United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC celebrates community with Biennial Meeting

by | Jun 24, 2021 | Featured

The weather was as perfect as the mood when the community gathered in the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community’s “back yard” for United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC’s Biennial Meeting on Tuesday, June 15. It was the first major gathering of the community since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began and it was clear everyone was glad to see each other.

Rabbi Arthur Ruberg delivered an inspiring and timely D’Var Torah, speaking about current events in Israel, his first meeting with in-coming president Laura Gross, and, as he quipped, ‘a bit of Torah.’

Betty Ann Levin, UJFT/JCC executive vice president and CEO welcomed everyone and spoke about all of the year’s challenges, as well as of its many successes.

Amy Moss Levy, outgoing president, reminded the attendees of UJFT’s important work and expressed appreciation for the efforts to maintain engagement during this difficult year. She also presented outgoing chairs, Jodi Klebanoff (Annual Campaign) and Danny Rubin (Young Adult Division), with gifts of appreciation for their leadership in those roles. Mona Flax (Women’s Cabinet) was not at the meeting, but was also recognized.



Laura Geringer Gross, the newly installed president, made brief remarks, laying out her vision for her term, including the importance of educating about antisemitism.




The Joseph H. Strelitz Community Service Award was presented by his son, John Strelitz. This year, due to the extraordinary challenges caused by COVID-19, instead of one individual receiving the award, each agency and synagogue chose an individual(s) to honor.



The final presentation of the evening was of the Harry Graber Jewish Communal Professional Award. Betty Ann Levin presented the award to Lorna Orleans of Strelitz International Academy.

The meeting adjourned in just 50 minutes and the smiles continued.

Photography by Mark Robbins