JCC Gala
A Smashing Success

The annual JCC Gala has been a longstanding tradition that celebrates commitment to community. After a 2 year hiatus, the sense of community during the JCC’s 159th meeting felt stronger than ever. This year’s event was one of the highest grossing Annual Meeting/Gala in the history of the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center

For years, the event has been an essential part of the JCC’s funding for scholarships. These scholarships have gone to children who for decades have flourished both socially and scholastically under the guidance of the Early Childhood Development Program, Camp Romano, and after school programs alike. These scholarships have also helped to mainstream children with special needs as part of our Yachad Program.

The funds for the event also benefit senior citizens. The JCC’s senior lunch program which is funded by the Onondaga County Adult and Long-Term Care Services, serves kosher meals at an inexpensive cost. This program has assisted in creating friendships and safe spaces for the elderly members of the JCC where bonds are made while bread is broken. The JCC has also funded fitness classes for those in need.

The celebration was held outdoors at Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia in a well ventilated tent overlooking the Vineyards. Over 240 attendees enjoyed cocktails and a kosher meal catered by Essen New York Deli of Brooklyn. The attendees’ mouths may have been full, but they still managed to rave about the bagels and lox. The JCC granted 5 long overdue awards to recipients. These recipients were chosen 2 years ago before the pandemic and patiently waited for their moment of deserved appreciation. 

The word Kovod is used to represent honor or importance. The Kovod award was presented posthumously to Judith Stander. The Kovod Gadol Award, the JCC’s high honor, was presented to Jeffrey Scheer and Abby Kasowitz Scheer. The Hall of Fame was established to recognize those who show an extraordinary level of commitment not only to the JCC but the community as a whole. The Hall of Fame Awards were presented to Steven and Sondra Goldberg and Barry and Debrah Shulman. The Leslie Award was created in memory of our valued and dear friend & member of the JCC & the greater community, Leslie London Neulander. This years’ Leslie award was presented to Davia Moss. 

The speeches were graceful, the mood was light, and the event was refreshingly familiar. “One of the great tragedies of the pandemic is the disconnect that it created inside of communities.” said Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center, Marci Erlebacher.  “I think that the return of the Gala was comforting for everyone. It was nice to be reminded of what makes this place so special. This gala more than any other felt more like a celebration of life and each other”

The Gala restored a feeling of community, and the funds provided will only make that community even stronger. 


See images from the event, in the gallery below!