A Year Full of Special Activities Ahead!
Newsletter for the JESPY Community
February 2018 Edition 

On Sunday, February 4th, close to 300 JESPY House clients, family members, board members, staff and other JESPY supporters gathered at Crystal Plaza in Livingston, NJ, to celebrate 40 years of service to the community of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The 2018 JESPY House Jubilee showcased the long-term achievements of our clients, and recognized those clients who have recently demonstrated growth towards independence.
JESPY House Executive Director Audrey Winkler
Work Readiness and Employment Engagement (WREE) Supervisor Michelle Rampersant-Faulk was delighted to report that over 80% of JESPY clients, about 200, are actively engaged in paid employment or volunteer opportunities. Together with Supervisor Rob Slater, they led the WREE awards presentations.
Long-Term Clients - Employment Success Stories
Jody Kanner - Prudential, 30 years
Steven Myers - New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 15 years
Herschel Sobel - Essex County Veteran's Courthouse, 31 years
Employment and Training - R ecent Achievements
Niranjan Sumathisena and Jonathan Spark - Red Mango
Heather Schwam - Supercuts
Roger Baron - Genova Burns, Attorneys-At-Law
Day Program Clients- Recent Achievements
Day Habilitation Supervisor Erika Rusnak-Henz, with the assistance of Lead Facilitator Mike Depoy, introduced the following clients and recognized them for their successes.
Alec Reed
Sean McKenna
Rodal Hudson
Passion Cottingham
Michael Carroll
Harris Engel
Jody Kanner
Rebecca Moll Freed, Attorney, Genova Burns
and Roger Baron
Day Program Supervisor Erika Rusnak-Hensz, Alec Reed
and Day Program
Lead Facilitator Mike Depoy
2018 Athlete of the Year
Athletics and Fitness Supervisor Wayne Branch recognized the excellence of the following clients for their teamwork, level of participation and effort.

Kayla Jussim, a s voted by clients.
Dan Reuter, as voted by staff and athletic coaches.
Kayla Jussim
Dan Reuter
WREE Supervisor Rob Slater, Clinical and Behavioral Health Asst. Supervisor Sherry Scucci-Hamilton, Heather Schwam and WREE Supervisor Michelle Rampersant-Faulk
Having fun at the photo booth!

JESPY House proudly recognizes the following businesses and organizations for supporting the Jubilee and our clients:
Essex County Veteran's Courthouse
Genova Burns, Attorneys-at-Law
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Red Mango
Click Here to read about all the success stories in the words of the award-winners and their employers.

Click Here to visit our YouTube channel and view Jubilee videos.

Click Here to see the special monthly events that celebrate our 40th anniversary.

Click Here to view more photos on our website Gallery.
On January 8th, JESPY's Client Advocacy Committee and other supporters of JESPY House urged the South Orange Village Trustees to make affordable housing funds available to JESPY House members.

Clients did a great job discussing the issues and advocating for their rights. JESPY Board Members Denise Dimson Rekem and Ahadi Bugg-Levine, and Executive Director Audrey Winkler also appealed to the trustees for more fair housing options for our clients.

During the meeting, Village President Sheena Collum applauded JESPY House for becoming stronger advocates under Audrey's new leadership.

Click Here to read the full news article in the Village Green daily newsletter.
With a focus on our clients' health and wellness, JESPY Registered Nurse Pat Taylor has increased our clients' awareness of winter skin - red, dry and/or flaky patches of skin due to changes in the weather.

Observing many clients who were walking around with winter skin , she organized two well-attended workshops on the morning of January 29 and the evening of February 6th.

There was great client participation in the discussions about:

  • How skin is one of the body's defenses in keeping infections away.
  • How changes in the seasons cause different skin reactions.
  • Which are the common areas of the body that are affected.
  • The importance of good hygiene that will prevent dry skin and chafing.

To encourage follow-through with the lessons learned, each participant was provided with a goody bag including facial moisturizer and lip balm.

Pat has already noticed an improvement in skin hygiene among the clients. They stop by and show her how they are using the products and know that Nurse Pat is watching out for their health!
Click Here f or more information about the Symposium
The Evolution of Family Relationships
through Life Transitions
Workshop for Parents and Caregivers

Date/Time : Tuesday, February 27 at 7pm

Location : JCC MetroWest, 760 Northfield Avenue, West Orange

Presenter : Maggie Drew, Support Coordinator Supervisor, JFS MetroWest

Also presenting :
Rosalie Cespedes, JESPY Clinical Behavioral Supports Supervisor
Sherry Scucci-Hamilton, Clinical Behavioral Supports Asst. Supervisor
Linda Press from JSDD, and a Parent/Sibling Panel

Click Here for more information.
Join Us for a Special Sing-a-Long in Celebration of Our 40th Anniversary

The movie Grease celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, just as JESPY House does. As a coordinating activity, JESPY is hosting a special showing of the movie:

Date: Thursday, March 22nd
Time: 7:00pm
Location: South Orange Performing Arts Center

Lots of fun with singing, dancing, costumes and more.

