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Jay Murnick of Short Hills to Be Honored at Julius & Bessie Cohn Award Celebration

THE NERDS®, club favorites who combine high energy rock n' roll with a stage show of pure talent and comedy, will rock the house at the Julius and Bessie Cohn Award Celebration honoring Lisa Gutkin of Denville and Jay Murnick of Short Hills. The fun begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus, 901 Rt. 10, Whippany.

“The Cohn Award Celebration is always a fun and social evening but this year promises to be something truly special as we welcome The Nerds with their incredible energy. The event also says so much about our community, that we have incredibly passionate young leaders like Lisa and Jay who are dedicated to helping Jews in need in Greater MetroWest through Federation and our partner agencies and synagogues,” said Jodi Murnick of Short Hills and Sharon Nessel of Randolph, event co-chairs.

Julius H. Cohn created the Julius and Bessie Cohn Young Leadership Award in 1956. The annual award provides two young leaders (men and women) who have demonstrated growth and leadership in service to Federation and the Greater MetroWest Jewish community with additional opportunities for leadership development. The event is being hosted by Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, which meets the needs of Jews and others locally, in Israel, and in 70 countries around the world.

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Gutkin worked at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital and the Callen-Lorde Medical Clinic of Chelsea before becoming a counselor at God’s Love We Deliver, a job that merged her two passions of HIV nutrition and nonprofit work.

Since moving to Greater MetroWest eight years ago, Gutkin has devoted her time to her growing family and continuing her passion of working with nonprofit groups. At Federation, she is a member of the board of Women’s Philanthropy and a member of the Vanguard Team for the Young Women’s campaign. She also serves on the board of the Legow Family Israel Program Center. An alumna of the 2012 Seymour Epstein Leadership Mission to Israel, Gutkin co-chairs this year’s AM Arthur Borinsky Young Leadership Development program.

An active volunteer in the Greater MetroWest Jewish community, Gutkin and her husband, Dr. Mike Gutkin, have four children and are members of Mt. Freedom Jewish Center.

Murnick is a principal at Murnick Property Group, a family owned and operated real estate company, where he oversees the operation of over 1,000 residential apartment units throughout New Jersey. His expertise comes from more than 15 years in multi-family development and property management in addition to growing up in this family business.

Prior to 2007, when he joined Murnick Property Group, Murnick was a vice president in the Kushner Companies’ Land Development department. Locally, he is president of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation. Murnick sits on the Federation board and serves on its Capital Management and Center for Jewish Connections committees. He is actively involved in REX (Real Estate Executives) and YLD (Young Leadership Division). A graduate of the Arthur Borinsky Young Leadership Development Program, Murnick formerly served on MetroWest CARES.

Nationally, Murnick is a member of the National Council of Trustees of National Jewish Health and a 2005 recipient of the Hospital's Chairman's Award. Murnick is a member of Oheb Shalom Congregation, along with his wife, Jodi, and their three children.

The couvert for the evening is $75. A minimum gift of $180 (by individual or couple) to the 2014 UJA Campaign enables attendance at the event. To RSVP and for more information, visit or contact Robin Leitner at or (973) 929-3035. As March is FIGHT HUNGER month in Greater MetroWest, guest are asked to bring a non-perishable kosher-for-Passover or regular kosher food item to donate.

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ (Federation) stands at the center of a network of 27 partner agencies dedicated to providing comprehensive social services and meeting the educational, vocational, recreational, and social needs of Jews locally, in Israel, and in 70 countries around the world. Federation also creates ways/spaces for people to connect to a multitude of Jewish experiences in personally meaningful ways. Responding to emergency and disaster situations around the world is another important part of the Federation mission.

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