Jewish Family Service Celebrates Annual Reunion Facilities, Recognitions and Awards | Down the beach

Susan Kotzen Submissive

MARGATE — This year’s Jewish Family Service Annual Meeting provided an opportunity for staff, board members, volunteers and donors to come together in person for the first time in two years. At the program, held June 16, attendees heard about the state of the agency and its continued evolution and growth as well as facilities, donor recognition, volunteer appreciation and staff awards.

“During my tenure over the past 16 years, the agency has made significant progress based on our strengths and desired impact in helping the people and communities we serve. At JFS, we work diligently to plan, strategize, build relationships and secure funds to ensure that we collectively achieve our mission and vision every day,” said Andrea Steinberg, CEO of JFS.

Former JFS President Marc Lowenstein swore in four new board members who will each serve a one-year term: Charles Kramer, Robin Pincus-Shields, Adam R. Steinberg and Aaron R. Sykes. Additionally, Lowenstein swore in Mark Sandson for a two-year term and Colin Bell for a three-year term. The agency also extended a heartfelt thank you to Joel Frankel and Jeffrey Vasser for their hard work and support. Next, JFS Impact Manager Laura Rodgers welcomed Alex Marino, Chair of the JFS Community Advisory Board, to recognize new members of this entity: Adam Barker, Vernon Lawrence, Susan F. Maven, Victor Moreno, Roslyn Talley and James “Skip”. Williams.

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Current JFS Board Chairman Joel Caplan presented Sarah Rosenthal with the Chairman’s Award for her commitment to community and agency betterment. Rosenthal sits on several fundraising committees and is secretary of the JFS Board of Directors.

JFS Senior Director of Communications and Donor Relations, Beth Joseph, welcomed and thanked the agency’s newest donors, the Lynn & Charles Kramer Family Fund, Debbi and Michael Bass, Arlene Groch, Atlantic City Electric, Janet and Kenneth Grossman, JS Goldstein Funeral Home & Monuments, and Visiting Angels. Additionally, Joseph thanked the TD Benevolent Fund, Fitzpatrick, Bongiovanni & Kelly and Mutual of America for increasing their generous financial support. Beth also paid tribute to the agency’s more than 65 Life & Legacy donors who have chosen to leave a legacy to JFS in their will, trust, retirement account or life insurance policy.

Volunteers are the backbone of the agency, and in 2021, JFS had 104 volunteers who donated 3,575 hours with friendly visiting, grocery shopping and delivery, helping with special events, sorting and stacking produce in the pantry and more. JFS Volunteer Services Supervisor Vanessa Smith announced Paula Koiro as the 2022 Volunteer of the Year.

“For the past two years, when many people were sheltering in place, Paula was in the community delivering groceries and meals to seniors,” Smith said. “Despite working three jobs, Paula willingly volunteered 111 hours to help those in need. She really has angel wings.

JFS COO Ann Thoresen recognized staff members celebrating birthdays with the agency. Sheila Concepcion, Rita Conti, Brittany French, Patience James, Vanessa King, Lauren Lodato, Michael O’Brien, Christina Swank, Kathryn Turcotte and Lillian Elsohn Whitcraft celebrated five years of service with JFS. Additionally, Yesenia Pedroza has been recognized for 10 years at JFS. Erin Bowes, Stacy McDonald and Jessica Reinhardt were recognized for 15 years of service. In addition, Ann Thoresen and Sharon Simon have been employed for 20 years and Marie Reyes-Canales for 25 years at JFS.

Finally, JFS Senior Director of Human Resources, Greg Rosenblit, announced the Service, Heart and Soul, and Staff Leadership awards. The winners were:

Distinguished Service Award: Pamela Palmer, Eric Kaplan, Fatimah Archie, Lauren Lodato and Sheila Concepcion

Heart & Soul Awards: Vickie Perry, Eileen Boyer Durante, Leonard Smith, Jeff Willson and Paola Luisi

Leadership Award: Lillian Elsohn Whitcraft

For more information about JFS programs, services, or employment opportunities, visit For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Vanessa Smith at [email protected] or 609-822-1108, ext. 249.

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