Honorees

ELAINE E. KATZ, MS, CCC-SP

For more than 12 years, Elaine Katz has been involved with JESPY House. As a member of the Board of Trustees, Elaine led efforts to broaden the board’s base of expertise, to ensure the continued success of JESPY House. During her four-year term as president of the Board, Elaine implemented a strategic planning process which has fostered a culture of innovation and renewed vision throughout the organization.

As senior vice president for grants and communications at Kessler Foundation, Elaine is responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring a national grant making program that funds innovative employment programs for people with disabilities. In addition, she oversees the Foundation’s internal and external communications.

Over her 25-year career, Elaine has gained experience in board development, fundraising, marketing, and business development, which she brings to leadership roles at other nonprofit organizations, including the New Jersey Association of People Supporting Employment First (NJAPSE); the Essex/Newark Disabilities Issues Committee; the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers; and the New Jersey Veterans and Community Collaborative Network (VCCN).

In 2016, the G.I.Go Fund awarded Elaine the inaugural Jackson Drysdale Civilian of the Year Award for her support of job opportunities for wounded veterans, and in 2015, Community Options, Inc., honored her with the Betty Pendler Award for her many contributions that have improved the lives of persons with disabilities.

Elaine holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Pathology from the American-Speech-Hearing Association. She received a master’s degree in Speech Pathology from Adelphi University and a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Boston University.

MICHAEL OCH, MD

Michael Och is proud to be a long-time member of the JESPY House Board of Trustees. He is active in Congregation Beth El and has served on the boards of many local Jewish organizations. He and his wife, Golda, were among the founding families of Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union, now named Golda Och Academy in her memory.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Michael studied at Boston Latin School, and earned dual bachelor’s degrees from Harvard College and Hebrew Teacher’s College. After graduating from Tufts Medical School, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy in Quantico, Virginia. Michael, a resident of Maplewood since 1965, has practiced radiology at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center for 43 years.

Michael’s love of travel has taken him to all seven continents. He enjoys music, theater, and working out at the local Jewish Community Center. He treasures his friends and family, including his three children and their spouses, and especially his nine grandchildren.