More than 100 people — more than a few of them wearing their favorite sports jerseys — gathered for the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades’ fourth annual “Sports Night of Champions” on June 10. The program supports scholarships at the JCC.
The evening featured celebrity basketball champion Tal Brody and honored David Stern z”l. It included featured a strolling dinner, a live auction, and an awards ceremony honoring Mr. Brody and Mr. Stern as the latest inductees into the New Jersey Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Tracy Wolfson, CBS Sports’ lead sportscaster, was the emcee.
JCC board chair Steven Rogers presented the 2020 Joseph Taub Scholar Athlete awards — a $3,600 college scholarship — to high school seniors Kenneth Daici and Charlotte Ohnyu Che for their outstanding achievements in sports and academics. Rebecca Parish and William R. Boyce were runners-up; honorable mention went to Amalya Knapp and David Markovitz. The awards are made possible by the Joseph and Arlene Taub Foundation.
“Deeply rooted in Jewish values and tradition, the JCC is a vibrant home for the Jewish people that welcomes all and cultivates the social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wellbeing of our entire community,” Mr. Rogers said. “We are thrilled to award a total of $10,080 in college scholarships to six seniors in our community. demonstrating the JCC’s investment in helping young people to achieve their dreams.”
Jeff Levitt, the co-chair of the sports board, introduced the new class of 2020 inductees into the New Jersey Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, honoring two men who were and are transformative leaders of professional basketball in the United States and Israel. Otis Birdsong presented the award to David Stern z”l, the former NBA commissioner who established the NBA as a national brand. Mr. Stern’s son, Eric Stern, accepted his father’s award. Daniel Rubin presented the award to Tal Brody, who is a member of the Israeli Basketball Hall of Fame and Israel’s international ambassador.
“The Sports Night of Champions event is a major JCC fundraiser that provides critical scholarship assistance to families and children who wish to participate in vital programs and services. The night was exciting and successful and exceeded our expectations,” Jordan Shenker, the JCC’s CEO, said. “We are proud to honor Tal Brody and David Stern z”l as our inductees to this year’s class of the New Jersey Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and to award college scholarships to student-athletes in our community.”
Presenting sponsors included Michelle and Scott Tesser and family and the Taub family. MVP sponsors were Englewood Health, the Kaplen Foundation, the Rubach family, the Uehling and Zoellner families. There also were also other sponsorship levels.
The Sports Night of Champions board includes co-chairs JoJo Rubach and Jeff Levitt, and members Kenny Albert, Noah Garden, Jeff Kurtz, Steven Rogers, Danny Rubin, Craig Silver, Scott Tesser, Gordon A. Uehling III, Tracy Wolfson, and Barry Zeller.
The Genesis Prize Foundation granted permission to show “Jews in Sports” at the program.