Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer

Joyce Kalstein

Joyce Kalstein recently joined our Foundation Board of Trustees. But Joyce and husband Jerry are no strangers to our local Jewish community, to volunteering and to helping improve the lives of others.

Originally from Philadelphia, they settled in the Princeton area and a short time later, Joyce, Jerry and son Matthew were warmly welcomed as members of Congregation Beth Chaim. The synagogue became a central part of their lives, where they observed many life cycle events. Most meaningful was when Rabbi Wisnia married their son and led memorial services for Joyce’s and Jerry’s parents.

Through Beth Chaim, Joyce became friends with others who recruited her to serve on the Board of Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS). Her tenure lasted more than twenty years, and she held every position on the Executive Committee including Secretary, Treasurer and President.

When asked why she stayed so long, Joyce explains that she was compelled to support the services that so many people rely on – even her own neighbors. Jerry joined the effort, and they volunteered for Chore Core, doing tasks in the homes of seniors. While they helped with physical or organizational projects, they mostly enjoyed making a genuine connection and providing companionship.

They also developed an appreciation for the Jewish Community Youth Foundation, which guides teens to deal with money, understand economic value, and dive deep into the world of philanthropy. A highlight for Joyce was when she accompanied 11th graders to meet nonprofit leaders in New York City.

When LIFE & LEGACY was introduced to our community, the concept immediately resonated with Joyce and Jerry. They wanted to help ensure a future for their favorite organizations. To them, LIFE & LEGACY represented a way to build a bridge from one generation to the next. Joyce led the LIFE & LEGACY committee for JFCS, and they made a Promise (legacy commitment) to JFCS and Beth Chaim.

The Kalsteins lead a full life complete with work, travel, crafts and hobbies including local opera. It’s a priority for them to keep active, to do for others, to learn from the experiences of those who came before them, and through all this, to stay young at heart.