JVS TO CELEBRATE 80 YEARS OF PUTTING ANGELENOS BACK TO WORK Former NBA Champion and Sports Commentator Keith Erickson to MCLos Angeles, CA – January 13, 2010 – Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) will be celebrating 80 years of putting Angelenos back to work at The Legacy Continues Gala on January 29, 2011 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Keith Erickson, former L.A. Lakers and UCLA Bruins basketball star and long-time CBS sports broadcaster, will host the event.
The Honorary Event Chair is philanthropist Brindell Gottlieb. Gala Co-Chairs and JVS Board Members are Elizabeth Gans, Nan Kalish Goodman and Pearle Ray Levey.
Entrepreneur, inventor and businessman Stanley A. Dashew will be honored for his long time charitable support of the agency. JVS’ Board Presidents will also be recognized at the event for their visionary leadership, generosity and commitment to the agency’s mission: Building better lives. One job at a time.
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 find jobs, regain their self-respect and dignity and care for their families. On January 29, 2011, JVS will celebrate the men and women presidents of its board who led the way through turbulent changing times, growing the agency to where it is today.
“JVS would not be where it is today without the support and leadership of our board and its presidents,” said JVS CEO Vivian Seigel. “These amazing men and women have given their time, resources and knowledge to help build a better community for everyone. I think our founders would be amazed at how much the agency has evolved and the tremendous impact we have had over the decades.”
The organization has become a respected leader in the field of workforce development, taking a lead 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 Bankworks™ 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 transition to the civilian workforce.
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 in the board presidency have each made their own mark. Of the 30 presidents who have served since the agency’s founding, 13 will be in attendance at the Gala. They include, 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.
In addition, Stanley A. Dashew, a long time advocate for the disabled, who generously funded JVS’ Dashew Assessment Center, will receive JVS’ Tzedakah Award. The Dashew Assessment Center provides a variety of programs and resources to help people with disabilities discover their talents, skills, and most importantly, self-confidence as they enter or return to the workforce. More importantly, it continues JVS’ tradition of being at the forefront of new technologies and methods to help its clients overcome barriers and achieve independence. Stanley Dashew’s eclectic career has taken him from photojournalist to industrialist to inventor. His latest invention, the Dashaway, is designed to help people with disabilities regain their mobility. In the fall of 2010, Dashew’s inspirational autobiography, You Can Do It, was published.
Said Dashew, who celebrates his 95th birthday this year “I’ve been a supporter of JVS for many years and have always taken a particular interest in the agency’s work with the disabled, which is why I endowed JVS’ Assessment Center. The critical employment services they provide to people in our community are needed now more than ever. “
For more information, please visit the JVS website at www.jvsla.org.
# # #
Since its founding in 1931, JVS has enhanced hundreds of thousands of lives with vital employment and career services. Each year, JVS helps nearly 30,000 people from over 30 sites around the Southland. A non-profit, non-sectarian organization, JVS works with city, state and county agencies to ensure everyone has access to the help they need, including long term unemployed, at-risk students, and people with disabilities. For more information on the full range of JVS programs, please visit www.jvsla.org. You can also find JVS on Facebook at JVS Los Angeles or follow them on twitter @JVSlosangeles.
Contact: Jim Goyjer (310) 207-3361
12400 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
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