Awards

We strive for and celebrate excellence. Excellence is the hallmark of all JCA programs.

Awards JCA Has Received

JCA has been honored with dozens of local, regional and national awards, including:

  • 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:

  • 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.
  • Senior Director, Heyman Interages Carol Croll and Director of the Misler Adult Day Center Elinor Ginzler shared The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Ted B. Farber Professional Excellence Award
  • for their work on the Intergenerational Senior Prom.
  • 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 for their CarJ Vehicle Donations Program.
  • Micki Gordon and Ellen Greenberg, Director of Information & Education at JCA, shared a Caregiver of the Year Award from the John J. Barcklow Foundation.

Awards JCA Has Given

Each year, we present several awards to outstanding individuals and organizations who are making a difference and serving as role models. 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.

The Sylvia & 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
  • 2017: Kitty Kelley
  • 2018:  Frankie Avalon

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
  • 2017: The Kursban Family
  • 2018: Bobbe and Herb Mintz

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
  • 2017: Henry Winokur

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
  • 2017: Dana Hirsch

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
  • 2017: Uma Ahluwalia and Gabe Albornoz

Experience Counts Awards

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 & 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