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West Hartford Event Raises More Than $100K for Kosher Food Pantry

From left: Mickey Rosenberg Toro, Pia Rosenberg Toro, Event Co-Chairs, Barbara Roth, Tara’s Closet Founder Judy Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Event Co-Chairs, Anne Danaher, Executive Director, Merrill Mandell, JFS Chairman of the Board, Mark Mandell. Submitted photo

Jewish Family Services’ ‘Embracing Possibility’ event recognized Tara’s Closet and raised funds to feed and clothe local families in need.

From left: Mickey Rosenberg Toro, Pia Rosenberg Toro, Event Co-Chairs, Barbara Roth, Tara’s Closet Founder Judy Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Event Co-Chairs, Anne Danaher, Executive Director, Merrill Mandell, JFS Chairman of the Board, Mark Mandell. Submitted photo

From left: Event co-chairs Mickey Rosenberg Toro and Pia Rosenberg Toro; Barbara Roth, Tara’s Closet Founder; Event Co-Chairs Judy Rosenthal and David Rosenthal, JFS Executive Director Anne Danaher; Merrill Mandell, JFS Chairman of the Board, Mark Mandell. Submitted photo

Submitted

Close to 250 people were on hand Wednesday, Nov. 16, evening to support Jewish Family Services (JFS) Fourth Annual Embracing Possibility event with special recognition of  Tara’s Closet at the West Hartford home of Merrill and Mark Mandell.

The event raised over $100,000 which directly supports the JFS Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry and services for its clients.

Founded in 2002, the Kosher Food Pantry serves approximately 700 people in need, distributing 4,000 bags of food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies yearly. The food pantry is for anyone who is experiencing food insufficiency, whether it is a one-time occurrence or an ongoing challenge for a family or an individual.

The new JFS campaign initiative Embrace-A-Family, Embrace-A-Child was launched at the event. The financial and emotional strain on a family can be overwhelming when faced with the ongoing struggles of mental health. Embrace-A-Family, Embrace-A-Child is an opportunity to help alleviate these barriers and subsidize basic human needs, like food, clothing, employment and counseling services, for a JFS client family who is less fortunate.

Event co-chair and development co-chair, Pia Rosenberg Toro expressed, “This investment will make an incredible impact on a family and child in need. No child should be hungry and wondering where their next meal will come from.”

Barbara Roth shared her compelling personal story about losing her daughter Tara to mental illness, and her subsequent efforts to help others through the new JFS program Tara’s Closet.  Since opening its doors in August of this year, Tara’s Closet has clothed 700 families in a confidential and dignified manner, and spread awareness about mental illness as well as vital JFS services available to all.

“Through the wonderful work of JFS, we will honor Tara. We will try to make the lives of others perhaps a bit easier as they face this battle,” explained Roth.

Event co-chairs Pia and Mickey Rosenberg Toro and Judy and David Rosenthal were thankful for the exceptional response. “We are so proud of our community’s generosity.  These donations will help tremendously in funding basic human needs services provided by JFS for children, families and adults living in our own community.”

“As the needs for mental health and basic human needs services continue to grow in Greater Hartford, JFS is prepared to address those needs.” said Anne Danaher, JFS Executive Director.

Embracing Possibility was sponsored by TD Bank, MAX Restaurant Group, BlumShapiro, Karn Couzens & Associates, Data-Mail and LAZ Parking

Jewish Family Services, a partner agency of Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and United Way of Central and Northeastern CT, provides counseling and basic human services to individuals and families throughout the Greater Hartford area. To learn more, visit www.jfshartford.org.

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