The J’s Annual Meeting honored three teens and two J staff members :
The Paul Smith Award which recognizes teen leadership and services provided to JCC youth programs was received by Mallory Judson for her commitment to the children at the J. From working in Kids Space to volunteering for community service projects such as Adopt A Village and Rays of Hope and Out of Darkness walk-a-thons, Mallory is a favorite counselor to kids at the J. “The J has been a second home to me since I was a K Ton Ton camper,” says Mallory. Of her volunteer roles she says, “I am grateful to help those who don’t know where their next meal will come from.”
The Marcia Rosen Award recognizes outstanding abilities in the Aquatics Program. This year’s recipient is Max Rubin, a member of the J since age 6 and swam with the Cudas Swim Team for 10 years. He has mentored other swimmers and became a lifeguard as well as a swim instructor at the J. “Other than home and school, I spent more time in the J pool than anywhere else,” says Max. “I truly consider the J my home away from home.”
The Sivek Family Scholarship Award, which recognizes a college-bound senior’s leadership in sports programs, was given to Noah Hurwitz. Noah learned to play sports at the J, served as basketball team captain, coached Lil Dribblers, and represented Team Springfield at the JCC Maccabi Games (2010-2013). He also coached the tennis team in the first Mini Maccabi Games. He is an excellent role model for youth. “The J taught me to win with humility and lose with pride,” says Noah, who recalls playing in a set of JCC Maccabi Games where his team was unevenly matched with another team. “Instead of playing an unfair match, our team decided to mix the teams and play a pick-up game.”
This year, two J staff members were recognized, Ila Shebar and Irena Luzhanskiy. Ila has been with the J for more than 23 years as a group exercise instructor. She teaches a 6:00 a.m. class to a strong following of members. “They walk in at 6 am with melatonin left in there bodies and leave class feeling energized and ready for the day,” says Ila, whose children participated in the J preschool and youth programs.
Irena has been in the J’s accounting department for more than 20 years. She has been incredibly helpful, and has blossomed from one who integrated into American society in adult life. “I was terrified of computers and the telephone,” says Irena who expressed her gratitude to coworkers who help her as much as she helps them.
The following J staff announcements were made at the annual meeting:
-Congratulations to Izzy Gesin and to Sara Collins, and their spouses. Each couple recently welcomed a child into the world.
-Jeff Rembrandt is “growing up” and moving to Pennsylvania, where he will be Executive Director of the Allentown JCC.
-Linda LaPointe, who has been instrumental in the success of the J’s Kehillah program for individuals with special needs, has accepted a position at JERICHO, the Bureau for Exceptional Children and Adults.
-Mikki Langone retired from the JCC preschool.
-Darlene Stein-Wenner will soon join her husband in Denver, CO, where he was transferred by United Airlines.
A video highlighted the topic THIS IS YOUR J as well as encouraged J members to #liveup by announcing their goals for this year. What will YOU do to #liveup at YOUR J?
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