The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades founded the New Jersey Jewish Sports Hall of Fame to honor Jewish individuals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field of athletics within the state of New Jersey and successfully fostered their Jewish identity through sports. Each year community leaders are nominated and chosen based on the following criteria: publicly identifying themselves to be Jewish; demonstrating outstanding accomplishments as athletes, coaches, sports media, sports administrators, or sports figures who made a significant, positive impact on our community; displaying excellence in leadership, sportsmanship and character; and were either born in NJ, lived in NJ for at least four years, currently live in NJ, or played professionally for a NJ or tristate area sports team.
All inductees are honored annually at the JCC’s Annual Sports Night of Champions Event.
“Every year, our Sports Night exceeds our expectations as a high-energy fundraiser that fills us with pride, knowing we can help countless children, families and seniors in need in our community,” says JCC CEO Jordan Shenker. “Launching our New Jersey Jewish Sports Hall of Fame substantially adds to our pride, as it allows us to honor both living and deceased leaders in our community who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to sports, their Jewish identity, and the desire to inspire the next generation when it comes to both sports and sportsmanship.”
The evening also includes an elegant strolling dinner, a celebratory program with award presentations, a live auction, and the presentation of the Joseph Taub Scholar Athlete Awards to one female and one male high school senior from Bergen County, who will each be presented with a $3,600 college scholarship in recognition of their excellence in sports, academics and in their communities. Runner up and honorable mention awards will also be distributed. Since the establishment of this community-wide event four years ago, the JCC has raised more than $400,000 in support of critical scholarships at the JCC, of which more than $1.2 million are distributed annually.
The scholarship awards have been made possible by The Joseph and Arlene Taub Foundation in memory of Joseph Taub z”l.
The event is co-chaired by JoJo Rubach and Jeff Levitt, with a committee that includes Kenny Albert, Noah Garden, Jeff Kurtz, Steven Rogers, Danny Rubin, Craig Silver, Gordon A. Uehling III, Tracy Wolfson and Barry Zeller.