Irving “Papa” Gelman left an indelible mark on the Orange County Jewish community. Papa did not see our community as Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, unaffiliated, or other. Papa saw our community as Klal Yisrael, the entirety of the Jewish People.
The “Irving ‘Papa’ Gelman Leadership Award” was established to honor Papa’s extraordinary legacy and promote the strengthening and growth of our UNITED Jewish community for countless decades to come.
This award is to be presented every January to an individual or group from within the Orange County Jewish community who best exemplifies Papa’s values and who also has left an indelible mark on the Orange County Jewish community.
We are united to perpetuate Judaism, displaying the breadth of our wonderful community and continuing to honor Irving and make sure his legacy lives on.
Nominees cannot be:
- Jewish professionals whose outstanding work was within the context of their professional portfolio.
- Any current or immediate past members of the Gelman Award Committee.
- The Award cannot be given posthumously.
Our Past Award Winners:
Our Fourth Annual Award
Adrienne Matros for her decades of dedicated leadership with the JCC of OC and numerous other organizations.
Our Third Annual Award
Jackie Menter, primarily for her work with the Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees
Our Second Annual Award
The Mega Challah Bake
Our First Annual Award
Arie Katz, primarily for his work with the Community Scholar Program
The award consists of an $18,000 account at the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County. The $18,000 will be allocated at the discretion of the award recipient to benefit Jewish 501(c)(3) organizations in Orange County whose beneficiaries are within the OC.