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JCC of Syracuse announces 2019 Annual Meeting and award recipients

Sepia tone photo of the exterior of a delicatessen along with text promoting the JCC's 2019 Annual Meeting and Gala.

A celebration of community service and selfless giving will highlight the upcoming Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s 156th Annual Meeting and Gala presented by naming sponsor The Wladis Companies. The event will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2019 from 11 am to 2 pm at Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia.

A total of five awards will be presented this year in recognition of outstanding service given to the JCC and to the local community. The theme—back by popular demand from last year—will be a “New York Kosher Deli Experience” catered once again by Essen New York Deli of Brooklyn.

The gala is the JCC’s biggest and most important annual fundraiser. It’s a celebration unlike any other in the Central New York Jewish community in which friends and families come together to benefit the JCC of Syracuse and to pay tribute to those who have acted so selflessly. A cocktail hour will kick off the event followed by a fun deli brunch. A brief business meeting will then give way to the community service awards ceremony. As in previous years, the gala’s proceeds will provide significant funding for scholarships to individuals in the JCC’s early childhood, after school, summer camp and senior programs.

This year’s honorees represent a wide range of dedication and support. The Kovod Award, which signifies honor and importance, will be presented to JCC board member and vice president Phil Rubenstein. He also currently serves as chair of the board’s security committee. Rubenstein is president of East Syracuse-based United Radio.

The Kovod Gadol Award, the JCC’s highest honor which in Hebrew translates to great honor, will be presented this year to Rabbi Evan Shore. He is a true community rabbi and has served as spiritual leader of Sha’arei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse for the past 29 years.

Two JCC Hall of Fame awards will be presented this year to individuals who have given so much to the community. They are Robin and Neil Goldberg and Dr. Barbara Davis. Neil Goldberg is president/CEO of the locally based company Raymour & Flanigan Furniture. The Goldbergs are longtime generous community supporters. Dr. Davis is a Jewish educator, former co-head and head of school with the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, retired Onondaga Community College professor and an author.

This year’s Leslie Award, the fourth to be given since being introduced in 2016, will be presented to Jessica Malzman, JCC board member and a member of the board’s gala committee. Malzman is a director and the chief operating officer at Whitney Partners in New York City. “The Leslie” recognizes outstanding commitment and service to the JCC and to the local community—the qualities which the award’s namesake, Leslie London Neulander, personified throughout her many selfless volunteer pursuits.

“We are excited to present another a fine lineup of honorees this year,” said Marci Erlebacher, JCC of Syracuse executive director. “Each has demonstrated outstanding service to the JCC and to the local community. It will certainly be an honor to recognize and celebrate their achievements.”

For more information about the JCC of Syracuse’s 2018 gala, including event tickets and sponsorship opportunities, call Erin at 315-445-2360 or email