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JCC Rockland Wins Two Excellence Awards

Nearly 1,000 from U.S., Canada, Israel, and countries in Latin America and Europe attended meeting of JCC leaders and volunteers.

was honored with a Zahav Award (Gold Standard) for Jewish impact, and a Kol Ha Kavod Award (Honor to You) for Programmatic Excellence and User Engagement at the JCCs of North America Biennial in New Orleans.

Nearly 1,000 people from the U.S., Canada, Israel, and countries in Latin America and Europe attended the meeting of JCC leaders and volunteers.

The Zahov Award recognized how JCC Rockland established an Israel Programs Department, in concert with a community shaliach – Daniel Sonnenschein, with the goal of deepening the relationship between Rockland’s community and the Jewish homeland through educational, recreational, social and cultural programming.

JCC Rockland also received a Kol Ha Kavod Award for launching its first ever Jewish Cultural Arts Festival in Rockland County, drawing well over 1,000 people to cultural programs over the course of two and a half weeks. Many of these people had not previously participated in programs with the JCC. The Cultural Arts Festival was coordinated by Lori Mellon, JCC Rockland’s Special Projects Director.

“The Biennial offered an incredible opportunity to meet professionals and lay people from JCCs all over the world, and learn about ways to enrich our community here in Rockland,” said David Kirschtel, CEO of JCC Rockland.  

On hand to accept the awards in New Orleans were JCC Rockland Co-President Pam Greenspan, secretary Donna Riley, board members Micki Leader, Steve Rosenzweig, Linda Russin, Michael Silvermintz, along with Kirschtel, marketing director Wayne Brown, and COO Joshua Krakoff.

The full list of Zahav Award Winners and Kol Ha Kavod Award Winners are listed at http://biennial.jcca.org/awards/jcc-excellence-awards/. Zahav Award winners were displayed at the JCCs of North America Biennial in New Orleans, representing an impressive group of ideas in programming, service, operations, and marketing.

This year marks an evolution in these awards; the challenges JCCs face today have never been greater, and it has never been more important for JCCs to function at their best. “With these challenges in mind, we raised the bar, redesigning the awards to mirror the proven paths to excellence revealed by our JCC Benchmarking process,” said Robin Ballin, JCC Association senior vice-president of marketing and communications.

These new standards led to a more focused, stronger group of entries and more selective judging. Of 266 submissions, 35 won Zahav Awards, given for outstanding visionary initiatives, and 88 were awarded Kol Ha Kavod Awards, given for exemplary initiatives that can be replicated.

Every two years, the JCCs of North America Biennial Convention brings together JCC lay leaders from across the U.S. and Canada to learn, share, and network with their peers. Expert speakers lead seminars and workshops on a variety of topics relevant to JCCs—their operation and mission.

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