June 19, 2024
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June 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

JFCS of Northern NJ Holds Annual Dinner

Susan Greenbaum, JFCS CEO, is astonished as the on-site donations are tabulated totaling over $140,000.

About 150 supporters gathered Sunday night at the Edgewood Country Club to recognize this year’s two honorees at the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey (JFCS) annual event. Both past JFCS board president Rachel Scheff and the Glass Gardens Corp., which owns the ShopRite Stores of Englewood, Paramus and Rochelle Park, were the award recipients for this year’s dinner.

Many of the current and past board members were present along with JFCS staff members. Dan Shlufman, president of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, was also on hand to support the honorees. JFCS marketing director Michael Danzig was joined at the dinner by his family, and “Hatikvah” and the “Star Spangled Banner” were sung with impressive stage presence by their older daughter, Zahava.

(l-r) CEO Susan Greenbaum presents the award to representatives of the Glass Gardens Corp., which owns ShopRite stores in Englewood, Paramus and Rochelle Park, among others. (l-r) Greenbaum; Andrew Kent, Dan Glass and Irv Glass, all of ShopRite.

Before presenting the awards, CEO Susan Greenbaum thanked the board and the staff for their steadfast and unwavering support, providing strength and clarity especially over the past four weeks. Greenbaum enumerated the exponential increase in demand for support services, counseling and aid in the wake of the trauma response to the events in Israel. She reported that they are also tracking the needs of displaced families who have come from Israel for support and shelter. Notably, there is also increased anxiety expressed by current clients, many of whom are children trying to process increased antisemitism.

“They are now feeling hated by those they thought were their friends,” she said.

Zahava Danzig, fourth grader at Yeshivat He’Atid and daughter of JFCS Marketing Director Michael Danzig, sings “Hatikvah.”

JFCS has also been checking in on over 300 Holocaust survivors. She reiterated the JFCS commitment to care and compassion, and mostly to instilling hope. A video presentation about each of the honorees preceded the presentation of awards and was punctuated by a standing ovation. This year, in lieu of an elaborate and expensive award, JFCS made a donation to the Israel Emergency Fund in their honor.

As a surprise audience engagement, an auctioneer with a unique sense of humor successfully auctioned off an aged bottle of scotch for $1,000 and then sold an additional spirit for an equal amount. But it turned out that was just his “warm up” act. He came back out later, capturing the attention and teasing the generosity from a receptive audience, and raised an additional amazing $142,000 for JFCS in about 12 short minutes, Needless to say everyone was impressed and amazed, but none more than Greenbaum, who was clearly beside herself with astonishment as the numbers just kept on increasing.

CEO Susan Greenbaum, left, joins honoree Rachel Scheff and husband, Andy, along with Dan Shlufman, president of the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ.

All in all, it was an evening of unity and support for the local and global Jewish family, and a beautiful recognition of special honorees who have made extraordinary efforts to help others feel supported, cared for and loved.


Ellie Wolf is a staff writer at The Jewish Link.

Honoree Rachel Scheff (l) accepts her award from Greenbaum.
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