Three JFS volunteers honored with Governor’s Jefferson Awards

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Three volunteers at Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ — Kathryn Maloney, Bob Gebroe and Bruce Tenzer — have been selected as honorees for the 2020 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards. The 2020 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards presentation ceremony and celebration of volunteerism was held virtually on Feb. 20, recognizing individuals for their extraordinary volunteer/public service.

Maloney is a Listen to Children volunteer and a Reading Buddies volunteer at the South Mountain Annex in South Orange, where she reads to children in grades one and two. She is an animated reader who isn’t afraid to get silly, interact with students on their level, and take the time to engage students who have a harder time sitting still and paying attention. She has been part of the program for five years and continues to serve her students virtually during the pandemic.

Gebroe is a volunteer with Listen to Children, where last year he mentored six children referred by Livingston School District guidance counselors. He is one of the most popular mentors in the program for his amazing work and the time and energy he puts into building the confidence of his mentees. This year he is volunteering virtually through Computer Buddies, an online pen pal program serving the West Orange School District.

Tenzer is a volunteer with Reading Buddies and Listen to Children. Through Reading Buddies he spent two years reading to students at Washington Elementary in West Orange and this year he is volunteering virtually at PS-22 in Jersey City, where he reads with his wife, Babette. Although he was only able to volunteer with Listen to Children for a year before the pandemic hit, he quickly became beloved by his mentee.

“We are honored to have Kathryn, Bob and Bruce serving at JFS MetroWest. Each of them has gone above and beyond in their volunteer roles and deserve this recognition and acknowledgement. Their dedication to giving back to their community and the kids they serve is an inspiration,” said Stephanie Grove, senior director of volunteer services at JFS.