Schoke Jewish Family Service will hold its annual gala, An Evening with Schoke JFS, Sunday, May 22, 5:30 p.m. at the Italian Center of Stamford, 1620 Newfield Avenue, in an outdoor tented pavilion.
The gala will honor community leaders with a special celebration of the agency’s work across Fairfield County. The evening’s events will be hosted by the Mayor of Stamford, Caroline Simmons. The event will be co-chaired by Liz Kitay and Meryl Japha with Jeri Appel as auction chair.
Schoke JFS will award the 42nd Annual Mitzvah Award to the Jewish Sportsmen’s League (Bruce Blasnik, Gary Bloom, Henry Bubel, David S. Cohen z”l, Marty Donner, Bob Dorf, Paul Gordon, Ed Kweskin, David Lewis, Carl Rosen, Paul Sabbah, David Swerdloff). The 3rd Annual Volunteer of the Year Award will be awarded to Stacy Kamisar, Julia Marx, and Sheri Warshaw.
The Jewish Sportsmen’s League (JSL) was launched 22 years ago by a small group, including the current and several former presidents of Temple Sinai, as a volunteer fundraising organization. Over the years, the group expanded their involvement across many Jewish and non-Jewish organizations in the community, the giving expanded to those organizations as well. Second, the group decided to forgo their anonymity and began to take JSL ads and tables at many of the annual community fundraisers.
Today’s JSL members have been leaders within the organizations they support. The total JSL giving, separate from their personal giving, has now exceeded $120,000. They continue to be close friends and still enjoy their regular poker game.
Just a few weeks before Passover, in March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Stacy Kamisar, Julia Marx, and Sheri Warshaw pulled together groups of volunteers to make sure that clients and families in need throughout upper Fairfield County could still get critical kosher food deliveries from the Freedberg Family Kosher Food Pantry at Schoke Jewish Family Service.
This ongoing volunteer initiative took place in the parking lot of The Conservative Synagogue (TCS) in Westport. By 2021, the operation grew to include partnerships with Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport and Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County. This volunteer team pivoted again, including even greater volunteer recruitment, to deliver kosher food every month to clients in 14 towns throughout upper Fairfield County.
The Evening With Schoke JFS will feature dinner and dessert, lawn games, the presentation of awards to honorees, a paddle raise and an online auction.
Tickets: $180. Visit ctjfs.org to purchase tickets.
Main Photo: An Evening with Schoke is chaired by (l to r) Stacy Kamisar,Julia Marx, and Sheri Warshaw.