This past Monday, May 13th, JF&CS held our 2013 Annual Meeting, where we shared our accomplishments and progress and celebrated the partnerships and collaborations that have helped us broaden our impact and make a lasting imprint on the lives of so many individuals and families throughout our community.
This Annual Meeting also marked the closing of our five-year strategic plan. Some highlights of the agency over the past five years include:
- In the areas of addressing hunger and poverty in Squirrel Hill, the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry began a consumer-choice model in 2010. The Pantry looks and feels much more like a regular grocery store, making the experience more dignified for clients.
- To address work and life transitions, JF&CS, in partnership with North Hills Community Outreach and South Hills Interfaith Ministries, formed the WorkAble initiative this past year. Generously supported by the United Way of Allegheny County, WorkAble is an employment and critical needs service for financially struggling adults living in Allegheny County.
- To ensure a diverse regional workforce, JF&CS established a career program for adults with special needs, and expanded refugee services to become the lead refugee resettlement agency in the region.
- To provide additional services to our community’s most vulnerable, JF&CS launched the Age Up Not Out, program in 2010. Supported by the United Way of Allegheny County and other funders, this program is a unique collaboration with YouthWorks to provide workplace and life management training to children aging out of the foster care system. Additionally, JF&CS, in collaboration with Quest Therapeutic Camps, brought Quest Camp to Pittsburgh for the first time last year. Quest Camp is a first-of-its-kind summer camp program that addresses needs of children with mild to moderate social and emotional challenges.
Nearly 200 friends, donors, supporters, collaborators, board members and staff attended. The evening’s program included reports from outgoing Board President Joel Rosenthal and President & CEO Aryeh Sherman. At the meeting, JF&CS honored 2013 Dr. Howard A. Mermelstein Leadership Award recipient and JF&CS Board secretary Fern G. Schwartz. Fern is senior vice president/senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, and currently serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors. She also serves as a member of the Executive Committee and as co-chair of the Governance Committee.
Special recognition was also given to the many partner agencies and organizations throughout Pittsburgh that help JF&CS impact so many lives in the community.
JF&CS was honored with a Proclamation from Pittsburgh City Council sponsored by Councilman Corey O’Connor, declaring May 13th as “Jewish Family & Children’s Service Day” in Pittsburgh. And in honor of her extraordinary service and leadership to JF&CS, a legislative citation was presented to Fern, sponsored by Pennsylvania State Representative Dan Frankel.
We have accomplished so much over the years, and we have you – our donors, supporters, collaborators and friends – to thank for your dedicated support!
Many thanks to those who joined us that evening! If you weren’t able to join us, visit our Facebook page for more photos!