JCC 2023 Annual Meeting Recap

Eric Ratner Elected Board Chair of JCC Indianapolis

Organization also elects five new board members, presents Bella Wolf College Scholarship Award and honors staff and volunteers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 21, 2023) – The JCC Indianapolis elected Eric Ratner as board chair at its annual meeting last night. Also elected as new board members were Abe Benson, Alan Bercovitz, David Katz, Kate Rothenberg and Suzanne Rothenberg. The community center also recognized key lay leader, staff and volunteer contributors.

Newly Elected Board Members
New JCC board chair Eric Ratner joined the JCC board in 2017, was elected as an officer in 2020, and is a Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis board member. He co-chaired the JCC’s 2020 and 2021 Hand in Hand fundraising campaigns and has also served on the Early Childhood Education Committee (his children are graduates of or currently in the program), the Executive Committee, various membership task forces and as a volunteer youth basketball coach. He works as an integrated sales and marketing specialist/sales account executive at WTHR.

The board also elected five additional new members:

  • Abe Benson is a lifelong member of the Indianapolis Jewish community. He is currently Associate Attorney at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP. A graduate of the JCC’s Bruce Frank-Martin Larner Leadership Academy, Benson was elected to a one-year term.
  • Alan Bercovitz has been a Family Medicine doctor since 1987 and is currently on faculty at St. Vincent Hospital and the Medical Director at Seton Cove Spirituality Center. Bercovitz currently sits on the Catholic Charities Board of Advisors, will be participating in the next Bruce Frank-Martin Larner Leadership Academy, and was elected to a three-year term.
  • David Katz is also a lifelong member of the Indianapolis Jewish community. He holds a Ph.D. in psychology, helps run two family businesses, and is a performing hip hop artist. A graduate of the JCC’s Bruce Frank-Martin Larner Leadership Academy, Katz was elected to a two-year term.
  • Kate Rothenberg is a Clinical Decision Support Manager at Community Health Network. As a volunteer, she helped prep the Lawrence Community Gardens for planting and put her nursing skills into action at Go Red for Women Indianapolis. A graduate of the JCC’s Bruce Frank-Martin Larner Leadership Academy, Rothenberg was elected to a two-year term beginning in January 2024.
  • Suzanne Rothenberg is Associate Regional Director for Strategy, Growth and Indiana Community Engagement at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Midwest. She is bilingual in Spanish and English, serving as a translator at Arlington High School in Indianapolis and she has delivered college and career preparation programs through La Plaza. A graduate of the JCC’s Bruce Frank-Martin Larner Leadership Academy, Rothenberg was elected to a two-year term beginning in January 2024.

Board members elected as officers include Eric Ratner, Chelsea Cantu, Ben Grande, Rebecca Miller, Kent Newton, Marshall Kahn, and Mindy Simon. Members elected to an honorary one-year term: Kent Newton and Eric Ratner. Members elected to a one-year term: Abe Benson, Jeff Cohen, Brandon Fitzsimmons, Ben Grande, Nancy Koppel, Tim Maginn, Mindy Simon and George Taylor. Members elected to a two-year term: Chelsea Cantu, Marshall Kahn, David Katz, Rebecca Miller, Kate Rothenberg, Suzanne Rothenberg, Betsy Sommers and Ally Weiss. Members elected to a three-year term: Alan Bercovitz, Amar Patel, Darshan Soni, Rick Weiss. Immediate Past Chair: Marshall Kahn. Outgoing board members: Errick Peck and Jeff Kosc.

Yossi Cohen Award, Marks Levy Award and Staff Recognition

The Yossi Cohen BJE Educator Award is in honor of beloved Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) and North Central Hebrew teacher Yossi Cohen. This award, presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis and the BJE Endowment Committee, recognizes excellent educators who support Jewish learning in the greater central Indiana community.

