Jewish Community Service Awards

The Jewish Federation has four awards to recognize our community’s outstanding volunteers. Members of the Jewish community are invited to nominate individuals to receive the following community awards at the Annual General Meeting of the Federation each June. Nomination forms and letters of support can be submitted to Rachel at All nominees must be members in good standing. To find out more about the Gilbert Greenberg, Shem Tov, Freiman Family and Student Leadership award, click the links on the right.

Nominate Someone Online

Please email supporting documents to Rachel at

Download a Nomination Form pdf

Please email nominating form and supporting documents to Rachel at, or drop them off in person to the front desk of Soloway JCC attention Rachel Abenhaim.


Federation is pleased to announcethe Community Service Award recipients for 2017.
(Photographed from left to right: Tom Podolsky for brother  Eyal, Gillian Presner, Hyman Reichstein, Jeffrey Miller)

Eyal Podolsky - Student Leadership Award
Gillian Presner - Freiman Family Young Leadership Award
Hyman Reichstein - Shem Tov Community Volunteer Award
Jeffrey Miller - Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Service Award


The Student Award recognizes a student currently pursuing a post-secondary degree who demonstrates leadership and outstanding commitment to the Ottawa Jewish community.


Eyal Podolsky became BBYO's chapter president, regional vice president, and chapter secretary. He was vice president and president of Sir Robert Borden's Jewish Culture Club, volunteered with Hillel Lodge and participated in the Developing Future Leaders program through the Zelikovitz Centre. Most recently, as president of Hillel Ottawa, Eyal oversaw all programs, events and meetings, and was responsible for providing guidance and assistance to all executive members, becoming the voice of Hillel and Jewish life on campus.


In his nomination letter on behalf of Eyal, Dovi Chein Director of Hillel Ottawa says: "Eyal's professionalism, work ethic, and commitment to Jewish life on campus are something you rarely see in young adults his age."


The Freiman Young Leadership Award is given to a young leader who has demonstrated proven leadership to the benefit of Ottawa's Jewish community. The recipient of the Freiman Family Young Leadership Award also receives the Lawrence Greenberg Young Leadership Development Award.


While busy completing her residency in pediatrics, Gillian Presner helped organize the 2011 openOttawa symposium with a goal to engage a new generation of young adults to Jewish life in Ottawa. She has co-chaired the Young Women's Leadership Council and as an SJCC board member, Gillian spearheaded a task force to set new policies to boost enrolment of the Ganon Preschool. She was also an instrumental voice for young families in the search and selection committee for a new Rabbi for Kehillat Beth Israel. And last year, she and her husband co-chaired Federation's 2016 Annual Campaign Kickoff along with her family, convincing everyone to take a new approach to the event by specifically outreaching to young families.


Howard Femeth says of Gillian in his nomination letter..."What separates Gillian's leadership contribution from others is not just the impact of her own work, but her ability to bring out leadership skills in others."


The 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.


Hyman Reichstein was past president of Machzikei Hadas Congregation and one of the shul's most dedicated volunteers, working tirelessly on the finance and fundraising committees. Hymie also headed up a much needed fundraising campaign for Ottawa Torah Institute and is very involved with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Ottawa and the Jewish Memorial Gardens, making a significant impact on both organizations.


In his nomination letter on behalf of Hymie, Rabbi Dovid Mandel says, "Hymie works tirelessly to advance the causes he represents, and leaves no stone unturned when things must get done."


The Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Leadership Award is the highest tribute which the Ottawa Jewish Community can bestow on an individual, honouring a lifetime of leadership in the Jewish world. Nominations are solicited every second year.


Jeffrey Miller moved to Ottawa from Montreal in 1984 and quickly became an invaluable member of Ottawa's Jewish community. His impressive list of volunteer work speaks for itself. Jeff was treasurer for Mackzikei Hadas Congregation, the Ottawa Torah Academy Board and Jewish Family Services, as well as president of Hillel Academy (now OJCS) for two years. He chaired two Millionaires Nights for the B'nai Brith of Ottawa, two Desert Classic Golf Tournaments in support of the Soloway JCC and Hillel Academy, and has canvassed for Federation for close to 30 years. In 2010, Jeff was instrumental in chairing the Hillel Lodge Capital Campaign to raise $5,000,000 for its expansion. He also successfully co-chaired the Jewish Federation of Ottawa's Annual Campaign for two years.
In her nomination letter on behalf of Jeff, Elissa Lieff says, "Jeff is a mensch - a true believer in community. He sees others as colleagues, regardless of the diverse positions they may hold on various issues; he strives to work collaboratively in order to build consensous for the greater good."


Yasher Koach to the recipients of the 2017 Community Service Awards who will be recognized at Federation's Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, June 14 at the Soloway JCC.

Any submissions received will be considered for the 2018 award. There will be no Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Leadership Award in 2018 as it is presented every second year.


(since 2005 - see full list by selecting each award)

Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Service Award

2015 - Jonathan Ben-Choreen Freedman
2014 - Mitchell Bellman
2013 - Maureen Molot
2012 - No winner
2011 - Ian M. Sherman
2010 - Ron Prehogan
2009 - Ingrid Levitz
2008 - Arnie Vered z"l
2007 - Roger Greenberg
2006 - L. Gerald Levitz z"l
2005 - Barbara Farber


Freiman Family Young Leadership Award

2016 - Debbie Scharf
2015 - Howard Fremeth
2014 - Tamara Fathi
2013 - Stacey Segal
2012 - Sharon Reichstein
2011 - Lisa Miller
2010 - Sarah Silverstein
2009 - Jennifer Kardash
2008 - Stuart Ages
2007 - Mitchell Miller
2006 - Jason Shinder
2005 - Jenny Shinder


Shem Tov Community Volunteer Award

2016 - Merle Haltrecht-Matte
2015 - Flo Morgan
2014 - Henry Molot
2013 - Ruth Aaron
2012 - Issie Scarowsky
2011 - Morris Kimmel z"l
2010 - Blanche Osterer
2009 - Estelle Gunner
2008 - Mayer Alvo
2007 - Sam Ages z"l
2006 - Jerry and Lily Penso
2005 - Hy Bloom


Student Leadership Award

2016 - Arielle Ellis