This Year’s Event
Hall of Fame Nominations for 2024
Scholarship Nominations 2024
Photos From Last Event
Honoring 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees
Dr. Jim Relle
Jim competed on the varsity tennis and swim teams at Upper Canada College High School in Toronto. He started rowing as a sophomore in 1978, winning silver and bronze at the National High School Championships that year. He went on to represent Canada at the National Team level from 1979 through 1984, competing in multiple world championships and winning Bronze at the World Championships in Munich, Germany in 1981, Silver at the World Cup in Lucerne Switzerland in 1983 and Gold at the prestigious Royal Henley Regatta in England in 1981. In 1983 he earned the stroke seat in Harvard’s Heavyweight Varsity 8 and won the Harvard-Yale Boat Race.
Over his rowing career, Jim won over 50 races including 8 national championships. In 1984, Jim was selected to the Olympic Rowing Team, representing Canada at Los Angeles Games in the Men’s Pair. In 2017, he was once again bitten by the rowing bug. He raced in the Head of The Charles Regatta- the world’s largest- in Boston with his son Daniel and also reunited with his high school teammates (all Olympians) to race in the master’s Eight-man crew. He now competes annually in the international regatta, racing under the banner of the Canadian National Alumni Rowing Team.
Randall BlauRandall (Randy) Blau was born in Detroit and grew up in Huntington Woods before moving to Bloomfield Hills at the age of 10. He played four years of Varsity Tennis at Bloomfield Hills Lahser High School, captaining the team his Senior year. During high school, he received All League and All Region honors playing number one and two singles. Randy attended Kalamazoo College where he was recruited by and played for legendary tennis coach George Acker. During his collegiate career, he played both singles and doubles, never losing a MIAA League match. Randy was a member of three of Kalamazoo College’s record seven Division Ill National Championships in 1991, 1992, and 1993. He was named team Captain and received all MIAA Academic honors during his senior year. Randy was a tennis professional at several Oakland County tennis and country clubs and continued to play in local and regional Pro-Am events prior to attending law school and starting his career and family.
From a young age, Robert Silverman demonstrated an exceptional commitment to sports, beginning in 1975 with swimming with the “Silver Streaks Swim Club” and diving. During high school, he received recognition in many competitions, including multiple All-America titles and championships. In 1987, he joined Kimball Divers and the University of Michigan Varsity Swimming and Diving Team where he was a four-year letterman.
His collegiate journey bore numerous accomplishments, including four-time recognition as a letterman in diving, contributing to the University of Michigan’s four-time Big Ten Championship titles, and earning the honor of N.C.A.A. Division I All-America in diving. After competing 17 times at US National competitions, his diving career ultimately brought him within reach of the Olympic dream, as he became a contender for the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team in the 10-meter tower diving category, solidifying his position among the nation’s elite divers competing 17 times in U.S. National Diving Championships, earning the silver medal in the 1991 NCAA Division 1 National Championship on the 10-meter platform, and achieving N.C.A.A. Division I All-America recognition.
Robert also makes a concerted effort to engage with and give back to the members of his community. As the founder of the Avondale Soccer Club, he nurtured emerging soccer talent from the grassroots level.
Leon Grundstein lived in Detroit until his family moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where he attended high school. Competing in the Greater Pittsburgh High School Championships, Leon placed fifth and fourth in the 100 yd and 220 yd dash during his sophomore and Junior years. During his senior year, he won bronze medals in both of his events. Leon was team captain and Most Valuable Player his senior year.
At the 1968 outdoor Big Ten Track and Field Championships representing the University of Michigan Leon won silver medals in the 220-yard dash and the 4 X 100 relay. He won a bronze medal in the 300-yard dash at the 1968 Big Ten Indoor Championships, running a time that ranked him 9th in the nation. In the 1969 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships he finished 4th in the 300-yard dash and finished 5th in the 220-yard dash at the Outdoor Championships. In 1969, at the Central Collegiate Championship, Grundstein finished 7th in the 220-yard dash with a time that qualified him to run in the NCAA and USTFF national championships. Upon graduation, Leon had the second fastest time in the University of Michigan track history for the 300-yard dash and third fastest time for the 220-yard dash.
