By Gabrielle Cohen
Jewish Family Service used to be seen as the best kept secret until they launched their We Give A… campaign in 2012. At their annual meeting on June 25, they showed their successful campaign and highlights from the past year. But the We Give A… campaign is just the start on their successful journey.
Michael Schwartz, immediate past president, started off the meeting by recognizing past presidents and board members in attendance after the dessert reception. He spoke with confidence as he turned over his presidency to Mark Miller. He said, “I’m passing this gavel with confidence, with excitement for what’s to come and with pride to Mark. I know he’ll really push Jewish Family Service to all they can be.”
As the meeting continued, Bruce Baker, past president, gave the nominating report and installation of officers. He and seven other people make up the new board members that will serve a three-year term. Those people are Melanie Blumental, Joni Burton, Alyce Ellison,Dale Horne, Mark Knue, Tom Smith and Michael Sutter. The officers are as follows: Mark Miller, president; Andi Levenson, vice president; Larry Juran, treasurer; Susan Shorr, secretary; and Michael Schwartz, immediate past president. Lauren Scharf was appointed by the board president for a one-year term. Suzy Marcus Goldberg, Elaine Kaplan and Max Yamson were re-elected for a second 3-year term. Members remaining on the board are Stephen Goldberg, Steve Holman, Daniel Kerbel, Danny Lipson, Leslie Miller, Daniel Phillips, Pam Sacherman, Scott Slovin and Sarita Zilch. John Youkilis and Gary Smith are rotating off the board.
Youkilis and Smith received special recognition as their time on board draws to a close by Mark Miller. Miller also specially recognized the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati for their support of Jewish Family Service over the years. Shep Englander, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, accepted a plaque on behalf of the Federation. As Miller gave his remarks as incoming Jewish Family Service president, he talked about the history of Jewish Family Service and the success they’ve had over the years. With many ups and downs, Jewish Family Service has been very successful over the past year. Jewish Family Service is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and plans to have a year-long celebration, kicking it off with the annual meeting.
The award presentation was held as Miller concluded his remarks. The Miriam Dettelbach Awards went to Danny Lipson and Larry Juran for their exceptional volunteer work with the agency. This award is in honor of the first executive director of Jewish Family Service. The Betty R. Goldberg Community Service Award was established in honor of the many years of service that Goldberg gave to the organization and recognizes a Little from the Bigs and Littles program who helps others by performing good deeds and acts of kindness. This year, the award went to Tianna Woodford for her various community service work. The Staff Longevity Awards for Five-Year and Ten-Year milestone were given out. The Five-Year Staff Longevity Award recipients were Angie Bowling, Erin McNew and Sue Warm. The Ten-Year Staff Longevity Awards went to Dora Baehner, Edie Dine, Fran Gafvert and Ruth Moeddel.
Jewish Family Service Executive Director Beth Schwartz gave her report, along with a blessing. She told a story of a visit she and Richard Behrman went on to a very large community church. They wanted to see how they engaged the community so they met with the outreach pastor. Before they left, the pastor blessed the work Jewish Family Service does. Schwartz thought about that and decided to have a blessing of her own for the staff, board members and community of Jewish Family Service. Throughout her report, Schwartz expressed her gratitude for everything Jewish Family Service has accomplished over the past year. The We Give A.. campaign was to capture people’s attention and to tell a story through the videos they produced of four of their program areas, which are adoption, Aging & Caregiver Services, Vital Services and Family Life Education. Her report concluded with her blessing the staff and asking everyone to draw themselves with Jewish Family Service to help them succeed. Schwartz said, “We can’t do it alone. We must do it together as a community and show everyone how we give a….”
The We Give A… campaign helped Jewish Family Service strengthen the lives of 4,707 in 2012 and they are still helping lives every day.