This year’s Yossi Cohen Award was presented to Rachel Ackerman, JCC Early Childhood Education (ECE) teacher since 2020. Kind, patient and thoughtful, Rachel nurtures her students and honors their needs, and also provides a refreshing outlook for the ECE program’s Judaic content. Not only does she come up with engaging ideas for students and families, but she also leads professional development sessions to further educate her fellow ECE staff on different Jewish topics. She is able to simplify big concepts into more relatable content, no matter the age of her audience, and always provides ways to be interactive.

Rachel Ackerman (right) with JCC ECE Director Abigail Sweeney

The Marks Levy Award is in honor of longtime board member and chair of the Buildings and Grounds committee, Marks Levy. The award, given to a JCC staff member exemplifying outstanding service, was  presented by Barb Levy, Marks’ wife and a past JCC board char and Lynn Levy, his daughter and a past JCC board member. The honoree is chosen from among nominations submitted by JCC staff.

Tim and Jim being presented with their Marks Levy awards by Barb and Lynn Levy

This year’s Marks Levy Award winners, Jim Gould and Tim Bass, have been integral parts of the JCC fitness team. During COVID, they even instructed their classes for free so their programming could still continue, and they are both financial supporters of the JCC as well. Their ability to create community through consistent commitment to their clients is incredible.

Jim has been with the JCC for 10 years and has been a beloved Group Exercise instructor (teaching cycling and SilverSneakers) and personal trainer ever since. He is motivational, generous and whimsical, making exercise productive and fun for all his clients, and his focus on keeping our seniors engaged, active, and healthy is inspirational.

Tim’s enthusiasm and compassion for all those who join his Total Body BoxJUMP class is infectious, and he creates a warm, welcoming, caring, and inclusive space where everyone belongs, everyone is engaged, and everyone is encouraged. He also volunteers his time during pick-up basketball games and encourages good sportsmanship among those players.

Eight additional JCC staff members were also recognized for five or more years of service to the JCC:

  • 5+ years: Mollie Crouse (ECE), Ruth Enas (accounting), Kelsey Horn (ECE), Jori Nixon (maintenance), Arric Thomas (food services)
  • 10+ years: Kim Shippy (tennis)
  • 15+ years: Elisabeth Ramsey (ECE)
  • 20+ years: Cindy Cohen (ECE)

Colten Schabler

Bella Wolf College Scholarship Award

The Bella Wolf College Scholarship is given to a Carmel, Fishers, Indianapolis, Noblesville or Westfield public school senior who has demonstrated superior academic achievement and her/his dedication to community service. This year, the award goes to Colten Schabler. The North Central graduate was involved in a variety of extracurriculars, including Robotics 4-H, Project Lead the Way, Japanese Club and Boy Scouts, for which he achieved the rank of Eagle. Volunteer project highlights include “Good Turn for Nature,” where he helped remove weeds from an overgrown park area, and helping his friend Josh earn his Eagle rank by beautifying the Albert & Sara Reuben Holocaust Memorial Garden on the Max & Mae Simon Jewish Community Campus.

Volunteer Recognition
JCC Indianapolis recognized the following volunteers for their contributions to the organization:

  • Early Childhood Education (ECE) parents Valerie and Matt Becker, Emily Gurwitz and Clint McKay, Kristy and Stephen Simpson and Grant and Christine Swarm graciously provided prizes for JCC staff at the 2022 JCC Staff Retreat. Their generosity allowed the J to show appreciation for its incredible staff.

About the Arthur M. Glick JCC

The JCC has been serving the Indianapolis community for more than 100 years. Our commitment to our members, guests and neighbors is four-fold: we will instill among members and guests a feeling of belonging, a deep affinity for the JCC; we will be actively engaged with those who work and play here; we will provide consistency of a quality experience; and we will anticipate/exceed the needs of members and guests. Guided by Jewish values and traditions, the J provides inclusive experiences that lead to personal growth and community building. Together, we inspire all people to become the best version of themselves. The JCC is located at Arthur M. Glick JCC, 6701 Hoover Road and is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis and the United Way of Central Indiana and an affiliate member of the JCC Association of North America.

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