Community leaders, members and staff gathered for the 61st Annual Meeting of the Simon Family JCC on Monday, May 19.
The meeting recognized Terri Sarfan for her successful two-year term as president, welcomed Marty Einhorn as incoming president, and bestowed awards on several groups and lay leaders.
After a welcome by Sarfan, Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg delivered the D’Var Torah, touching on her personal relationship with Einhorn, someone the JCC will soon agree is a “committed community partner, consummate leader and a mensch.”
As outgoing president, Sarfan gave her state of the Center address, reviewing the activities and programs of all JCC departments, the successes and lessons of the past two years. Along with Scott Katz, JCC Center director, who followed Sarfan, the two reviewed the challenges of the past two years, highlighting successes such as Beginnings Infant and Toddler Center (which is at capacity), an overall increase in membership over the past two years, an increase in camper enrollment, the success of the Kids Connection Before and After School Enrichment program, an expanded swim and aquatics program including the Swordfish Summer Swim Team and swim lessons that bring in new families monthly. Sarfan praised the JCC’s newest program, Celebrate Israel, a series of programs developed to salute Israel.
“Celebrate Israel allowed us to partner with the CRC, the Virginia Arts Festival and CBN,” she said. “These partnerships enabled us to bring Tidewater the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, several renown speakers and films on Israel, Israel Fest and The Iron Dome.”
Katz mentioned the success of the PJ Library program, which has 137 participants, introducing area Jewish children to Jewish story books. He added that the JCC has succeeded in engaging area teens, with a BBYO program having as many participants as that of larger communities. Cultural arts programs have been a success, from the recent Israel Fest to the children’s cultural arts series. New and successful adult education classes from lunch and learns to a well attended series on Israel have also been well received. Katz set a goal of 100 new net members per year, which is possible with improved staff training and cross-marketing, and an additional $30,000 in fundraising for next year with the help of Evan Levitt, development director.
Katz thanked Harry Graber, executive vice president of the UJFT, for his insight, knowledge and wisdom, and Terri Sarfan, “who led by example, not taking no for an answer.”
Seven awards were presented.
The Simon Family JCC Ruach award was presented by Katz to Paul and Marcy Terkeltaub, who worked with the cultural arts department serving as chairs for this year’s Israel Fest. The award is given to members of the board and/or community who serve as role models for others based on their passion and dedication to the JCC.
The David and Sylvia Krug Award for Outstanding Service to the JCC was given to Lynn Cohen by Terri Sarfan. “Her unselfish and can-do attitude has motivated the entire board to step up and make a difference,” said past recipient Gloria Siegel. Cohen chaired the book festival for years, and recently led JCC development efforts.
Harry Graber, executive director of the UJFT, received the JCC Center Service Award, presented in recognition of those engaged in Jewish communal efforts who exemplify the highest ideals of dedication and concern for JCC members, volunteers and colleagues. “Already the executive vice president of the UJFT, Harry stepped forward nearly a decade ago to assume the executive director position of the JCC,” said Sarfan, who presented this award. “During this time, he guided us through an invigorating period of change and growth. Harry’s brain-child was our infant care center, which is now thriving. Under his guidance, the JCC began its Kids Connection Before and After School Enrichment Program serving the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and area public schools. Harry also made it possible for us to reestablish our annual Israel Fest at the Sandler Family Campus, and he has helped the JCC fundraise to become a more independent entity in the community.”
Sarfan acknowledged that Graber will be returning full-time to overseeing the UJFT in July, still helping the JCC as well as all the agencies. Scott Katz, JCC Center director, will then become its executive director.
The Thomas L. Hofheimer Humanitarian Award was given to Barry and Lois Einhorn by Marcia Hofheimer. The Einhorns received the award for their involvement and many achievements in the community. The Einhorns, who have served on the JCC board (Barry as president), have also worked tirelessly as lay leaders on many committees. “There aren’t two other people I can think of who deserve this award more than the Einhorns,” said past president Sandra Porter Leon. “They give so much time and energy to bettering the community at large as well as to the JCC.”
The Joseph “Buddy” Strelitz Commmunity Service Award was presented by John Strelitz to Beth Sholom Village for their contribution to the community. It is named for Joseph “Buddy” Strelitz, whose devotion to his people touched many lives on many levels.
Rebecca Schwartzman received the Center Youth Award from Shana Prohofsky. “Becca is very pro-Israel and so passionate,” said Ellie Bernstein, BBYO City director. “For a 17-year-old girl to have such a grasp of what it is to be Jewish and a love for Israel so deep is rare among most kids her age.”
The Mary and Avalon S. Krukin Award for Senior Adults was presented to Marilyn Moranha for the time and energy she devotes to the Seniors at the JCC. She has been president of the Seniors club for several years and is very active in the current events and mahjong clubs. She is a committed recruiter, bringing new members to meetings and new people through the doors of the JCC.
The Community Relations Council of the UJFT received the Jewish Programming Award from Scott Katz, for providing outstanding services and programs that enrich the lives of others. Under the leadership of Robin Mancoll, the CRC, a shining star in its own right, has been an invaluable partner with the JCC for its book and film festivals as well as the Celebrate Israel series at the JCC this spring, including the Iron Dome and Israel Fest events.
The last segment of the meeting included a presentation to outgoing president Terri Sarfan by Scott Katz, the installation of the board of directors by David Leon, and the installation of Marty Einhorn as president by his father, Barry Einhorn, a past president.
Marty Einhorn said he is deeply honored to become the next president of the Simon Family JCC and will strive to make it the place to be in Hampton Roads over the next two years. “During my tenure as your president, I hope to continue to establish the Simon Family JCC as the gateway to Jewish life in Hampton Roads by working in partnership with all of our fellow Jewish agencies and synagogues to provide high quality and relevant programming to our members, all the while providing programming and services to our friends in the neighboring communities surrounding the Sandler Family Campus.”
The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
by Leslie Shroyer