Chabad of Delaware, one of the state’s largest Jewish outreach groups, marked its 25th anniversary Sunday night with a round of honors for its biggest supporters.
Henry Topel, one of Chabad’s first benefactors, received the Founder’s Award. Gov. Jack Markell also awarded Topel the Order of the First State, the highest honor for meritorious service the governor can grant.
“Every job I’ve ever held, Henry has been by my side, giving me advice,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., who ran for state treasurer in 1976 when Topel was chairman of the state Democratic Party.
Other speakers noted Topel’s “principled involvement in public service” and his “quietly generous” nature.
“He made me feel like I wasn’t lost” when Chabad of Delaware was launched in 1987, recalled Rabbi Chuni Vogel, co-director of the group with his wife, Oryah.
When it was his turn to speak, Topel turned things around, thanking the hundreds of people gathered at the Brandywine Country Club for their support and encouragement over the decades. continue....