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2018 / 5778           

Dear JCS Volunteers,

It is hard to believe that another year has passed and it is now 2018. Each year as you know JCS touches the lives of thousands of individuals and families by providing services to help them live their best lives. We would not be able to accomplish this task without your dedication and connection to our agency.
The New Year is a time for us to reflect. As we look back on this year, it is apparent how much you have impacted the lives of so many in our community. Whether you are driving and escorting clients to appointments, shopping for clients who are home-bound, bringing friendship to our clients with special needs, or offering guidance to a child, you make a difference to those you help.
As we know, holiday time may be joyous for many but for others in our community, it still remains a difficult time of year. Your kindness and contributions, however, have made the holiday a special time for families in our community who are experiencing hardship. This year our JCS Toy Closet had a very successful holiday season. Sixteen individuals, groups and organizations sponsored families and approximately 70 children received gifts, toys, games, books and gift cards through the program. Special recognition goes to Krieger Schechter Day School who sponsored 8 families and to Barnes & Noble who solicited donations on behalf of the Toy Closet. Jewish Volunteer Connection also arranged for the Beth Tfiloh Empty Nester Chavurah to assemble 29 beautiful gift baskets for our JCS group homes that included toiletries, snacks, and gifts for Chanukah.  
On behalf of a grateful Board and staff, we want to let you know how appreciated you are for your selfless acts of kindness, the time that you devote to our clients and the difference that you make to our agency and our community.  
We wish you good health, happiness and many more opportunities to share and give in meaningful ways.

Allison Magat
Joan Grayson Cohen
Executive Director
Beth Land Hecht
Senior Manager, Community Engagement


We wish you and your family
a happy and healthy 2018. 
From the JCS Volunteer Services Staff:
Bracha Goetz
Deborah Hamburger
Beth Land Hecht
Rozi Rice
Amy Meyers Steinberg

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Gift Baskets from the
Beth Tfiloh Empty Nester Chavurah
JANUARY IS NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH! Mentors make a big difference in children's lives.
JCS matches Big Brother or Big Sister mentors with children and teens ages 7 to 17.  These relationships are mutually rewarding and often develop into long-lasting friendships.  Studies have shown that youth who have mentors are less likely to drop out of school, less likely to become involved with alcohol and other drugs and more likely to have positive relationships with family members.   
Our Big Brother and Big Sister mentors have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of over 70 Jewish children each year. On behalf of those children and their families, we wish to thank and honor you for your encouragement, dedication and support.
If you know someone who would want to make a difference in the life of a child, please ask them to consider becoming a "Big." A few hours a month is all it takes, and JCS provides training and support. Read " The Benefits of Being A Big Brother or Big Sister."
Trainings update: Our Big Brothers and Big Sisters are asked to attend at least one training a year on a topic that can help to enhance their mentoring experience.  Several Bigs opted to attend the Opioid Addiction community-wide event on 11/21/17.  Others chose to participate in the Growing Confident Children workshop held on 12/6. We hope to also offer our Bigs the opportunity to attend instructive mentoring webinars online as well as other upcoming informative and relevant community programs to satisfy this important continuing education component of being an effective Big.

Match Activities update:  
Open House: Join us for an BBBS Open House on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at the Eden Cafe for pizza and conversation.  Bring your little!  Bring a friend who might like to become a Big! Let others know how mentoring enhances lives! No RSVP needed. Stay tuned for more information.
Bowling Event: Hold the date for our annual Bowling Event which will be held Sunday, March 4, 2018 at the AMF Pikesville Bowling Alley from 2-4pm. Flyer coming soon. 
JCS extends its thanks to everyone who generously donated to our 2017 Chanukah Toy Drive. A special shout out to Krieger Schechter Day School for supporting our drive with their toy donations. Special thanks also goes out to Barnes & Noble for collecting book donations on behalf of JCS. 
We Know How to Party!
The JCC & JCS held a Chanukah party on December 14th for the JCS group homes and the participants of the JCC programs for adults with disabilities. There was a DJ spinning party favorites and we feasted on latkes and doughnuts in true Chanukah style. This is always the highlight of the year for dancing and singing with a wonderful evening for all.

The JCS group homes participated in Jewish Volunteer Connection's Mitzvah Day on  December 25th, Christmas Day, at the JCC.   A pizza lunch was served and enthusiastic volunteers sang holiday songs, emceed a Bingo game and awarded prizes to all of our Bingo winners.  One young volunteer even put on a gymnastics exhibition.  Everyone went home happy and is looking forward to next year.


