• Excellence in leadership and community programming honoured at the Federation CJA Jewish Leadership Recognition Awards

    What motivates our leaders of tomorrow.

    By: Federation CJA
    Friday, November 19, 2021

     

    On the evening of November 16, Federation CJA paid tribute to excellence in leadership and programming in Montreal's Jewish community and beyond at its Jewish Leadership Recognition Awards. The Jewish Leadership Recognition Awards honour and celebrate exceptional leaders who are paving the way for the future of our community. Our honourees have demonstrated that impactful volunteering comes in many different shapes and sizes. An impressive 15 awards were presented to 25 recipients in recognition of leaders who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty, adding immeasurable value to Montreal's schools, synagogues, health institutions, agencies, and Federation CJA itself. These leaders are standing on the shoulders of giants who have endowed the very awards they received.

    Federation CJA Past-President and chair of the nominating committee Gail Adelson Marcovitz hosted the in-person program at the Gelber Centre, and President Joel Segal concluded the evening by thanking the winners. "I am so inspired by all that you have accomplished and I look forward to seeing you continue to make your mark on our community. Tonight's recipients have faced the additional challenge of being leaders throughout a pandemic, which is no small task. Thanks to all of you, we have come out of two very difficult years as a united community, and we wouldn't be where we are today without all of you."

    A complete list of the Jewish Leadership Recognition Award winners, along with their bios, can be found here.

    Below are some inspiring quotes from this year's winners on what drives them to be leaders in the community:

    MANNY BATSHAW AWARD FOR LONGSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE

    Marc Kakon
    "I believe it is my duty to ensure that my Jewish brothers and sisters have access to the necessities of life."

    Susan Laxer
    "I hope to make a difference by ensuring that Jewish identity and education continues at the top of the community, and by mentoring young leaders and ensuring that our community is in good and capable hands."

    FEDERATION CJA DISTINGUISHED LEADERSHIP AWARD

    Jonathan Goodman
    "I am inspired by my mother's mantra, which was that we are not put on this world just to take up space, but to make a difference. I hope that my volunteer contribution will ensure a thriving Jewish Montreal for generations to come."

    Dean Mendel
    "With inspiration from great mentors and role models, I have become extremely passionate about our wonderful Jewish community. I will do whatever it takes to sustain it and help those who have been marginalized and those who are struggling. Kehilla Montreal's mantra motivates me each day: Building home. Building hope. Building community."

    RBC DOMINION SECURITIES TIKUN OLAM AWARD FOR SERVICE TO THE BROADER COMMUNITY

    Nancy Rosenfeld
    "I was inspired by growing up in a family where personal engagement in the community around us was valued as much as our financial donations. This included experiences both within and outside of the Jewish Community, and it is an incredible motivator to see the commonalities in people as opposed to the things that divide us."

    MILDRED B LANDE AWARD

    Karen Soussan
    "Being able to give is a privilege. It represents accountability to my community and to our collective future. I hope to influence my children and others to get more involved in philanthropy and to never stop giving their time for the greater good of those in need in our community.

    MINNIE CUMMINGS ABBEY AWARD

    Samantha Mintz Vineberg
    "I don't want to sit on the sidelines and have someone determine our communities future for me. I want to be an active player who can contribute, make change, and impact those around me. I want to set an example for my children and the young people in our community to have a vested interest, take action, and make things happen!"

    ROSALIND GOODMAN LEGACY AWARD

    Marnie Zigman-Stern
    "I want to make our community an even better place to live in and to also ensure that an inclusive, thriving Jewish community continues to exist for future generations".

    DR. MARK WAINBERG LEGACY AWARD - NEW

    Dr. Earl Rubin
    "I am so honoured to be the recipient of the Mark Wainberg Legacy Award, especially since Mark was one of my teachers, mentors and eventually a colleague. The Montreal Jewish community has always been a part of who I am, and I hope to be a resource to lessen some of the stress associated with the challenges of our new world with Covid."

    Dr. Mitch Shiller
    "To serve is the highest honour one can have. I am extremely fortunate to have all I do in life. I hope through my actions to give others similar opportunities."

