Celebrating both its 75th Anniversary and emergence from the hardest days of the COVID pandemic, the Weinstein JCC held a celebratory Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 22, at the Center’s main campus on Monument Avenue.
The annual meeting was the first live and in-person Annual Meeting since the 2019 meeting before the pandemic.
Outgoing President Ashley Brooks remarked that the hardest days of the pandemic were worrying to the Center, but through perseverance, creativity, and the support and generosity of hundreds of contributors, the Center has emerged from those difficulties.
Weinstein JCC CEO Orly Lewis noted that the Center’s professional and lay leadership worked together to keep programming and services available to members and the community throughout the pandemic. Brooks and Lewis agreed that while no one could, in 2019, have anticipated the disruption and tragedy of the pandemic, the Center’s success in preserving and building community over the past years was a testament to the Center’s resilience and commitment to the future.
“Our Board of Directors and staff have engaged in a strategic process that resulted in a collective aspirational plan that will affect growth in major areas of our operations and plans to update our community campus through a major refresh of both our spaces and programs.” Lewis said about the Center’s forward-looking approach. The end goal is to develop a roadmap to the future for the Weinstein JCC. “We will continue to be a place where everyone can find meaning and fulfillment, a place where Jewish life is celebrated,” Lewis said.
The meeting included recognition of this year’s award winners: Bruce Perretz, winner of the President’s Award; Stuart Simon, winner of the Esther, Edith & H.J. Bernstein Volunteer Leadership Award; Sarah Arenstein Levy, winner of the Leroy B. Goldberg Leadership Award; and Erin Samuels, winner of the Arenstein Family Excellence in Youth Service Award.
The Center also gave a special recognition to Donna Peters, head of the Center’s early childhood department, for her 40 years of service to the Center and the community. Peters’ contributions have benefitted the lives of thousands of children, and their families.
The Center also elected and installed new officers and board members: Chair (immediate Past-President) Ashley Brooks; President Greg Bishop; Honorary Vice Presidents Ric Arenstein and Allison Weinstein; Vice Presidents Andy Brownstein, Shana Levy Passman, Bruce Perretz, and Cullen Seltzer;
Secretary Lynn Schwartz; Treasurer Sara Waskin; Board Members Susie Adolf, Allen Cohen, David Fratkin, Chris Greenberg, Brian Greene, Helen Griffin, Melanie Grossman, Shelley Gouldin, Sarah Arenstein Levy, Leeron Molloy, Jennie O’Holleran, Greg Samuels, Charles Scher, Stuart Simon, Wes Simon, Sara Villalona, Bob Weisberger, and Nathan Zasler
The Center also thanked with deep appreciation for their service on the Board, Claudia Biegler, Michal Coffey, Jonathan McNamara, and Helen Horwitz.
Newly elected President Greg Bishop concluded the meeting by noting the Center’s commitment to living and fulfilling Jewish values in the coming years, preserving, and protecting its physical spaces, and growing its successful programming.
Bishop, along with Brooks and Lewis, noted the Center’s recent task forces to examine the Center’s growth opportunities throughout the agency. Bishop said the Center had emerged from the pandemic confident in its ability to serve the community and grow, and he looked forward to helping that effort in the coming years.
After the formal meeting adjourned, attendees carried the celebration to the front lawn with a barbecue dinner catered by Kenny Bendheim, and a live bluegrass concert featuring Mountain Highway. The Weinstein JCC kicked off its new year celebrating and building community, just like it’s done for the past 75 years, and how it is committed to doing for the next 75 years.
The Weinstein JCC is supported, in part, by a generous annual contribution, and programming grants from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.