Awards & Honorees

Award Recipients

Each year during the Annual Membership Meeting, the Pozez JCC recognizes select staff, lay leaders, and volunteers for the important work they do to meet the needs of our burgeoning commUNITY. You’ll find below the four awards that are presented and the honorees who have received the recognition.


The Manny Gale Presidential Award for Volunteerism is named after the J’s sixth president. Manny worked tirelessly with other members of our community to ensure that the landscape in Northern Virginia would include a Jewish Community Center.

Each year the J’s senior management team recognizes one of our dedicated volunteers for the outstanding work he or she has performed that helps the J better serve the community and that celebrates the difference that one volunteer can make in building our community.


2023 Amy Berg and Karen Sokol
2022 Jeanne Kadet
2021 Linda Blair
2020 (no awards presented due to COVID 19 impacts)
2019 Andrew Baldwin
2018 Helen Getter
2017 Juan Rivera
2016 Martin Siegel
2015 Enid Liess
2014 Gail Gurin
2013 Alex Stein
2012 Nancy Weinstein
2011 Sandy Acosta
2010 Shelley Adler
2009 Marilyn Hausfeld, Sandy Mitchell, Connie Pesachowitz
2008 Myra Gondos
2007 Paul Nash and Bruce Wartel
2006 Roberta "Bobbie" Ebert
2005 Connie Pesachowitz
2004 Ellen Gale*
2003 Aliza Kolker
2002 Stanley Grossman
2001 Max Rosenberg*
2000 Charles "Chuck" S. Mitchell*
1999 Stephen A. Bodzin*
1998 Alvin "Al" Fuchsman*
1997 Carol Gordon
1996 Art Feller
1995 Jay Weisberger, Sherri Kohr, Ann Moline
1994 Malka Benoff
1993 Evelyn Stein
1992 Anita DeVine
1991 Mark Weber


In 2009, an award was created that provides the President with the opportunity to recognize outstanding lay leaders and staff for the work they do to help the J fulfill its mission.


2023 David Yaffe
2022 Amy Brinko
2021 Julie Wallick & David Selden
2020 (no awards presented due to COVID-19 impacts)
2019 Joan Sacarob*
2018 Edward "Ed" Faggen & Robert "Bob" Shapiro
2017 Eugene "Gene" Greenberg*
2016 Eleanor Saslaw
2015 David Yaffe
2014 Mimi Rosenberg
2013 Scott Brown
2012 Sara Moore
2011 Lorraine Fischer

Suzy Goldhammer first became an active member of the JCC Board in 1987. She quickly moved to Vice President of Programs then to Vice President of Administration. From 1993-1995 Suzy served as the JCC of Northern Virginia's President. Her commitment to the J was so strong that after completing her term as President, she became a staff member as Assistant Director from 1995-1997. Suzy was a considerable force. With her passing, the Suzy Goldhammer Award for Service to Children and Youth was created to honor her memory.


2023 Sarah Vevjoda
2022 Jeremy Nowell
2021 Michelle Castillo
2020 (no awards presented due to COVID-19 impacts)
2019 Laurie Albert
2018 Dina Backer
2017 Brenda Forsley
2016 Amit Hickman
2015 Ruth Abramovitch
2014 Jessica Tischler
2013 Brittanie Werbel
2012 Alison "Ali" Kerlin & Debbie Blonder
2011 Amy Vermillion
2010 Aparicia Martinez & Linda Glasman
2009 Shiri Rahamim*
2008 Teo Albu
2007 Dina Castellini
2006 Meredith Gettys
2005 Robin Verity
2004 Matt Duffus
2003 Jackie Wolfson

Eleanor Sue Finkelstein, along with her husband, Ben, was one of the founders of the J. She consistently supported fundraisers, headed the library committee, was an especially avid volunteer, and served as a member of the Board of Directors. In later years, Elly thought it was time to develop special needs programming in Northern Virginia and, in 2007, it was Elly’s suggestion that our fall fundraiser benefit special needs programming at the J. For five years, the JCC's Annual Gala provided funding for the development of major special needs programs, initiatives that continue to grow to this day.

The Eleanor Sue Finkelstein Award is given to someone through or from the community who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the special needs community of Northern Virginia through service, leadership and/or program development.

Recipients of the award exemplify some or all of the following characteristics:

  • A leader and role model; for example, leads a committee or a special initiative
  • An inspiration to others in engaging the community in the world of Special Needs
  • A person who made an outstanding contribution to the community through volunteer service
  • A person who fosters the virtues and skills of civic engagement and social responsibility
  • An advocate, ambassador, educator, and/or promoter
  • An innovator; brings to the table a new way to serve the Special Needs community, gather volunteers or develop leadership
  • A person with a demonstrated commitment of at least 2 or 3 years of activity


2023 Dr. Robin Rinearson
2022 Paula Manion
2021 Melissa Heifetz
2020 (no award presented due to COVID-19 impacts)
2019 Toni Popkin
2018 Naina Chernoff
2017 Cheryl Belkowitz
2016 (no award presented)
2015 Andrea Vavonese
2014 Jerry Hulick
2013 Honey Nashman
2012 Kay Klein
2011 Jill Berman & Judy Polivy
2010 Jean Gurman

Board Presidents

The Pozez JCC wants to recognize and thank the Board Presidents whose leadership and vision – combined with the J’s Executive Director, staff, and Board – have helped the J to make a positive impact on the individuals, families and organizations who comprise the burgeoning Jewish community in Northern Virginia. Through both challenging and prosperous times, our leaders have charted a course of action that enables the J to build community, enrich lives, and establish itself as the community connector.

1978-1979 Joyce Grand
1979-1981 Bennett Finkelstein
1981-1983 Chet Kessler
1983-1985 Bunni Latkin
1985-1987 Herman Hohauser
1987-1989 Manny Gale*
1989-1991 Pat Kent
1991-1993 Sandy Barmak
1993-1995 Suzy Goldhammer*
1995-1997 Stephen Bodzin*
1997-1999 Lynne Bolotin
1992-2001 Lawrence Vogel*
2001-2003 Michael Friedlander*
2003-2005 Warren Cohen
2005-2007 Alvin Pesachowitz
2007-2009 Carol Gordon
2009-2011 Jean Gurman
2011-2013 Allon Shiff
2013-2015 Connie Pesachowitz
2015-2018 Scott Brown
2018-2020 David Yaffe
2020-2022 Susan Kristol
2022-Present Bill Gale


*Of blessed memory