JESPY House, a South Orange-based nonprofit organization that has supported adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for 45 years, received a $1 million gift from supporters Ken and Judy Peskin. The gift supports the organization’s campaign to build affordable residential units for our clients. The Go Big for JESPY campaign also will create vocational, clinical, program, and community spaces, a new library and a technology center, and it will expand existing health, wellness, and recreational facilities. The Peskins have been advocates for JESPY’s programming, services, and events for several decades.
“When we began planning our Go Big for JESPY campaign, we knew it would take confidence, determination, incredible philanthropic support and many cheerleaders,” Audrey Winkler, JESPY’s executive director, said. “Judy and Ken were one of the first to say, ‘We’re in!’ And thanks to their seed gift, we were positioned to think big and to go big. We are thrilled that Judy, a longtime board member, is the honorary chair of the Go Big for JESPY campaign and we will always be grateful to Ken for remaining one of JESPY’s number one cheerleaders.”
“It is our sincere hope that many others will follow our lead and contribute to the Go Big for JESPY campaign,” Ms. Peskin said. “We believe that this very exciting dream can come to pass and that many philanthropic people will be inspired to join us in supporting it, as did Leon and Toby Cooperman, whose historic $13.25 million matching challenge gift was announced this summer. We invite others who care about the work of JESPY to join us in supporting this campaign in a BIG way. It will make an enormous difference in the lives of our clients.”
“I have long been uplifted by JESPY and its mission of enabling clients to be as independent as possible while learning to accept and deal with the various issues that affect their lives,” Mr. Peskin said. “I have been privileged to witness how JESPY has changed from the original four clients to the current 300-plus clients, who are supported and encouraged by professional staff. We are very excited about the organization’s future.”
Judy Peskin’s introduction to JESPY was prompted by a lifelong friend who raised a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities and her desire to give back to her own community. Ken Peskin works as a business adviser and active volunteer. He’s a national board member and past president of the New Jersey region of the American Jewish Committee, and is a past president and on the board of the Jewish Vocational Service MetroWest NJ. Judy and Ken have three married daughters and six grandchildren. For more information go to jespyhouse.org/GoBig