May 27, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Evening of Dueling Pianos to Celebrate MetroWest Young Leaders

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest’s Great Balls of Fire! is an evening of dinner, drinks and dueling pianos to celebrate our young adult community as a whole, and specifically, the recipients of this year’s Julius and Bessie Cohn Young Leadership Award, Lee Murnick and Ariel Nelson. The band Flying Ivories will entertain the crowd with their dueling rock-and-roll piano performance—that is part music, part comedy and lots of fun.

Julius H. Cohn created the Julius and Bessie Cohn Young Leadership Award in 1956. The annual award provides two young leaders (men and women) who have demonstrated growth and leadership in service to Federation and the Greater MetroWest community with additional opportunities for leadership development.

Jay Murnick, one of the co-chairs of the event and Lee’s brother, says, “Lee and Ariel join a roster of incredible folks on which our community can always count to give back to those in need. We’ve worked really hard to make sure that this year’s celebration represents the energy that the two of them have brought to their various positions working with Federation and the Jewish people.”

Lee Murnick is chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ’s Young Leadership Campaign. A graduate of Federation’s 2012 Arthur Borinsky Young Leadership Development Program, she is now a participant in the Wexner Heritage Program with her co-honoree, Ariel. She currently serves on the Federation’s Board of Trustees and is a board member of the Jewish Community Foundation and Women’s Philanthropy. Lee is also an active member of National Young Leadership Cabinet of Jewish Federations of North America. She is also a member of the national council of trustees of National Jewish Health, the leading US hospital specializing in allergic, immunology and respiratory disorders. Lee, a graduate of Duke University, holds a master’s degree in business administration from Cornell University and is a principal at Murnick Property Group, a family owned and operated real estate company located in Roseland, NJ.

Ariel Nelson is treasurer and a trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ. From the time he moved to Livingston in 2002, he has become deeply involved in the Greater MetroWest community. He began as a volunteer at Federation’s Super Sunday and quickly became a member of the Young Leadership Council, where he took part in the Arthur Borinsky Young Leadership Development Program and the Wexner Heritage Program. He has served as the Young Leadership Campaign’s chair and vice chair and is a member of the Community Relations Committee. Ariel is also the treasurer of Suburban Torah Center in Livingston. He chaired Kushner’s Day School Affordability Committee and has been a member of Livingston’s Vision 20/20 (long-range planning) and Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committees. Professionally, Ariel works for Geller & Company where he serves as a divisional CFO at Bloomberg LP. Ariel holds a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University.

“This event is a great opportunity to recognize Lee and Ariel, two individuals within the Greater MetroWest Jewish community who exemplify a spirit of generosity, service and leadership as well as to have some great food, fun, and to give back to the community,” says event co-chair Melissa Feldman, who also happens to be the wife of honoree Ariel Nelson. Additional event chairs include Lisa Gutkin, Amy Murnick McKeag and Jodi Murnick.

The event will be held on Tuesday April 19 at 7 p.m. at Club 4Sixty6 in West Orange. There is a $50 cover to join the celebration, and a minimum gift of $118 (by individual or couple) to the 2016 UJA Campaign is required. Dietary laws will be observed.

For information or to RSVP, visit jfedgmw.org/cohn or contact Lindsay Napchen at [email protected]
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or 973-929-2948.

By Lauren Leon

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