2016-08-31 / Home

Catholic Diocese to honor 3 South Jersey Federations

By JAYNE JACOVA FELD Voice staff

Recognizing the work that Jewish non-profit groups do to help vulnerable people of all faiths, the Diocese of Camden and Catholic Charities is honoring the three Jewish Federations in Southern New Jersey at its Justice For All Awards Ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, the Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, and the Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties will share the Justice In Action Award at the annual dinner ceremony.

“It’s a celebration of the work of charity and justice, so the selection of honorees is intended to remind Catholics and all people of good will that, from a Catholic perspective, we’re all summoned to do good,” said Kevin H. Hickey, executive director of the Diocese and Catholic Charities.

Vicki Zell, president of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, expressed her thanks at this exciting honor. “The Diocese has been a partner of the Federations throughout Southern New Jersey on many important projects benefitting the people of the community. We are thrilled to have been chosen together with the Federations of Atlantic & Cape May Counties and Cumberland, Gloucester & Salem Counties.” She added that the many interfaith projects the Diocese and the Federation work on together are a testament to the ties that bind the communities.

Steven Scherzer, president of the Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties, said that his Federation “gratefully acknowledges that our brothers and sisters working on behalf of the Diocese of Camden and Catholic Charities share our ultimate vision of Tikun Olam— healing the world. We deeply appreciate this wonderful honor. We also recognize that the real workers—the people primarily responsible for fulfilling our mission of helping the poor, the sick, the young and the old—are the staff and volunteers of our local agencies and our generous supporters. They are the true recipients of this award.”

Dr. Michael Sarnoff, president of the Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties Federation, said he is truly grateful for the recognition, knowing what powerful partners the Catholic agencies are in the joint mission of social justice.

“They’re recognizing what we’re doing and we know what they do,” Sarnoff said. “They’re a phenomenal, longstanding organization and the recognition is definitely appreciated.”

Hickey said all three federations and their agencies work with Catholic agencies through programs that include services for the homeless, the elderly and disabled, children and families, among others. They also collaborate on educational programing. Recently, for example, Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan created a new initiative to place greater stress on exposing parochial school students to more impactful lessons about the Holocaust and genocide.

In the dozen years that the awards event has been held, this is the first time that a non- Catholic entity has been named for the prize, said Hickey.

Coincidently, Hickey said, the idea came from the late Lewis Katz, who wrote a note to him after attending an event in the past to say how much he enjoyed the evening and suggesting that Jewish groups be considered for the award in the future.

The Justice for All Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Adelphia Grand Ballroom in Deptford. Mayor Rick Taylor of Pennsauken will also receive an award.

For more information, visit: http://catholiccharitiescamden.org/jfas

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