The Mary Pickford Theater welcomed a nearly sold-out crowd during the 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. VIP programs to honor Phyllis Eisenberg with the JFS Humanitarian Award and hear Hollywood Reporter Columnist Sue Cameron share inner experiences with Hollywood royalty like Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore.
Jewish Desert Family Service (JFS) selects an exceptional individual who not only makes a difference by supporting JFS programs, but whose impact has been felt throughout the community. President of JFS Aviva Snow introduced Eisenberg and presented her with the award with a sunflower, saying that “it represents optimism, resilience and hope”, traits that Eisenberg embodies as she supports several charities, such as Tools for tomorrow, Israel Guide Dogs, CVRep and Muses McCallumto name a few.
In her acceptance speech, Eisenberg shared that receiving the JFS Humanitarian Award was especially significant in her life because she “was honored by a wonderful charity that does so much for the Coachella Valley. It helps people who need help, whatever their religion, color or way of life.”
She then shared with the public that her grandparents were her guide and inspiration, coming to the United States as refugees in 1904. In the 1960s, her grandparents were friends with the Catholic Church community near the synagogue. While the Catholic Church was being remodeled, there was no location for students during the day. His grandfather arranged for the synagogue to be open during the day for Catholic students. For this and other commitments to residents, regardless of religion, Eisenberg’s grandparents were honored in National Catholic Magazine.
Close friend Sarah Milmetherself a noted philanthropist, said Eisenberg “is amazing and so full of excitement and love. She’s so generous and so kind and so loving. Her heart knows no bounds.” Joyce Bulifant added that Eisenberg “gives his heart and soul to the desert”. Sid Craig provided perhaps the ultimate observation by noting that Eisenberg “is relentless in wanting to help and support people”.
Friends celebrating Eisenberg’s acceptance of the included JFS Humanitarian Award Sandy Seplow, Barbara Fromm, Carol Fragen, Nancy Levin, Debbie Kay, Friend Loren, Joanne Chunowitz, Margie Kulp, Gail Squadron, Renee Mayer, Michelle Carafiol, John Gordon, Lois Gold, Sheila Baron, Rita Blye, Joan Freeman, Margo Handelsman, Reva Levy, Barbara Platt, Barbara Award, Dr. Bob Gober, Judy Allen and Jim Hummer.
Additional patrons celebrating Eisenberg’s achievements included Joanne and Myron Mintz, Richard of Tanna, Angie Gerber, Shari Apelbaum, Carlos King, kathy strong, Judy Pofsky Cohen, Barbara Rogers, Lu Barnes, Susan del Prete, Kay Hanson, Joanne Horowitz, Jaishri Mehta, Judy Antonio, Jim and carol egan, Michael and Barbara Monachino, Hugh Glen, Atma Sage, Helene Varon and Peggy Jacobs. Also present was the new CEO of the Desert Jewish Federation Alan Potash.
After the program, guests enjoyed an Eisenberg hot dog, popcorn, caramel corn and sodas. After the VIP show, guests were treated to Eisenberg hot dogs, nachos, pizza, salad, dessert, and a choice of wine, beer, and soft drinks.
To learn more about Jewish Desert Family Service, visit jfsdesert.org.
Al Jones was appointed by the city council as trustee of the Palm Springs Library, of which he is the treasurer. He is a member of the Dezart Performs Board of Directors, the CSU Palm Desert Campus Advancement Board of Directors, the Priority One Coachella Valley Advisory Board, and a member of DBA and Main Street. Past community involvement includes the DAP Health Partners for Life Steering Committee; the Desert LGBTQ Community Center, where he served as secretary of the board for five years, and Sanctuary Palm Springs.