Leon competed in the 1969 and 1973 World Maccabiah Games as a member of the United States Track Team. In 1969 he finished 4th in the 200-meter dash and won a gold medal in the 4X400-meter relay. In 1973, as team co-captain, Leon won a bronze medal in the 400-meter dash and ran anchor leg on the gold medal winning 4X400-meter relay team.
Pillars of Excellence
Barry “Rat” Lepofsky
“Rat” began his sports career in 1971 after serving in the U.S. Army for 2 years ending with a tour of South Vietnam. Upon his return, he played organized softball in the Detroit metro area. Shortly thereafter, he began to umpire little league hardball and adult softball for the United States Sia-pitch \ Softball Association (USSSA). He has been an active member of the USSSA and the USA/ASA for 50 plus years. He has umpired at many State of Michigan softball leagues as well as at numerous out of state world softball tournaments. During the late 1980’s through Mid-90’s, he worked as Umpire-in-Chief for the City of oak Park, Michigan.
In addition to his softball experience, he has coached both baseball and basketball for North Farmington West Bloomfield (NFWB) youth programs. He has also volunteered as a sideline official, press box announcer, and statistician for football games at North Farmington High School. He has refereed for boys’ and girls’ youth basketball at the J.C.C. and “Lile Kids” basketball for the City of Novi.
Rat and his wife Sherri live in Farmington Hills. They have two grown children.
Franci Silver has been volunteering for various organizations since she was 18 years old. In 2001 she started coaching soccer in the Lakes Area Youth Soccer League and became a vice president of the board until 2018, assisting the league in recruitment, placement, scheduling, and registration. In 2005, she started a special needs soccer league called TOPSsoccer in West Bloomfield. Kids and adults of all ages and abilities played soccer at Drake Park though the 2019 season. Many started in the league as children and played through adulthood, learning not just soccer skills but life skills, teamwork, fitness and competition. Franci has a long history of involvement with the JCC Maccabi Games, serving as a soccer coach, Soccer commissioner, Local Delegation head for many years and Co-Chair of the 2019 JCC Maccabi Games & Artsfest in Detroit. In 2011, she and her husband took a soccer team to Israel to compete in the JCC Maccabi Games. Currently, Franci is serving as Co-Chair of the 2024 JCC Maccabi Games. Franci is an attorney and has worked with the Lee Steinberg Law Firm since 1991. She is married to Larry Silver
Scott is one of America’s great modern-day journalists and authors. His sterling reputation spans the prep and college sports landscape as well as the world of true-crime storytelling and investigative reporting.
Since 2008 Burnstein has worked covering the prep and college sports scenes in Metro Detroit in print, as well as on radio and television for local media outlets, The Oakland Press, The Detroit Free Press, The State Champs Network, Fox/Ballys Sports Detroit, WXYT Channel 7 (ABC TV) and Sports Radio 97.1 FM The Ticket.
In the world of true-crime reporting, Burnstein has published six books on American mafia activity, including projects about Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia and the critically acclaimed Mafia Prince (2012). His documentary White Boy won the 2019 Detroit Free Press Film Festival and when it landed on Netflix in 2021, it went viral, trending No. 4 overall on the entire platform.
Raised in Oak Park and West Bloomfield he attended Birmingham Roeper High School Class of 1995 where he earned six varsity letters in basketball and baseball. Burnstein lives in Warren, Michigan with his longtime life partner Kristy Hey and their 20-year-old daughter Chezney.
At West Bloomfield High School Ron played varsity basketball. Ron played in the JCC Maccabi Games in 1994 & 1995 helping the 1995 basketball squad earn a bronze medal. As a Senior captain at West Bloomfield in 1997 he helped lead the team to a District Championship, making 4 free throws in the final minute of the championship game to seal the victory. Following the season Ron earned recognition by America’s Champion Athletes for his achievements on the court and in the classroom.
Ron went on to play 2 seasons of Varsity basketball at Oakland Community College. In 1999 as a Sophomore Captain, Ron helped OCC reach the MCCAA State Tournament. Ron began his coaching career with the 7th grade boys’ basketball team at Williamston Middle School while attending Michigan State University. He was the Head Varsity basketball coach at Madison Heights Lamphere before taking over the Boys Basketball program at South Lyon East in 2013. In 2019-20 South Lyon East posted its best season in school history with 15 wins, and a berth in the district championship game that would unfortunately be canceled due to Covid.
