The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Saturday, April 13, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Robin Cohen and Stan Fernandez-Schklar will be honored at JFS annual Chesed Dinner on May 9, 2024

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Robin Cohen and Stan Fernandez-Schklar to receive this year’s Chesed Award from Jewish Family Service on May 9.

Robin Cohen and Stan Fernandez-Schklar are the recipients of Jewish Family Service’s 2024 Chesed Award, given each year to acknowledge the contributions the recipients have made to the Jewish and broader Nashville communities. This year’s dinner co-chairs are Meryl Kraft and Anna Sir.  Chesed is Hebrew for “loving kindness,” and occurs when the command to “love your neighbor as yourself” is fulfilled. Nashville could not be luckier to have Robin and Stan as neighbors, as they are prime examples of what Chesed means. 

“Robin and Stan live and breathe the essence of Chesed! They both share their talents freely with so many organizations both in the Jewish and broader community,” said JFS Executive Director Pam Kelner. “One of the aspects I love most about the Chesed Award is the opportunity to share with the entire community what our amazing honorees have done to impact the quality of life for so many in our community. People who attend the dinner always walk away inspired by the honoree's accomplishments, and I promise that Robin and Stan will be no different.”  

 When reflecting on her involvement with JFS, Robin said, “My time spent serving JFS and its community has been more rewarding and fulfilling than I could ever have imagined. Over the years I have witnessed JFS grow from an organization almost completely dependent on the grants of other organizations, to become a strong non-profit operating and standing proudly on its own two feet. I have participated in this growth and leadership committed through its own Board doing the fundraising. Witnessing the staff seamlessly respond to the crisis of the day/year is inspiring:  switching to a virtual platform during Covid to counsel and assist local shut ins and then settle and resettle Israelis since October 7, provides me with memories of how JFS always comes to the rescue of so many vulnerable individuals. JFS’s support of LGBT adoptions has never wavered. My pride for JFS and their dedicated leadership and volunteers has grown in leaps and bounds. It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside the leadership of this organization.” 

When asked about receiving the Chesed Award, Stan responded,“It’s truly an honor for me to be recognized at this year’s Dinner. And it is such a special honor because it comes from an organization which I’m truly blessed to be a part of. JFS is full of caring people, both Staff, and volunteers, that I truly look up to, and that motivate and inspire me every time we meet, or work on something together. Each time I attend a meeting or work on an event at JFS, I am just in awe of the people I’m surrounded by, so many good people. There are so many facets to this organization. And there are so many caring folks here, reaching out in so many directions, to help so many people, with so many diverse needs. JFS is truly a lifeline for people in our community.” 

Invitations are in the mail, so be on the lookout to RSVP.  To learn more details about the dinner and honorees, and to RSVP or donate, visit 

The Chesed Dinner is the primary fundraiser for Jewish Family Services, one of Nashville’s oldest social service agencies. Last year JFS served over 1,800 individuals through its 21 services and programs in adoption, counseling, psychotherapy, financial assistance, senior services, information and referral, and family life and community enrichment. In addition, JFS responded to the October 7 massacre in Israel in numerous ways, which will be highlighted at the Chesed Dinner on May 9.   

For more information about JFS or the Chesed Dinner contact Pam Kelner, Executive Director at (615) 354-1644 or visit the JFS Website at 



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