JF&CS Celebrates Volunteers

April 28, 2023

JF&CS Celebrates Volunteers

On April 20th, JF&CS hosted its first Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. The event was open to volunteers agency-wide to thank and recognize them for their selfless dedication to the programs and clients they support.

The event was spearheaded by JF&CS Leadership Engagement Officer Lauren Harris, Ph.D., Volunteer Engagement Manager Megan Koziel, and PAL and Young Professionals Program Manager Sarah Bernstein.

“Our volunteers serve in a variety of roles across the agency, and we could not carry out our mission to ‘transform lives’ without them,” said Lauren. “We celebrated their valuable contributions and gave them space to connect with fellow volunteers and staff. JF&CS Volunteers were also presented with a commendation from Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia Senate recognizing their contributions and as leaders of the state.”

Commendation from Governor Brian Kemp
Commendation from Georgia Senate

Attendees of the breakfast got a video glimpse into the different areas of volunteering and the dedication of JF&CS volunteers. Following the video, Megan presented the inaugural Volunteer of the Year award. Volunteers were nominated by JF&CS staff and included Cherie Aviv, Sonia Dalal, Andrea Holyfield, Judi Ison, Michael Karp, Kim Kopelman, Leslie Levy, Julie Weinstein, Shelley Schwartzenfeld, and Alyson Spector. The winner was chosen by a selection committee comprised of staff and lay leaders. Michael Karp was announced as the JF&CS Atlanta Volunteer of the Year 2023. As of that morning, Michael has dedicated 1,884 lifetime hours to JF&CS through the Kosher Food Pantry.

“We are deeply appreciative of Michael and truly could not transform lives without him,” said Megan.

Volunteer of the Year Michael Karp and JF&CS' Megan Koziel

“Michael received multiple nominations from staff across departments at JF&CS,” said Megan. “When asked who demonstrates JF&CS values and why they are the Volunteer of the Year, nominators shared that this volunteer presents ideas and collaborates with staff for continuous improvement. He is described as the ‘first to arrive and one of the last to leave’ and a ‘leader among the other volunteers'.”

Volunteer of the Year Michael Karp (center) pictured with Food Pantry Coordinator Ernest Ball (left) and Food Pantry Manager Gabriel Fleming (right)

JF&CS is so grateful for all our volunteers. Click here to read more of their stories in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month.