A crowd of almost 250 filled a beautiful floral room at the InterContinental Buckhead on Monday, May 9, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Auxiliary of the William Breman Jewish Home.

The auxiliary is an organization of over 1,000 members who volunteer their time, energy and resources to foster a caring environment for residents of Jewish Home Life Communities.

Cherie Aviv and Brooke Blasberg, the auxiliary board co-chairs, offered inspirational talks about the good work of the volunteers and how the funds are best used. An upbeat, balloon-filled video showed a sample of the activities and parties the auxiliary sponsors for residents.

Photo by Eric Bern Brooke Blasberg and Cherie Aviv are the co-chairs of the William Breman Jewish Home Auxiliary.

Photo by Eric Bern
Brooke Blasberg and Cherie Aviv are the co-chairs of the William Breman Jewish Home Auxiliary.

Over 30 years, Aviv said, the auxiliary has raised “in the neighborhood of $10 million.”

Stephen Merlin, the board chairman of Jewish Home Life Communities, made a touching tribute, saying: “Volunteers don’t get paid because they are worthless. They don’t get paid because they are priceless.”

The following were recognized:

  • Auxiliary Volunteers of the Year — Nancy Banks, Linda Diamond, Ann Kay and Fran Scher.
  • Auxiliary Lifetime Service Award — Barbara Ordover.

“We are quite proud of our accomplishments,” Aviv said. “We host multiple activities for residents of Jewish Home Life Communities, such as the Chanukah party, Sweethearts Ball, Magical Evening, Purim Bingo and more. The auxiliary is also engaged in fundraising and social events, such as Auxiliary Annual Game Day, The Gala and The Directory.

“I have been honored to be at the helm of this dynamic group and carry on a tradition of excellence in place for over 30 years. Working with our members, along with providing residents social opportunities, has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Blasberg said: “The auxiliary is a very special place and has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. My grandmother volunteered at the home for many years, and now I do. I am fortunate to receive back from the auxiliary and residents much more than I give.”

Virginia Saul, an officer from the first auxiliary slate, said: “I never thought this would grow like it has. And it’s remarkable that the younger millennials are sharing the work.”

Volunteer Carol Rubin said, “My grandmother, mother and aunt were all residents, and I understand what a wonderful community it is and how people are treated with dignity.”

Each attendee was given a copy of “Just Desserts,” a compilation of recipes of cakes, pies, cookies, bars and breads such as Faye Seigel’s Cow Cookies, April Weiner’s Gluten-Free Tiramisu and chef Sherry Habif’s Hazelnut Mousse secrets.

It was no time to be counting calories.

The bottom line in supporting the auxiliary and Jewish Home Life residents, Staci Brill said, is to “take care of the people who took care of us.”