Freiman Family Young Leadership Award


The Freiman Family Young Leadership award recognizes a member of the Ottawa Jewish community, 40 and under, who has demonstrated proven leadership to the benefit of Ottawa’s Jewish community. The Freiman Family Young Leadership Award was established in 1988 by the Freiman Family. Nominations are solicited on an annual basis.


All nominees must have volunteered in Ottawa’s Jewish community a minimum of 3 years and be currently involved. Additional criteria for consideration includes:

•    Proven leadership, with further potential for growth and involvement.
•    Demonstrates the ability to motivate and inspire others.
•    Positively impacts Ottawa’s Jewish community.

Nominees must be a member in good standing of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa (minimum gift to the Annual Campaign) and cannot previously have received this award.

To be considered, nominations must include 2 letters of support, including one from an organization. The nomination must specifically address the above criteria.

Nominations for the award shall be solicited every year in the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin, at and electronically throughout the community. Nominations may be submitted at any time during the year. Nominations received by March 29 shall be considered for the award and are presented at Federation’s Annual General Meeting held in June.  

Nominations will be considered for the year in which they are received, as well as in the following year.

Nature of the Award:  
The name of the individual selected to be the recipient each year will be recorded on a tablet to be displayed in a place of prominence at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre. An appropriate framed picture with an inscription will be given as a gift to the award recipient. The recipient of the Freiman Family Young Leadership Award also receives the Lawrence Greenberg Young Leadership Development award, which includes a scholarship to the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly.



2018 Freiman Family Young Leadership Award recipient, Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith is active on multiple boards in the Jewish and broader Ottawa community. In particular, Aaron is committed to increasing opportunities for Jewish connection, integration and community participation in Ottawa and in seeing all Jewish children in the city access some form of formal Jewish education. From 2014-2017, Aaron served as the President of the Ottawa Jewish Community School (OJCS) board, having previously served as Chair of Sales and Marketing in 2013. Aaron and his wife Erin have two children at OJCS and one at Ganon pre-school.


In his nomination letter, Ian Sherman explains that "Aaron is tremendously committed to the Ottawa community and to the Ottawa Jewish community. … He is a very gifted and trusted young leader ... with exceptional talent, credibility, poise, determination, innovativeness and professionalism."

Nominate someone online


Download a Nomination Form pdf

Please email nominating form and supporting documents to or drop them off in person to the front desk of Soloway JCC,  Federation Chair of the Community Award Selection Committee.

Past Recipients


1988    Barbara Farber
1989    Stephen Greenberg
1990    Morris Presser
1991    Arnie Vered z"l
1992    Howard Osterer z"l
1993    Elissa Lieff
1994    Margo Schwartz
1995    Jeffrey Pleet
1996    Robert Greenberg
1997    Laurie Shusterman
1998    Charles Schachnow
1999    Ian M. Sherman
2000    Leiba Krantzberg
2001    Jeannie Polisuk
2002    T. David Baker
2003    Jackie Barwin
2004    Sarah Beutel
2005    Jenny Shinder
2006    Jason Shinder
2007    Mitchell Miller
2008    Stuart Ages
2009    Jennifer Kardash
2010    Sarah Silverstein
2011    Lisa Miller
2012    Sharon Reichstein
2013    Stacey Segal
2014    Tamara Fathi
2015    Howard Fremeth
2016    Debbie Scharf
2017    Gillian Presner
2018    Aaron Smith