Annual Meeting to Honor JCC Leaders, Staff and Volunteers

The Jewish Community Center’s 2015 Annual Meeting is set to start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, at the College Avenue location. An evening of awards and honors will reflect the theme, “There’s Something About This Place,” and will be accompanied by a light dinner.

The Annual Meeting recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of those who have helped create successful JCC programming and given dedicated service to the Columbus JCC over the past year. Leading the celebration this year will be host Rachel Lichten. Rachel has served on the Board of Trustees for five years, including on the Gala, Bookfair, and Membership Committees. Now she is excited to honor the many people who make the JCC the special place that it is. “They are truly emblematic of the commitment of all the volunteers and all the staff. This is a really nice recap of the year and a celebration of the special place that the JCC is in the community,” said Lichten.

Joyce Garver Keller will receive special recognition for her more than 30 years of service as state of Ohio lobbyist on behalf of the Jewish community and the JCC. JCC Board President Lisa Newmark will share her thoughts and new 2015 Board Members will be inducted, including Ben Zacks, incoming JCC Board President for 2015-2017.

ShanaHonoring the memory of Helen Nutis (z”l), Jody Karmia, her niece, will present the Helen Nutis Volunteer of the Year Mitzvah Award to Shana Levin. “The JCC has shaped and enriched my life tremendously. I love giving back to a place that has provided me so many opportunities and offers so much to so many in our community,” said Levin.

Levin’s volunteer history at the JCC is extensive and includes chairing the Early Childhood Parent Committee for the College Avenue ECE, the Early Childhood Education Council, and the JCC Annual Meeting. She also serves on committees for fitness and the JCC Maccabi Games, including chairing the 2016 Jr. Maccabi Committee. While on the JCC Board of Trustees, she served as Secretary of the Board and on the Executive Committee. “I am truly honored to receive this award. I do feel there are so many deserving people who should be recognized as well, so I accept the award on behalf of all of the JCC’s dedicated volunteers,” Levin added.

Having won the 2014 Larry Shaffer Shem Tov Young Leadership Award, Lindsay Schottenstein will present the 2015 Award to Ali Senser. Ali also has a long history of committed service to the JCC. Senser currently serves on the JCC Board of Trustees and is the Fundraising Committee Chair of the 2016 JCC Maccabi Games. She was Early Childhood Parent Committee Co-Chairperson for JCC New Albany’s preschool from 2012-2014. Additionally, Senser has been involved with New Albany ECE fundraising events including the Parents’ Night Out and Silent Auction programs.Ali

Senser said she feels honored and humbled to receive the prestigious honor. “The work that I do is because I feel strongly about the importance of the Jewish community and investing in it with my time,” Senser explained. She said the JCC was one of the first stops her family made when they moved to Columbus. “We’ve made so many of our friends through being members of the JCC. It’s always been there at different points in my life, whether growing up in South Florida or living in New York or Columbus.” She looks forward to bringing the JCC Maccabi Games to Columbus in 2016 and seeing her own preschool-aged children enjoy the Games some day. “I can’t wait to see how my kids continue to enjoy the JCC. As they grow up, I just know that there’s so much that the JCC has to offer my family.”

Rena Vesler will present the Rabbi Nathan and Sylvia Gaynor Jewish Cultural Award to Marc Rossio and Mim Chenfeld to recognize their excellence in bringing the arts alive with music and creative movement activities for children at the JCC for many years.

The Joel Dinkin Award recognizing excellence and accomplishment by a JCC staff member will be presented to Valerie Lofton, whose service to the JCC spans more than a decade in a wide array of areas ranging from camp to marketing to the Executive Office.

The JCC teacher who exemplifies the high teaching standards that the JCC Early Childhood Education program is known for will be awarded the Shehecheyanu Teacher of the Year Award. Inna Treskunova will be presented with this award for her 22 years of service to the preschool children and families of the JCC.

To RSVP for this free event, including the light dinner, contact Valerie Lofton by May 21 at vlofton@columbusjcc.org or by calling 614-231-2731.