July 19, 2024
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Kaplen JCC to Hold Second Annual Big Night Out Gala

The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades will hold its second annual “Big Night Out” gala on Saturday, December 6, 7:30 p.m., where three couples will be honored for their generosity and longtime commitment to making the JCC a welcoming centerpiece of the local community. The honorees include Merle & Fred Fish, Amy & Mark Shirvan, and Danielle & Doug Kaplan.

The gala will feature an evening of delectable food, drinks, and great music. Proceeds from the event will support the JCC’s community efforts, such as assisting more than 600 children and young adults with special needs acquire valuable life skills to reach their full potential; providing vital programming, meals, and an engaging environment for hundreds of seniors; and distributing $600,000 in scholarships to families facing financial difficulty so that they can attend programs and services that improve their quality of life.

People can support Big Night Out by attending the event, making online gifts, or placing personal or professional ads in the commemorative journal, which will be seen by hundreds.

“The JCC established the Big Night Out as a celebration to honor our community builders,” says JCC CEO Avi A. Lewinson. “This award is presented to individuals who have shown leadership at our JCC, whose volunteer achievement demonstrates a commitment to Jewish life, and who serve as role models encouraging others to become community leaders.”

Background on the evening honorees:

Merle and Fred Fish are generous second-generation supporters of the JCC, with roots extending back to Fred’s father, Nat, who was one of the Center’s founders. Fred, a past JCC Board member, grew up at the JCC, playing basketball and later becoming a basketball coach. He is currently treasurer of the JFNNJ Board, serves on the boards of AJC Project Interchange and Connect One Bank, and is Managing Principal of TREECO. Merle, a current JCC Board member, has co-chaired numerous special events, including Lavish Lunches, and Opening Ceremonies for the JCC Maccabi Games. Merle is a trustee on the JFNNJ Board, has served on national UJA boards, is current chair of Major Gifts, and past president of UJA Women’s Division.

Amy and Mark Shirvan, both Tenafly natives, have been unfailing supporters of the JCC mission. A past vice president and active board member for years, Mark has chaired the Athletics and House Committees, a Health & Recreation Task Force, and JCC Maccabi Operations. He also served on the JCC Executive and Budget Committees and was awarded JCC Chairperson of the Year in 2004. Amy served on the Early Childhood Parents’ Association and the Health & Recreation Committee, where she helped bring the first Spin program to the Center. Together, Mark and Amy dedicated the JCC Intergenerational Garden, where seniors and children can share experiences.

Danielle and Doug Kaplan come from a strong heritage of Jewish philanthropy and represent a second generation of generous supporters of the JCC. As the son of JCC founding members, Doug has always demonstrated a heartfelt desire to give back to his community, supporting the JCC Golf Classic, the Gift of Community Capital Campaign, and other efforts to support the JCC mission. Danielle, equally committed to the Center, served as co-president of the JCC Early Childhood Parents’ Association and continues to chair fundraising efforts such as Lavish Lunches and the Golf Classic.

To place an online gift visit: www.jccotp.org/bignightout. To place an ad in the journal or make reservations to attend the event, contact Sharon Potolsky at 201-408-1405 or [email protected].

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