This story was originally printed in the Summer 2014 issue of the JCC Circle.
Beginning on March 28 and running through April 1, the JCCs of North America Biennial convention attracted nearly 700 people from around the globe, including budding leaders in our Esther Leah Ritz Emerging JCC Leaders track, U.S. military chaplains present for the JWB Jewish Chaplains Conference, and the lay leaders and professionals who make our JCCs tick.
We began by prepping for Shabbat, which included making challah for a conference-wide Shabbat dinner. We spent the day of rest considering the ways JCCs can make Shabbat come alive for its members, wrestling all the while with the question of whether or not JCCs should be open “on Shabbat” or “for Shabbat.”
Sunday began three intensive days of learning, networking and creating connections for the kinds of collaborations that make each of our JCCs stronger as part of a continental movement. From the exciting buzz that J-Talks, our new short-format plenary, generated; to the various plenaries featuring such speakers as Ron Wolfson, author of “Relational Judaism,” discussing the ways we can better involve a new generation of Jews; to Harley Pasternak, trainer and nutritionist to the stars, offering tips for wellness, Biennial offered a broad array of what makes JCCs such powerful agents for Jewish engagement.
Yasher Koach to our Biennial award winners!
Biennial is a great time to celebrate those who have made outstanding contributions to the
JCC Movement. JCC Association salutes those who have had exemplary careers, pushed their field in new directions and above all, inspired us all to strive for the best.
The Frank L. Weil Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Jewish Community Center Field
J. Victor Samuels
The Frank L. Weil Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Armed Services Field
U.S. Sen. Carl M. Levin
The Florence G. Heller Professional Award
Alan Mark Mann
The Morton L. Mandel Jewish Educational Leadership Award
Jewish Military Leadership Award
Rabbi Harold L. Robinson