The Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest NJ honored two individuals for their outstanding philanthropic efforts during its annual dinner last month.
On June 21, Ray Blau, of Short Hills, and Alan Sobel, of Sobel & Co, Livingston, were honored at Taste and Toast for continuously performing at the highest level to carry out the JVS mission of helping people to help themselves.
Blau has volunteered at orphanages, was president of the Charles Bierman Home, a nonprofit assisted living facility for the indigent elderly, for more than 20 years, and traveled to many Third World countries. After coming in contact with numerous underprivileged individuals, he realized that his purpose in life was to assist others.
“Don’t worry about how people got to where they are – just help them,’’ he says. “Life is a tough contest. Learning how to help people help themselves is a good thing.”
As founder and chair of Commercial Furniture Interiors, Blau even finds ways to give back through his business and donates to organizations 15 to 20 times each year. More recently, his company volunteered to help JVS of MetroWest New Jersey with the design, planning and logistics of a move to a new location.
Blau has served on JVS’ board for four years and was initially drawn to the nonprofit once he saw the great work it did for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Aside from JVS, he also serves on the boards for Daughters of Israel, The Michael Graves School of Architecture and the Hudson County School of Technology.
Sobel & Co. is a public accounting firm that has not only consistently contributed to the growth of its clients, but has also helped nonprofit organizations and those in need through its notable philanthropic activities. The company founder, Sobel, has made it his firm’s mission to equally serve business and pro-bono clients with a set of core values that are the life of the firm. Sobel & Co. has supported the JVS of MetroWest NJ.
His nonprofit clients often ask Sobel why his firm chooses to assist them. His answer is that he and his employees feel good about supporting those who do good and have a passion for helping local nonprofit organizations achieve their missions of helping the world’s most vulnerable.