Adults

FIDF Special Briefing

The Friends of the IDF and the JCC of Syracuse Invite you to a briefing with special guest speaker and a former IDF Spokesperson Lt. Colonel (Res.). An insider view on the operational and strategic situation in Israel, and the challenges and opportunities that Israel is facing. Thursday, March 14th , 7PM at the JCC. Space is limited. Registration is required in advance.
Portrait of former IDF Spokesperson Lt. Colonel (Res.) Jonathan Conricus

Jonathan Conricus is a recently retired IDF Lieutenant Colonel, who served in the IDF for 24 years as a combat commander in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, as a military diplomat, foreign relations expert and international spokesperson. He was the first IDF officer to be seconded to the UN HQ in New York where he provided strategic analysis for UN peacekeeping. He has extensive hands-on experience with international media (hundreds of interviews), think-tanks, NGOs, legislators, militaries, industries and institutions. In his last role in the IDF, he served as the International Spokesperson.

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Adults

JCC Announces 2024 Annual Meeting and Gala Award Recipients

By Carlett Spike & Erin Hart

The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse is gearing up to hold its 161st Annual Meeting and Gala, presented by naming sponsor, the Wladis Family. The community will come together on Sunday, June 2, 2024 to honor invaluable members of our Syracuse Jewish Community. 

The Annual Meeting and Gala is the JCC’s largest and most important fundraiser of the year. The celebration allows us the opportunity to come together to pay tribute to those who have acted and given so generously. The money raised from this event helps fund the many scholarships awarded each year sending children to the JCC’s summer camp, early childhood development program, after school program and helps mainstream children with special needs. It also benefits those in need to receive discounted fitness classes and meals for senior adults.

A total of four awards will be presented this year as we recognize selfless giving and outstanding service to the JCC and greater Jewish community in Syracuse. 

This year’s honorees represent a wide spectrum of dedication and support. The Kovod Award, which signifies honor and importance, will be presented to JCC board member Kathleen Davis. Kathleen is a Syracuse native and has been involved with the JCC for a number of years. She actively serves on numerous JCC committees including the Annual Meeting & Gala Committee, Super Bowl Raffle fundraiser and Executive Committee.

The JCC’s Kovod Gadol Award, which in Hebrew translates to great honor, will be presented to Cantor Esa Jaffe and Chaim Jaffe. This award is presented each year to honor a single individual or couple who had demonstrated, usually over a period of years, an extraordinary degree of commitment, energy and loyalty to the JCC and greater community. Esa and Chaim are both longtime supporters of the JCC. They are both active in the Syracuse Jewish community and have served on many different organization boards. They have raised their children in the halls of the JCC and continue to give back to the greater community.

Long Standing supporters of the Syracuse Jewish community; Ellen and Howard Weinstein, will be presented with this year’s Hall of Fame Award. Ellen is a past President of the Jewish Federation of CNY and is currently serving as a board member of the Jewish Federations of North America. Howard is a past Vice President of the JCC board of directors and has served as a member of the board for over 10 years. Howard and Ellen are both past Kovod Gadol recipients. Their years of involvement and selfless giving will be recognized at this year’s event.

This year’s Leslie Award, the sixth to be given since it was launched in 2016, will be presented to Leah Goldberg. The Leslie Award 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. Leah has served on numerous committees throughout the Jewish Community. She is a co-chair of the ECDP parent committee and has helped plan numerous fundraisers and family events for the JCC as well as many other Jewish organizations in Syracuse.

“I am looking forward to another year of honoring members of our community who have dedicated invaluable service to the JCC and the local Jewish community,” said Marci Erlebacher, JCC of Syracuse executive director. “They each deserve recognition for their selfless acts and generosity.”

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Adults

Come to the Purim Carnival on March 17, 2024!

Come celebrate with the JCC at this year’s Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 17 from 12-4pm. For Purim, the entire JCC will be transformed into a fun and exciting carnival complete with games, inflatables, face painting, prizes and more.

“Purim is a day of fun and excitement for the community,” says Marci Erlebacher, executive director of the JCC. “It is our way to say thank you to the community that has supported us all year long. Come join us for the most anticipated family event of the year!”

Esther’s café will also be open to serve up a kosher menu including corned beef, knishes and hamantaschen as well as a concession stand with popcorn, cotton candy and warm pretzels. Each year we also host information tables for invited local community organizations. To enhance the experience this year, we will be providing “Passports” for all participants to be stamped at each table. Once individuals fill in their “Passport” they can take it to the prize room for a free prize!

