Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) raised nearly $840,000 for numerous job and career training programs to put Angelenos back to work at its 80th Anniversary Gala The Legacy Continues on January 29, 2011 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, where a total of 500 guests were in attendance. Keith Erickson, former L.A. Lakers, UCLA Bruins basketball star, and long-time CBS sports broadcaster, hosted the event.
The Honorary Event Chair was philanthropist Brindell Gottlieb. Gala Co-Chairs and JVS Board Members were Elizabeth Gans, Nan Kalish Goodman, and Pearle Rae Levey.
Entrepreneur, inventor, and businessman, Stanley A. Dashew, received JVS’ Tzedakah Award for his long time charitable support of the agency. Dashew is a dedicated advocate for the disabled, and generously funded JVS’ Dashew Assessment Center. The Dashew Assessment Center provides a variety of programs and resources to help people with disabilities identify their talents, skills, and most importantly, self-confidence.
JVS’ Board Presidents were also recognized at the event for their visionary leadership, generosity, and commitment to the agency’s mission: Building better lives. One job at a time.
Raising nearly $840,000 is a huge success for JVS. This significant achievement included $97,000 raised that night with an appeal made from the stage by Jack Suzar, Managing Director, Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC and former JVS Board President and JVS' Chief Development Officer, Randy H. Lapin.
"The evening was enormously successful and inspiring” said Jack Suzar. “JVS and its life-changing mission is as current and necessary today as it was when it was founded. I'm honored to be involved and so pleased at the turn out and the money that was raised for this special milestone event and to see so many new people in the audience was just wonderful."
In 1931, a small office opened on Bunker Hill to fight workplace discrimination and help European Jewish refugees and others find work in the midst of the Great Depression. Since then, JVS has helped hundreds of thousands of people of all backgrounds find jobs, regain their self-respect, and care for their families.
When Ed Bastheim served as the first JVS President from 1932-42, he began with an annual budget of less than $5,000 and the highest unemployment figures the country had ever seen. By the end of his tenure, he had succeeded in opening negotiations with Columbia Studios to employ JVS clients and inspired Jewish organizations across the country to add employment services.
Those who followed him have each made their own mark. Of the 30 presidents who have served since the agency’s founding, 13 were in attendance at the Gala. They included, in order of service, current board President Jeffrey Paul, Sunny Caine, Rick Powell, Susan W. Robertson, James Maslon, Adrienne Horwitch, A. Charles Wilson, George Polinger, Donald S. Simons, David Licht, Jack Suzar, Abner Goldstine, and M.M. Chuck Maltz. Another 7 were represented by surviving family members.
JVS (jvsla.org) has become a respected leader in the field of workforce development, taking a prominent role on a broad range of progressive initiatives, including: fair employment practices, the employment needs of returning veterans as far back as World War II, advocating for women in the workforce during and after the war, mentoring at-risk youth since the 1940s, taking a stand on accommodations for people with disabilities in the 1950’s, and launching innovative job training programs in the 1970’s. Over the years, JVS has participated in war commissions, welfare summits and policy meetings concerning the employment and resettlement needs of immigrants from Germany, Shanghai, Russia and Iran.
Today, JVS’ partnerships within the corporate and non-profit communities have resulted in over 20 different programs, including its signature BankWork$™ and HealthWorks™ training initiatives, high placement rates, and nearly 30,000 clients served yearly. The agency’s newest program, JVS’ Veterans First, assists recently returned veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, in the transition to the civilian workforce.