An Evening of Mind Games with Schoke JFS

39th Annual Mitzvah Awards
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Hilton Stamford Hotel

5:30 PM • Cocktails & Silent Auction
6:30 PM • Dinner, Presentation to Honorees & Live Auction
8:00 PM • Performance By Jon Stetson, Master Mentalist

Celebrate with our honorees, community leaders who have made a significant contribution to the success of Schoke JFS.

JERI APPEL
Mitzvah Award Recipient

© 2017 Aviva Maller

GAIL G. AND STEPHEN TRELL
Mitzvah Award Recipients

© 2017 Alison Wachstein

F. ROBB CASTER
Young Leadership Award Recipient

© 2017 Alison Wachstein


JERI APPEL has lived in Stamford since the fifth grade. In the early 1980’s she opened the first software training company in Stamford, Sys-Ed Microcomputer Learning Centers. She sold Sys-Ed in 2002 to be a full-time mom and raise her two sons. Jeri has become an active volunteer for many organizations. She has been the treasurer of the Temple Sinai Sisterhood for over twenty years and has been on the Temple Sinai Gala committee since its inception 11 years ago. She is a committee member and the treasurer for Boy Scout Troop 15, sponsored by the Jewish War Veterans. She is a member of the advisory council for the Stamford Regional Agriscience and Technology Center. Jeri is also a graduate of UJF’s Behrend Institute for Leadership.

As part of her commitment to Schoke JFS, Jeri helps run the Kosher Food Pantry Fresh Produce event, the Passover and Thanksgiving food and coat drives, and is a member of the An Evening with Schoke JFS Planning Committee.

Jeri was taught the importance of volunteering by her parents Betty and Daniel Roberts of Stamford. She has two boys, Jacob a sophomore at University of Colorado Boulder and Josh a senior at Westhill High School. Her husband Mark is a Regional Manager and a Director for LabLogic Systems, Inc. and an active volunteer across the community.

Schoke Jewish Family Service is privileged to honor Jeri Appel for her support of the Jewish community and the greater Stamford community.


GAIL G. AND STEPHEN TRELL are lifelong members of the Stamford Jewish community. Originally a public school teacher, Gail left the classroom to join Stephen in Acme Sign, a company Stephen founded as Acme Rubber Stamp in 1979. Gail’s philanthropic and volunteer causes include Starfish Connection, the Stamford JCC JumpStart program for children with special needs, and the Jewish Historical Society. In addition, since 2010, she has also raised the spirits of thousands as a Health and Humor Associates clown at Stamford Hospital. As part of her commitment to Schoke JFS, Gail has served on the Saul Cohen – Schoke JFS lecture committee, the An Evening with Schoke JFS committee, and as a board member for the past four years.

Stephen and Vegas, the Trell’s standard poodle, are frequent “friendly visitors” to the Stamford JCC JumpStart program. Stephen has served as the President of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, President of the Stamford JCC, and on the Saul Cohen – Schoke JFS Lecture committee. Gail and Stephen are the recipients of the 2003 Jewish Historical Society Heritage Award and the 2013 Hyacinthe and Harold Hoffman Humanitarian Award.

Gail and Stephen are the proud parents of Julie and Jeffrey and grandparents of Hailey and Max.

Schoke Jewish Family Service is privileged to honor Gail G. and Stephen Trell for their support of our Jewish community and the Greater Stamford community for over five decades.


F. ROBB CASTER has always been a “people person” with an entrepreneurial spirit. Robb founded a brand development consulting business, Rebrandery, after working as a brand coordinator for J. Crew and then Apple. Today, he is Vice President of Marketing for Building and Land Technology, a privately held real estate equity, development and property management firm that has completed Harbor Point, a transformative, mixed-use development in Stamford. In addition, Robb is the author of A Lonely Expensive Life, a guide to getting what you want out of life and sharing a piece of the American Dream. He is a graduate of Fairfield Prep and went on to Harvard University for a degree in Computer Science.

Over the years, Robb has helped many organizations, including Pacific House, Stamford Nature Museum, The Preservation Society of Newport County, the American Theatre Wing, and UJA/JCC of Greenwich. Robb is a long-time supporter of Schoke JFS. He was instrumental in designing and building the agency’s first website and online presence.

Schoke Jewish Family Service is privileged to honor F. Robb Caster for his support of Schoke JFS and community organizations across Stamford.


Jon Stetson was the inspiration for the CBS hit television series The Mentalist and is the one entertainer who understands the importance of capturing the mind of his audiences.

The Stetson Experience is intelligent, interactive, sophisticated fun. Along with hundreds of corporate appearances, Jon has performed for three U.S. presidents, the King of Sweden, the Royal Family of Monaco, and has appeared on several major television networks.

Interjecting uproarious comedy into each program, Jon creates a hilarious and unique presentation that never fails to blow the audience away. Stetson blends the art of mystery with the study of psychology, the predictability of human nature and the power of intuition, with a disarming sense of humor. The result is that the most skeptical of audience members begins to feel a renewed sense of wonder as impossibilities become realities.

Jon Stetson’s engaging programs are packed with audience participation. Imaginations are wowed, stretched and captured, as thoughts are revealed and minds are being read, with Jon’s intriguing games of mind to mind contact.

Thought reading has never been this much fun!