Orlando JCC wins four JCC Excellence Awards at JCCs of North America Biennial


Torah Time-PJ Metz films a Torah Time video about David & Goliath with campers at Camp J in 2013.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando was honored with four prestigious awards at the JCCs of North America Biennial held March 28-April 1 in San Diego, Calif. Nearly one thousand people from the U.S., Canada, Israel, and countries in Latin America and Europe attended the meeting of JCC leaders and volunteers.

The JCC won five awards:

Zahav Award for Three O'Clock Throwbacks campaign

Zahav Award for "We Need Funds" music video

Kol HaKavod Award for 40th anniversary campaign

Kol HaKavod Award for Torah Time Camp J videos

Honorable Mention for the Women's Multi-Faith Seder

The challenges JCCs face today have never been greater, and it has never been more important for JCCs to function at their best.

"With these challenges in mind, we redesigned the awards to mirror the proven paths to excellence revealed by our JCC benchmarking process," said Robin Ballin, JCC Association senior vice-president of marketing and communications.

These new standards led to a more focused, stronger group of entries and more selective judging.

The Three O'Clock Throwbacks campaign won the prestigious Zahav Award in the Interactive/Social Media category. The campaign featured daily 3 p.m. posts of historical JCC photos on the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando Facebook page. Facebook fans commented, tagged, and shared the photos, resulting in reconnections of old friendships between current and past JCC members.

"The Three O'Clock Throwbacks campaign really opened my eyes to the deep connections people feel with our JCC," said Amy Schwartz, who administered the Facebook campaign and serves as the JCC's marketing director. "Even if they've moved away, seeing one photo from their JCC past brought back all kinds of emotions through their comments and posts, which was really neat to experience."

The JCC also won in the Push Media category of the Zahav marketing awards, for its "We Need Funds" music video, which debuted at the J Ball fundraiser in 2012. The video, which parodied the popular song "We Are Young," featured JCC leaders, David Wayne, Bonnie Rayman, Carol McNally and Brenda Sher as lead vocalists, and was produced by JCC piano teacher, Eric Levine and marketing director, Amy Schwartz.

Additionally, the JCC won two Kol HaKavod Awards, one in marketing for the Roth JCC's 40thAnniversary campaign, as well as a programming award for "Torah Time"-a designated time during the weekly Shabbat celebration at Camp J, when campers would present biblically themed videos they created with the drama/video specialist, PJ Metz.

"Torah Time was a major highlight of our campers' summer this year," said Abby Paulson, the Camp J director for the Maitland location. "We found that weaving in the weekly parsha with digital videography made the Jewish learning fun and exciting. The kids are already talking about making the Torah Time videos again this coming summer."

The "We Need Funds" video and a sample of the Torah Time videos can be found on the JCC's YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/orlandojcc

The JCC's Jack & Lee Rosen Southwest Orlando Campus won an Honorable Mention for its Women's Multi-Faith Seder in 2013, which brought together women from all faiths for an inspiring evening in celebration of Passover and freedom. That event was co-chaired by Candace Martin and Shoshana Buchanan.

The full list of Zahav Award Winners and Kol Ha Kavod Award Winners are listed athttp://biennial.jcca.org/awards/jcc-excellence-awards/. Zahav Award winners were displayed at the JCCs of North America Biennial in San Diego. They represent an impressive group of ideas in programming, service, operations, and marketing.

Every two years, the JCCs of North America Biennial Convention brings together JCC lay leaders from across the U.S. and Canada to learn, share, and network with their peers. Expert speakers lead seminars and workshops on a variety of topics relevant to JCCs-their operation and mission.


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