We strive for and celebrate excellence.

aboutus_awardsExcellence is the hallmark of all JCA programs.

JCA has been honored with dozens of local, regional and national awards. Each year, we also present several awards to outstanding individuals and organizations who are making a difference and serving as role models, with past award winners listed below.

Here are just some of the awards JCA has had the privilege to receive:

  • National Summit Award (a top, national program honor) from the American Society of Association Executives for the JCA 50+ Employment Expo
  • National Achievement Award (with Montgomery County, Maryland) for the Connect-A-Ride Transportation Resource Center from the National Association of Counties
  • Selection as a top 10 best-practice model for senior transportation by the Community Transportation Association of America for the Connect-A-Ride Transportation Resource Center
  • National Program of Distinction Award from Generations United for the JCA Heyman Interages Center
  • Selection as a National Program of Distinction by the Slingshot Guide for Women and Girls, honoring the JCA Career Gateway Program
  • Program Achievement Award from the Maryland Gerontological Association for the JCA Career Gateway Program
  • Team Excellence Award from Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Gold Circle Award (a national honor) for outstanding newsletter and overall communications excellence from the American Society of Association Executives
  • Golden Rule Award from JCPenney
  • Outstanding Journalism Award from The Journal Newspapers for our series of newspaper articles on issues of aging
  • Workforce and Economic Development Senior Participant of the Year Award (two- time winner) by Montgomery County, Maryland for participants in the JCA Senior Community Service Employment Program
  • Award of Service Excellence (multiple winner) for the JCA Senior Community Service Employment Program from Senior Service America, Inc.
  • Community Service Award (many-time winner) from Iona House/Iona Senior Services
  • Leadership Participation Award (two-time winner) from The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
  • Volunteer Service Award (multiple winner) from the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism and from Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Positive Partnership in Aging Award (many-time winner) from Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Celebrate Partnership Award (two-time winner, with other organizations) for the 50+ Employment Expo and NV Rides Program from Fairfax County, Virginia

JCA staff members have received frequent honors, too. As example:

  • CEO David Gamse received the Leadership in Aging Award from Seabury Resources for Aging and an Eminent Graduate Award from the University of South Florida’s Aging Studies Program.
  • Assistant CEO Micki Gordon shared The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Ted B. Farber Professional Excellence Award with Lew Fontek of the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes and Tasha Museles from the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington.
  • Micki Gordon and Ellen Greenberg, Director of Information & Education at JCA, shared a Caregiver of the Year Award from the John J. Barcklow Foundation.

We take pride in honoring others!

We are proud to honor those who exemplify the principles of tzedakah (righteous duty) as they strive to improve the world and amplify the benefits of JCA’s work.

Click an award name in the list below to see a list of past honorees.

Sylvia and Abe Blajwas Productive Aging Award

Each year since 1994, we have presented The Sylvia & Abe Blajwas Productive Aging Award to shatter limiting stereotypes about aging. This award recognizes an older adult or couple for being a national model of positive aging.

1994: The Honorable Louis Goldstein

1995: Katharine Graham

1996: Dr. C. Everett Koop

1997: Al Hirschfield

1998: Mike Wallace

1999: Gwen Verdon

2001: Roberta Peters

2002: Sargent & Eunice Shriver

2003: Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee

2004: Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara

2005: Eli Wallach & Anne Jackson

2006: Robert Prosky

2007: Daniel Schorr

2008: Phil Donahue

2009: Judith Viorst

2010: Phyllis Richman

2011: Cokie & Steven V. Roberts

2012: Edgar M. Bronfman

2013: Doris Kearns Goodwin & Richard N. Goodwin

2014: Sally Quinn

2015: Arlene and Alan Alda

2016: Sam Waterston

Humanitarian Award

In some years, we present a Humanitarian Award at the Productive Aging Award Dinner. This award pays special tribute to an outstanding individual or couple whose work embodies the mission and values of our philanthropy.

2009: Rabbi Matthew Simon

2010: Joanne & Norman Goldstein

2011: Irma & Lester Poretsky

2013: Arlene & Robert Kogod

2014: The Hon. Sidney Kramer

2015: Sylvia Greenberg

2016: Esthy & James Adler

Jacqueline Unger Community Service Award

Each year, JCA honors an outstanding volunteer with the Jacqueline Unger Community Service Award. 

