Keeping Family Traditions Alive for JFCS’ Shupin Community
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Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ Shupin Social Club participants recently gathered for their annual Passover Seder, continuing a treasured tradition made possible by longtime JFCS supporters Suzanne and Michael Berke.

The Berkes

Suzanne and Michael Berke

“Our connection to the Shupin Community is very personal,” says Michael. “My niece Lana had special needs. She did not live long enough to enjoy being part of such a warm community. We love supporting services that would have meant so much to her.”

Passover is a favorite holiday in Michael’s family. His mother, Elaine Berke, of blessed memory, was an inspiring leader of the community and loved to bring together large groups of family and friends to share stories, enjoy delicious food, and build community with each other. Inspired to offer this meaningful experience to the young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by JFCS, the caring couple organized and underwrote the first Shupin Passover Seder in 2012.

The evening was such a success that the Berkes resolved to continue their support. Made possible each year by the family’s visionary kindness and guided by their warm hospitality, the Seder has become a favorite event for many.

Held at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, this year’s gathering was the biggest one yet. Everyone was so grateful to be together and deeply appreciative of the Berke family’s longstanding friendship and personal involvement.

“We are proud of JFCS on many levels, and Shupin is dear to our hearts. We’re amazed by how the services have grown and all that has been accomplished,” say Suzanne and Michael. “We look forward to supporting the Shupin Community for years to come.”

Suzanne Berke and Alex Robers

Suzanne Berke, who sponsors the Shupin Family Seder with her husband, Michael, pictured here with her niece, Alex Roberts (former Resident Manager at Shupin).

People participating in Shupin Passover Seder

Led by JFCS’ Director of Disability Services, Ryan Berman, members of the Shupin Community and their friends reenact the story of Passover in a skit.

People participating in Shupin Passover Seder

Ady’s Place resident Heather with her mom, Sandy. Family is a key element to the Shupin seder. It was a joy to see so many family members joining the festivities.

People participating in Shupin Passover Seder

Gary’s Place resident John Hammond sharing the seder meal with friends, including Shupin Resident Mentor, Savannah Rivers.

People participating in Shupin Passover Seder

Seder participants following the Steps during the celebration.

Shupin Community resident Nona enjoying games in the haggadah.

Shupin Social Club member Brenda enjoying games in the haggadah.

People participating in Shupin Passover Seder

Attendees take part in scavenger hunt-style icebreaker activities.

People participating in Shupin Passover Seder

Members of the Shupin Community and their families share in conversation before the Seder begins.

People participating in Shupin Passover Seder

JFCS volunteers take a break after setting up tables, activities, and decor. L-R Garret Langfeld, Abby Steinmetz, Sofia Rattes, Carly White, Cole Greenberg.

Posted by Admin on April 19, 2024