Twin Cities Cardozo Society

The Jewish legal community coming together to advance the philanthropic mission of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Jewish Federations, in order to ensure the security and vitality of the Jewish people

The Twin Cities Cardozo Society is a place for Jewish attorneys, judges and law students to network and serve the community. We strengthen bonds among legal professionals through educational, social and philanthropic activities, and offer opportunities for communal involvement and leadership.


If you are a practicing or retired attorney, judge or law student who is Jewish, be a part of the Cardozo Society by making a gift to the Minneapolis Jewish Federation or the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul.

Join us for:

  • events—from rooftop networking sessions, to thought-provoking lunch-time discussions, to our annual flagship event, The Twin Cities Cardozo Society Annual Dinner.
  • volunteering—for example, through our pro bono legal clinic.
  • decision making, through service on committees and in leadership positions
  • supporting the needs of the Jewish community—donors who join the Leadership Circle ($3,600) and Honor Roll ($1,200) receive additional recognition throughout the year.

Cardozo Society Awards

The Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award

The Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award was created in 2000, in memory of Sidney Barrows, one of the founding chairs of the Cardozo Society. The award is given annually to a senior attorney or judge in the Twin Cities who exemplifies excellence in his or her practice, outstanding service to the Jewish and general communities and life-long learning.

Past Recipients

The Arthur T. Pfefer Memorial Award

Every year, the Cardozo Society presents the Arthur T. Pfefer Memorial Award to a Jewish law student or young lawyer who has demonstrated outstanding leadership potential and commitment to serving the community. This award honors the memory of Arthur Pfefer, z”l, an aspiring St. Paul lawyer who was killed while serving our country in the Vietnam War.

Recipients are Jewish lawyers and law students under the age of 35 who have already demonstrated accomplishment and show great scholarly, professional, and philanthropic potential.

Past Recipients

Recognition for an Outstanding Legal Achievement

Each summer, the Cardozo Society recognizes an inspiring Jewish attorney, judge, or law professor for an outstanding legal achievement in the previous calendar year. In addition to this individual’s exemplary legal accomplishment, the honoree embodies ongoing commitment to Jewish community service.

Past Recipients

Find out more about the Twin Cities Cardozo Society

If you are in Minneapolis, contact:
Bill Ressler | 952.417.2312 |

If you are in St. Paul, contact:
Dan Mogelson | 651.695.3189 |

2015-2016 Steering Committee

Pro Bono Opportunities

Every Monday from 1-4 p.m., the Twin Cities Cardozo Society partners with Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance and the Minnesota Legal Aid Society to offer 30-minute free legal consultations to low-income individuals at the Urban League in North Minneapolis. This partnership began in 2008 as an initiative of the Public Service Committee of the Twin Cities Cardozo Society.

Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis. If you are interested in learning more or signing up to volunteer, contact Shira Shapiro of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. at or 612.349.8500.

This partnership began in 2008 as an initiative of the Public Service Committee of the Twin Cities Cardozo Society led by Shira Shapiro.

Past Events

In the News

Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award Recipients Announced for 2016

Two outstanding attorneys, whose exemplary careers have illuminated and inspired the Jewish and legal communities, will receive the Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award at the Twin Cities Cardozo Society Seventeenth Annual Dinner.

Charlie Nauen and Howard Tarkow will be honored this fall with the Cardozo Society’s most prestigious award.

For details about the Cardozo Society Annual Dinner, please phone Bill Ressler at 952-417-2312 or email Bill at

This year, Northwestern University Law Professor, Eugene Kontorovich was a guest of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Jewish Federations when he spoke at a Cardozo Society lunchtime program on the topic of “lawfare” and the delegitimization of Israel.

Recently, Professor Kontorovich has written a number of topical and insightful analyses of attempts to boycott Israel. In his analysis of academic associations’ decisions to boycott Israeli academic institutions, he points out the hypocrisy of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) for calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions while accepting donations from businesses with significant dealing in Israel; he also calls the AAA to task for continuing to collaborate with academic institutions in which “political dissent is not tolerated and there are severe restrictions on freedom of expression [and] academic freedom.” He and his co-author, Professor Steven Solomon, argue that those academic boycotts are illegal, as well, because they violate their own charters and are likely invalid under the ultra vires doctrine of corporate law.

In his analyses of another trending boycott topic, Professor Kontorovich analyzes the legality of the European Union’s decision to label the origin of products from the West Bank and the Golan Heights. He concludes that the policy is inconsistent with both the EU’s own practices for labeling “true origins” of products and the EU’s lack of similar labeling of products from any other occupied or disputed territories around the world.

The programming for 2016 is now being planned; email Melissa Wolchansky with your suggestions and to find out how to become a premier sponsor for one lunch or the entire annual series of these popular lunchtime programs.

The disruption of an academic presentation by anti-Israel hecklers last month at the University of Minnesota shocked many who attended and many more who heard about it in the national media. Supported by your gift to the Federation’s annual community campaign, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation has assembled a broad coalition to support pro-Israel students and to empower pro-Israel leaders on Minnesota’s college campuses. Participants include the University of Minnesota Hillel, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, the Jewish Federation of Greater Saint Paul, the Israel Center of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and Students Supporting Israel.

With the Cardozo Society’s own Ron Zamansky serving as the new Minnesota Hillel board president, the Federation’s service to our college students is greater than ever. Your 2016 community campaign gift supports Ron’s work on behalf of our students, as well as programs to help a range of Jewish student leaders on campus.

A Letter from Ron Zamansky

I am pleased to report that the Minnesota Student Association passed a resolution last night that was put forward by the Jewish students as an amendment to the BDS resolution proposed by the Palestinian students.  The leaders of the Jewish students did marvelous, intelligent work and planning that made it possible for this to happen.

In short summary, references to Israel and to the companies that the Palestinians objected to were all eliminated from the resolution.  The Jewish students used their intelligence and diplomacy skills in working through this comprised amendment.

To read the rest of the letter, please click here.

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