Please Click Here for more details.
Come to the Cabaret!

Sunday, April 15th

Come and support our JESPY Theater Group in their theatrical debut! Written and performed by our own clients, you will love the program of short scenes they prepared!

This performance, at a local South Orange auditorium, is open to clients, staff, board members, family, and friends.

More details will be posted on our website Events Calendar
as they become available.
JESPY House Will Host a Job Fair
for People with Disabilities

Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm

Locations: The Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel

The Job Fair will include a keynote speaker, help with resume writing, and an opportunity to meet with and have an onsite-interview with potential employers in retail, transportation, healthcare, etc.

More details to come.
Long-time Counseling and Behavioral Supports Supervisor 

Ilene Feinstein passed away in late-January, after having reached her 25 year milestone at JESPY in October. She was one of the most kind, caring and respected members of our JESPY staff.

Through her 25 years at JESPY, Ilene provided a wide range of counseling services to many, many clients, all who talk often about how she made such a positive change in their lives. As a management team member, Ilene also provided policy guidance and direction on many areas of JESPY operations. 

Harris Engel, JESPY client said, "I wish I could thank Ilene Feinstein in person for her emotional support as my therapist.  She used to come and see me play piano at synagogue. I know she is looking down on me and smiling."
Recreation Counselor

Jimmy Bryant passed away on Christmas Day 2017. For 12 years at JESPY, his outstanding listening skills, wisdom and dry wit made him popular among clients, staff and parents. An avid tennis player, Jimmy became the head coach of the JESPY tennis team, leading many JESPY athletes to numerous medals in Special Olympics.

As his health declined, Jimmy continued to be an example of courage and determination working through a long illness. Erich Specht, long-time athlete at JESPY House said, "Jimmy has made me know what it is to be inspired because of his inspiration for me and JESPY. His example reminds me not to quit."
Details of a memorial service in
Ilene's and Jimmy's honor are forthcoming.
John Colborn (Mandel Fellow from JEVS of Philadelphia); David Marcu (Israel Elwyn - Host in Israel) and Elaine Katz
Elaine Katz, Past-President of JESPY House, received a one-week Mandel Fellowship to travel to Israel together with John Colborn from JEVS Human Services of Philadelphia, a community partner. The fellowship provided the opportunity to learn about disability programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities in Israel.

The Israel Elwyn organization, which serves more than 3,000 children and adults with disabilities throughout Israel, hosted the project. 
Elaine combined that research with a one-month sabbatical to meet with social enterprise business, organizations and disability leaders in Israel who are focused on increasing employment for people with disabilities throughout the country.
JESPY Nation on the Court
at Rutgers-Nebraska Basketball Game
A GREAT time was had by all as our JESPY Nation Basketball Team was invited to play the Bancroft Bulldogs at the Rutgers Athletic Center on January 24th. The game was played during the halftime of the Rutgers -Nebraska Men's Basketball Game and offered our athletes another opportunity to showcase their skills. 

Several clients came along to root on team JESPY as well as a few parents. Each athlete had their name mentioned over the PA System, recognizing their involvement in the evening's competition. 

We’re certain that all the athletes will embrace this experience for many years to come. 
Special Guests at NJ Devils Game
JESPY clients were delighted to attend a New Jersey Devils game as guests of Goalie Cory Schneider and his wife Jill. The Schneiders, in partnership with Investors Bank, have established a yearly commitment in hosting a NJ-based community group at every Devils home game.  On 11/27/17 JESPY House was chosen to benefit from this commitment. 

Mike Murphy exclaimed, “The seats provided were unbelievable (right behind Cory's net) and the game against Florida was spectacular, even though we lost 3-2. It was great to see my favorite player in action. I even wore his jersey to the game."

The JESPY group was projected onto the Jumbo Screen as they waved, danced and celebrated with the NJ Devils crowd. Each received T-shirts, enjoyed a autograph signing session and took individual photos with Cory.
Sip 'n Paint Adds to the Decor
JESPY clients enjoy the Sip 'n Paint art projects so much that Kirbee and Jeff Stern decorated their apartment walls with their colorful matching unique masterpieces, each with it's own individual interpretation. Sip n' Paint is just one of the many art and photography activities made possible by a grant from the Frances Davis Fund.
JESPY Attends Transportation Innovations Symposium
WREE Supervisors Michelle Rampersant-Faulk and Rob Slater learned about the challenges and opportunities for improved transportation at the Transportation Innovations to Build Healthier Communities Symposium held at the NJHA Conference & Event Center in Princeton.

Several experts at the national, state and local levels discussed the role of private and public sectors in providing transportation services for older adults. Uber, Lyft, Gogograndparent and EZ-Ride had representatives speak about their role in bridging the gap between senior transportation services and the needs of those living independently or aging in place.
We look forward to sharing with you more, exciting happenings at JESPY House as we strive to enable our clients toward success in independent living within the community.

Audrey Winkler
  Please visit us at  www.jespy.org
for more information about JESPY House services.