For more information about the Purim Carnival please reach out to Alana Raphael at [email protected].

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Adults

JCC’s 2023 Annual Meeting and Gala

Food, fun, and fundraising for a good cause were the hallmarks of the JCC’s Annual Meeting and Gala. More than 200 community members gathered at the beautiful Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia, New York for the Sunday, June 4 event, to enjoy cocktails and a kosher meal catered by Essen New York Deli of Brooklyn.

“Phenomenal” was the word Marci Erlebacher, executive director of the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, used to describe the ceremony. “Everyone had a great time. The feedback I’m getting is what a successful event we had.”

In its 160th year, The Annual Meeting and Gala is a community event that supports various JCC scholarships for the Early Childhood Development Program (ECDP), Summer Camp including support for children with special needs, the After School Program, and more. During the event, outgoing board members were recognized, new officers were sworn in, and three community members — Shai Jaffe, Steven Wladis, and outgoing board president Steven Sisskind — were honored for their service, dedication, and contributions to the JCC. This year a video highlighting the honorees’ reflections on receiving these awards was also shown during the ceremony.

Jaffe received the Kovod award, which signifies honor and importance, and is given to a community member who has taken an active and outstanding role in events and programs. Jaffe, a graduate of Syracuse Hebrew Day School, works with the Afterschool and Camp programs as well as the ECDP.

Wladis received the Kovod Gadol award, which means great honor, and is given to a community member who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment, energy, and loyalty to the JCC and greater community. Wladis is managing principal at OneDigital, the VP of finance for Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas (CBS-CS), is actively involved with The Wladis Hats & Gloves Foundation, and has served as a JCC board member for nearly 20 years. “It’s extremely humbling to receive the Kovod Gadol Award, but also very meaningful, given that my father is in the JCC’s Hall of Fame,” Wladis said.

Sisskind received the Hall of Fame award, which is given to an individual who has dedicated themselves to the Syracuse Jewish community and to the advancement of the JCC. Sisskind is the owner of Sisskind Funeral Service, LLC and has served as president of the JCC’s Board of Directors for the last decade. “This year’s gala was everything I could have hoped for and more,” Sisskind said. “The video was spectacular, the food was delicious, the room was full, but not crowded, and everyone was just so happy to be there!”

After serving as president for an unprecedented 10 years, Sisskind passed the gavel to Phil Rubenstein, president of Syracuse’s United Radio and VP of the JCC board.
The Annual Meeting and Gala is the JCC’s biggest fundraiser, and Erlebacher was happy to report that the goal for this year’s event was met. “Without this event and without the generosity of our community we wouldn’t be able to give out as much in scholarships.” She added, “[The event] also means a lot to us because we’re honoring people who have been of service.”

 

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Children & Teens

Tzofim Friendship Caravan Comes to the JCC!

The Tzofim Friendship Caravan brings excitement and energy through friendship and performance! Each Caravan is made up of a group of five girls and five boys and their two leaders. They are chosen to be members of the Caravan based on their maturity, fluency in English, and of course their talent! After several rounds of competitive auditions and interviews, the scouts spend a year training and rehearsing for their exciting summer.

July 17th at 7 pm

JCC Gymnasium


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Adults

JCC’s 2023 Honorees

The JCC’s Annual Meeting and Gala is happening Sunday, June 4th at 11am at Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia, New York. The organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, this celebration will mark the 160th anniversary of the event.

The Annual Meeting and Gala funds various scholarships that support the Early Childhood Development Program (ECDP), Summer Camp including support for children with special needs, the After School Program, and more. At the meeting, outgoing board members will be recognized and new officers will be sworn in — including a new incoming president. The event will be kosher Va’ad supervised, and back by popular demand a deli meal will be catered by Essen NY Deli. 

The JCC is looking forward to another successful Annual Meeting and Gala. “As our largest fundraiser of the year, it is important that we come together to recognize the hard work of our volunteers as well as raise money to help defray the costs of the many scholarships that we award each year” says Executive Director, Marci Erlebacher. “This is a bittersweet year for the JCC and especially important as we recognize Steven Sisskind and his 10 years of service as President of the Board. He will be passing the torch of leadership to incoming President, Phillip Rubenstein.”