Volunteers are always needed and encouraged to engage in our group events. If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering, please contact Rozi Rice at 410-843-7325 or
rrice@jcsbaltimore.org  .
Volunteer Services occasionally receives thank you notes from volunteers and clients.  Here is a sample of just some of the kind letters received:

Volunteers say.... 
 I really enjoyed being  a part of the program, and I hope that in the future, I would be able to volunteer again.  I appreciate all the help you have given me along the way and the words of encouragement.  I really enjoyed getting to know you and everyone else involved in the Big Brother Big Sister program.
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Clients say....
 A mother said that getting together with his Big Brother "is the highlight of her son's life."
volunteer_group_ngo.jpg JCS is looking for more volunteers! Do you have friends or family members that would like to join our fabulous group of volunteers? Please help us increase our pool of volunteers by referring them to JCS.  We are currently looking to add to the following volunteer opportunities:
  • Mitzvah Mobility Drivers to provide escorted rides for older adult clients to medical and other necessary appointments.
  • Mitzvah Mobility Schedulers to call volunteer drivers to schedule client rides.
  • Friendly Visitors to provide companionship and conversation to an older adult client who is home-bound.
  • Math Tutor for a high school student.
  • English Tutor for Russian speaking individual.
To become a volunteer contact Amy Steinberg at 410-843-7457 or fill out an online application at jcsbaltimore.org/volunteer.
Emma Bruk - Mitzvah Mobility Interpreter/Translator
Brocha Burr - Big Sister
Betsy Cohen - Mitzvah Mobility
Sidney Cohen - Tutor
Amy Harlan - Mitzvah Mobility
David Lichter-Mason - Office Assistant
Linda Neuwirth - Mitzvah Mobility
Rachel Obitz - Mitzvah Mobility
Ekaterina Prokofyeva - Mitzvah Mobility Interpreter/Translator
Mark Schwartzman - Big Brother
Staff are here to help our volunteers.
Beth Land Hecht, Senior Manager 410-843-7456 blhecht@jcsbaltimore.org
   Office Hours: MTWTh 8:30-5:00; F 8:30-3:00
Bracha Goetz, JBBBS 410-843-7453 bgoetz@jcsbaltimore.org
   Office Hours: MTTh 8:00-4:30  
Deborah Hamburger, Pro-Bono Services, JBBBS, Client Services  
   410-843-7305  dhamburger@jcsbaltimore.org / Office Hours: MWTh 11:00-4:00 
Rozi Rice, Client Services 410-843-7325 rrice@jcsbaltimore.org
   Office Hours: MTWTh 8:00-4:00  
Amy M. Steinberg, Volunteer Coordinator 410-843-7457  asteinberg@jcsbaltimore.org 
   Office Hours: MTWTh 8-4:00; F 8-3 
If you are unable to reach your designated Volunteer Coordinator,  
Beth Hecht (410-843-7456) and Amy Meyers Steinberg (410-843-7457) are  
available to speak with you Monday through Friday during JCS office hours.  
Bring your family and friends and join JCS and North Oaks at The Edward A. Myerberg Center, 3101 Fallstaff Rd, Baltimore on Sunday, January 21, 9:30am to 12:30pm, for a dynamic interactive community event helping older adults and their families make informed decisions for their futures.

Topics Include:
  • Solving Legal and Financial Issues for Older Adults, presented by Deborah Hamburger, Esq., Jewish Community Services, Chuck Krengel, CPA of Charles Krengel, P.A., and John Denick, Esq., and Natalie Krajinovic, Esq. of John H. Denick & Associates, P.A.
  • Navigating the Health Care System, presented by Susan C. Westgate, MBA, MSW, LSCW-C, LifeBridge Health
  • Options for Senior Living: What You Need to Know, presented by Cindy Wolf, North Oaks Senior Living Community
Pre-registration required by Friday, January 12. For more information, call Debra at 410-216-4118 or go to www.jcsbaltimore.org/agingwell.
If you have a documented diagnosed learning disability or are a Jewish high school senior from a single-parent home, Jewish Community Services and Central Scholarship may have a scholarship for you.

Scholarships are available to Jewish graduating high school students from the Baltimore Metro area pursuing higher education at an accredited U.S. college or university. Award decisions are based on academic performance, financial need, community and school involvement, and letters of recommendation.
Application deadline is April 2, 2018. Apply directly at www.central-scholarship.org.  
Please indicate you are Jewish and from single-parent family or have a learning disability. 
JCS, in collaboration with numerous community partners, is offering several community programs this fall that may be of interest. 

Click on a program title to learn more.
Jewish Legal Services
Low Vision Support Group


For a full calendar of JCS programs and events, click here.
To read our JCS blogs click here