Events

JCC holds their 161st Annual Meeting and Gala

The Jewish community came out in record breaking numbers for the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse as they held their 161st Annual Meeting and Gala presented by the Wladis Family. More than 250 community members gathered at the Historical Palladian Hall on Sunday, June 2nd in support of the JCC and to honor those who have been longtime supporters of the JCC and the greater Jewish community in Syracuse.

“Palladian Hall is absolutely breathtaking,” says JCC Executive Director, Marci Erlebacher. “The room looked beautiful, and we have received nothing but positive feedback on this new venue. We will definitely be back in the future!”

The day began in the upper mezzanine overlooking the main ballroom. Guests were offered the opportunity to mingle with one another while enjoying an assortment of appetizers and cocktails. Brunch was later served on the main floor of Palladian Hall by none other than Essen New York Deli of Brooklyn. Yitzy and his team served up an amazing spread to everyone in attendance offering everything one could think of in a true New York City Deli Experience.

Upon the conclusion of brunch, the business portion of the meeting began. The JCC recognized all outgoing committee members, new officers to the board were sworn in, and six community members – Kathleen Davis, Cantor Esa & Chaim Jaffe, Ellen & Howard Weinstein and Leah Goldberg – were honored for their service, dedication and contributions to the JCC. The JCC continued the tradition of a video highlighting this years’ honorees. This years’ video presentation was directed by Stephen Long of Upstate Down Video Productions.

Kathleen Davis received this year’s 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. Kathleen has been an avid volunteer and supporter at the JCC since joining the Board in 2017. She has devoted much of her time these past few years serving on various committees within the organization and developed strong bonds within the community.

Cantor Esa & Chaim Jaffe received the Kovod Gadol award, which means great honor, and is given to community members who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, energy and loyalty to the JCC and the greater community. Cantor Esa & Chaim have been longtime and active supporters of the greater Jewish community. Both have played pivotal roles within the JCC, and greater Jewish community being involved with many different organizations as well as Temple Adath. They have both demonstrated a tremendous amount of leadership and support over the years.

Ellen & Howard Weinstein received this year’s Hall of Fame award, which is given to individuals who have dedicated themselves to the Syracuse Jewish community and to the advancement of the JCC. Ellen & Howard have been an integral part of the Jewish community in Syracuse since they moved here in 1978. They are both active within many organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish. They have a passion for being involved in all aspects of Judaism and have devoted their time to the entire Jewish community in Syracuse.

Leah Goldberg received the final award of the afternoon, the Leslie award. The Leslie award recognizes a younger up-and-coming professional within the local Jewish community for their outstanding commitment and service to the JCC and the local community, qualities which the award’s namesake, Leslie London Neulander, personified through her many volunteer pursuits. Leah serves on many different committees planning various events and activities for the entire community.  She has a passion and dedication to the Jewish community that is unparalleled, and we are looking forward to many more great things in the future.

“The JCC’s Annual Meeting & Gala is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year,” says JCC Executive Director, Marci Erlebacher. “Without this event and without the generosity of our community we would not be able to award as many scholarships as we do each year. We thank you tremendously for your support!”

JCC's 2024 Gala Honoree Video

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Resin & Rose Challah Tray Design flyerAdults

Resin & Rose Challah Tray Design, Weds July 10th

Resin & Rose Challah Tray Design flyer
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Events

2024 JCC’s Annual Meeting & Gala Information

By Erin Hart

The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse is excited as they prepare to hold their 161st Annual Meeting and Gala sponsored by the Wladis Family. With a new venue, this year’s celebration promises to bring a fresh look for this annual event. The JCC’s largest fundraiser of the year will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2024, 11am – 2pm at Palladian Hall at the Treasury.

Rich history and sophistication are the undertones for this year’s Annual Meeting & Gala. The new venue for this year, Palladian Hall, is located in the historical Onondaga County Savings Bank which is part of the National Register of Historical Places. The space has been renovated to host large events while still keeping its historical charm. 

