As a young wife in her 30s, a friend brought Jean Shafiroff to the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. More than 20 years — and many charities — later, Jean brought Hamptons.com to their Spring Benefit 2015 at The Plaza Hotel.
“I believe it’s the premiere social services charity in NYC,” Jean Shafiroff told us. “We serve more than 35,000 people, from all religious, ethnic, and socio economic backgrounds.”
In existence for more than 140 years, in its earliest days, when tuberculosis plagued the city, volunteers described it as “an organized expression of neighborly feeling.” Today, that remains the underlying mission. The JBFCS is an umbrella for 175 different programs that encompass mental and physical health, family, housing, employment and education.
“Its the best kept secret in New York,” Shafiroff continued. “It’s a beautiful charity that does enormous good, but it’s quiet. People stay involved for years, so, we’ve become a family. We are all there because we love the work.” Jean’s been honored at the Youth Council League Centennial gala, in 2008, and at the JBSCS gala, in 2013.
“For a long time in the general public, psychological issues were never considered medical problems. But the JBFCS has been there: for the aged, victims of AIDs, children and adults with severe learning disabilities, and more. We have four homeless shelters scattered throughout New York and a domestic violence program. You name the problem. We have the program. The organization is massive, with more than 2,000 volunteers, spanning the five boroughs. With an $180 million dollar budget, there are enormous controls in place, computerized records, social workers and a strong professional staff.”
A few years after joining, Jean joined forces with Tammy Mack to run a young group called the Associates. “We would have all sorts of programs, luncheons, dinners, for everyone in their 30s. They asked me to be on the board, and I got involved with the Youth Counseling League.” That was one of the many charities needing help that the JBFCS acquired and turned around.
New Board President Alice Tisch presided over the evening’s program. CEO David Rivel, Nina Rennert Davidson, Andrew and Ann Tisch, Tony Mann, Executive Chair of City Parks Foundation Jean Troubh, and City Councilman Mark Levine were among those in attendance. Board members include: Anthony E. Mann, Jean Troubh, Seymour R. Askin, Jr., Steven L. Fasman, Beth E. Anisman, David Edelson, David Everett, Lynn Korda Kroll, Norman J. Leben, Frances W. Levy, Jenny Lyss, David Moore, Laurie Sprayregen, Fredric W. Yerman, Jamie B.W. Stecher and Michael A. Epstein. Edelson, Paul Kronish and Susan Hecht Tofel were honored.
For more information, visit www.jbfcs.org.