And earlier this week, our Network Board Chair Perry Ohren, CEO of JFS Detroit, joined by Paula Goldstein, CEO, JFCS Philadelphia and Tara Feiner, Director, JFS of Dayton along with Michael Levy, Board Chair, JFCS Atlanta, represented our Network at a Jewish Communal Leadership Solidarity Mission to Pittsburgh. I’m proud to share the following excerpt of Perry’s remarks:
As Pittsburgh continues to put one foot in front of the other, I want to specifically draw attention to my colleagues at Jewish Family & Community Services Pittsburgh. JFCS quickly and humbly stepped in to this devastation and will continue to provide essential assistance for the community in the months and years ahead. Like JFCS, the common thread among all of the Network’s Jewish human service agencies, in what we call ourselves and in what we do, is
Like Jewish Family & Community Services, the way that our member agencies
We help older adults and their loved ones to age in their communities.
We help families suddenly on hard financial times to make ends meet.
We help adults in intimate partner violence situations to seek better lives.
We help job seekers to attain employment, marching toward self-sufficiency and their full potential.
We help people struggling with their demons, possibly thinking life isn’t worthwhile anymore, to step outside of their deep pain.
We help families who need food to make it through the month.
We help people arriving to our country as refugees, fleeing persecution, to pursue a life of freedom and opportunity.
We help Holocaust survivors to live their remaining days with dignity and respect.
We help people with developmental disabilities to live their lives, alongside us at work, as our neighbors and praying next to us in our synagogues.
We help people traumatized by disasters, whether natural hurricanes, floods and fires, or horrific acts, to grieve, to move on, to heal.
We help! When someone is in pain, we help. Our tools aren’t many, nor are they big. Our main tool is our selves: a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, an ear to listen, a steady presence through crisis, challenge, transition, trauma.
Jewish Family & Community Services Pittsburgh does this every day. It is never easy. It is always necessary.
Three Shabbatot ago, Jewish Family & Community Services woke up to the unspeakable tragedy of 11 Jews murdered while in prayer at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Jewish Family & Community Services said “Hinenu”. We are here! As your brothers and sisters throughout this country and around the world we are here with you, in solidarity, to help all of us to move forward, bringing light and hope and healing.