Expansion of Food Insecurity and Mental Health Programs Address Critical Needs in Palm Beach County and Beyond
WEST PALM BEACH, FL, May 31, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service (Alpert JFS) and Melvin J. & Claire Levine Jewish Residential & Family Service (Levine JRFS) celebrated a year of milestone accomplishments at the agencies’ 2022 Annual Meeting, held Tuesday evening, May 24 at Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach.
The evening’s theme was “Answering the Call,” highlighting how the critical work of Alpert JFS and Levine JRFS is transforming the lives of nearly 12,000 individuals of all ages from Boynton Beach to Vero Beach.
Residents of the Apartment Program of Levine JRFS kicked off the evening with a heart-felt performance of Dionne Warwick’s “That’s What Friends Are For,” led by Program Activities Director Ralph Pittman. The cutting-edge residential program provides a continuum of services for those who may be developmentally disabled, significantly learning disabled, and/or chronically mentally ill.
Over 225 guests participated in person and virtually over Zoom, celebrating how the agencies continued to Answer the Call for the community throughout the past year, as they have done for over 48 years, adapting to the unpredictable ebbs and flows of the global health crisis, never closing, not even for one day.
“This was a wonderful evening to reflect on a momentous year,” said Alpert JFS and Levine JRFS Outgoing Board Chair and President Zelda Mason. “We took a moment to pause and celebrate the work of our agencies, and our incredibly dedicated staff, Board of Directors, supporters, agency partners, and volunteers.”
The agencies’ welcomed Gary Hoffman as their new Board Chair and President. Newly installed Board Members for 2022-2023 include: Meryl Avni; Tracy Caruso; Nancy Hart; Marjorie Konigsberg; Maxine Marks; Ruth Naftaly; Rabbi Michael Resnick; Steven Rozansky; Cindy Schlossberg; Barbara Sidel; Wendy Stahl; and Joel Yudenfreund.
The evening wrapped with annual Volunteer Awards, honoring individuals in four categories. The Breakers received a special Award of Distinction for their partnership in implementing the agencies’ Mental Health First Aid training program with its staff.
• Alpert JFS significantly expanded its behavioral health services. Using telehealth, the agency provided over 30,000 sessions of behavioral health services for children and adults in need of mental health assistance, an increase of 3.4 percent over the previous year.
• Alpert JFS’ intake, assessment and referral service, known as the Community Access Life-Line (C.A.L.L.) Service, helped over 8,000 individuals this past year.
• Alpert JFS increased the number of free virtual support groups led by highly trained professionals that help hundreds of individuals who continue to experience stress and strain due to the pandemic and other challenges.
• Food requests have increased over the past year. Dedicated volunteers delivered 378 kosher food baskets during Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving. Fifty young families and seniors received household essentials from the Alpert JFS Kosher Food Pantry, and 100 Holocaust survivors and other seniors received 400 freshly prepared holiday meals.
• Thanks to support from the Claims Conference and the agency’s generous donors, last year the agency provided 270,000 hours of care management and in-home care for over 250 Holocaust Survivors. Caring professionals help Holocaust survivors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their homes.
• Florida State Senator Lori Berman and Florida State Representative David Silvers secured a $100,000 appropriation from the State of Florida designated for the Alpert JFS Mental Health First Aid Program.
• Florida State Representative Lois Frankel secured a $325,000 Federal Earmark for the agency to establish the Alpert JFS Enrichment Center in Boynton Beach. The Center will include an expansion of an existing food pantry, currently located at Temple Shaarei Shalom, and offices for wrap-around services to help an additional 3,000 people each year.
• In May 2021 Alpert JFS successfully launched JFS ComForCare, a premier home health care agency. JFS ComForCare improves the lives of seniors by helping them age in place safely at home and provides a seamless continuum of care for some of our most vulnerable older adults.
• Alpert JFS achieved record-setting attendance at two signature fundraising events—the Third Annual “Never Again” virtual Holocaust Survivors Benefit, and its 18th Annual “No Excuse for Abuse” virtual evening. The agency surpassed its $400,000 fundraising goal, raising over $500,000 in connection with these events.
2022 Annual Volunteer Award Winners
Volunteers contribute their time and talent in many ways to both Alpert JFS and Levine JRFS. Each year, the agencies recognize the selfless efforts of these individuals through a slate of awards named for significant volunteers, donors, supporters in the agencies’ history.
Bernie Silbert Volunteer Award
Hope Kahn Hoffman (3rd Annual Never Again Holocaust Survivors Benefit Photographer)
Hope honors Holocaust survivors, sharing their stories through her vivid photography.
"Reb" Sol Freedman Volunteer Award
Dany Lanthier (Melvin J. & Claire Levine Jewish Residential & Family Service Volunteer)
Through flower arranging, Dany offers residents a unique means of self-expression.
Linda White Volunteer Award
Howard Mellman (Mentoring 4 Kids Program Volunteer)
Howard goes above and beyond as a mentor to Jacob, while they both add meaning and connection to each other's lives.
Bob Schweitzer Volunteer Award
Carol Shubs (KOLOT Committee Co-Chair)
Carol organized and managed the Poster & Poetry Contest for our 2022 No Excuse for Abuse Virtual Evening. Over 70 young people submitted artwork and poems, the largest response yet!
Award of Distinction
The Breakers (Mental Health First Aid Program Partner)
The Breakers' team is dedicated to creating a happy and healthy work environment for all employees.
About Alpert JFS
Established in 1974, Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service is a nationally accredited service provider for children, adults, seniors, and Holocaust survivors. The non-profit, non-sectarian organization is a trusted leader, with a team of nearly 200 highly skilled professionals delivering high-quality care to community members. Alpert JFS works to ensure the well-being of children and families, independence of older adults and quality-of-life for individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit www.alpertjfs.org or call via phone at 561-684-1991.