Approximately 200 people attended Celebrate JFS, Jewish Family Service's annual meeting and celebration of volunteers, board, supporters, and staff held June 27. Guests of all ages gathered at Palazzo Verdi near Fiddler’s Green, and sampled sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and drinks while mingling and enjoying the art in the adjacent Madden Museum.
After about an hour, the guests were seated for a short program. Rabbi Salomon Gruenwald, JFS board member and rabbi of Hebrew Educational Alliance, gave an inspirational D’var Torah (commentary) about the important work JFS does for the community.
Nancy Benyamin, director of volunteer services, thanked all of our volunteers, gave some highlights of volunteer achievements from the past year, and introduced the Max Frankel Volunteer of the Year Award recipient, Dr. Allan Cohen. Dr. Cohen, a retired psychologist, has volunteered with the Mental Health Services department for 12 years, providing pro bono counseling services to a variety of JFS clients. Recently through the JFS Colorado Senior Connections (CSC) program, Allan began hosting weekly office hours for residents of Edgewater Plaza who are 60 years or older. Allan graciously accepted the award and entertained guests with his humorous comments.
President & CEO Yana Vishnitsky, who is retiring at the end of 2016, gave an update from the past fiscal year. She talked about program highlights, changes, and some significant losses the agency experienced. She thanked the exemplary staff, dedicated volunteers, and generous supporters, and received a well-deserved standing ovation.
David Friedman, board member and outgoing Development Committee chair, introduced a new donor recognition and annual giving program called "Authors of Hope." Stay tuned for more details on how you can get involved in this program in the coming months. True to form, David had the crowd laughing and I hate to say it, but you just had to be there to understand his jokes!
Jane E. Rosenbaum, board chair, closed the program by first telling everyone that she wouldn't be as funny as Allan or David and then did a beautiful job thanking Yana for her 38 years of service (16 as CEO). She installed new board members Jason Cooper, Mark Krivel, and Marty Rosenbaum (who was unable to attend) and recognized outgoing members Rocky Miller and Kerry Shelanski for their dedication. Rabbi Gruenwald then blessed the new board members and the work they will do for JFS.
Thank you to Avital Rothbart of Photography by Avital for taking wonderful event pictures! View more here…
Thank you everyone who attended this event! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. If you were there, please leave your comments—we'd love your feedback!
-Alaina Green, JFS Marketing Department