    BRENDA & SAMUEL GEWURZ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JEWISH EDUCATION

    Liora Bitton-Leiberman
    "I hope to provide my students with a safe and happy environment; a place where they can express themselves without boundaries; where they can dance, laugh, sing, and create happy memories."

    Avi Satov
    "Realizing that we do not exist alone and teaching the notion of co-existence and open-mindedness is paramount, as youth actions will have repercussions for their own community and for communities around the world."

    GERTRUDE & HENRY PLOTNICK YOUNG LEADERSHIP AWARDS

    Mikhael Goldshtein
    "My volunteer work is inspired by my desire to show my kids the real meaning of tikkun olam and Jewish unity, and I am motivated to help integrate the Russian-speaking Jewish community into the broader Montreal Jewish community."

    Yair Meyers
    "I always hope to inspire more people to look within themselves to do more for others."

    BEVERLEE ASHMELE PROFESSIONAL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE - NEWLY DEDICATED

    Maxyne Finkelstein
    "Beverlee Ashmele z"l was a mentor and friend, and I am deeply touched to be receiving an award that pays tribute to an exceptional woman who gave so significantly of herself to ensure that her community would be the best it could be."

    Robert Kleinman
    "In the end, I hope to achieve stability for the future, but also to leave our community, and the overall Canadian community, with a fresh approach to major gift solicitation and planned giving."

    THE GARY ULRICH FAMILY FOUNDATION AWARD

    Les anges d'Esther/Esther Levy
    "Giving back is in my genes. It is something that I inherited from my mother and grandmother and goes to the heart of what it means to be Jewish."

    The Family Store/Rabbi Getzy Markowitz
    "I hope to achieve the very purpose of life as articulated by the mystics: To do even a single material or spiritual favour for another. Ultimately, these individual acts inch toward a world perfected and redeemed." 

    RENEE LIEBERMAN GENMTL LEADERSHIP AWARD

    Laura Sonego
    "We all have an obligation to ensure that everyone is supported, and I hope to motivate others to join me. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful community. I pray that I can show its beauty by my actions."

    NEIL UDITSKY NEXT GENERATION AWARD – NEW

    Harrison Kirshner
    "I hope to be able to work with others to continue to make lives easier for Jewish and all marginalized students on campus. Even if my contributions are small, knowing that we are moving a step in the right direction is extremely meaningful."

    Erik Langburt
    "This answer continues to evolve over time through various life stages and volunteer roles within Federation. My answers today revolve around the future of Montreal's unique Jewish life. It is important that we ensure access to all those who would like to (or need to) participate. Similarly, I want to ensure that my 3 young daughters share and value all this amazing community has to offer."

    JON ROSKIES AWARD FOR NEW LEADERSHIP

    Daniel Lieberman
    "I am motivated by the opportunity to work toward a vibrant, educated, and secure Jewish community for future generations. I hope to make an impact in achieving food security, affordable Jewish education, and Jewish engagement in our wonderful community."

    Nicole Nashen
    "I hope that I can help other students find their Jewish identities and connection to the community. Ultimately, my goal is to ensure that my generation continues on the robust legacy of the Montreal Jewish community."

    RUTH & MICHAEL ROSENTHAL FAMILY STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD

    Elisheva Eisenberg
    "When I see unfulfilled needs in the community, I feel compelled to take action. Tikkun olam, acting with loving-kindness, and the pursuit of justice are fundamental values that encourage me to help and care for others." 

    Ysabella Hazan
    "I want my impact to inspire the next generation of Jewish leaders and youth to be proud in their ancient identity and peoplehood in order to advance Am Israel and the world. I also hope to bridge build and combat antisemitism on and offline. "

     

    It was our privilege to honour inspiring leaders who have made a significant difference in Montreal's Jewish and broader community and to celebrate together as one. Mazel tov to all of this year's honorees! 

    A special tribute video was made and shown during the event to honour Beverlee Ashmele z"l:

  • Funding is available to private, not-for-profit organizations that are at risk of being victimized by hate-motivated crime. The program helps with the cost of security infrastructure improvements for places of worship, private educational institutions, and community centres. (more)
  • As a longtime supporter of Federation CJA, Mr. Sperer has contributed for many years to the cultural backdrop of the Montreal Jewish community. (more)
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