Major Programs

Annual Gala

46th Anniversary Gala

The Council’s Annual Gala was held in person and virtually on Saturday, February 5th, 2022 at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY.  We honored Marc Klee and Jen Sokol, Council Board members and RPW Group, Inc., Robert P. Weisz and Andrew Weisz.  Six13 entertained us with their music.

   

45th Anniversary Gala

The Council’s Annual Gala was held virtually on January 30, 2021.  We honored Council President, Lisa Roberts, Harriet Kaplan Suvall and Marc Suvall.  Entertainment included a welcome message from WABC meteorologist Lee Goldberg and  music from Broadway actor Bruce Sabbath and Music Director, Dan Micciche.

This event brings together the community for fun and entertainment while raising necessary funds for the ongoing work of the Council including coordinating our community wide effort to fight hate, build bridges and secure Jewish Westchester.

To view the Gala video in its entirety, please click here.

To view the 2021 Online Gala Journal, please click here.

44th Anniversary Gala

To view the entire Gala Journal 2020, click WJC 44th Anniversary Journal Final Lo-Res

To listen to the honorees speeches, click here.

List of past honorees:

Debra Abrahams Weiner
Lisa Roberts
Sue Baer, Sheila Friedland, Stuart Kolbert
Joyce Claar and Marty Rogowsky
Ron Burton
Nancy Zaro/Martine Fleischman
Elliot Forchheimer
William Schrag/Harriet Schleifer
Paul Warhit/Jeff Kohn
Betsy Bernstein/Michael Karnes/Gary Trachten
Tracy Bilski/Elizabeth Lampert/Harry Mamaysky
Singers/David Alpert/Arlene Kleinberg
Lisa Roberts/Suvall

The Hon. Samuel G. Fredman Leadership Development Institute (LDI)

This biennial program brings together emerging volunteer leaders from various member synagogues and organizations with a goal of developing future leaders.  It provides access to established leaders who present on a range of topics and it creates a network of peers who can exchange ideas about common issues.  The current cohort includes 18 participants who began their training in January 2022.  These emerging volunteer leaders meet monthly to learn about a variety of leadership topics including “Introductions and Getting to know Westchester” by David Eppinger and Elliot Forchheimer, “Engagement” presented by Rachel Klein and “Marketing” presented by Stu Seltzer. The Institute was recently named in memory and of the 3rd president of the Westchester Jewish Council, the Hon. Samuel G. Fredman.

The Class of 2019/2020

Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Awards

How do we thank our community volunteers?

Every spring, the Westchester Jewish Council honors deserving member organizations and their leaders with the Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Award (DSA). Julian Y. Bernstein was a former Westchester Jewish Council board member, who was a visionary communal leader. Julian believed that doing tzedakah was just as important as giving tzedakah. In tribute to his passion and devotion to the Jewish community, we honor those who follow in his footsteps. Member organizations are invited to nominate an honoree from within their organization whose dedication and leadership has enriched our Westchester community.

The 27th Annual Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony took place on Tuesday, May 10th at Temple Israel Center of White Plains and virtually.

2022 Honorees List:

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) ……………………………………… Adam Waldman
Bet Am Shalom Synagogue ………………………………Elizabeth Haas Edersheim
Chavurat Tikvah …………………………………………………………….. Peter Schlactus
CSS – Community Security Service ………………………………………..Guy Shmuel
Congregation B’nai Yisrael……………………………………………………Lisa Mazure
Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel (KTI) …………………………. Margot Metzger
Hebrew Congregation of Somers …………………………………………….Irene Herz
Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center……………………….Bette Sparago
Jewish National Fund ……………………………………………….. Caren Hammerman
Lincoln Park Jewish Center ………………………………………………..Jack Schweizer
Scarsdale Synagogue – Temples Tremont and Emanu-El ………… David Goldman
Shames JCC on the Hudson ………………………………………….. Charles Friedman
Sinai Free Synagogue …………………………………………………. Elizabeth G. Spiro
Temple Beth Abraham ……………………………………………………Jennifer Povman
UJA Federation of NY / Westchester Region ……………………. Michele Gregson
United Hebrew of New Rochelle ……………………………………………..Jim Staudt
Westchester Jewish Council ………………………………………………. Darren Peister
Young Israel of Scarsdale …………………………………………………….. Marie Miller

To read the bios of each honoree, please click – FINAL DSA Booklet 2022 V11

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List of last year’s 2021 Honorees:

2021 Honorees List:

AJC Westchester/Fairfield Richard W. Cohen
Bet Torah Dr. Jill Ratner
Beth El Synagogue Center Brian P. Bosworth
Community Synaogue of Rye Dr. Bruce Reidenberg
Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester Hedy Cardozo
Congregation Kol Ami Elizabeth Ilberg
Dorot Monica Aboodi
Greenburgh Hebrew Center Andrew Michael Goldstein
Hadar David J. Gilberg
Hebrew Free Burial Wendy Linderman
Hebrew Home of Riverdale Isaac Ohrenstein
Hebrew Institute of White Plains Rena Fredman
JCCA Wendy Kleinman
Jewish Education Project Karen Everett
Larchmont Temple Michele Metsch
The Leffell School Jerry Goldman
Mount Kisco Hebrew Congregation Robin Tanzman
Rosh Pinah Chavurah of the Rivertowns Rabbi Halina Rubinstein
Shaarei Tikvah Judith L. Spanier
StandWithUs Paula Blumenfeld
Temple Beth Shalom – Mahopac Andy Milkis
Temple Israel Center of White Plains Judah Aber
UJA Federation of NY/Westchester Lily Deitelzweig
Westchester Jewish Center Cindy Heller
Westchester Jewish Council Irwin S. Davison
Young Israel of New Rochelle Tamar Weinberg

Click here to view photos from the 2019 Awards ceremony.