The highlight of the night is recognizing community members as honorees for their service, dedication, and contributions to the JCC. This year’s honorees are:

Steven Wladis, who will be receiving the Kovod Gadol award. Kovod Gadol in Hebrew translates to “Great Honor”. This award is presented each year to honor a single individual or couple who has demonstrated, usually over a period of years, an extraordinary degree of commitment, energy and loyalty to the JCC and greater community. Wladis is the Managing Principal at OneDigital, the VP of finance for Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas (CBS-CS), is actively involved with The Wladis Hats & Gloves Foundation, and has served on the JCC Board of Directors for nearly 20 years. A graduate of Babson College, Wladis currently resides in Fayetteville with his family. “This is a huge honor for me,” Wladis said. “Growing up, we were raised to help others and give back when we could. I’m not one to seek out recognition and it’s a little uncomfortable to receive it, but this honor is greatly appreciated.”


Shai Jaffe, who will be receiving the Kovod award. The Kovod award, which signifies honor and importance, is awarded annually to those members who have been active in events and programs in an outstanding way. Jaffe is a native of Syracuse who currently works at the JCC with the ECDP, After School Program, and Summer Day Camp. A graduate of Syracuse Hebrew Day School, Jaffe was a camper at the JCC for many years before transitioning to the role of a camp counselor. “I am happy to receive this award,” Jaffe said. “It makes me proud to know that I am doing a good job and I am helping others.”


Steven Sisskind, who will be receiving the Hall of Fame award. The Hall of Fame was established in 2009. It was set up to recognize and celebrate individuals who have dedicated themselves to the Syracuse Jewish community and to the advancement of the JCC. Sisskind is the owner of Sisskind Funeral Service, LLC, and has served as president of the JCC’s Board of Directors for the last decade. He is a graduate of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and Simmons School of Mortuary Science, and has been a Syracuse resident ever since college. “Anytime you receive recognition from your community is special,” Sisskind said. “It’s a personal satisfaction to know that you’ve made a difference. But what is especially humbling is to receive such an honor from the true heart of my chosen home.”


The JCC will also honor Sisskind as outgoing president of the Board. He will be recognized for his 10 years of outstanding service to the organization. Sisskind is honored to have served as president of the JCC Board for the past 10 years, “I’ve witnessed our JCC grow, endowments and membership multiply and our ECDP and children’s programs flourish,” he said. “We have an incredible team, and they make me extremely proud.” Phillip Rubenstein, president of Syracuse’s United Radio and current President Elect of the JCC board, will be sworn in as the new board president.

To purchase tickets, please contact Erin Hart at [email protected] or 315-445-2360 ext. 112.


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Children & Teens

Camp Zeke!

You bring the fam, we bring the fun!

JFAM at Camp Zeke is an all-inclusive camp family weekend. Experienced camp staff provide activities for all ages, and you will enjoy three meals (plus snacks galore) a day surrounded by your family and new friends. Your family can relax and recharge all while enjoying the beautiful outdoor setting.

The Jewish Federation of Central New York is partnering with Camp Zeke to offer families with at least one child aged 8 and under an immersive Jewish family weekend at the camp June 23-25. The goal is to help families build ties with each other and the greater Jewish community.

Camp Zeke is located at 31 Barry Watson Way, Lakewood, PA 18439, about a two-hour drive from Central New York, straight down 81 South. The camp offers comfortable rooms including linen and towel service, air conditioning and central heating. All have private bathrooms with stall showers and can be set up in a combination of ways to accommodate family sizes.

Throughout the weekend, families participate in programs geared to toddlers, older kids and adults. There is boating and swimming in Camp Zeke’s heated pool and 60-acre spring-fed lake. Joyful musical services are held lakeside and fitness and strength training are offered in a full gym. There are nature walks, circus arts, theater games, lakeside campfires and more.

The cost for a family of four for the weekend is $250 and is all inclusive. Federation subsidizes all other costs. Twenty families with one child under the age of 8 are welcome to apply. Places are reserved for three families from each of our community’s synagogues with an additional eight slots open to all.

JFAM believes that every Jewish family belongs at camp and welcomes all family structures, families with members who do not identify as Jewish, families of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities and families with children and/or adults with disabilities.

To apply for Camp Zeke, please email [email protected] and include your name, address and the names and ages of people in your family. You must have one child under the age of 8 to be eligible. Please indicate If you are a member of a synagogue. (Please note: There will be no proselytization of any kind at the camp.)

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Children & Teens

Purim Carnival 2023

Celebrate Purim at the JCC!

Purim is right around the corner and the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse is ready to celebrate. This year, the Jewish holiday begins at sundown on March 6 and ends the following nightfall on March 7. The JCC celebrations will include food, lots of activities for the children, and the annual Purim Carnival. 

