For more information, contact Jodee Fishman Raines, (248) 203-1487
At its Annual Meeting on November 16, The Jewish Fund awarded the 2006 Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence to the Jewish Community Center’s Kids All Together Program.
Created with a Jewish Fund grant in 1999, Kids All Together integrates children with special needs into the JCC’s summer camp and other recreational and day care programs. Each summer, 70 children with special needs have a wonderful camp experience, alongside with 1,300 other campers from all walks of life. Fifty young people, primarily college students studying education, are trained as inclusion counselors.
“After just one summer, the children have developed new friendships,” reported Sosnick Committee Chair Karen Sosnick Schoenberg. “In addition, one of the biggest challenges facing parents of children with special needs is isolation from the community. Kids All Together staff welcome them with open arms and offer a network of support beyond the summer camp experience. For many parents, this is the first time that anyone has offered such help and showed such a deep understanding of their needs.”
Accepting the award on behalf of the JCC was its president, Irwin Alterman and executive director, Mark Lit. Also attending the meeting was the Narens family – Ed and Judith Narens and their children William and Lea, James and Margo and Barbara. The Narens have supported the program from the beginning through a Millennium Fund at the Jewish Federation and are great advocates for the program. Institutional funders Charter One Bank and The Skillman Foundation also were on hand to see the JCC receive the award.
The Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence was established in memory of Bob Sosnick, whose bold vision and leadership abilities led to the creation of The Jewish Fund. In tribute to Mr. Sosnick and in keeping with the mission of The Jewish Fund, the program selected for the award must be a collaborative, innovative and compassionate effort to improve the quality of life of our most vulnerable populations. Past winners of the Sosnick Award are JVS/JAS-Assisted Meals Program, Kids Kicking Cancer, Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network, DMC/Sinai-Grace Hospital’s Comprehensive Heart Program, the Children’s Dental Health Foundation and City Year Detroit.
The Annual Meeting also included a report from Jewish Fund Chair, Robert Naftaly, on $3.9 million in grants paid: $1.2 million to assist our community’s older citizens, $1.4 million to help people with disabilities or other vulnerabilities, and $1.3 million to Huron Valley-Sinai and Sinai-Grace hospitals. Naftaly, who also co-chairs the Federation’s Eldercare Visioning Committee, highlighted the importance of older adults to both organizations, “Our goal is to have a vibrant, elder-friendly community that is an ideal place to live, and that maximizes everyone’s potential – frail or well, poor or rich, younger or older.” He concluded his remarks by thanking The Jewish Fund board and the organizations using Jewish Fund grants to develop creative solutions to pressing community needs, “It’s not a secret that our community is facing tough times, but by working together we will have the ability to overcome.”
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The Jewish Fund was created from proceeds of the sale of Sinai Hospital to the Detroit Medical Center and awarded over $32 million in grants to expand health and human services to residents of metropolitan Detroit.