We are proud to announce Jeannie Citerman-Kraeger and Marilyn Oif as the 2017 recipients of the Arline B. Pritcher Award for Outstanding Community Service. Together they have chaired the Focus on FOster Care Initiative.
Gail Sands has received the 2017 Alice and Eugene Weiss Esteemed Service Award, which recognizes volunteers who donate their time to NCJW’s non-direct service programs.
Jeannie, originally from St. Louis, MO, began volunteering as a child with her great-grandmother. They served punch and cookies at a Senior Service Center. Volunteering has been a part of her life ever since. Her first NCJW membership was a gift from her paternal grandmother. While living in Atlanta, GA, she became aVolunteer in Service to America (VISTA) a program of AmeriCorps, at Points of Light.Jeannie moved to Cleveland in December 2012, is currently employed part-time with the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Development Board. In 2015 Jeannie became co-chair of Focus on Foster Care with Marilyn Oif. She and Marilyn have worked closely with the foster care community forming partnerships. They both enjoy facilitating self-esteem programming with youth from Beechbrook and the Renee Jones Empowerment Center. They have also begun a very impactful and rewarding relationship with the Cleveland State University and especially the Sullivan-Deckard Scholars program.
Marilyn Oif grew up knowing the importance of volunteering. Her parents, who are survivors of the Holocaust, showed by example what it means to give back to the community. Marilyn in return has instilled these values in her 3 children.After retiring, Marilyn became involved in NCJW through a gift membership given by her dear friend, Susan Reis. Marilyn was particularly drawn to working with kids in the foster care system. Her goal is to make a difference in their lives and to enable them to have more normalized life experiences. Marilyn facilitates group mentoring at BeechBrook and other facilities with foster children to help them develop trust, self esteem and life skills.She is also very involved in the Sullivan-Deckard Scholars program which provides opportunities and support for CSU students who have aged out of the foster care system.She is currently on the boards of NCJW/Cleveland and Cleveland Hillel. Marilyn has been involved in the U.S. Holocaust Museum, Magen David Adom, and CASA – Court appointed Special advocate.
Gail Sands has been an NCJW member for only three years, and in that time she has focused her goal, to be a voice for those needing support. She began volunteering at Designer Dress Days. Her passion for Advocacy led her to co-chair the Lois Zaas Memorial Advocacy Lecture twice, once for Focus on Foster Care: Overcoming the Odds and Embracing Diversity – Uncovering Hidden Biases. She also co-chaired the independent housing sub-committee of Focus on Foster Care as well as the Maltz Museum/NCJW “Collaboration to Address Bias and Prejudice: Dialogue at the Maltz Museum”. She is a member of: Stop Human Trafficking, Understanding the Issues, Operation Warm Up, Homeless Stand Down, and DDD. She volunteers for Medworks and the public policy committee for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Prior to retirement, Gail had a long professional career serving as assistant to the Dean of Non Academic Affairs at CWRU; chief information officer for Kaiser Permanente of Ohio; client manager for Ohio, for an organization which implemented electronic medical and dental records for federally qualified health centers; and managing healthcare.govaccounts for a local insurance broker. Her professional career put her in touch with the homeless, the uninsured, and the underserved in the Cleveland area.
Gail received volunteer service awards for the Crohns Colitis Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the national Kaiser Permanente Community Service award. Gail lives in Cleveland Hts. with her husband, Mike and her two fabulous cats, Oreo SpeedWagon and Alice Katz.