Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey to host virtual gala

Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey to host virtual gala

Murray Brenman, left, Nancy Lubarsky and her husband, Donald Shapiro, and Mark Hauptman (Courtesy JFSCNJ)
Murray Brenman, left, Nancy Lubarsky and her husband, Donald Shapiro, and Mark Hauptman (Courtesy JFSCNJ)

The Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey will hold a virtual gala dinner on Tuesday, December 29, at 8 p.m. The fundraiser will support mental health, homecare, keeping older adults safe, and food Insecurity programs serving the Union County community during covid-19. Register to watch the gala at Community partners, who have come together to support the agency’s many programs, will be featured in the presentation.

Murray Brenman, Nancy Lubarsky, Donald Shapiro, and Mark Hauptman will be honored for their contributions to the agency. Cantor Matt Axelrod of Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains; Dov Ben Shimon, the executive vice president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest; Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ); William V. Engel, president of the Hyde & Watson Foundation; Fred Kessler, president of the JFSCNJ; Rabbi Chaim Marcus of Congregation Israel in Springfield; New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy; Steve Karp of Elizabeth, executive vice president of the JEC; Rabbi Ethan Prosnit of Temple Emanu-El in Westfield; and JFNA chair Mark Wilf, the owner and president of the Minnesota Vikings, will make guest appearances. Chef Paul Fonte of the Crystal Plaza will offer a cooking demonstration.

Murray Brenman of East Windsor will receive the Lilly K. Gottlieb award. An award-winning graphic designer, Mr. Brenman has worked with JFS for the last 20 years. He’s helped create fund-raising concert posters, and brochures for older adult services, healthcare, and Holocaust programs; he’s worked to build campaign literature, gala invitations, and the new Jewish Family Service logo and stationery. He has worked closely with JFS staff to help define the agency’s image and ensure its success. He and his wife, Beth Ando-Berman, are members of Beth El Synagogue of East Windsor, where Murray is ritual committee chair and Beth heads the Bikkur Cholim group. Together they have two sons, Ari and Zach, a daughter-in-law, Hanna, and a granddaughter, Rachel.

Nancy Lubarsky and Donald Shapiro will be honored with the Miriam S. Karch award. Donald has been on the JFSCNJ board for over 10 years and has served as board secretary. Since their retirement, Nancy and Donald have become active JFS Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers. Donald volunteers for the Ross Family Virtual Senior Program, and together they deliver food for homebound elderly and Holocaust survivors for the Café Europa Program and the Food Pantry. They are active members of Temple Beth El Mekor Chaim and have served on various committees and projects. They have three children, Meg, Jesse, and Gregory, and two grandchildren, Ben and Samantha.

Mark Hauptman is the recipient of the Ruth Bilenker award for outstanding volunteer service. He has been JFSCNJ’s board for more than a dozen years and as served treasurer for the past six. He and his wife, Gillian, live in Fanwood and have been members of Congregation Beth Israel for more than 30 years. They have three children; Ryan, David, and Lindsay, and a granddaughter.

The dinner dance committee includes David Brooks, Mark L. Ginsberg, Toby Goldberger, Michael H. Gottlieb, Eric Harvitt, Jennifer Marshall Sofield, Donald Shapiro, Sherry and Henry Stein, Arielle Traub, and Mark Wilf.

Everyone who registers and attends the dinner has a chance to win one of these prizes: a 40″ television donated by Nancy Lubarsky and Donald Shapiro; $250 Amazon gift card donated by the Sofield family; a $250 certificate for Anderson Windows donated by Larry Landes and David Moor; Apple AirPods donated by the Pekarsky family; and memorabilia signed by the Vikings and donated by the Wilf family. Winners will be notified and announced on JFS social media.

To donate and register online, go to, email, or call the JFS office at (908) 352-8375. Sponsors will be listed on the Scroll of Honor and in all publicity. A program and link to the virtual dinner will be sent closer to December 29.

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