Incoming Board Chair Alan Mayer served as the emcee and added his humor and charm to the event. Rabbi Salomon Gruenwald of HEA, who is also a JFS board member, gave the D’var Torah to kick off the event. Mark Krivel, the recipient of the 2010 Max Frankel Volunteer of the Year Award, is an active board member of HEA, so it was quite fitting that the event was held at his synagogue. We appreciate all of HEA's support to host and publicize the event and Mark's award!
Board Chair Steve Kris installed the new board members, Leslie Ginsburg, Rocky Miller, and Lary Weintraub. Steve also thanked outgoing members Dan Seff and Lisa Taussig for their 15 years of dedicated service to JFS.
President & CEO Yana Vishnitsky thanked all board members, volunteers, and staff members in attendance for their continued support during the past year despite incredibly difficult economic times when the needs are growing and resources are shrinking. She said, "Fears and uncertainty about the agency kept me up at night, but being an optimist, I believed that we, despite all difficulties, will find a way to help our clients reclaim their happiness and independence, and restore their hope. And I was right."
However, she reminded people that the crisis is not over. "There are still many challenges ahead of us. The government grants are either shrinking or disappearing. There is compassion fatigue. People are still faced with the tough decision to either put food on the table, pay rent, or buy medications they desperately need. Today, more than ever before, our community needs JFS’s services; our clients need us."
In addition, community member and Herzl parent, Tracey Douglas, along with her daughter, Kezia, told the audience a bit about the fulfilling experience the 4th grade class had volunteering with, and learning about, JFS this past school year.
To end the meeting, we honored an outstanding individual, Mark Krivel, with the Max Frankel Volunteer of the Year Award. Mark is an incredibly dedicated volunteer who has given his time and skills to JFS two to three days per week since 2006. He has contributed more than 1,350 hours to the agency by volunteering in accounting, administration, the Weinberg Food Pantry, marketing, and development. Gail Pennington, director of finance and accounting, eloquently introduced Mark, sharing wonderful examples of Mark's dedication (like driving through snowstorms to volunteer!) and how much the accounting department values his help.
Thank you to Lisa Taussig and Sheryl Goodman for providing leadership for the event and assisting with logistics and decorations! The fresh flowers from Lisa's garden were beautiful and added to the ambience of the event. Thank you to Howard Lutz for taking wonderful photos!
Thanks to everyone who attended the event. We welcome your comments and feedback!
View more photos...