Click here for the 2019 DSA honorees.

Click here to view the list of 2018 honorees.

Click here to view photos

For a history of past Julian Y. Bernstein Award Recipients, please click here.

Night of Jewish Learning and Celebration

The Biennial Night of Jewish Learning and Celebration took place virtually on Saturday, November 20th, 2021.  There were 20 different class offerings from 20 different Rabbis with over 350 registrants taking part in this community learning experience. We would like to thank the Westchester Board of Rabbis and the following Rabbis who made this a meaningful and successful event:

  • Rabbi David Schuck, Beth El Synagogue Center
  • Rabbi Zack Sitkin, Beth El Synagogue Center
  • Rabbi Evan Hoffman, Congregation Anshe Sholom
  • Rabbi Joshua Strom, Congregation B’nai Yisrael
  • Rabbi Howard Goldsmith, Congregation Emanu-El
  • Rabbi Ben Goldberg, Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel
  • Rabbi Jay Stein, Greenburgh Hebrew Center
  • Rabbi Shoshana Leis, Hebrew Congregation of Somers & Pleasantville Community Synagogue
  • Rabbi Jennifer Goldsmith, Jewish Education Project
  • Rabbi Harry Pell, The Leffell School
  • Rabbi Solomon Hoffman, Mishkan Ha’am
  • Rabbi Daniel Sayani, Plaza Jewish Community Chapel
  • Rabbi Jeffrey Brown, SSTTE
  • Rabbi Sara Freidson, Temple Beth Shalom Mahopac
  • Rabbi Josh Lookstein, Westchester Day School
  • Rabbi Jonathan Blake, Westchester Reform Temple
  • Rabbi Fredda Cohen, White Plains Hospital
  • Rabbi Nuriel Klinger, Young Israel of Scarsdale
  • Rabbi Molly Karp

The 2019 Night of Learning took place on  November 23, 2019 at Beth El Synagogue Centerpresented by the Westchester Board of Rabbis and Westchester Jewish CouncilWith 31 Rabbis and hundreds of community members in attendance, the night was a wonderful way for the community to connect through learning and celebrating. Thank you to the Westchester Board of Rabbis for presenting this biennial program along with the Council. Special thanks to Beth El Synagogue Center for hosting and to Rabbi Ethan Tucker of Council member Hadar for presenting the community lecture to conclude the evening.

Afternoon of Music

The joy of music brought us together on Sunday, November 20, 2022. Over 400 people gathered together to hear the beautiful voices of the Kol Hazzanim/The Cantors of Westchester. We were thrilled that we could host this program once again in person. Thank you to all of the participating cantors for illuminating the room with your songs and to Westchester Reform Temple for hosting.

The following Cantors/Hazzanim took part this year:

Gaby Schvartz, Beth El Synagogue Center, Margot Goldberg, Temple Beth Abraham, Mia Fram Davidson, Westchester Reform Temple, Melanie Cooperman, Community Synagogue of Rye, Chair Kol Hazzanim Robin Joseph, Temple Beth Shalom of Hastings, Amanda Kleinman, Westchester Reform Temple, Event Co-chair, Lilah Sugarman, Congregation B’nai Yisrael, Shoshi Levin Goldberg, Temple Israel Center of White Plains, Danielle Rodnizki, Westchester Reform Temple, Meredith Stone, Congregation Emanu-el, Jack Mendelson, Temple Israel Center of White Plains, Isaac Sonett-Assor, Westchester Reform Temple ,Anna May, Greenburgh Hebrew Center, Rita Glassman, Temple Israel of New Rochelle, Fredda Mendelson, Larchmont Temple, Event Co-chair Lauren Phillips Fogelman, Temple Israel of Northern Westchester, Katie Oringel, Larchmont Temple, Ethan Goldberg, Westchester Jewish Center, Ellen Dreskin, Sarah Zemel, Melissa Puius

Night of Jewish Music

The biennial Night of Music and Joy took place virtually on Saturday, November 21, 2020 and was attended by over 600 people.  Presented by the Westchester Jewish Council and the talented Cantors of Kol Hazzanim – the Cantors of Westchester, the theme of the evening’s music was “Together at Home”.  The night began with a lovely Havdalah service and then transitioned into the concert which showcased a beautiful mix of Broadway tunes, spiritual, and traditional music.

Click here to view photos from the 2016 event.

Click here to view 2014 event photos
Click here to view 2012 event photos

Jewish History and Heritage Month

The Westchester Jewish Council celebrates Jewish History & Heritage Month at an annual event hosted by the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

In 2019, we honored Anti Defamation League – Evan Bernstein, NY/NJ Regional Director and John B. Harris, National Executive Committee Member and J-Teen Leadership 

County-Wide Holocaust Commemoration

The Council is proud to co-sponsor the annual County-Wide Holocaust Commemoration, along with the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center. The commemoration took place virtually on Tuesday, April 21st. We had an overwhelming response to this event with over 418 virtual attendees.  This year’s guest speaker was Peter Somogyi, a Holocaust survivor.

Here is a link to view the ceremony – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQMGUSAfl1E&t=10s