Award Winners

2022 Annual General Meeting

Michael Frankel
Leadership Award

Norah and Joe Rubin Award

This award recognizes Y members who take on important roles and provide service and leadership to the community. The recipients are regarded as having made an outstanding contribution in the past year while demonstrating sincere dedication and involvement with matters of importance to the Y.

Michael Frankel FCPA,ICD.D has been a health club member of the Y for over 30 years. A passionate committed community member and leader Michael has chaired many local endeavours including Planning and Allocations (FCJA) Bronfman Jewish Education Council March of the Living and Quebec Israel Committee.

On a national and international level he is the immediate past chair of Jewish Federations Canada-UIA  and currently sits on the Board of Jewish Federations North America and The Jewish Agency for Israel.

At the Y he has chaired the “Chai Y Raffle” and currently chairs the audit committee.

“Six days a week my day starts at the Y and it is the best possible way to start each day”

Leadership Award

Felicia and Arnold Aaron ABCD Award

This award is given to an active member who has done outstanding work related to a specific singular achievement or to a series of cumulative work related to a particular topic. The recipient demonstrates concern and involvement with matters of importance to the Y, and had success with implementing a project or program.

Tony Aksa is Vice-President, Strategic Markets Development at the National Bank, a position he holds since November 2021. His mandate is to contribute to the Bank’s market share development across all business segments. 

Mr. Aksa started his career at TD Bank where he served until 2015, progressing through the ranks predominantly in Commercial Banking. Prior to his current role, Mr. Aksa headed the National Bank’s downtown Montreal Commercial Banking Center. 

He is active in the community and contributes to the success of various charitable causes. Mr. Aksa currently serves as Chairman of the Cedars Cancer Foundation Board of Directors, where he has been involved for over 18 years, is a Board member at the Foundation for Genocide Education since March 2022, and over the past 7 years has proudly supported the fundraising efforts at the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA’s annual golf tournament.

Tony Aksa
Ziki Zaffir, Board Member
Leadership Award

Felicia and Arnold Aaron ABCD Award

This award is given to an active member who has done outstanding work related to a specific singular achievement or to a series of cumulative work related to a particular topic. The recipient demonstrates concern and involvement with matters of importance to the Y, and had success with implementing a project or program.

Ziki Zaffir arrived in Montreal almost 40 years ago as a student and a member of the security team at the Israeli Consulate and El Al airlines. He has been a part of the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA since then and has participated in the early morning basketball group for about 25 years.

“Sadly, my knees and lower back cannot handle basketball anymore, but we still hang around and keep tight with the group.”

About 5 years ago he accepted to join the Y board. “It was a difficult period for the Y as massive renovations dwindled membership, followed by the Pandemic and almost 2 years of closure, but the Y, its staff and board of directors and trustees proved resilient and are well on the way for recovery and success.  “

Staff Award

Ida Rudy Memorial Support Staff Award

This award recognizes an employee who, through his/her professionalism, is a role model for the organization’s brand and values. The recipient provides exceptional customer service and contributes positively to the work environment.

As a cancer survivor, Marine understood the importance of health and wellness from a young age. She believes her journey has changed her for the better and is committed to making a positive impact on the people around her, while continuing to grow as a person, no matter the challenge.

“The Y is not only a place to go to work out, but to grow as a person. I’ve become a better version of myself not only by developing new skills, but also by having the space to become more confident and find my voice through my work.”

Working for a community centre allowed her to work on projects that would make a difference in helping the community stay active and healthy, which is valuable to her because it should be something everyone can afford.

“I’m really happy to be working here, I have a great team around me, mentors that I look up to and who empower me to always do better, and just amazing people who have the same goals and dedication to the Y as I do. I really feel like I belong.”

Marine Bazian-Pinède, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Claude Meurs, YCC Superintendent
Staff Award

Lori Stein Memorial Staff Award

This award recognizes an employee who demonstrates exceptional leadership skills and commitment to the organization’s overall mission. The recipient is nominated for being a team player and often going above and beyond to help others.

Claude Meurs was born in Montreal in 1961. In high school, he played a lot of sports and friendships were very important to him. Then he went to vocational school and met Monique, who would become his wife.
After working as a machinist for several years, he left to open a recreational vehicle business with Monique. A little girl was born, followed by another one 5 years later. Camping became a passion for the whole family, starting with a tent, followed by a tent trailer and then a trailer. He then works on his own with a partner in renovation. He finally left the company for a maintenance position at the YCC.

“I love the position and the location, here we work for the kids.”

The following year, the superintendent position became available. He applies and gets the job.

“Now in the position for 4 years, I still have the same pleasure working at camp, improving the site. We all have the same goal, the joy of the children. I hope our association will last for a long time to come.”

Staff Award

Harry Bronfman YCC Staff of the Year Award

This award is presented to a YCC staff member who contributes to the ongoing legacy of delivering wonderful camp experiences, who leads by example, and who consistently helps to instill positive values in today’s Jewish youth.

Joe Makarov, drama specialist at YCC 2022 will be returning as the Creative Arts Supervisor in 2023. He is an actor/ director in the UK. In his spare time,  Joe loves to hike, climb, and play hockey.

“Having had a lifelong passion for acting and drama, it was my pleasure to share the wonder of theatre and performance with the campers, and it’s something I’m looking forward to doing again. Writing and directing the camp play, a slapstick-medieval-comedy, was a joy, and the commitment and dedication of the campers to every moment of the production was inspirational.” He is looking forward to making new memories.

“This next year is going to be a great one, we’ve got lots planned for the Creative Arts programs, and I can’t wait to be back for another great summer!”

Joe Makarov, YCC 2022 Drama Specialist
Athletic Award

Jean Beliveau Athlete of the Year Award

Each year, the Y recognizes a fulltime student athlete for their outstanding athletic achievements in Y programming. The recipient receives a $500 scholarship towards their education after showing prowess in their sport, age group and level. His/Her name will be inscribed on the Jean Beliveau trophy, exhibited in the Jack Engels display case at the Y. The Jean Beliveau Athlete of the Year Award is made possible by the Henry and Berenice Kaufmann Foundation.

Arielle started her soccer journey at the age of 4 when she first stepped foot on the soccer pitch. She immediately fell in love with the sport and has never looked back. She spent the last 11 years playing at the highest level available for her age group, including playing in the Première League de Soccer Juvenile du Québec (PLSJQ) over the last year.

Arielle was fortunate enough to represent Montreal on several occasions, including an exhibition futsal tournament against the US youth national team as well as most recently at the Maccabi Games 2022 in San Diego where she was one of the leading scorers in the entire tournament.

The Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA has been Arielle’s weight training facility since 2019. The Y has allowed her to develop her athleticism in a safe and welcoming environment and supported her in reaching her athletic goals. She thanks the staff for their kindness and encouragement.

Arielle is now giving back to the soccer community by educating young kids at the Club de soccer de Saint Laurent Academy.