JFS celebrates 85 years of helping and supporting Detroit Jewry.
Attendees help create a mural representing JFS programs and services.
early 300 people attended the Jewish Family
Service (JFS) 85th Anniversary Celebration and
Community Recognition event May 29 at the
Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield.
The evening was filled with emotion, inspiration and
excitement as guests experienced JFS' history and future.
A major donor pre-glow, co-chaired by Sandy and
James Danto and Barbara and Irving Nusbaum, began
the evening. The main event took place in the Berman
Center for the Performing Arts, where a video of 12 past
presidents showed a historical perspective of JFS pro-
grams over the past 60 years.
One story told was of a young woman who became
a Holocaust survivor at age 5, who later received home
care services and emotional support from her JFS case
manager. Other stories were of children placed into
foster care homes after being sent to the United States
alone in the 1950s. Marcy Feldman, past president of
resettlement services, talked of how meaningful it was to
help "New Americans" coming to Detroit from Russia and
how the community rallied to help them settle here.
The importance of volunteerism within JFS became clear
from the emotional video and awards presentation. More
than 1,000 volunteers support JFS each year through a wide
range of activities, including visiting the elderly, mentoring
children in need of support, providing access to prescrip-
tion assistance, raking leaves for homebound seniors, build-
ing ramps to eliminate barriers and so much more.
During the event, Rick Segal was honored with the
Mentor of the Year Award for his commitment to support-
ing a young man and for his help and leadership in recruit-
ing more mentors for youth. Evelyn Lipitz, 91, was honored
with the Volunteer of the Year Award for her administrative
support of many JFS departments over the years.
Mindi Fynke, founder and CEO of EHIM, a pharmacy
benefits management company in Southfield, was hon-
ored as Community Partner of the Year for EHIM's work
in support of JFS' Project Chessed. EHIM's team also has
worked with the JFS Prescription Assistance Program to
provide easier access to free prescription medications to
thousands of individuals in our community.
16 June 20 • 2013
This historic JFS photo shows a volunteer working with an older adult.
Honoree Mindi Fynke, CEO and founder of EHIM, and
Volunteer of the Year Evelyn Lipsitz (with flowers)
Karen Sosnick Schoenberg
surrounded by her proud family
The Employee of the Year Award was given to Diana
Mukh, a JFS transportation dispatcher. Described as a
"behind-the-scenes" employee, she manages the rides
schedule and juggles more than 30,000 rides each
year, mostly for older adults who are picked up in their
homes and escorted to medical appointments.
Celestine Keys received the Employee Lifetime
Achievement Award for the more than 30 years she has
spent at JFS, working closely with older adults to ensure
they are able to live safely and independently in their
JFS Vice President Jennifer Lerner Friedman was
emcee for the evening. At the end of the event, she
Norm Keane, former CEO of JFS, Arleen and Don Rochlen,
announced the 2013-2014 board slate.
and JFS CEO Perry Ohren
Sheldon Stone will continue as board president. New
board members are Dorothy Barak, Suzan E Curhan,
Gail Danto, Sharyn Gallatin, Betsy Heuer, Mark Jacobs,
munity. Barbara and Irving Nusbaum sponsored the mural,
Jeffrey Lev, Kelli Saperstein, Abbe Binder Sherbin, Rabbi
which will be displayed at the Jewish Family Service West
Aaron Starr, Jon Goldstein, David Lerner and Rabbi Yisrael
Sponsors for the evening included Grant Thornton;
Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy and Sadler PLC; Amherst Partners;
During the night, guests participated in the creation of
Morris-Phillips Philanthropic Fund; and Videoburst.
a mural designed by artist Daniel Cascardo to celebrate
JFS' 85th anniversary. The mural represents programs and
To learn more about Jewish Family Service, visit www.
services that continue to support the Detroit Jewish com-