2024 JFS Annual Meeting - Installations, Recognitions and Awards Celebrated

Posted on June 20, 2024

On June 17, Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) hosted its Annual Meeting which provided an opportunity for staff, Board members, volunteers, donors, and supporters to come together and hear about the state of the agency, installations, donor recognition, volunteer appreciation, and staff awards.

“The Annual Meeting offers a wonderful opportunity to get staff together with Board members, donors and volunteers to celebrate accomplishments for their tireless dedication and service to the agency, which assists more than 13,000 people each year,” said Andrea Steinberg, JFS’ Chief Executive Officer. “We were also thrilled to provide a sneak peek of the newly enhanced JFS website which showcases a modern look, easier navigation to access programs and services, and a multitude of fresh content.”

During her state of the agency speech, Andrea shared how our infrastructure, partnerships and staffing are integral components to the strategic plan and JFS’ ability to expand resources, including in the Cape May County area. She also shared how tuition reimbursement for staff to earn advanced degrees and peer support groups and workshops assist to engage, energize staff and focus on their overall wellness.

JFS President Matthew Simpson spoke about the Board’s goals and objectives which include investing in the future of our communities, enhancing the wellness of our neighbors, maintaining our position as the area’s leading advocate for services, nurturing staff, and securing programs sustainability. These facets will ensure the agency stays on point with its mission.

Then, Matt presented Colin Bell, Esq. with the distinguished President’s Award for his commitment to the betterment of the community and agency. For more than five years, Colin has dedicated himself to JFS by serving on the Board of Directors and entrenching himself in programs, services and activities. Colin also serves as a member of the Board’s Planning & Impact Steering Committee and Strategic Partnerships Committee.

Sarah Rosenthal was sworn in as Board Vice President and will join Melissa Rosenblum, Esq. in this capacity. Adam R. Steinberg will serve in the role of Treasurer and Aaron R. Sykes becomes Secretary. In addition, Linda Rubin joins the Board for a one-year term and Susan Fowler Maven will serve as the Board’s Community Advisory Committee delegate. Also, Jess Kane Berman, who recently completed a one-year term, was sworn in for an additional two years and Charles Kramer was reinstalled for a three-year term. The agency also extended a heartfelt thank you to outgoing Board members Robin Pincus-Shields and Lawrence Reich.

In addition, the JFS Fund Board welcomed two new members – Barry Goff and Samuel Goldstein. The Fund serves as a major resource for agency emergency needs, provides seed money for new programs and supports innovative solutions to meet the needs of the community.

As the meeting progressed, JFS Senior Director of Communications & Donor Relations Beth Joseph welcomed and thanked agency donors – BodyBio, Hope & Keith Morgan, Fox Rothschild, Gayle & Howard Gross, Adam & Franci Steinberg, BAYADA Home Health Care, Fountain View at Logan Square, Fulton Bank, The Romeo Family Foundation, and Traci & Richard Werman.

The agency also recognized Ellie Kremer as the 2024 Volunteer of the Year. As JFS Volunteer Services Coordinator Bailey Pokres shared, “For more than eight years, Ellie has been volunteering at JFS on a weekly basis delivering grocery bags filled with food, baby products, basic essentials and more to people in need throughout the county. Previously, Ellie shared with JFS that she is grateful for what she has and feels that it’s her responsibility to help others. It’s a rewarding mitzvah.”

With 175 employees, Chief Operating Officer Ann Thoresen and Chief Impact Officer Laura Rodgers recognized staff members celebrating anniversaries with the agency. Tallia Alexander-Schaab, Natasha Bettencourt, Darline Desamours, Sarah Dondero-Skeels, Erica Friedel, Iyana James, Susan Kotzen, Kyle Lee, Paola Luisi, Steve Marchiano, Rachael McInnes, Judy Rios, Leonard Smith, Jr., and Julie Zlotnick are celebrating five years. In addition, Kathleen Powell was recognized for 10 years at JFS. Also, Patrice Schleigh and Melissa Gustin were acknowledged for 15 years and 20 years of service, respectively.

Lastly, JFS Senior Director of Human Resources Greg Rosenblit announced the staff Community Impact, Heart & Soul, Outstanding Service, and Leadership Awards. As Greg said, “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.” The winners are: Community Impact Award – Sherilyn Haddock, Heart & Soul Award – Vickie Perry, Outstanding Service Award – Eileen Boyer Durante, and the Leadership Award was presented to Lily Elsohn Whitcraft.

For information on JFS programs, services or employment opportunities, visit www.jfsatlantic.org. For information on volunteer opportunities, contact Bailey Pokres at bpokres@jfsatlantic.org.

Photograph #1

(Left to right): Jewish Family Service Volunteer Services Coordinator Bailey Pokres congratulates Ellie Kremer on being honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award at the agency’s Annual Meeting on June 17th. Each week, Ellie delivers groceries and basic essentials to people in need throughout the county. (Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties)

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Jewish Family Service Senior Director of Communications & Donor Relations Beth Joseph (right) presents Fox Rothschild Managing Partner Eileen Oakes Muskett with a gift of appreciation at the Annual Meeting on June 17th for the law firm becoming a JFS agency donor. (Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties)

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Jewish Family Service Human Resources Coordinator Vickie Perry (center) is presented with a certificate from JFS Senior Director of Human Resources Greg Rosenblit and Human Resources Coordinator Lisa Murrell for being selected by her colleagues for the agency’s Heart & Soul Award. (Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties)