EAST ORANGE, N.J. – JVS (Jewish Vocational Services of New Jersey) an East Orange based non-profit, community-based organization that delivers vocational, education and training services to New Jersey residents and businesses, will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Monday, May 12, during its annual “Taste & Toast! A Festive Evening” gala.

The event, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Crystal Plaza in Livingston, will also honor Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and CEO of Barnabas Health, as well as the Kessler Foundation, which will receive the JVS Community Partner Award. JVS is offering ad journal opportunities, as well as ticket reservations, for the May 12 gala. The deadline to place an ad is April 23. For more information contact Jane Hecht at jhecht@jvsnj.org or visit www.jvsnj.org.

“Both Mr. Ostrowksy and the Kessler Foundation have continuously proven their commitment to our agency and have shown unwavering support for all of JVS’ services,” said Caren Ford, Interim Co-Executive Director for JVS. “We are extremely proud to have them join us as we celebrate 75 years of providing valuable education and employment services, enhancing the lives of our clients by helping them to achieve independence and dignity.”

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“I am exceptionally pleased to receive this distinguished honor from JVS of Metrowest,” said Ostrowsky.  “For 75 years, the organization has continued to champion underserved members in our communities and restore dignity and self-sufficiency by providing job skill training and job search strategies. The missions of JVS and Barnabas Health are aligned in embracing the welfare and the health and wellness of our neighbors to ensure a better life for all.”   

Ford said the Kessler Foundation will receive the Community Partner Award for providing generous grants to JVS clients over the years.  These grants have supported the organization’s many services, including its telecommuting pilot program, Project Connect Employment Services for returning Gulf War veterans, and the JVS Career Camp. Kessler has also supported JVS’ job placement services and its community-based assessment and work training program, and has stepped in with emergency funds for JVS clients with physical and cognitive disabilities.

“Kessler Foundation is honored to receive the Community Partner Award from JVS,” said Rodger DeRose, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kessler Foundation. “We have seen young people with disabilities gain job training and hands-on work experience at a summer career camp program. Through a unique collaboration, veterans and wounded warriors have received the support services and training needed to become employed and support their families. We look forward to continuing our relationship with JVS so that more talented individuals with disabilities enter the workforce.”

 In celebrating 75 years, the evening will underscore all of the success and contributions JVS has made to the New Jersey employment landscape by helping those individuals who need it most. These include unemployed family wage earners, people with physical and mental disabilities, newly arrived immigrants, aging workers, single parents, dislocated employees, unskilled and educationally disadvantaged individuals, and the next working generation.

Individuals realize life-changing successes through the JVS programs. Robert Gimbel, 56, successfully found a new job after being downsized from a sales and customer service position for a printing company where he had worked for 30 years. Having not looked for a job or marketed himself as a prospective employee in decades, Gimbel was looking for a challenging job that would match his customer service and managerial skill sets.

“I wasn’t happy with the jobs I had, and I didn’t see a great future for my career,” he said. “I had heard great things about JVS, and after spending a year attending classes and working closely with their staff, I was able to gain the confidence, skills and necessary job leads I needed to transform myself into an entirely new candidate for fields I had never even considered.”

Gimbel is now the operations manager for an automatic garage door company, overseeing the technicians in the field as well as managing the office staff.

“My strongest skill set was managing people, and while I only knew the printing business, JVS helped show me how my skills can be transferred to other industries,” Gimbel said. “The staff at JVS is very dedicated and is excellent at molding you into a job worthy candidate with strong business skills.”

Through The Joseph L. Weinberg Vocational Rehabilitation Center, JVS also specializes in comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities age 14 to 100 who are unable to find or sustain employment because of their disability. Additionally, JVS provides adult education and training programs which include computerized office skills training, customer service and financial service skills training.

About JVS

Founded in 1939, JVS is a nonprofit, community-based health and human service organization, delivering a wide array of personalized services on a nonsectarian basis to nearly 20,000 individuals each year.  The agency helps people ranging in age from 14 to 100+. JVS provides services to individuals throughout New Jersey and business-to-business services to hundreds of companies across the State. JVS first opened its doors to provide job placement assistance to unemployed members of the Jewish community who were faced with anti-Semitism following the Great Depression. Soon afterwards, JVS was called upon to provide a therapeutic work environment for refugees with physical and psychiatric disabilities who fled to the United States from World War II Europe. For more information about JVS, visit www.jvsnj.org.