Ron was recognized by the Basketball Coaches of Michigan as the Region 9 Boys Basketball Coach of the Year. The 22-23 East team would break the school record with 17 wins while once again winning the Lakes Valley Conference Championship. South Lyon East’s Varsity Boys Basketball team has been recognized by SCAM as Academic All State four times. In 2002, Ron hosted his first summer basketball camp (Hoop Dreams). He resides in White Lake with his wife of 19 years, Melissa. They have 3 kids, Madison (17), Sara (15) &Andrew (12)
Jewish News High School Athletes of the Year
Ella Blank, a 2023 graduate of Wylie E. Groves High School, is a multi-sport athlete with a passion for music. She earned varsity letters in three different sports and excelled in the classroom as well. Ella is a National Merit Commended Scholar and a recipient of the Michigan High School Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Award. She is honored to be named Jewish News Athlete of the Year Award.
At Groves, Ella earned varsity letters playing golf, basketball and softball. As captain of the golf team, Ella was named Most Valuable Player and led her team to three successful seasons. During the winter season, Ella played basketball for four seasons and earned the Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete award from the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan. Softball season brought much to celebrate with the Groves Falcons. As a four year varsity catcher and also senior captain, Ella earned All-League and All-Region honors as well as being named Most Valuable Offensive Player by her coaches and teammates. Ella also played club softball for the Birmingham Jaguars Travel Fastpitch Softball organization for the past six years. The success found on the golf course, basketball court and softball field is second to the lifelong friendship and memories formed from being a member of each team.
Ella’s love for music has grown through the Birmingham Schools band program. Ella’s first instrument was the clarinet, but through the years, she has learned to play the saxophone, trumpet and mellophone. Ella has cheered on the football team as a member of the marching band for four years and has also enjoyed playing in the concert band, symphony band and jazz band at Groves. Ella will continue her love of marching band playing the mellophone in the Michigan Marching Band this fall.
In the fall of 2022, Ella was named a Campus Captain for The Hidden Opponent, an advocacy group that raises awareness for student-athlete mental health issues. This opportunity allowed Ella to combine her love of helping people with her enthusiasm for sports. She has helped many student-athletes conquer the mental challenges that arise from competing at the high school level. Ella will continue her leadership in this important organization as a Head Campus Captain mentoring new high school Campus Captains for the 20223-2024 school year.
Ella is currently a freshman at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in Physics and Judaic Studies. Ella loves being a part of a team and will inevitably continue to find ways to have athletics be an important part of her life.
Athletic Achievements: 16u USA Hockey National Champion, 2x State Champion, 1st Team All-State Hockey junior and senior year, 1st Team All-State baseball senior year, 1st team All-State Tennis all four years, Tennis State Champion freshman and senior year, Hockey Metro Defenseman of the year and State Champs Network Top 10 players to watch list senior year, 1st team academic all-state in all three sports all four years, Regional Champion in Hockey freshman and senior year. Three varsity sport letter winner, All-State accolades in each. The ability, talent, and hard work in ultra-impressive and the success he has had in each sport is incredible.
Achievement in citizenship: Class president grades 9-11, Class Vice President grade 12, Instructor/volunteer for the Skate 2 Be Great Foundation and Bloomfield Baseball League, Investment Club Vice president and president grades 11-12 respectively, DCDS Open House Tour Guide, 5-time captain across three sports in high school Committed to Johns Hopkins University to play baseball.
Four-year varsity starter at Bloomfield Hills High School
Two-year team captain
Bloomfield Hills High School all -time leading scorer with 1,519 career points
Scored 1000th career point early in the senior season and named male athlete of the year.
Leading scorer in Oakland Athletic Association with 27 points average per game.
Mr. Basketball Michigan watch list
First Team All-State selection in 2021/22 season
Detroit Free Press All-North Area First Team 2023
Detroit News All-Area Team 2023
Michigan Associated Press Division 1 All-State Team 2023
BCAM BEST of the BEST All-State Team 2022/23
BCAM 2023 Academic All-State Team & 2023 Outstanding Student Athlete
Hometown Life All-Area Team 2023
First Team All-OM White Conference 2023
All-League OAA White Conference 2023
Mlive 2023 Basketball Detroit Dream Team
Two-time OAA White Conference Champion
National Honor Society Member, 3.9 GPA
Dr. Steven (Z’L) and Evelyn Rosen Stars of Tomorrow Scholarship
Hall of Fame Induction 2016
Watch the ceremony!