JF&CS Tasting Sells Out for Good Cause
A record crowd of hungry supporters showed up to support the JF&CS Independent living Program.
After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).
The annual Tasting event returned May 4 to the spacious Stave Room. Now in its 23rd year, the event benefits the Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program of Jewish Family & Career Services.
The Z-H ILP is an individualized, nonsectarian, supportive living program that enables those with disabilities to live as independently as possible. JF&CS CEO Terri Bonoff officially began the event by toasting the Horowitz’s continued commitment to the program over its evolution and in special memory of Jerry Horowitz.
Honorary chair Pearlann Horowitz welcomed the sponsors and said, “We are seeing the sunlight after COVID. Our residents have traveled to beaches, Charleston, Israel, and sometimes they took vans or buses. Life is thriving. And this is a long goodbye, as we age, they age. Jerry (who passed away last year) and I started this program and need new people to take the reins under this umbrella that involves so many functions like shopping and cooking and health care. One of the reasons Jerry and I endowed this program was in consideration of our daughter, Michelle, who has developmental disabilities. So, let’s toast Jerry, L-dor va-dor.”
As more than 600 guests mingled in the main room, many commented on how easy it was to get to the food based on the layout of the cavernous room. In addition to the rectangle set up of alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages, 20 restaurants, caterers and their managers were on hand to greet tasters and explain their concepts. Art and fun experiences were available by silent auction to benefit the program.
Les Retter, of High Roller Sushi, said, “We have supported this meaningful cause over four years. It’s a wonderful organization. I’m happy to contribute, and people really love our sushi.”
Supporter Sara Kogon frequented The Select’s ceviche and declared, “This is the best dish here!”
Many of the program’s residents, clad in their “party best,” danced and mingled. Bonnie Besmertnik, mother of Todd, said, “He had done so well after four years in independent living. He loves it and prefers it to coming home.”
The Tasting heralds back 21 years to where it began at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta with Joan and Donald Brown organizing a low-key wine tasting for 130 guests. Son, Mark Brown, still the libations chair, worked with distributors and vendors to provide a vast array of beverages. He said, “This event benefits so many people in allowing them independence in living on their own versus another scenario.”
Longtime supporter Sandra Bank, president of Added Touch Catering, shared, “I started my career in Jerry and Pearlann’s home cooking for them and recall how he was so generous and handsome, always wearing a bow tie, hence my staff tonight is wearing them. I’ve participated way back to the beginning hotel venues.”
Fifth Group/Alma Cocina executive Stuart Fierman stated, “We have known the Horowitzes forever and grew up with Michelle who was our sister’s dear friend. She is dear to our heart.”
Longtime participant Todd Ginsburg, of General Muir, was especially motivated to support older adults with disabilities. He served a cuisine of dill, mascarpone, and pickled Napa cabbage.
Bonoff later told the AJT, “The Tasting reflected the heart and soul of Jewish Atlanta – the warmth, vitality and intergenerational spirit coming together to honor the legacy of Jerry Horowitz and commit to the spirit of serving those in our community with intellectual and developmental disabilities for generations to come – L’ador v’dor.”
Added Touch Catering
Four Fat Cows
The General Muir
Haven Restaurant and Bar
High Roller Sushi
Mission + Market
Morty’s Meat & Supply
South City Kitchen
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Stave Room
- Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program
- Jewish Family & Career Services
- Terri Bonoff
- Pearlann Horowitz
- Les Retter
- High Roller Sushi
- Sara Kogon
- Bonnie Besmertnik
- Added Touch Catering
- Sandra Bank
- Fifth Group/Alma Cocina
- Stuart Fierman
- Todd Ginsburg
- General Muir