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Jewish Home Family Honors Charles P. Berkowitz at its Gala

On Sunday, October 19th, the Jewish Home Family honored Charles P. Berkowitz, its president and CEO, at its Annual Gala. He began his career at the Home in 1970 and has led the organization since 1982. Last night, more than 400 people in the community turned out to express their affection and respect for him.

Eli Ungar, chairman of the Jewish Home Family, welcomed the crowd and “acknowledged the lay and professional leaders of our organization.” He added, “All of us working together can produce outcomes that individually we never could accomplish.” He then moved on to the centennial introduction, noting that next year the Jewish Home Family would celebrate its 100th anniversary. He urged the audience to “Celebrate with us, participate with us, and perhaps most importantly, be involved in helping to shape the delivery of eldercare for our community for the foreseeable future…and of course mark your calendar to be sure to be present as we culminate with a fabulous 100th Anniversary Gala on Sunday, October 1, 2015.”

He was followed by David Sharp, president of the Jewish Home Foundation who noted that the organization’s Journal had raised $819,000. “The size and success of the Journal very clearly is a salute to our honoree, Chuck, and is our community’s affirmation of the Jewish Home Family’s mission–not only to care for our elderly, but to do so at a level of excellence second to none.”

Angelica Berrie, chairperson, Jewish Home Foundation of North America, noted that “Chuck was a very young man when he took on the challenge of creating a visionary place for our community’s elders…That vision needed someone to build a model that did not exist before, to get the right people to support and direct the effort, to attract and retain the highest quality of caregivers and professional staff to make the Jewish Home the best place to be.”

She added, “Chuck’s leadership enabled the Jewish Home to become a recognized leader in eldercare, locally, statewide and nationally; to establish New Jersey’s first licensed Adult Medical Day Care program through the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; our Kosher Meals-On-Wheels program, and affordable senior housing in Jersey City. Not content to rest on his laurels, Chuck has given the gift of his time and experience to serve on the boards of Temple Israel in Ridgewood, Jewish Family Services, Solomon Schechter Day School, UJA Association for the Developmentally Disabled, and the Adler Aphasia Center.”

After thanking Angelica for her words of praise, Chuck looked around the room and said how pleased he was to see so many friends in attendance. “Having you here is a reflection of why I, as a professional, have remained in this community as long as I have…I have had an interesting career. In many cases I was the CEO of the Jewish Home Family during the day and a lay member of the Board of Directors of another communal agency during the evening…The reputation of the Jewish Home Family is the result of a professional team that cares for its residents and, just as importantly, for each other as well.”

Eli Ungar then introduced Joan Lunden, the evening’s special guest. Host of ABC-TV’s Good Morning America for nearly two decades and an award-winning journalist, best-selling author, and health and wellness advocate, she has become a spokesman on family care giving. She took to the stage and spoke movingly of her own experience as caregiver to her brother and mother. She noted that the U.S. is in the midst of explosive growth of the elderly population and emphasized the need for each family to sit down together to plan for the later stages of life of parents and other members of the family.

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