Ruth Ellis Center
Ruth Ellis Center. (Wikimedia)

The award includes a $25,000 prize.

The Jewish Fund recognized The Ruth Ellis Center as the recipient of the 2020 Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence at its annual meeting on November 24 for its health and well-being programs. 

Founded in 1999, the Ruth Ellis Center provides trauma-informed services for lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth and young adults, with an emphasis on young people of color, those experiencing homelessness, those involved in the child welfare system, and those experiencing barriers to health and wellbeing.

Ruth Ellis Center’s Executive Director Jerry Peterson accepted the award from presenters Mark Schlussel and Karen Sosnick Schoenberg. The award includes a $25,000 prize.

“The Ruth Ellis Center’s long history of providing innovative and exceptional services for LGBTQ+ youth and the young adult community in Metropolitan Detroit made it a natural choice for this honor,” The Jewish Fund said in a press release. 

“Our Board has been supporting the Ruth Ellis Center for over a decade,” Jewish Fund Executive Director Margo Pernick tells the JN. “They do great work, they have strong leadership, and they have constantly evolved in terms of their types of programs and services to meet the needs of this population.”

“We’re very excited to recognize and support them, and hope that receiving this award will result in more recognition of the Center by the general public and by other funders,” Pernick added. ”This population really needs to be embraced more than many in the community do and we’re happy to send a supportive message.”

The Jewish Fund also recently elected new leadership and board members, including Michael Eizelman as Board Chair and Jeffrey Schlussel as Vice-Chair. Other new members include Peter Alter, Paula Glazier and Jay Hack.

Recently, the board awarded $1.8 million in new and continuation grants. This includes grants supporting urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Jewish and broader community.

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