Jewish Family Services held its 2019 Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 6. Fay Balk was recognized for her leadership as outgoing Board President and Kelly Somberg was installed as the incoming Board President.
Award honorees are:
Emelie Levin Associate of the Year Awards – Jana Fielder & Jo Hickey (JFS Staff)
Community Volunteer of the Year Awards
Stanley Katz, z ’‘ l – Honorary Food Pantry Award
Ed & Phyllis Belzer – Food Pantry
Lois Rice – Kesher KC
Candace Chamberlain – Spiritual Care
Don Eberting – JET Express
Chris Nastav – Help@Home
Phyliss & Bob Bernstein Humanitarian Award – Stewart & Joy Koesten, PhD
Alfred Benjamin Award – Gail Lozoff
Robert E. Rosenwald Outstanding Director Award – Kelly Somberg
Somberg is excited to take on her new leadership role at JFS:
“I am proud of the work that JFS does to improve the lives of people in our Jewish community and greater community in the areas of mental health, older adult services, food insecurity and social work case management. I have always been impressed with the innovative approach of JFS, the commitment to providing client-centered services, and their willingness to create partnerships with other agencies.” – Kelly Somberg
Missed the annual meeting? Read remarks shared by Kelly Somberg on October 6.
The Bernstein Humanitarian Award was presented to Stewart and Joy Koesten. Stewart Koesten is a past president of JFS and was instrumental in spearheading JFS’ $7 million endowment campaign as well as establishing an annual event for JFS which has become the Friends of the Family event. Joy was instrumental in pushing forward JFS’ efforts in mental health. She was the facilitator for the NAMI Family-to-Family course, and led the initial research on stigma and mental health, which became the basis for the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition. They are personally connected to JFS for help received when a family member needed support for mental health and addiction issues.
Former JFS President Gail Lozoff was honored with the Alfred Benjamin Award. Gail assumed leadership of the JFS board at a transformative time for JFS and helped modernize its operations and stabilize the agency financially. Under her leadership, JET Express and Help@Home were born to focus on older adult services and living with independence as one ages. She led the rebranding efforts that are still in place today and was pivotal in reconnecting JFS to the Jewish community.
Donations in honor of award recipients may be made at jfskc.org/donate.