Tomorrow night is the annual Flatbush Development Corporation dinner, which will honor four neighbors who have each done a lot for the neighborhood. Congratulations to Community Leadership Award recipient Lois Jackson, DDS, and to Neighborhood Service Awards recipients Jeffrey Ewing, Jocelyn Lucas-Rosenberg, and Charlene Forest.
Tickets are still available for the event, which this year is a special one–it’s on a boat that will cruise over to the Statue of Liberty and back. Click here to learn more, or call the FDC at 718-859-3800.
Lois Jackson, DDS
Though Lois Jackson has considered herself a Bronx girl, Victorian Flatbush can rightly claim her as one of our own. Lois started her journey from the Bronx, to Morningside Heights, Washington Heights, Sheepshead Bay, and finally settled in Fiske Terrace. Along with her husband, Hon. Michael Gerstein, Judge of the NYS Criminal Court, in 1979 Lois moved into her Fiske Terrace house where she and Michael still call home.
What brought her here? Originally a New York Magazine article describing our neighborhood as a “new frontier” peaked her interest, and having friends here helped her discover the neighborhood. She immediately fell in love with its charming character, its rich history and knew that this was “Someplace I wanted to be part of.”
And so she did. With seemingly endless energy.
Whenever someone on the Flatbush Family Network asks “I need a pediatric dentist for my child,” there are always multiple responses: Dr. Lois Jackson! She is well known to parents in Brooklyn and well as lower Manhattan. Her two offices are always filled with her young patients.
But all that activity never took Lois away from her other important priorities: her community, her synagogue, and her professional organizations. Lois didn’t just join the Fiske Terrace Association (FTA), she organized various meetings and social events, welcome packages for new neighbors, and even secured “Fiske Terrace 11230” caps which are still worn with pride today.
Branching out from Fiske Terrace, Lois joined the Board of FDC, arranging various fundraisers for the organization. She is also on the Board of Camp Brooklyn, to help deserving Brooklyn youngsters get away to sleep-away camp in the summer.
Lois is also an active Board member of the East Midwood Jewish Center, to which she is very committed.
Her other passion is her profession, which is demonstrated by her role as President of the NYS Association of Pediatric Dentists, Southern District. She is also a member of the NYS Board for Dentistry, and the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Columbia University (her alma mater) College of Dental Medicine.
And many other affiliations too numerous to list.
Lois plans to continue all her activities, while expanding her horizons via her involvement with the Global Initiative Program for the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, which works to provide access to dental medical care to children throughout the world.
And when she stops to take a breath, Lois and Michael (now married 35 years) enjoy spending time traveling everywhere from Tanglewood to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Jeffrey Ewing, West Midwood
Jeffrey has lived in Victorian Flatbush since 1979. He was first inspired to move when he had accepted a job to be Community Board 14’s District Manager and where he served for over two years. When he saw the great neighborhood he became determined to purchase a home and move here. He had fallen in love with its beautiful homes and the strong community spirit of its residents.
Jeffrey is the Vice President of the West Midwood Community Association, and has been on its Board of Directors for many years. His primary focus from the beginning has been on preserving Flatbush as a great place to live and helping to make it even better.
If you ask Jeffrey what he likes best about living in West Midwood, he would say the small town atmosphere with its many activities that get neighbors together, and the way its residents support each other. He also likes the ethnic diversity and the incredible creativity of so many of the residents. Jeffrey also feels it’s great to live in a community with such a forward-thinking, progressive, and energetic leadership.
Jeffrey is an urban planner and engineer by education, and a transplant from California. He has a consulting practice in affordable housing finance and development, and he is also a Certified Financial Planner practitioner. His wife, Susan, is a social worker and psychotherapist. His oldest son, Nathan, is a specialist in website programming and development, and his younger son, Benjamin, is in his third year at Tufts University, majoring in engineering and minoring in music.
Jeffrey is being honored for his many years of service to Flatbush and West Midwood.
Jocelyn Lucas-Rosenberg, Beverley Square West
Jocelyn and her husband Jon and their daughter Nina (7) have lived in Beverley Square West since September 2004. The opportunity to live next door to Jon’s cousin was a wonderful incentive to move from Manhattan. Their family does not stop on Rugby Rd. They also have a cousin on Stratford Rd. Being so familiar with the beauty of the neighborhood and looking for a wonderful family supportive environment to raise their daughter made Flatbush an easy choice.
Jocelyn’s favorite thing about Victorian Flatbush is her love of the diversity; enjoying all walks of life, ages and nationalities that live here. She is inspired by meeting neighbors that have been here for 50 years and the many new young families and individuals that create this great melting pot.
Jocelyn has been instrumental in bringing back the Good Neighbor Committee in Beverly Square West. She enjoys working to create events that bring neighbors together like “Porch Nights.” Last year, 3 successful Porch Nights entailed a host family welcoming neighbors to share in ice-cream, a pot-luck of drinks and snacks on their front porch. Porch Night 2012 is in the works, so look for the open invitation.
She is dedicated to making a difference in the local public school, PS 139 where her daughter attends. This year has been an exciting year where Jocelyn was inspired to write a grant to obtain ‘seed’ money to start a school garden. Rallying a team of volunteers she has made flowerbeds on Cortelyou Road and has started a planting program. The school garden will slowly become a part of the school science curriculum.
Jocelyn supports and looks forward to the day when Beverly Square West is landmarked a historic district. She has been working diligently with the BSW Landmarking Committee to help gather information regarding the houses and the neighborhood.
Jocelyn is a transplanted Canadian who has lived in the U.S. for almost 20 years. She trained as an actor but spent most of her time on the other side of the cameras in advertising and marketing. Jocelyn is now working as a freelance writer and strategist while writing her first novel. Jocelyn’s flexible schedule allows her to be involved in wonderful projects in the neighborhood. She feels there are many people who really pitch in to help make this a great neighborhood to live in, but she is very flattered and honored to have been chosen for a Neighborhood Service Award.
Charlene Forest, Fiske Terrace
Charlene moved to Victorian Flatbush in 1990, motivated by the opportunity to own a larger home and the chance to create a beautiful garden. When Charlene enters the neighborhood she feels it is like a trip back in time. Always impressed with the character of the homes and the gardens she works diligently herself to preserve her home in a historic manner.
The front and back gardens at Charlene’s house are beautifully cared for. Charlene always helps neighbors with gardening when asked, and welcomes all for the Fiske Terrance Garden Ramble. She is very proud of the fact that the block on which she live has won an honorable mention in the “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” contest for the last 2 years.
Charlene is always helping out when she can and is active on the Fiske Terrace Board in which she was sectary for many years. She was involved in landmarking of Fiske Terrace and Midwood Park, spending many hours assembling the photos of all the houses that were sent with the applications. Her dedication to the process was tremendous.
Two Siamese cats and Steve Yarris, Charlene’s husband are the purveyors of their lovely home. She works as a Biology Professor at Brooklyn College where she teaches and does research on the sex life of green algae. Charlene was born in Brooklyn and moved to Queens with her family when she was 3. She was excited to return to Brooklyn with her appointment to Professor at Brooklyn College. She loves being able to walk to work most days. One day she took her mother on a walk through the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and listened to her reminisce about walking the same garden paths with her in a baby carriage.