As you know, Purim commemorates the survival of the Jews of Persia from Haman, thanks to the bravery of Queen Esther. The joyous occasion focuses on four mitzvot (commandments): Megillah (hearing the story of Purim), Mishloach manot (giving food gifts), Matanot l’evyonim (giving to the poor), and Seudat Purim (enjoying a festive meal). 

During Purim, the JCC is transformed to bring the tale to life with colorful decorations and balloons. The Early Childhood Development Program hosts a parade and party to celebrate. Children embrace the spirit by dressing up in a variety of costumes from Esther and Haman to superheroes and princesses. They will have a chance to show off their creativity to parents in a parade around the gym. The festivities continue in the classroom, where the story of Purim is read and a traditional snack of hamentashen is served. 

Children who participate in the After School Program will also snack on hamentashen. The fun will continue with a “paper chain” race to see who can construct the longest chain. Whoever does will win tickets to the JCC’s annual Purim Carnival! During the week, seniors will be able to partake in a special holiday lunch as well.

The annual Purim Carnival will take place on March 5 from 12-4pm. We are excited to invite the entire community back to the JCC after hosting a socially distant “Car”nival the past few years due to the pandemic. It just wasn’t the same, so we look forward to resuming the full experience that is unlike any other, and to reconnect and make new memories as a community during the most joyous Jewish holiday!

The fun-filled event will include carnival games, bounce houses, magic shows, and story time for the children. Make sure the kids hold on to their tickets after each game, so they can exchange them for cool prizes. Parents can also get in on the fun by dressing up.

Esther’s café will also be open in the auditorium and feature a kosher menu. Menu items will include corned beef, knishes, and hamantaschen cookies. Community organizations are invited to host an information table. Reach out to Amy Bisnett at 315-445-2360 or abisnett@jccsyr.org to learn more.

“It’s always happy to see families coming together to enjoy a holiday with the community,” said Cindy Stein, director of Senior and Adult Programs at the JCC. “Honestly, the kids need this. They need to come back to be able to have special times with their families and to enjoy Jewish traditions.” 

Our menu will be provided by Esters Café in the auditorium! Filled with delicious kosher food for all!

See you there!

2023 Parade

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2023 Purim Carnival

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Events

JCC of Syracuse announces 2023 Annual Meeting and Gala award recipients

The JCC of Syracuse’s 160th Annual Meeting and Gala will be held on Sunday, June 4th from 11 am to 2 pm at Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia, NY.  This is the JCC’s largest and most important fundraiser of the year at which they come together as a community to honor those who have been instrumental in the growth and development of the Center. This essential fundraiser raises thousands of dollars in scholarships each year allowing children to attend the JCC’s summer camp, early childhood development program, after school program and programs to mainstream children with special needs. It also allows the JCC to offer discounted fitness classes to those in need and enables it to serve over 6,000 meals to senior adults each year.

The gala will once again bring the “New York City Deli Experience” to Upstate New York with the return of Yitzy of Essen New York Deli. The mouth-watering corned beef will make its much anticipated return this year with an authentic Jewish deli brunch. The event will kick off with a cocktail hour, followed by brunch and a brief meeting and awards ceremony. New this year will be video presentations  of the honorees.

This year’s honorees represent a wide spectrum of dedication and support. The Kovod Award, which signifies honor and importance, is awarded annually to those members who have been active in events and programs in an outstanding way. The JCC will be present this year’s Kovod award to Shai Jaffe. Shai has grown instrumentally over the past few years working in the Children’s Programming department. He will be recognized for his dedication to the JCC and for his outstanding work with children from ECDP, After School and summer camp.

The Kovod Gadol Award, which in Hebrew, translates to “great honor”. This award is presented each year to honor a single individual or couple who has demonstrated, usually over a period of years, an extraordinary degree of commitment, energy and loyalty to the JCC and greater community. This year’s Kovod Gadol award will be presented to JCC Board Member and longstanding supporter, Steven Wladis. Steven has served on the JCC Board of directors for 20 years and has been the continual Annual Meeting & Gala naming sponsor.

This year’s Hall of Fame award is being presented to Board President, Steven Sisskind. Steven has served as president of the Board for ten years. This is Steven’s final year as Board President, and the JCC will honor the dedication and support he has shown during his tenure.

“We are delighted to honor another outstanding group of honorees this year,” said the JCC’s Executive Director, Marci Erlebacher. “The continued support and service that these individuals have given to the JCC, and the greater Jewish Community is truly remarkable. We look forward to honoring them all at this year’s event.”

For more information on the upcoming Annual Meeting and Gala, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities, contact Erin Hart at 315-445-2360, ext. 112, or [email protected].

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