SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 150 friends and supporters of Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts gathered at the Carriage House at the Barney Estate in beautiful Forest Park on Thursday, Oct. 6th to celebrate a major milestone for JFS – 100 years of solving problems and helping families.
The Centennial Celebration kicked off with Hermine Levey Weston, event chair and secretary of the JFS board of directors inviting local elected officials to congratulate JFS starting with Sen. Eric Lesser who praised the mission of JFS and pledged to support its work and presented a proclamation. He was followed by State Rep. Brian Ashe and Springfield City Council President Michael Fenton, who also expressed gratitude for the work of JFS in the greater community.
Daniel Plotkin, president of the JFS board of directors thanked the many sponsors and supporters who made this celebration possible. Rabbi Justin David of Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton gave a dvar torah and reflected on the importance of the work JFS does assisting the most vulnerable populations in the community including children, refugees and elders.
Maxine Stein, JFS CEO saluted all of the current and former staff members in attendance and introduced Felicia Sloin, a singer and “entertain-ucator” who performed a rap of JFS history which drew loud applause from the crowd.
Anita Sarro, JFS board vice chair recognized all of the past presidents in attendance: Amy Bricker, Martin Broder, Bill Caplin, Hyman Darling, Joseph Dorison, Mark Gold, Philip Hendel, Michael Katz, Hermine Levey Weston, and Steven Weiss as well as Bernice Thaler, longtime life board member for their many contributions in helping build JFS into the viable and responsible multi-service social service agency it is today.
Dr. Michael Sorrell, JFS life board member and Rabbi Amy Katz of Temple Beth El in Springfield, each spoke highly of the evening’s honorees Dr. Martin and Marian Broder highlighting their many indelible contributions to JFS and the community-at-large.
Dr. Broder energized the room by announcing plans for the future of JFS including expansion and a capital campaign to build a “Center for New Americans.”
CAP: JFS board members at the 100th Birthday Celebration. Back, from left to right, Michael Sorrell, Jonna Gaberman, Hermine Levey Weston, Corrie Trattner, and Daniel Plotkin. Front, left to right, Anita Sarro and Amy Bricker.