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Black Tie International:
The Jewish Board of Family and Children Services
 Photos by:  Rose Billings/

David Rivel CEO of  JBFCS and Jean Shaf​iroff Board Member​.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

David Rivel CEO of  JBFCS and Jean Shaf​iroff Board Member​

Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services

Annual Spring Benefit Raises $1.7 Million

The Plaza Hotel

May 20, 2014


Wendy Wilshin and Ho​noree Tony Mann .  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Wendy Wilshin and Ho​noree Tony Mann

Laurie Sprayregen t​rustee JBFCS and Hon​oree​.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Laurie Sprayregen t​rustee JBFCS and Hon​oree​

Laurie Sprayregen wi​th her husband Phili​p Sprayregen​.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

Laurie Sprayregen wi​th her husband Phili​p Sprayregen​

David Post and Kathl​een De Monchy​.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

David Post and Kathl​een De Monchy​


The  Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services (JBFCS), New York City's largest comprehensive provider of health and human services to adults and children, hosted its Spring Benefit 2014 on May 20 at The Plaza Hotel and honored trustees Anthony E. Mann and Laurie Sprayregen. The event raised $1.7 million for the organization.


Serving as emcee, WNBC 4 New York news anchor Melissa Russo kicked things off, and JBFCS Board Trustee Lynn Kroll provided the Blessing Over Bread, a Jewish custom in honor of the organization's history and origins.  JBFCS Board President Steven Fasman welcomed the event's more than 400 guests and spoke about the depth and breadth of the 140-year-old organization's services.  He also paid tribute to both the current and future chief executive officers of partner organization UJA-Federation of New York, John Ruskay and Eric Goldstein, respectively.


"JBFCS is the single largest recipient of UJA-Federation support, and so we are all the more appreciative of John's leadership, wisdom and commitment to making the world a better place," Fasman said.  "And I speak for the senior leadership at JBFCS when I say how excited we are to partner with his successor Eric Goldstein as he leads UJA-Federation through the next chapter."


JBFCS Chief Executive Officer David Rivel lauded the night's honorees as brilliant, committed philanthropists and very deserving of the awards they each received.  He also told the audience a little more about the work of the organization.


"At JBFCS, we work with three groups of people, people who struggle with mental health issues, people who have developmental disabilities, and families that need support because there is domestic violence or abuse or neglect of children in the home," Rivel said.  "In all of our work, we have one goal: to help people live rich, full and productive lives, with as much independence as possible.  We call it recovery."


Rivel then introduced a video that told the stories of four JBFCS clients, three of whom were in the room and received a standing ovation.


After dinner, former JBFCS Trustee John A Herrmann presented Anthony E. Mann with The Schiff Community Impact Award.  The Schiff family has been affiliated with JBFCS and its predecessor organizations almost since their inception 140 years ago. The Schiffs donated more than 100 acres of land for JBFCS' Westchester campus, and Mortimer Schiff ran the agency for 21 years in the early 1900s. Lisa Schiff serves as a JBFCS Trustee today. 


Currently a Board Chair of the JBFCS Board of Trustees, Mann is President and CEO of 115-year-old E-J Electric Installation Co., which is the oldest independent electrical and communications contractor in the United States. He served as President of the JBFCS Board from 2009 through 2013 and has volunteered with JBFCS for more than 25 years, starting first at JBFCS' Kaplan House a residence for young men who have aged out of the foster care system?when he was in his early twenties.  He later went on to chair the Kaplan House Divisional Board.  Mann is also the founder of JBFCS Hudson Valley Bike Ride, an annual cycling fundraiser. 


"It is almost hard for me to remember a time when JBFCS wasn't a part of my life." Mann told the crowd.  "My 28-year journey with JBFCS has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my life."


JBFCS Trustees Toni Bernstein, Janet Ginsberg, and Lori Reinsberg presented Laurie Sprayregen with The Madeleine Borg Lifetime Services Award. Borg was a lifelong advocate for children and for providing greater access to mental health services.  She was an early organizer and leader of the Jewish Federation, founder of the Big Sister movement in America, and president of JBFCS from 1942 to 1952.


Sprayregen is President of Thanks to Scandinavia, a scholarship fund that her father Richard Netter and Danish entertainer Victor Borge founded in 1963 to provide scholarships to Scandinavian and Bulgarian graduate students pursuing degrees in the United States in recognition of those who rescued Jews during World War II. A current JBFCS Trustee, Sprayregen has been actively involved with the agency for more than 30 years and serves as the chair of the Clinics Committee.


"I often tell our social workers that there is no way in the world that I could even begin to do the type of work that they do," Sprayregen told the crowd. "For what they do is truly the work of angels."


IN ATTENDANCE:  JBFCS Board Members Anthony E. Mann, Laurie SprayregenJean Shafiroff, Jean Troubh, Alice Tisch,Fran Levy, Lynn Kroll, Toni Bernstein, Steven Fasman, Karen Kasner, CEO David Rivel.

WNBC 4's Melissa Russo, UJA's Eric Goldstein, and many others




For 140 years, JBFCS has been helping New Yorkers overcome barriers, realize their potential, and live as independently as possible. With hope and resilience guiding our work, we promote recovery by addressing all aspects of an individual's life, including mental and physical health, family, housing, employment and education. Each year JBFCS serves more than 30,000 adults and children across the five boroughs and in Westchester. Visit us at



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