to attend architecture school at the University of Washington, he added two years of grad school at Harvard before returning to Seattle. He worked for others here for a short while before forming his own firm.
“We’re very experienced in working for not-for-profits,” he says of Weinstein A/U, which has taken on a wide variety of public and private building projects, including TDHS’s Bellevue building. Designing the JFS project was particularly challenging “because of the tight space and the need to keep them in business [on-site],” he says.
The staff has continued to use the existing Jessie Danz building and the food bank has been operating during construction, too.
What we remember as the parking lot provided the footprint for the new building. On its completion in December, staff will move in and renovations on the “old” building will begin. On completion, JFS will be almost double its current size, at 33,500 square feet.
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We last heard from Jake Bobman four years ago when he graduated from Mercer Island High School and was on his way to the University of Washington honors program. As a National Merit Scholar, a Washington State Scholar and class valedictorian, we certainly had high hopes for this young man who said then that he planned to blend his academic interests with a desire to help others.
Back then he expected to double major in biochemistry and math. He achieved that goal, graduating with two degrees, a BS in mathematics with college honors and a BA in biochemistry, but bettered his predictions by adding minors in music, chemistry, and international studies.
With all that to his credit, it’s no surprise that Jake is the 2011 UW president’s medalist for his class, an award given to the graduating senior with the University’s most distinguished academic record. He was presented with the award by UW interim president Phyllis Wise at commencement on June 11.
While at UW, Jake worked in the Kim Laboratory conducting behavioral neuroscience research and wrote his honors mathematics thesis on cryptography research focusing on “a type of public key cryptography and how it protects patient privacy,” he explained. He studied abroad in Costa Rica, sang with the UW Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Men’s Glee Club, and held leadership positions within the honors program.
Jake is the son of Karen and Bruce and grandson of the late Rae and Jack Tacher and Marcia and the late Joseph Bobman. The Bobmans are longtime members of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, and Jake is a longtime active volunteer in our community.
As anticipated by Jake four years ago, he is headed to medical school, attending Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons on a full-tuition merit scholarship.
“It’s extremely exciting,” he says and he’s “looking forward to experiencing a new city.”
But for now he’s just hoping for “time with family and friends and having a relaxing summer before going to medical school.”