“Things are going extremely well at Jewish Family Service. We continue to touch lives in ways that other Jewish agencies cannot. And we continue to improve every month and every day,” said Michael Schwartz, president of the Board at the Jewish Family Service 68th Annual Meeting Thursday, July 19, 2012 at Rockdale Temple Chapel in Amberley Village.
“My life philosophy is all about improvement. No matter how big or small the improvement, just keep getting better,” he said. Michael then pointed to several ways Jewish Family Service has improved over the past year. These included revenues being up 19%; the expansion of programs to help more people in our community; the increased involvement of Board members; and management not accepting the status quo to push the agency to improve.
In her report, Executive Director Beth Schwartz focused on Jewish Family Service being the “doing” organization in the community, and having an approachable, serious and caring staff to do the necessary work.
She said, “We are approachable. We can do what we do because our clients know we are tolerant of all situations. By being approachable, anyone can feel comfortable asking for our personal and professional guidance through life’s challenges.
“We are serious. We are serious about what we do. And we deal with serious issues including homelessness, infertility, domestic violence, unplanned pregnancy, hunger, elder victimization, successful parenting, mentoring, bullying, chronic illness, caregiving, and mental illness.
“We are caring. We care about what we do. We care about the forgotten, the challenged, the disconnected, the alone. We care about results and using measurable or trackable metrics to prove how we exceeded our targets to strengthen our community.
“Our staff is not afraid to roll up our sleeves and do whatever it takes to make sure one day our community will benefit from the Jewish Family Service vision of leading the way to a Jewish community where everyone lives with dignity, security, and hope.”
She also praised the superb leadership of the Board of Directors and thanked them for being part of the “doing.”
Following a nominating report by Andrea Lerner Levenson, the new Board of Directors was installed. The 2012-2013 Officers of the Board are Michael Schwartz, President; Andrea Lerner Levenson, Vice President; Mark Miller, Vice President; Larry Juran, Treasurer; Susan Shorr, Secretary; and Bruce Baker, Immediate Past President.
Daniel Kerbel, Daniel Phillips, and Stephen Goldberg were installed as new Board members to serve a 3-year term. Gail Friedman retired from the Board.
Board members continuing their term on the Board are Suzy Marcus Goldberg, Steve Holman, Elaine Kaplan, Danny Lipson, Leslie Miller, Pam Sacherman, Lauren Scharf, Scott Slovin, Gary Smith, Max Yamson, John Youkilis and Sarita Zilch.
Bruce Baker received the Miriam Dettlebach Award. This award is given in honor of the first executive director of Jewish Family Service as recognition of exceptional volunteer service to the agency. Bruce, who served as President of the Board from 2008-2010, thanked the vibrant board members and professional staff that “makes you want to rise to another level to become a better volunteer and lay leader.”
Steve Halper, representing Friends of Bigs & Littles, presented Ashley Andrews with a $1000 check as the recipient of the Betty R. Goldberg Community Service Award. This award was established in honor of the many years of service that Betty gave to the organization and recognizes a Little who helps others by performing good deeds and acts of kindness. Ashley, 17, is a Little in the Jewish Family Service Bigs & Littles program, and was nominated by her Big for the past ten years, Amy Coppel. (Learn more about Ashley).
Two staff members received Longevity Awards; Luda Gikhman for 15 years and Paula Tompkins for 10 years.