The Jewish Communal Appeal began its volunteer awards in 2013. The awards have not been presented every year, but, every year they have been given out by JCA, COA volunteers have been winners.

In 2013 Medi Wolf won the first Mensch Award for  her service making lunches at COA for over 10 years, producing more than 100,000 meals in that time.

In 2014 Imre (l’z’) and Eva Reed won the Mensch Award for their services transporting COA members to and from events and activities, and particularly for their work with COA’s Friday bridge group, which Imre helped found.

In 2016 Wolf Pollak won the Mensch Award for his tireless efforts delivering Kosher Meals on Wheels, spending quality time with every meal recipient on his run.

In 2018 hardworking couple, Morris and Ruth Eskin were presented the Mensch Award for their volunteer work in different Jewish community organisations, and their long service in COA Kosher Meal deliveries. In the same year Hanni Chalmers OAM, a foundation member of COA,  won the Hal Goldstein Award for providing social work services and weekly phone calls to isolated community members for over 35 years.

In 2019 our Vice President George Freund won the Westfield Local Hero Award and two weeks later the JCA Hal Goldstein Award for his lifetime of giving back to the community; from his teenage years as a madrich for Jewish youth groups, to over a decade of work with COA. George is a hands-on volunteer and can be found most days working in the COA Centre.

2019 also saw a very special lady receive the Mensch Award, a woman who has delivered meals, provided social support and practical support at home, and even come to cook for COA’s special events. That woman is Marika Pogany.

Marika has delivered COA meals since the 1980’s, and is always willing  and able to help, so much so that Marika was featured in our very first promotional video, where she was shown delivering meals and staying to change a light bulb, and have a coffee and chat. 

All our volunteers are special, but we take a particular joy in seeing their achievements and generosity of spirit recognised by the wider
community. In that spirit we congratulate this year’s winners for keeping up COA’s tradition of caring, and thank JCA for allowing a forum for us to publicly acknowledge them.