Jewish Family Service               2017 Annual Meeting...

 

 

 

Jewish Family Service
Annual Meeting
Spotlights the
Caring, Compassionate Agency

As a guest speaker at Jewish Family Service’s 73rd Annual Meeting June 21, 2017, Rabbi Irv Wise shared how Jewish Family Service (JFS) can trace its origins to the Torah from 3,000 years ago.

 

“It is written by our ancestors in the Torah -36 times! - that we are commanded to take care of those who are in need, including those who are not us,” said Rabbi Wise, of Adath Israel Congregation.

 

“Jewish Family Service is really the primary delivery system of the mitzvah of compassion. It certainly takes care of this community.”

 

He explained that the social service agency’s impact goes beyond its daily services and programs.

“With other agencies as support systems, Jewish Family Service reminds us as Jews that we are commanded to be compassionate to those who are disenfranchised, those who are in poverty, those who are homeless, and those folks who may live very different lives. This is not a choice. This is not a good deed. This is not something that is just nice to do. We are commanded as a people from 3,000 years ago to take care of those in need. Whoever they are. We are commanded to care.”

 

 

Caring for those in need – and caring for them as if they were family - was emphasized by Beth Schwartz, Jewish Family Service CEO, who said, “Family is our middle name. We’re family to those seeking care, to more than 4300 family members as well as additional members of the household whose lives we strengthened in times of need.

  

“Every time the phone rings, the JFS Family is there. Sometimes we’re the only family to those who would be completely alone; they’d have no one else to whom they can turn. Sometimes we’re the family providing greater capacity to shoulder burdens, and sometimes we mediate to reduce the stress that often accompanies being a part of a family.

 

 

“But all the time we are the supportive compassionate family that strives to bring out the unique strengths of every individual to help them find their way to a life of greater stability, self-reliance and personal growth.”

 

 

 

 

 

Larry Juran, who was installed as the new President of the Board, reiterated Rabbi Wise’s description of Jewish Family Service as the primary delivery system of the mitzvah of compassion.

 

“JFS is the grassroots of Tikun Olam, repairing the world one life at a time. And I consider it a privilege to support those who carry out this work every day,” he said.

 

“But all the time we are the supportive compassionate family that strives to bring out the unique strengths of every individual to help them find their way to a life of greater stability, self-reliance and personal growth.”

 

Larry Juran, who was installed as the new President of the Board, reiterated Rabbi Wise’s description of Jewish Family Service as the primary delivery system of the mitzvah of compassion.

 

“JFS is the grassroots of Tikun Olam, repairing the world one life at a time. And I consider it a privilege to support those who carry out this work every day,” he said.

 

 

“JFS dedicated professionals toil quietly on the front lines of our society’s social problems - poverty, aging, mental illness, food insecurity, domestic abuse, and the list goes on and on. To do this work takes courage and perseverance and a special kind of person.”

 

Juran stated his main goal as President is to address the overriding challenge of developing and implementing a plan for a sustainable financial future to ensure Jewish Family Service will be here to serve those in need for decades to come.

 

The evening that began with a welcome by outgoing Board President Andi Levenson Young, who served for two years. She acknowledged agency partners including Jewish Foundation, the Jewish Federation, and United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. She also thanked Create your Jewish Legacy donors whose personal commitments ensure Jewish Family Service can continue to strengthen the lives of future generations.

 

Young joins Juran on the 2017-2018 Board of Directors executive committee as the Immediate Past President, along with Daniel Kerbel and Max Yamson as Vice Presidents, Marcus Saskin as Treasurer, and Susan Shorr as Secretary. Mark Miller, who was re-elected to a new term, serves on the executive committee as Member-At-Large.

 

 

Also re-elected to a new term are Amy Diamond, Lev Orlov, Stuart Rabkin, Scott Slovin, and Paul Spitz. David Schimberg was newly elected to the Board. Remaining on the Board are Melanie Blumental, Pat Davis-Hagens, Alyce Ellison, Jared Kamrass, Chris Owens, Dan Phillips, Dan Rapp, Tom Smith, Michael Sutter, and Nancy Steinberg-Warren.

 

Rounding out the evening was the presentation of Recognition and Awards.

 

Alyce Baier Ellison, MJ Guttman, and Sarah Ganson Shmoel, Co-chairs of the 2016 Dancing with our Stars gala, were recognized as for their dedication to ensuring the financial and “fun-ancial” success of the event.

 

Staff who have significant years of service with the agency were also recognized. Ludmilla Gikhman has served for 20 years; Paula Tompkins for 15 years; and Karla Doerrer, Leah Freed, Helen Makutonin, Suzanne Schweiger, and Bralynda Watkins for 5 years.

 

The Miriam Dettelbach Award, which is given in honor of the first executive director of Jewish Family Service as recognition of exceptional volunteer service to the agency and the community at large, was presented to Tobin Gardner.

 

As a volunteer with both the Jewish Family Service Bigs & Littles youth mentoring program and Jewish Family Service Center for Holocaust Tablets and Technology program, Gardner has made a meaningful impact on the lives of two people with very different ages, backgrounds and life situations.

 

Said Schwartz, “It is through volunteers such as Tobin that Jewish Family Service is able to extend its professional reach and broaden our impact on the community.”