Community Service Award Winners: The midah (character trait) of humility

This year at our Annual General Meeting, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, we will be honouring three women for their exemplary volunteer commitment to our community. In speaking with the award winners, there is one word that applied to each of them and that is “humble.” Each woman believes that she is joining a group of great people who received the award before them and were touched to be counted among them.

Let’s hear from these amazing women…

Jessica Greenberg was selected to receive the Freiman Family Young Leadership Award & the Lawrence Greenberg Young Leadership Development Award which recognizes a member of the Ottawa Jewish community, 40 and under, who has demonstrated proven leadership to the benefit of Ottawa’s Jewish community.

Jessica believes that “one of the most meaningful aspects of this award is joining the company of past winners (including my Dad in 1989) who are mentors, teachers and advisors to me in regards to their own commitment to our community.  I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer with a number of past winners and admire their engagement and feeling of responsibility towards Jewish Ottawa. So, to be recognized as a leader in our community among this group is very meaningful to me.”

In addition, Jessica understands the importance of a flourishing Jewish community for the next generation. She is currently raising three kids and wants them to have a strong Jewish community to support them as they grow. 

Sandra Zagon echoes Jessica’s hopes for the future of our community. Sandra sees that hope through the newcomers to Canada that she tutors in ESL classes. She wants them to have the best possible start to their new life. She is repeatedly touched when past students who come to her with pride in their eyes as they have become Canadian citizens. Not everyone she tutors is Jewish, but for the Jewish community’s future Sandra said that she hopes the Ottawa Jewish community will “continue to thrive, without fear or anxiety for just being Jewish. That our community will continue to respond creatively and efficiently to the challenges it will face and will embrace the opportunities it will be presented with.”

Her deepest wish that our community “respects its own diversity.” 

Sandra will be awarded with The Rabbi Reuven Bulka Shem Tov Community Volunteer Award, recognizes an outstanding volunteer for a lifetime of service dedicated to the betterment and enrichment of Jewish life in Ottawa. 
Donna Dolansky was also moved by people from other parts of the world. She was asked to identify one volunteer experience that stood out for her and impacted her deeply. This was no easy task for her, but she shared, “The volunteer experience that gave me the most satisfaction was the time I spent working on Partnership 2000 (now Partnership 2Gether), both in Ottawa and in Israel.  I met so many interesting Canadians from our National team, and Israelis from the Northern Galilee (Galil Elyon). I had experiences that I will always remember fondly.  We worked together with the leadership of the communities in Israel to forge a new and lasting bond.”

Donna Dolansky was selected for the Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Leadership Award which is the highest tribute that the Ottawa Jewish Community can bestow on an individual, honoring a lifetime of leadership in the Jewish world. Nominations are solicited every second year.

Federation wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to all the award winners and look forward to seeing great things from them in the future. Our community has benefited from their great leadership and future generations of leaders will benefit from great mentors. Thank you for humbly serving our community!

Please join us to honour these leaders at the June 14 AGM. Register here.