“We were concerned this past January when we heard that Owera Vineyards would no longer be holding events,” says JCC Executive Director, Marci Erlebacher. “We heard about a new venue opening in Downtown Syracuse, once we saw the inside of Palladian Hall we fell in love. The beautiful venue will bring an exciting new look to our annual event as we honor another outstanding group of honorees.”

This year’s festivities will begin at 11am with a cocktail hour in the upper mezzanine. At 12pm, guests will be ushered to the main event floor for a delicious deli brunch served by none other than Essen New York Deli. Upon the conclusion of brunch, the meeting and awards portion of the afternoon will begin. The JCC will once again feature a video presentation for all honorees being recognized this year.  


The JCC will present four separate awards at this year’s event. Honorees represent a wide range of dedication and support to the JCC and greater Jewish community in Syracuse.

The Kovod Award, which signifies honor and importance, will be presented to JCC board member and Syracuse native, Kathleen Davis. Kathleen attended Nazareth College in Rochester where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Communications. Kathleen married her husband, I. Stephen Davis in 2006. Since then, she has devoted her time to working within the family business, G&L Davis Meat Company. Kathleen has been a member of the JCC board of directors since 2017 and has served on the Annual Meeting & Gala committee since joining the board. She also serves as a trustee for the Vera House Foundation as well as the Junior League of Syracuse.

Portrait of Kathleen Davis

Chaim & Esa Jaffe

The Kovod Gadol Award, which in Hebrew translates to great honor, will be presented to Cantor Esa & Chaim Jaffe. This husband-and-wife team have been longtime and active supporters of the greater Jewish community in Syracuse. Chaim and Esa met in college at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts where they both received their bachelor’s degrees. Esa went on to receive her master’s degree in Jewish Communal Services from Brandeis University and Voice Performance from Syracuse University. She has held many educational roles within the greater Jewish community. She is the current Director of Education at Temple Adath Yeshurun where she has worked for almost 30 years. 

Since receiving his bachelor’s degree, Chaim went on to receive his master’s degree from Buffalo Law School. He spent the last 25 years as a commercial litigator with Scolaro, Fetter, Grizanti & McGough, P.C. This past January, Chaim was appointed Law Clerk to the Honorable Mitchell J. Katz; Federal Magistrate Judge for the US District Court. Chaim served as President of Temple Adath Yeshurun for 15 years. He has also served as Legal Counsel for the JCC for over 20 years. Chaim and Esa have been married for 30 years and have raised four beautiful children: Ari, Shai, Ilana and Jonah. They look forward to the marriage of their eldest son, Ari to Shaina Kaplan in 2025!


Ellen and Howard Weinstein – two individuals who have made their mark through service to the entire Jewish Community – will be inducted into the JCC Hall of Fame this year. 

Ellen and Howard and have been actively involved with the Jewish Community in Syracuse since they moved here in 1978. Howard attended the New York University School of Medicine where he received his medical degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 2023, he retired from Upstate Medical Center after working for over 40 years. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the JCC where he also served as Vice President for 11 years. Howard has served as President and Co-President for the Board at Temple Adath Yeshurun and President of the Board for the Syracuse Hebrew Day School. In addition to the local Jewish organizations, Howard also served on numerous committees and councils within the medical community throughout his lifelong career as an OB/GYN.

Prior to moving to Syracuse, Ellen attended the Brooklyn College of the City University of New York where she received her master’s degree in early childhood and Elementary Education with a specialization in reading. She later graduated from the Syracuse University College of Law with her Juris Doctor in 1990. She was a Partner with Pinsky & Skandalis from 1991-2009. In 2009, she was appointed Chief Clerk of the Onondaga County Surrogate’s Court, where she later retired in 2019. She has been a dedicated supporter of many different organizations within the Jewish community in Syracuse, including serving as a member of the board for the Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, Temple Adath Yeshurun and Syracuse Hebrew Day School. She is a past president of the Jewish Federation of CNY and currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Jewish Federations of North America


Leah Goldberg

This year’s Leslie Award, the sixth to be given since being introduced in 2016, will be presented to Leah Goldberg. “The Leslie” recognizes a younger up-and-coming professional within the local Jewish community for their outstanding commitment and service to the JCC and the local community, qualities which the award’s namesake, Leslie London Neulander, personified through her many volunteer pursuits.

