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.”

READ MORE
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.”

 

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
READ MORE
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.


READ MORE
Home
Call
Donate