Below are the materials submitted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg for the Joint Agency Annual Meeting, including award winners and board slate.
Albert Hursh Leadership Award - Alyce Spector (Click here to see front-page article detailing Alyce's contributions to the community).
JCC Volunteer Award – Morris “Mo” Caplan
Mo Caplan first joined the JCC around 2005. He worked out at the fitness center and attended community events for more than a decade before getting involved as a volunteer with the Rock Steady Boxing program in 2019.
“It just sounded interesting,” Mo says of the program that pushes people living with Parkinson’s Disease through an active, fun, and safe workout regimen. “Terri Travers asked if I would be available and I just thought it would be a good place to involve myself.”
Twice a week, the class meets (virtually for the time being) for stretches, exercise routines, and of course, hitting the punching bag with everything they’ve got.
Mo, a Navy veteran who has coached tennis in the past, is a capable coach who knows how to motivate people, relate to them quickly, and push them a little harder than they might push themselves.
But, he says, the participants in Rock Steady don’t need much coaching.
“These guys and ladies are highly motivated people,” he says. “They’re downright scrappers and they want to fight this disease. I’m proud of the people we work with – it makes me stronger to see what people can do when they are motivated.”
While Mo volunteers a substantial amount of time, he says that he feels that he receives more than he gives through his volunteerism.
“It’s very rewarding,” he says. “It warms your heart to see how happy and appreciative people are at the end of the class. I would like more people to see volunteering as the enjoyable experience that it is.”
David Javitch Young Leadership Award – Scott Rubin
Scott Rubin grew up at the JCC, playing basketball and being involved with various programs throughout the community.
“I’m the fourth-generation that’s living here,” he says. “The memories of growing up here is one of the reasons we wanted to move back.”
After returning with his young family about a decade ago, Scott has been working hard to ensure that the community institutions he grew up with are available to his children. Currently the treasurer for The Silver Academy, much of his work has been focused on raising funds through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program.
“There were many people before me that enabled me to get a Jewish education here in Harrisburg,” he says. “I thought that it was my turn to do the same. Two of my kids go to The Silver Academy - I hope all three will. I just thought it needed to be done.”
Staying ahead of the curve with changes and intricacies of the program, which allows community members and businesses to redirect their state tax dollars toward scholarships, has kept Scott and the EITC committee busy year-round.
“There’s always work that can be done – the hope with EITC is to be able to plan a year ahead for scholarships,” says Scott. “There’s always room for improvement. The goal is to be able to allow anyone who wants to come to the school to come, regardless of financial situation.”
In addition to his fundraising efforts, Scott was instrumental in helping The Silver Academy prepare for the current school year in the wake of COVID-19, serving as a resource in securing sanitization and PPE materials for the school.
Scott says that he hopes that his example will encourage more community members to get involved in creating a better Jewish Harrisburg.
“Any involvement helps,” Scott says. “From first-time volunteerism to simple acts of kindness, it all helps and it all adds up.”
Michael Doctrow (VP-Jewish Community Foundation of Central PA)
Rob Friedman (Immediate Past President)
Linda Goldstein (Treasurer/Secretary)
Alex Halper (JCC VC)
Marty Rogoff (VP-Federation)
Abby Smith (Board Chair)
Vincent Berger (Kesher Israel President)*
Gregg Freeburn (JCC Trustee)
Norman Gras (Silver Academy VP)
Jennie Kornfeld and Eileen Kranzel (Temple Beth Sholom President)*
Jeanette Krebs (Federation Trustee)
Richard Leiner (Beth El Temple President)*
Mia Rosenberg- as an appointee (Chair appointee)
Nancy Simmons (Chisuk Emuna President)*
Richard Spiegelman (Jewish Home President)
Rob Teplitz (Temple Ohev Sholom President)*
Bob Wolff (Jewish Family Service President)
Sanford E. Cohen
Harvey Freedenberg (Past President)
Mark Maisel *