Soloway JCC Annual General Meeting and Awards Night
Recognizing Soloway JCC Volunteers and Leaders
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm
The Ben Karp Soloway JCC Volunteer Service Award: Presented by the Ben Karp Family and the Soloway JCC to the individual who exemplifies continual volunteer service and sets an ongoing example for others.
Recipient: Bob Wener
Presented By: Barry Karp
Volunteering in the community has been a constant in Bob’s life wherever he has lived.
A Winnipeg native, Bob and his family moved to Ottawa in 2000 and quickly became immersed in the Jewish community as well as the community at large.
Bob has been a member of the Soloway JCC Board of Directors for 16 years. Much of his time on the Board was spent as Treasurer, and from 2011 to 2014 he held the position of Board Chair. During this time he chaired an ad-hoc committee to assess the Centre’s fundraising efforts and as a result eliminated several small fundraisers to focus on the Celebrity Sports Dinner, and added a smaller, yet financially viable, Biathlon fundraiser. In addition, as Chair, Bob oversaw a thoughtful process for reviewing the SJCC’s schedule of operations which resulted in the outdoor pool being open on Saturday afternoons during the summer and the JCC building to remain open on Fridays until 6 for the sole purpose of child care to assist working parents.
Under his stewardship the Centre had a strong focus on fiscal responsibility. With Bob at the helm the SJCC has been successful in individual donor cultivation and has recently completed its 12th consecutive year of meeting or surpassing its financial goals. Bob has also agreed to utilize his leadership skills in chairing a major capital initiative on behalf of the Centre.
On a broader community level Bob has been Chair of the CHEO Foundation Board, Chair of the CHEO Investment Committee, and on the Board of Carleton University.
No matter how busy Bob has been over the years with work or volunteer commitments, family was always a priority. There was always time to coach his children’s teams whether it was soccer for Hart or ringette and hockey for Eleni and Taryn and he is consistently supportive of his wife Lynne’s professional and volunteer work in our community.
Grossman-Klein Teen Leadership Award: Presented by the Grossman-Klein Family and the Soloway JCC to one male and one female youth who have shown outstanding dedication and service to the Jewish Community throughout their teenage years.
Recipient: Belinda Cantor
Belinda is currently a grade 12, honour roll student at Sir Robert Borden High School. When in grade 11, in an effort to fulfill her mandated high school volunteer hours, Belinda reached out to the Friendship Circle, an organization run through the Jewish Youth Library that matches high school and university students with children with special needs.
What started as an opportunity to get her high school volunteer hours turned into a meaningful and fulfilling volunteer experience which has Belinda playing games, doing crafts and outdoor activities for an hour each week with a child who has autism. For Belinda, spending time with her buddy has had just as large of an impact on him, as it has on her.
On Saturday mornings Belinda is a Youth Services Leader at Kehillat Beth Israel where she organizes and leads a Shabbat service for elementary school children. She has also run youth High Holiday services.
A graduate of the Ottawa Jewish Community School, Belinda has been a student at Torah High all through high school. She volunteered with Chai Lifeline, an organization that provides services for Jewish families with a sick child, as well as lending her time to Ten Yad, an organization dedicated to providing meals and support for those in need.
She has a twin sister and two older brothers, one of which, Nathan, was the recipient of this award in 2015.
Recipient: Tommy Podolsky
Presented By: Jon Braun
Tommy is currently in grade 12 at Sir Robert Borden High School, where he is the Jewish Culture Club President, Holocaust Remembrance Assembly Planner, member of the Student Council, OCDSB Student Senate Member, and he is the captain of the SRB Varsity Baseball Team.
In 2015 Tommy was BBYO Ottawa Chapter President and the recipient of the BBYO Silver Shield of David award, a historic and prestigious honor awarded to a male, who throughout their tenure in Aleph Zadik Aleph displayed outstanding leadership contributions as well as a consistent commitment to the AZA.
During the summer of grade 10 Tommy was one of two teens to be part of NCSY’s, TJJ (The Jerusalem Journey) program. While in Israel he enjoyed the mix of Jewish enrichment and exciting activities such as visiting the Western Wall, hiking Masada, rafting and much more. As a result of his unforgettable experience, Tommy became more involved with NCSY.
Tommy is an active participant in the Ottawa Jewish community volunteering his time at Mitzvah Day, Chaunkah Gift Fair and at Travelling Sports Camp. He plays in the Jewish Mens Basketball League, he is the second oldest of his family of four boys and in the fall Tommy will be studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ottawa.