New community award recognizes outstanding professionals

The Jewish Federation of Ottawa is excited to launch a new award that recognizes an outstanding professional in the community. 

The Jewish Communal Professional Leadership Award seeks to recognize a person who is dedicated to advancing an exceptional quality of Jewish life in Ottawa. Nominations will be solicited every second year on even-numbered years, beginning with 2022. 

“This new award for Jewish community professionals is very timely and a wonderful way to  show our collective appreciation for our Jewish communal professionals’ passion, dedication and commitment to the vibrancy of Jewish Ottawa,” said Sarah Beutel, Vice President, Community Building, Jewish Federation of Ottawa.

“Of greater importance to me is that the new award will shine a light on the amount of effort and dedication that it takes, on the part of many people, to build the Jewish community we have here today in Ottawa.”

All nominees must have a minimum of three years of full-time paid professional service for an organization that serves the Ottawa Jewish community, though not necessarily for the same organization. Nominees must also have a deep commitment to Jewish life in Ottawa, but don’t have to be Jewish themselves. 

Federation Board Chair Ian Sherman stresses that the award comes at a critical time in the community after the past two turbulent years.

“In my very first Shabbat message as Chair of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, I remarked that COVID-19 has created enormous challenges for every Jewish community, including our own; however, the courageous journey we’ve been on has also revealed a resiliency forged by strong leadership and communal cohesiveness, collaboration and the dedicated efforts of countless individuals.”

Sherman adds that this special leadership recognition also serves to inspire others, including volunteers.

“Separate and apart from the well-deserved Kovod recognition component, honouring community champions creates an example for the rest of the community,” he said. “It emphasizes that community service and leadership is important. The award will hopefully also inspire others to take on community service and to become community champions themselves.”

The award was created to celebrate and recognise agency professionals who show initiative and approach their roles with integrity and creativity. These are the role models, exemplary leaders, mentors and people infused with entrepreneurial spirit, and those proven achievers who not only strengthen organizations, but the people around them.

“Our Jewish community and the institutions and activities that we have today did not just happen, but are the ongoing result of many people’s hard work and contributions over many years, and for that we can and should be very grateful,” said Beutel. 

Nominees may be at any level of an organization; however, only organizations with five or fewer full-time employees may nominate their senior executive. Pulpit clergy are not eligible for nomination.

“Research tells us that connected, trusting and cohesive communities, where people know and care deeply about each other, are more resilient than those that are less connected,” said Sherman. “Engaged and effective leadership transforms a community for the better and there is no shortage of leadership in the Ottawa community. I want to encourage you to consider our community champions in Ottawa and to bring them forward for consideration in our awards process.”

The deadline for this year’s nominations is April 26, at midnight. 

For more information about the criteria and to nominate a worthy candidate, please visit here.