Several leaders of the Connecticut Jewish community will be honored for their commitment to Jewish education and their dedication to community service at the Bi-Cultural Day School (BCDS) Celebration Dinner, to be held Sunday evening, May 21, at the Hilton Stamford Hotel.
The Stamford school will recognize Shoshana Dweck as the dinner’s guest of honor. In addition, the school will present Jenny Fuchs with its Young Leadership Award, Rachel Rothman with its Community Service Award and Rabbi Harold Tzvi Bernstein with its Alumni Award. The gala evening will also honor physical education teacher and athletics program coordinator “Coach” Joe Nealon with the school’s Jane Shoztic Memorial Ward.
A resident of Armonk, New York, the dinner’s guest of honor, Shoshana Dweck, is the parent of three BCDS alumni—a fact she credits with drawing her close to the Stamford Jewish community. A member of the BCDS board of trustees, she is also a past president and current treasurer of United Jewish Federation (UJF) of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, and a member of Temple Sinai in Stamford. In 2006, BCDS nominated Dweck to attend the UJF Behrend Institute for Leadership, from which she graduated in 2007.
Ms. Dweck is actively involved in a wide range of Jewish organizations including, among others, United Israel Appeal, ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America), Women of Reform Judaism and the World Jewish Congress. In 2016, she served as interim executive director of the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County.
The daughter of Rabbi Stanley and Resa Davids, she attended Heritage Academy, a Jewish day school in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. “I sought the same community and foundation for my children,” she said.
Ms. Dweck got more than she bargained for.
“I learned from BCDS, just as my children did,” she said. “My favorite part of Jewish communal work is when an organization is involved in transformational change. BCDS is always making sure that it is changing, growing, evolving and meeting the needs of our children today and into the future.”
A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Tufts University College of Engineering, Ms. Dweck previously worked as an attorney in New York at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom and then at Morrison & Foerster. Today, she focuses her energies on Jewish not-for-profit work and on raising her three teenage children.
Young Leadership Award recipient Jenny Fuchs has been active in the Stamford Jewish community ever since returning to her hometown 16 years ago. A past member of the Stamford Jewish Community Center (JCC) board of directors, she served as president of both the JCC Sara Walker Nursery School Steering Committee and The Center Women. At BCDS, she served as co-president of the Parent’s Association, which she was instrumental in restructuring. Ms. Fuchs is also an active volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Hospice of Fairfield County organization, and is currently co-chair of the Westhill High School Governance Council. Professionally, Fuchs books events for two entertainment companies. She and her husband, Greg, are the parents of four boys: one BCDS alum and three current BCDS students.
Community Service Award recipient Rachel Rothman comes from a BCDS family. A 2002 graduate of the school, both her sister and brother also attended the school, and her father, Howard Rothman, is a member of its board of directors. In 2004, she competed in the JCC Maccabi Games held in Boston and later served as a Maccabi Games coach and assistant delegation head. Last year, she served as director of the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest in Stamford. In 2010, she earned a degree in marketing from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and, in 2013, an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Professionally, she is a marketing manager with BlueLine Grid, Inc.
Joe Nealon, the recipient of the 2017 Jane Shoztic Memorial Award, has taught physical fitness at BCDS since 2005. In addition, Mr. Nealon also coordinates BCDS after-school classes and athletic programs. A graduate of Duquesne University, he holds a graduate degree in physical education and sports pedagogy from Manhattanville College. He is a member of the American Alliance for Health, Physical, Recreation and Dance, a national organization that provides assistance and support for teaching professionals. Mr. Nolan’s teaching skills extend beyond the BCDS classroom all the way to the golf course, where he is involved with the New York Special Olympic golf program. A resident of Hawthorne, New York, Joe Nealon and his wife, Melinda, are the parents of 2-year-old Luke, who attends the BCDS nursery.
Rabbi Harold Tzvi Bernstein’s ties to BCDS run deep. The recipient of the 2017 Alumni Award, Bernstein is himself the parent of three BCDS alumni. In addition to teaching Judaic studies in the BCDS middle school, as well as coordinating the school’s adult education programs, in 2015 Rabbi Bernstein was appointed dean of Bi-Cultural, in which capacity he directs the school’s development efforts and provides input regarding its educational and religious programs. A lifelong resident of Stamford, Rabbi Bernstein and his wife, Darona, are both past-presidents of Congregation Agudath Shalom. He is also a past board and executive member of BCDS, Yeshiva Bais Binyomin and the Stamford JCC. A graduate of Yeshiva University, Rabbi Bernstein earned a law degree from Cardozo School of Law and his rabbinic ordination from YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He is currently completing a masters degree in Jewish Education from YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.