Awards aplenty for local JCCs at upcoming biennial

Jewish Community Centers from around the Bay Area will be in the spotlight at the JCC Association of North America’s biennial convention, which will begin March 28 in San Diego.

A number of local JCCs are set to receive JCCs of North America Excellence Awards in one or two categories. Zahav (gold) awards will showcase “visionary initiatives with potential for great impact,” while Kol Ha Kavod (“well done”) awards will shine a light on JCC programming that can be replicated across the country.

The JCC of San Francisco will be recognized for multiple programs, including a Kol Ha Kavod award for “Showcase,” the  annual fundraising event led by Susan Lowenberg and Joyce Newstat. Recognized in the “philanthropic leadership” category, “Showcase” last year brought in four comedians — including some of the stars of the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” — to perform improv comedy.

A Zahav Award will be given to the JCCSF’s “Q,” an LGBTQIQ youth group that partners with Keshet and is part of the San Francisco Teen Outreach Program group. The program works with Jewish youth to provide a safe and supportive space while maintaining their Jewishness. LGBTQIQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and queer.

Another Zahav Award will go to the JCCSF’s “Art of Aging Gracefully” resource fair. The one-day health and wellness fair partnered with UCSF Medical Center to help older adults with holistic approaches to aging. The JCCSF also will be recognized for “Redefining the Score” (an innovative youth sports program) and “Loaded: Jews & Money” (a series of talks, films and performances).

The Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto will be receiving five Kol Ha Kavod Awards, two for the Litquake Palo Alto program (one for planning and the other for programming excellence and user engagement). The center’s other awards are for its newsletter, children’s programming and a cultural program called “A Byte of Israel.”

The Addison-Penzak JCC of the Silicon Valley will receive five Kol Ha Kavod Awards for various programs, including its summer youth fitness program and its free daily drop-in classes on topics of Jewish interest. It will also be recognized for its fitness fair, its lay-staff committees and its overall strategic planning.

The Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael will be getting a Zahav Award for its Summer Nights Outdoor Concerts series, and three Kol Ha Kavod Awards: early childhood education marketing, “The rabbi is in!” program and the “Salaam, Shalom: Speaking of Peace” series.

The Peninsula JCC will be recognized with a Zahav Award for its “Grow Justice: Fight Hunger” project.

The JCCs of North America Biennial is hosted in different cities across the country. In 2012, it was held in New Orleans.