1992: Ruth & Larry Berman

1993: Max Schreiber

1994: Lee Weinberg

1995: Sydell Laskowitz

1996: Muriel & Jim Lyman

1997: Marilyn Lipowsky

1998: Rosa Weinstein

1999: Dorothea Lear

2000: Funny Jaffe

2001: John “Jay” Kenney

2002: Toby and Abe Friedberg

2003: Les Levine

2004: The Hon. Douglas M. Duncan

2005: Lisa Friedman

2006: Bruce Kipnis

2007: Kenneth Jacob

2008: Joan DiCostanzo

2009: Harvey Levine

2010: Terry Korth

2011: Margo Smith

2012: Melissa Coiner-Williams

2013: Margaret Levchenko and Lois Baker

2014: Pearl Lake

2015: Leslie Shapiro

2016: Nick Gross

Ruth Breslow-Young Staff Award of Excellence

The Ruth Breslow-Young Staff Award of Excellence has been presented at our Annual Meeting since 1997.

1997: Ellen Greenberg

1998: Gloria Brown

1999: Marcy Kostbar

2000: Ted Collins

2001: Brian Goodspeed

2002: Keh-Ay Shyu and Richard Zung

2003: Phyllis Gittleson

2004: Teresa Simmons

2005: Lo-jen “Sandy” Lo

2006: Mordechai “Moti” Galil

2007: Harriet Shapiro

2008: Bea Stapleton

2009: Epsie Bromfield

2010: Janetha Kamelo

2011: Nancy Cooper

2012: Abby Levin

2013: Bonnie Clausen

2014: Colleen Kemp

2015: Chris Prinz and Lorraine LeSchack

Margaret Cutler Award

Our Heyman Interages Center presents the annual Margaret Cutler Award to honor a champion of Interages’ intergenerational programs.

1994: Helen Abrahams

1995: Pat St. Clair

1996: Frank Masci

1997: Margaret Maring

1998: Sally Marchessault

1999: LaVerne Toler

2000: Carolyne Starek

2001: Phyllis Courlander

2002: Charles Short

2003: Chris Merkle

2004: Robert Shoenberg

2005: Debra R. Sekuler

2006: Gregory H. Bowman

2007: Barbara A. Newland

2008: Larry Hartnett

2009: Elaine Lessenco

2010: Beverly Belin, Adeline DePola, Cecelia Sonnabend

2011: Joey Potter

2012: Jerry Feuer

2013: Tony Edghill

2014: Austin Heyman

2015: Brenda Lopez and Toni Quan

Advocate for the Aging Award

We acknowledge the extraordinary work of advocates for local seniors with the Advocate for the Aging Award.

2002: Selma Sweetbaum

2004: Caring From A Distance

2005: Jewish Community Relations Council

2006: Stuart Rosenthal

2007: William Schlossenberg

2008: Jewish Youth Philanthropy Institute

2011: Helen Kaufman

2012: The Hon. Isiah Leggett

2013: The JCA Past Presidents, the then-current president Samuel G. Kaplan, and founding Executive Director Ruth Breslow-Young

2014: Chuck Short

2015: Austin Heyman

Experience Counts Award

In 2014, JCA collaborated with the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development and its Workforce Investment Board to launch the Experience Counts Awards, spotlighting the good work of local employers on behalf of older workers.

2014 Awardees
Adventist HealthCare
National Institutes of Health
Sandy Spring Bank

2015 Awardees
The Beacon Newspaper, Inc.
Dynaxys LLC
Social and Scientific Systems, Inc.

Rosalie and Leon Gerber Distinguished Seniors Award

In earlier years, JCA honored the work of extraordinary older volunteers and philanthropists whose work benefited the lives of local seniors and family caregivers. The winners of the Rosalie & Leon Gerber Distinguished Seniors Award were

1984: Charles E. Smith

1985: Louis C. Grossberg

1986: Morris Rodman

1987: George H. Hurwitz

1988: Simon Hirshman

1989: Ida E. Freedman

1990: Esther and Harry Plotkin

1991: Anne S. Reich

1992: Dr. Leonard Kapiloff

1993: Julius Sankin

1994: Luna Diamond

1995: Robert Nathan

1996: Gerry & Howard Polinger

1997: Kitty & Martin Strauss

1998: Maurice “Maury” D. Atkin

1999: Sylvia Blajwas