Leah Goldberg was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She grew up in the halls of the Omaha JCC and was active in USY, BBYO and Camp Herzl. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in communications and history. She moved to Syracuse in 2013 after marrying her husband, Seth Goldberg. She is actively involved with many Jewish organizations in Syracuse, including serving on two Rabbinical search committees, the SHDS Development Committee and is the current co-chair of the ECDP parent committee. She also currently sits on the Jewish Federation of CNY Board and is a member of the National Leadership Cabinet. 


Reservations for the 2024 JCC’s Annual Meeting & Gala can be made below, or by filling out the RSVP card linked here.

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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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The JCC of Syracuse is seeking bids for installation of security film and glass replacement. All bids shall include pricing for equipment, accessories, parts, licensing, travel and labor and any misc. expenses. Please email Erin Hart, ehart@jccsyr.org for RFP information. Proposals are due via email no later than 7/1/2022 at 3:00pm and all questions must be submitted via email as well, no later than 6/29/2022 at 3:00pm. All bidders will be notified via email when a selection is made.Adults & Seniors

End of Year Letter 2023

December 1, 2023

Dear Friends,

Standing in a crowd of some 300,000 jews in Washington DC for the March for Israel was the experience of a lifetime and an affirmation of solidarity like no other ever experienced. We came away from this event with an undeniable pride to be Jewish, a commitment to the State of Israel, and a commitment to Jewish life in our Country and Community. With the rise in antisemitism at an unprecedented rate now is the time for us to come together to support our Jewish Institutions and organizations like never before.

Our Mission Statement has never been more important, nor has it ever been as meaningful as it is at this time in our history.

“The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Syracuse is the nucleus of the Jewish community built on the foundation of Jewish ethics and values. We provide quality services and programs for all ages serving everyone in the Central New York Region.”

Our JCC is part of the largest Jewish communal movement in North America and as you can see by our Mission Statement, we are resolved to build a strong and vibrant community providing a place for safe communal bonding, gatherings, and activities. Our community has come together at the JCC both in good times and in shattering times. We are after all the Town Square, “the place where everyone belongs;” we must remain a home for all members of our community.

We stand proudly as a symbol for all walks of our Jewish Community, whether it is to care for the very young, youth, adults, or senior citizens. We will always fight proudly to be a beacon for Jewish life in our community.

Please support us now more than ever with your most appreciated donations. Your generosity will allow us to continue in our mission to fight antisemitism, our mere existence serves that very purpose.

Am Yisrael Chai,

Marci Erlebacher
Executive Director

Phillip Rubenstein
Board President

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Fundraising

Holiday Gift Cards 2023

The JCC is making your holiday shopping easier! Purchase gift cards from the JCC this holiday season and help support the Early Childhood Development Program and Children’s Department.

It’s easy! Simply download the PDF below, fill it out, and drop it off at the JCC front desk! Then pick up your gift cards in time for the holidays! All gift cards available are listed below for your convenience!

2023 ORDER DEADLINE: Wednesday, December 7th.

Gift cards will be available for pick up on December 18th.

