JF&CS News Fall 2014
Gerry Feldman and Jewish Family & Children's Service share a common bond. This bond goes well beyond Gerry's consistent support of the organization as the longest-standing member of our Board of Directors. It also spans beyond his ongoing contributions to our agency's disabilities program. The true bond lies in our shared view of serving the community with integrity.
"JF&CS is always doing the right thing," says Gerry. "They're always focused on serving the people most in need."
Gerry was first introduced to JF&CS more than 30 years ago, when a client asked if he was involved in the Jewish community. Gerry said he was involved in his synagogue, and the client asked if he would like to meet someone from JF&CS. The next day, Simon Krakow, JF&CS executive director at the time, came to Gerry's office and gave an overview of the organization. He also mentioned a case of a young woman whose needs went beyond the agency's scope and who required private counseling. Gerry provided the funding for her counseling. "Anyone would have helped this woman," says Gerry.
Thus began the strong relationship between a businessman and an organization with a mutual mission: to help improve people's lives.
"When I first began my association with the agency, I felt really needed," says Gerry, who has served as treasurer on the executive committee as well as a member of both the finance and disabilities committees. "JF&CS wasn't as large as it is today, and I felt that I had something to contribute as an accountant and a businessman. As the years went on and the management team became stronger, I'm happy to say that they can run without me. Today, I feel my financial contributions will have a substantial impact on the organization and the community because of the strong management team."
Recently Gerry made a long-term commitment to the agency by designating an annual gift through his estate. "While I was focusing on my own estate plan, I wanted to make sure my contributions were directed to the needs of the agency. They mentioned needing support for Ransom Road, a Brighton residence for adults with disabilities, and this program felt right to me."
Gerry encourages others to develop a relationship with JF&CS, as he did, to gain a first-hand understanding of the organization's value. "Being involved in JF&CS is very rewarding, especially volunteering on a committee, since it allows you to get to know the organization. It also makes you more aware of the world, especially the world of social services. Until you get involved, you'll never know how much of a difference JF&CS can make to bettering people's lives."
Beyond his viewpoint of JF&CS as a volunteer, Gerry has a personal perspective on the impact the agency can make. His wife's sister, who has a developmental disability, is a client of our disabilities program. "My sister-in-law is a very happy member of the community," Gerry notes. "She lives in a JF&CS residence in Newton and has a job she enjoys. I don't think it could be much better for her, and my wife, Judy, and I are so grateful for the attention, care, and commitment JF&CS has made to her well-being."
"Speaking for all at JF&CS, including those Gerry has touched over the span of three decades, we are grateful for his unwavering dedication to the agency's well-being, from guiding us with smart suggestions for fiscal fortitude to offering innovative ideas to support those with disabilities," says Rimma Zelfand, CEO of JF&CS.
In honor of our 150th anniversary, JF&CS published a special 150th anniversary newsletter. View a PDF of the entire newsletter online.