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JCC of Syracuse announces 2017 Annual Meeting and award recipients

Photo of Mediterranean food ingredients promoting the Wladis Companies 2017 JCC Annual Meeting and Gala.

It will soon be that time again when the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse throws its own unique celebration of selfless giving and community. The JCC of Syracuse’s 154th Annual Meeting and Gala will be held on Sunday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia. Five awards will be presented in recognition of outstanding service given to the JCC and to the local community. This year’s gala theme will be “flavors of the Mediterranean.”

This is the JCC’s biggest and most important annual fundraiser. The distinctive celebration brings together many members of the Central New York Jewish community to benefit the JCC of Syracuse and to pay tribute to those who have acted so selflessly. A cocktail hour will get the event started and segue to a delightful brunch. A brief business meeting will follow, which will then lead to the community service awards ceremony. Again this year, as in the past, the gala’s proceeds will provide significant funding for scholarships to individuals in the JCC’s early childhood, after school, summer camp and senior programs, as well as funding for increased security needs.

The JCC’s 2017 honorees represent a wide range of dedication and support. The Kovod Award, which signifies honor and importance, will be presented to JCC board member Amy Sumida for her hard work and commitment as the gala chairperson for the past two years.

The JCC’s highest honor, the The Kovod Gadol Award, which in Hebrew translates to great honor, will be presented to the husband and wife team of Howard and Ellen Weinstein. Both have been longtime and active supporters of the community. Howard is a JCC board member and vice president, and Ellen is a former JCC board member.

Two Hall of Fame Awards will be presented this year for advancing outstanding generosity throughout the community. Philip Holstein, who passed away last fall, was an incredibly selfless individual who always put everyone else first. A former Jewish Federation of Central New York President, he was a true philanthropist, community and business leader, and outdoorsman. Holstein had an incredible gift for being able to bring together diverse parts of the community and to approach sensitive issues with kindness and fairness. This year’s second Hall of Fame award will be given to philanthropists Robert and Diane Miron. Both are longtime community supporters and Robert is a past JCC of Syracuse President. The Mirons are longtime supporters of the local Jewish community.

This year’s Leslie Award, the second to be given since being introduced last year, will be presented to attorney Todd Pinsky, a partner with the local law firm Pinsky & Skandalis. Pinsky, a young up-and-coming professional, is a board member with the Jewish Federation of CNY and an active member of the Transportation Lawyers Association. He has generously given his time to benefit the JCC and other local community organizations. “The Leslie” 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.

“I am thrilled that we’ll be recognizing another outstanding lineup of honorees this year,” said Marci Erlebacher, JCC of Syracuse executive director. “All have exhibited such dedicated service to the JCC and to the local Jewish community through their selfless acts and generosity. This year’s gala is shaping up to be another heartfelt event.”

The JCC’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Gala committee members are Lynne Pascale, chair, Marci Erlebacher, Steven Sisskind, Shira Boschan, Linda Drimer, Adam DuChene, Debbie Goldwein, Paula King, Jessica Malzman, Susan Sloane and Diane Wladis.

For more information about the JCC of Syracuse’s 2017 gala, including event tickets and sponsorship opportunities, call 315-445-2360 or email