LONGMEADOW — Springfield Jewish Community Center was recognized with Bay Path University’s first-ever Community Partnership Spirit Award last week. This award, established in December 2017, is bestowed upon an individual, team, or organization that has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the Bay Path community, students, and mission by playing an integral role in student success through mentorship, leadership, and fostering career development.
“Our students have benefited tremendously from the variety of opportunities they have had in working with the Springfield JCC,” President Carol Leary said. “The JCC is an incredible community partner and valuable resource. We’re proud to recognize the organization and its stellar staff for their hard work and the rich, supportive experience they offer to members of all ages.”
The Springfield JCC was selected as this year’s award recipient from a pool of nominations submitted by faculty and staff at Bay Path throughout the spring. The process was thorough, requiring that nominations include a narrative explaining the impact of the partner on Bay Path’s mission and students. A selection committee reviewed submissions and made the final decision.
“Students from our occupational therapy, psychology, and education programs have held internships, volunteered, and engaged in service learning projects with the organization. Most recently, our master’s in occupational therapy faculty and students collaborated with the JCC Kehillah program for individuals with special needs to develop a ‘SensiPlay’ program for children with various disabilities,” Leary said.
Michael Paysnick, executive director of the Springfield JCC; Bethany Young, director of the Kehillah program; and Deb Cohen, director of Early Childhood Services, were presented the award at Bay Path University’s State of the University Address.
“The JCC has partnered with Bay Path University for more than 30 years,” Paysnick said. “During that time, we have had the opportunity to help in the education and training of hundreds of students and, together, create programs and services that benefit our wider community. It’s been a win-win for all involved. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Bay Path, providing real-world work experience for their students.”