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Mandell JCC Announces New Board President, Honors Outgoing Early Childhood Center Director

New JCC Board President Peter Fishman and outgoing President Gayle Temkin. Courtesy photo

Peter Fishman has succeeded Gayle Temkin as board president of the Mandell JCC in West Hartford.

ECC Director Pam Powell, retiring after 35 years. Courtesy photo

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The Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford is pleased to announce Peter Fishman, president at PKT Development, has been elected president of the JCC’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting held on June 12, 2019. Fishman, who is president of the Board of Directors for Voices of Hope, succeeds Gayle W. Temkin, who served as board president since 2017, and who will assume the role of chairwoman of the Board.

“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to serve this board as president” says Fishman. “The JCC’s dedication to the community is extraordinary, and I look forward to working with our board members, executives, and staff to continue building on the strengths of the agency to help ensure a vibrant future.”

“We are thrilled to embark on this next chapter in our history,” says David Jacobs, Executive Director of the Mandell JCC. “Peter brings a combination of leadership, energy and community engagement to this role.”

Temkin, a longtime member of the JCC, was honored for her inspiring contributions as president over the last two years. “Gayle has truly set the bar for future JCC leadership,” says Jacobs. “She is a shining example of someone who teaches us the joys of being active in our community and giving back with meaning. We are especially thankful for her ongoing commitment to create a stronger and more vibrant Jewish community.”

As outgoing president, Temkin reflected on some of the highlights over the past two years, which include the renovation of the outdoor pools at Camp Shalom and the Swim and Tennis Club, unveiling of the JCCs new logo, a new website for Camp Shalom, the exceptional performance by the Sharks swim team at the All State Championships, the expansion of the theater program with new teen and adult shows, and being a part of the JCCA’s new JResponse to help support JCCs facing crises.

“I have been so honored and humbled to serve as president of the Mandell Jewish Community Center,” says Temkin. “This has been a home for us, and our JCC is an exceptional home to so many. We should all be very proud of how caring and compassionate our staff and members are. The commitment to the JCC and our community, has at times, brought me to tears.”

Temkin also shared some of the highpoints initiated through the JCCs partnerships including the JCCs work with Solomon Schechter Day School on the Prizmah national engagement program and the Jewish preschools programs at Auerfarm funded by the Jewish Community Foundation

Separate from her presidency, Temkin has left a lasting legacy with the founding of Alyssa’s Angel Fund, established in 2006 in honor of their daughter Alyssa who was diagnosed with Glycogen Storage Disease, a rare genetic disease resulting in the inability to store glycogen. Each year, the JCC holds the Big Wheel Derby to raise funds and awareness in support of Alyssa’s Angel Fund. This year’s event, renamed “The Wheels Hit the Water,” will be held Sunday, August 25, 2019, at the Swim & Tennis Club.

“I promised myself that I would enjoy every moment of being president, challenge myself to take risks, not take anything for granted, be true to myself, appreciate the organization, and always find time to talk and listen with the people on the inside and out. I can honestly say that from day one, I have loved being the president of the Mandell JCC,” Temkin says.

In addition to Fishman’s appointment, Joshua Feldman, Amy Filotto, Steven Greenspan, and Rachel Schilberg have joined the JCC’s board of directors.  Abby Azia is the new teen representative.

“We are incredibly grateful for the hard work and dedication of our past board members, and those who are graciously continuing to serve on our board,” said Richard Fechtor, outgoing chairman of the Board. “We look forward to working with our new members, and recognize how important their commitment is to our mission.”

The JCC also celebrated JCC Preschools Director Pam Powell who is retiring after 35 years at the end of 2019. Powell will be succeeded by Assistant Director Gen Delay Pasternak. 

“This moment is so bittersweet,” says Powell. “I am forever grateful to the Mandell JCC for their support, and for being my work-home for so many years, and I am so thankful to the families who have trusted me with their children. It has truly been an honor.”

“Pam has been the guiding force for all our ECC families,” says Jacobs. “Pam has cared for every single child like they were her own. We cannot put into words how much she will be missed.”

As the JCC continues to grow its relationships in the community, the agency also honored CIGNA and Wendy Sherry, president of Cigna Healthcare of Connecticut, Inc. for its support of the Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training program. Through a generous grant from the CIGNA Foundation, the program was introduced in August 2018. Since then, nearly 300 people have been trained to recognize the signs of mental illness, including depression, in youth ages 12-18.

“We share Cigna’s commitment to improving the mental health of our youth,” says Jacobs. “We can’t thank Wendy and Cigna enough for a partnership that truly makes a difference in our community.”

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Wendy Sherry, president of Cigna Healthcare of Connecticut, Inc. Courtesy photo

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