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Kol Hakavod!

We’re wishing a well-deserved mazal tov to Steve Becker, JCC Association’s vice president of health and wellness, and Marla Cohen, communications manager, for recent recognition for outstanding work in their respective fields.

Steve has received the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Community Leadership Award. The award is given annually to individuals or organizations that improve the lives of others within their community by providing or enhancing opportunities to engage in sports, physical activities, fitness or nutrition-related programs.

Steve consults with sports and wellness staff at JCCs throughout North America, overseeing programs and services related to health and wellness, and helps JCCs transition from fitness to wellness through programs like Lenny Krayzelburg-JCC Swim Academy and Discover @ the JCC, a user engagement strategy to increase participation, individual impact and financial sustainability.

His work on Discover CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health), a child-centered nutrition and wellness program, in particular, was singled out. Developed in collaboration with the University of Texas School of Public Health, CATCH is filtered through Jewish values and targets children age 3-5, encouraging them to develop lifelong healthy eating and exercise habits.

Marla, who came to JCC Association earlier this year, has won two Simon Rockower awards from the American Jewish Press Association.

Marla, who worked for nearly seven years for the Rockland Jewish Reporter and helped start the Rockland Jewish Standard when that paper folded, won a second place Louis Rappoport Excellence in Commentary award for a body of work on her blog, The blog is a continuation of the monthly column she wrote for both newspapers for eight years.

She also received a second place award for a single commentary in the Rockland Jewish Standard in the same circulation category. The column, “What Shuls Can Learn from Shoes,” is on one of her favorite topics – Jewish engagement. It’s one of ours, too!

It’s terrific having someone of Marla’s caliber as staff at JCC Association. We hope she continues the excellent work. She’s won Rockower awards before for past columns supporting the important work that JCCs do , and she’s already referenced our new brandin a recent column. We hope to see more of this in the future.

*All due respect! Or more informally, “Way to go!”

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