Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Leadership Award

Donna Dolansky - 2023
Donna has worked as a volunteer in all facets of the Ottawa Jewish community since moving to Ottawa in 1973. She began as a volunteer in Ottawa's Hadassah-Wizo chapter where she ultimately served as president. She quickly became deeply involved in her synagogue (then Agudath Israel), where she served as Sisterhood President, sat on the shul’s board as treasurer, and was a member of the ritual committee. She also did the bookkeeping for their 'Nearly New Shop.' 
Eventually, Donna increased her community involvement, leading the Federation’s Annual Campaign as co-chair for two terms. At that time, she was also a JCC Board Member.  
Donna was then asked to join the Jewish Federation of Ottawa Board of Directors, where she served as chair from 2009-11. Under her leadership, she re-introduced the Young Women's Leadership Project, an immensely successful initiative resulting in many more young women taking on leadership roles in the community. 
Donna also helped lead the Ottawa community into the Partnership 2000 project, now called Partnership 2gether, initiating the Ottawa Jewish community’s close relationship with our sister communities in the North of Israel, and was the program’s first chair. She went on to chair the Galil Elyon National Partnership Committee for three years, including the communities of Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and the Atlantic Provinces. 
She has also been a long-time volunteer with the Ottawa Jewish Community School (OJCS). Most recently, Donna co-chaired the Ottawa chapter of the Lion of Judah with her daughter Gillian. National Woman’s Philanthropy awarded Donna the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Lion of Judah award.
Donna’s impact on the Ottawa Jewish community stands out through the longevity of her dedication, and the diversity of this engagement, with a highlight being the special legacy of the Partnership 2gether project. This was one of her most strongly-championed initiatives, and it remains a flagship program that continues to enhance our community’s relationship with Israel.

Note: Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Leadership Award is awarded every two years in odd-numbered years.


The Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Leadership Award is the highest tribute that the Ottawa Jewish Community can bestow on an individual, honoring a lifetime of leadership in the Jewish world. Nominations are solicited every second year.

Initiated in 1980, it bears the name of the late Past President Gilbert Greenberg, who exemplified the qualities of leadership which the award seeks to recognize. Leadership in the Jewish community in Ottawa is of paramount importance. National and international volunteer leadership in the Jewish world can offer supplemental value.

All nominees must have volunteered a minimum of 15 years in Ottawa’s Jewish community and continue to be an active participant in the community within the last 3 years. Additional criteria for consideration includes:


•    Leadership resulted in successful community building.
•    Held volunteer leadership positions in more than one organization.
•    Serves as a mentor and role model for others in the community.
•    Positively and profoundly impacted Ottawa’s Jewish Community.


Past Recipients:

1980   Ottawa Chevra Kadisha (Sam Petigorsky z"l)
1981   Lawrence Freiman z''l
1982   Hyman Gould z''l
1983   Thomas Sachs z''l
1984   Norman Zagerman z"l
1985   Hy Hochberg z''l
1986   Sol Shinder
1987   Hy Soloway z''l
1988   Grete Cohen z''l
1989   Abraham Lieff z''l
1990   Abe z''l and Bertha Palmer z''l
1991   Irving Greenberg z''l
1992   Stephen Victor
1993   Irving Rivers z''l
1994   Chick Taylor
1994   Rose Taylor z''l
1995   Casey Swedlove z''l
1996   Issie Landau z''l
1997   Joseph Lieff z''l
1998   Gerald Berger z''l and Thelma Steinman z''l
1999   Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka z"l
2000   Lawrence Greenberg z''l and Lorry Greenberg z''l
2001   Stan Katz z''l
2002   Sara and Zeev z''l Vered
2003   Dr. Bernard Dolansky
2004   Stephen Greenberg
2005   Barbara Farber
2006   L. Gerald Levitz z''l
2007   Roger Greenberg
2008   Arnie Vered z''l
2009   Ingrid Levitz
2010   Ron Prehogan
2011   Ian Sherman
2012   Maureen Molot
2014   Mitchell Bellman
2015   Jonathan Ben-Choreen Freedman
2017   Jeffrey Miller
2019   Steven Kimmel
2021   Debbie Halton-Weiss