Honoring Barry Stein: Important Life Lessons & a “Mystery Guest”

One of the highlights of the JFS event honoring Barry Stein on Sunday, October 10th was when the exceptionally talented interviewer, Michael Greenwald, told Barry that JFS had arranged a special message from his brother, Reuben. Reuben resides in Canada and was not able to visit his brother throughout Barry’s life-threatening battle with Covid-19. Expecting a laptop to be brought out, Barry’s eyes lit up when Reuben emerged from around a corner to hug the brother he had not been able to see in person for close to two years. But that was not the only highlight of the night. While we all learned about Barry’s accomplishments throughout his career, the real focus on the event was on the journey he went through overcoming Covid. 

His Work Is Not Done

The event was titled, “His Work is Not Done,” because at a critical moment at the height of his illness, during a period when he was unconscious, doctors began contemplating removing Barry Stein from his ventilator. Susan Stern, Barry’s wife, vehemently denied their request, insisting that: “His work is not done.” Both Barry and Susie shared the harrowing experience of living through the onset of Covid and the debilitating consequences it has wreaked on Barry’s body, but not his spirit. Barry shared how his lifelong faith and the incredible support of the Harrisburg and international Jewish community, enabled him to find the strength he needed to recover. 

The Zoom program was attended by over 100 participants and was opened with greetings by JFS Board member and event chair, Sandy Krevsky. The host of the program was noted personality, Mike Greenwald, currently a Senior Advisor at WITF, and included closing remarks by JFS President, Bob Wolff. Another surprise was a Proclamation given to Barry by PA State Representative Susan Helm, in recognition of his service to the Harrisburg community. Many community members stepped forward to make contributions in Barry’s honor to the JFS Tree of Life and community members can still give in Barry’s honor by clicking here. Some community members have also given funds towards social work student internships at JFS in Barry’s honor, which can be supported by going to this site.

Upcoming JFS Event

This recent event marks another programming achievement for JFS. Coming on the heels of the very successful, community building partnership with the National Israeli Baseball Team and the Harrisburg Senators in July, previous events featured noted speakers such as sports columnist and author Mitch Albom, journalist and filmmaker, Ron Susskind, and former Congressman and noted mental health advocate, Patrick Kennedy. JFS is pleased to announce that we will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary of delivering meals to homebound seniors through our Finkelstein – Cohen Kosher Meals on Wheels program (KMOW) on Thursday, June 9th, 2022. Headlining the event will be internationally renowned chef, Michael Solomonov. The event will also focus on the expansion of The Libby Urie Food Pantry, which provides non-perishable food to community members in need. More information on this exciting event will be available in the weeks ahead. 

Since 1964, JFS has provided effective social and human services to people of all backgrounds and all members of the community. We offer Adoption and Foster Care Services, Outpatient Counseling for children, teens, families, adults and seniors, and Community Programs, such as the Finkelstein – Cohen Kosher Meals on Wheels, Emergency Financial Assistance and Management, and the Libby Urie Community Food Pantry.For more information: 717-233-1681 or go to our website. 
  • By Steve Schauder, JFS Executive Director 
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