MARGATE – This year’s Jewish Family Service annual meeting provided an opportunity for staff, board members, volunteers and donors to come together in-person for the first time in two years. At the program June 16, attendees heard about the state of the agency and its continuing evolution and growth as well as installations, donor recognition, volunteer appreciation and staff awards.
“During my tenure over the past 16 years, the agency has made significant strides based on our strengths and desired impact to help the people and communities we serve. At JFS, we work diligently to plan, strategize, build relationships and secure funds to assure that we collectively achieve our mission and vision every day,” CEO Andrea Steinberg said in a release.
Past President Marc Lowenstein swore in four new board members who each serve a one-year term. They are Charles Kramer, Robin Pincus-Shields, Adam R. Steinberg and Aaron R. Sykes.
In addition, he swore in retired Superior Court Judge Mark Sandson for a two-year term and Colin Bell for a three-year term. The agency also recognized Joel Frankel and Jeffrey Vasser. Alex Marino, chairman of the Community Advisory Board recognized Adam Barker, Vernon Lawrence, Susan F. Maven, Victor Moreno, Roslyn Talley and James “Skip” Williams.
During the meeting, current JFS Board President Joel Caplan presented Sarah Rosenthal with the prestigious President’s Award for her commitment to the betterment of the community and agency.
“Sarah and her husband, Daniel, are committed to building a strong Jewish community for future generations,” he said.
JFS Senior Director of Communications and Donor Relations Beth Joseph welcomed and thanked new agency donors – The Lynn & Charles Kramer Family Fund, Debbi and Michael Bass, Arlene Groch, Atlantic City Electric, Janet and Kenneth Grossman, J.S. Goldstein Funeral Home and Monuments, and Visiting Angels. In addition, Joseph thanked TD Charitable Fund, Fitzpatrick, Bongiovanni and Kelly, and Mutual of America for increasing their generous funding support. Beth also recognized the agency’s more than 65 Life and Legacy donors who selected to leave a legacy in their will, trust, retirement account, or life insurance policy to JFS.
Volunteers are the backbone of the agency and in 2021, JFS had 104 volunteers who donated 3,575 hours with friendly visits, grocery shopping and delivery, assisting at special events, sorting and stacking products in the food pantry and more.
JFS Volunteer Services Supervisor Vanessa Smith announced Paula Koiro as the 2022 Volunteer of the Year.
“During the past two years, when many people were sheltering in place, Paula was out in the community delivering groceries and meals to older adults. Despite working three jobs, Paula readily volunteered 111 hours to help those in need. She truly has angel wings,” she said.
With nearly 175 staff members, JFS Chief Operating Officer Ann Thoresen recognized staff members celebrating anniversaries with the agency. Sheila Concepcion, Rita Conti, Brittany French, Patience James, Vanessa King, Lauren Lodato, Michael O’Brien, Christina Swank, Kathryn Turcotte and Lillian Elsohn Whitcraft celebrated five years of service at JFS. In addition, Yesenia Pedroza was recognized for 10 years at JFS. Erin Bowes, Stacy McDonald, and Jessica Reinhardt were acknowledged for 15 year of service. Also, Ann Thoresen and Sharon Simon have been employed for 20 years and Marie Reyes-Canales for 25 years at JFS.
Lastly, JFS Senior Director of Human Resources Greg Rosenblit announced the staff Service, Heart & Soul, and Leadership Awards.
“There is no greater honor than being selected by those who truly understand the work you do and what it takes to do it well,” he said.
The winners are: Outstanding Service Award – Pamela Palmer, Eric Kaplan, Fatimah Archie, Lauren Lodato and Sheila Concepcion; Heart & Soul Award – Vickie Perry, Eileen Boyer Durante, Leonard Smith, Jeff Willson and Paola Luisi, and the Leadership Award was presented to Lillian Elsohn Whitcraft.