Apparel & Accessories

Aerie $25
Aeropostale $25
American Eagle Outifitters $25
Banana Republic $25
Burlington $25
Champs Sports $25
Children’s Place $25
Claire’s $10
Disney $25
Disney $100
Express $25
Finish Line $25
Foot Locker $25
Gap $25
Gap $100
Gymboree $25
J. Crew $25
Journeys $25
L.L. Bean $25
L.L. Bean $100
Lands’ End $25
Lands’ End $100
Lane Bryant $25
Men’s Warehouse $25
Old Navy $25
Talbots $25
Under Armour $25

Books, Music & Entertainment

CARD AMOUNT
Barnes & Noble $10
Barnes & Noble $25
Barnes & Noble $100
Best Buy $25
Best Buy $100
Game Stop $25
iTunes $15
iTunes $25

Department & Discount Stores

CARD AMOUNT
JCPenney $25
JCPenney $100
Kohl’s $25
Kohl’s $100
Macy’s $25
Macy’s $100
Marshalls/Homegoods $25
Marshalls/Homegoods $100
Sears $25
Sears $100
Target $25
Target $100
TJ Maxx $25
TJ Maxx $100
Walmart $25
Walmart $100

Dining

CARD AMOUNT
Applebee’s $25
Applebee’s $50
Bonefish Grill $25
Buffalo Wild Wings $25
Carrabba’s Italian Grill $25
Cheesecake Factory $25
Chili’s $25
Cracker Barrel $10
Dave & Busters $25
Denny’s $10
Olive Garden $25
Outback $25
Red Lobster $25
Red Robin $25
Texas Roadhouse $25
TGI Friday’s $25
Uno Pizzeria & Grill $25

Gas & Auto

CARD AMOUNT
Advance Auto Parts $25
Auto Zone $25
Exxon $50
Gulf Oil $25
Jiffy Lube $30
Mobil $50
Shell $25
Speedway $25
Sunoco $50

General

CARD AMOUNT
Visa $50
Visa $100
Visa $250

Grab & Go Eateries

CARD AMOUNT
Arby’s $10
Blaze Pizza $25
Bruegger’s Bagels $10
Burger King $10
Chipotle $10
Cold Stone Creamery $10
Domino’s Pizzas $10
Dunkin’ Donuts $10
Dunkin’ Donuts $25
Little Ceasars Pizza $20
Moe’s Southwest Grill $25
Panera $10
Panera $25
Papa John’s Pizza $10
Pizza Hut $10
Starbucks $10
Starbucks $25
Subway $10
Taco Bell $10
Wendy’s $10

Health & Beauty

CARD AMOUNT
Bath & Body Works $10
Bath & Body Works $25
CVS Pharmacy $25
Regis Salon $25
Rite Aid $25
Sally Beauty Salon $25
Sephora $25
Supercuts $25
Ulta Beauty $25
Walgreens $25

Home

CARD AMOUNT
Ace Hardware $25
Ace Hardware $100
Bed Bath & Beyond $25
Crate and Barrel $25
Crate and Barrel $100
Home Depot $25
Home Depot $100
Jo-Ann Fabrics $25
Lowes $25
Lowes $100
Pottery Barn $25
Pottery Barn $100
West Elm $25
Williams Sonoma $25
Williams Sonoma $100

Mail Order & Online

CARD AMOUNT
Amazon.com $10
Amazon.com $25
Amazon.com $100
Cabela’s $25
Cabela’s $100
Groupon.com $25
Omaha Steaks $50
Overstock.com $25
REI $25
Shutterfly $25
Wayfair $100
Zappos.com $25
1-800-FLOWERS $50

Specialty Stores

CARD AMOUNT
Bass Pro Shops $25
Bass Pro Shops $100
Build-A-Bear Workshops $25
Christmas Tree Shops $25
Dick’s Sporting Goods $25
Dick’s Sporting Goods $100
Guitar Center $25
Michaels $25
Office Max $25
Petsmart $25
Staples $25

Travel

CARD AMOUNT
Best Western $25
Best Western $100
Budget Car Rental $50
Clarion Hotels $50
Clarion Hotels $100
Carnival Cruises $100
Delta Airlines $250
Disney $25
Disney $100
Disney $1000
Hotels.com $100
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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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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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