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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

JFS CNJ Gala Dinner Dance Planned for November 29

Peter W. Till, Susan Klapper, Bruce Bergen, JFGMW will be among the honorees, with a special tribute to The Food Pantry Renovation Committee.

The Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey (JFSCNJ) Gala Dinner Dance will be held Wednesday evening, November 29, at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston. The dinner is the main fundraising event that benefits the agency’s work on behalf of the community. The program will be highlighted by a special tribute to members of the JFS Food Pantry Renovation Leadership: Larry Appel, Mark Ginsberg, David Halpern, Jeff Silverstein and Mark Wilf.

Prominent Springfield-based attorney and philanthropist, Peter W. Till, will receive the Lilly K. Gottlieb Award. Till has served on numerous legal committees and volunteer boards, including the United States Maccabiah Committee and various chairmanships at the American Bar Association.

JFS board member Susan Klapper of Scotch Plains will receive the Ruth Bilenker Award for Outstanding Service. Although her work with the JFS Kosher Food Pantry is close to her heart, she has served on various committees including the JFS art shows, the JFS concert and most recently the 5K walk/run. Susan and her family are members of Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains, where Susan served a two-year term on the board of directors. She has been the treasurer of the synagogue sisterhood since 2006.

The board and staff of JFSCNJ will express their gratitude to the leadership and staff of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, with the JFS Agency Community Partner Award. JFSCNJ could not carry out its mission to provide Kosher Meals on Wheels, homecare and nursing services and counseling and career counseling; fill in the gaps of service for aging Holocaust Survivors and their caregivers; strengthen their outreach efforts to Jews from the former Soviet Union,; and run the Create A Jewish Legacy program without the help of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. In addition, the agency appreciates the many volunteers Federation sends its way to help with harvesting its urban vegetable garden, food collections and preparing fresh salads for its homebound clients. Scott Krieger, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, will accept the award on the agency’s behalf.

Bruce H. Bergen, chair of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, will receive the Community Service Award for his work in overseeing wide-ranging improvements in transportation and economic development, services for seniors and veterans, education and park and environmental programs. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders supports Kosher Meals on Wheels, home health aide, nursing, social work, respite, caregiver support, transportation, the Urban Community Garden and the Friendly Visitor Program.

The program will include a memorial tribute to Ruth M. Bilenker, a dedicated JFS board member who was twice elected president of the board of JFS, in 1981-83 and 1989-1990. She served on several committees, led the monthly JFS food pantry packing and produced 20 short film documentaries depicting the agency’s various social services.

The dinner-dance committee includes David Brooks, Mark L. Ginsberg, Toby Goldberger, Mindy Goldberger, Michael H. Gottlieb, Eric J. Harvitt, Jennifer Pollak and Sherry and Henry Stein. The evening’s couvert is $190 per person. The cocktail hour will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Glatt kosher food will be served and dietary laws will be observed.

The event will feature entertainment by Cantor Matthew Axelrod of Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains, and a film by Elliot Garbor. Door prizes were spearheaded by JFS board member and past president Jennifer Pollak, and board members Mark Ginsberg and Arielle Traub.

All are invited to attend this entertaining and enjoyable event and to place tribute ads in the Journal. You may submit ads and reservations online at JFSCentralNJ.org/dinner, contact [email protected] or call the JFS office at 908-352-8375.

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