Accelerating Social, Academic and Health Equity
Monthly Report to the Community
April/May 2022
Dear JFS Friends, Supporters, and Collaborative Partners,

Thank you to all who attended the meeting that was organized to share the updates on our community’s response to the crisis in Ukraine, including my co-speakers Executive Director of the Action for Post-Soviet Jewry Debbie Kardon, Center Makor President and CEO Vladimir Foygelman, and Director of the Shapiro Foundation Larry Tobin. Much has changed since that meeting. Please click here and go to our link for updates. Specifically there is new info on “Uniting for Ukraine”, the US Program in which a local family or organization can sponsor a Ukrainian family to come to our community. This sponsorship is temporary to offer safety and sanctuary to these war victims until they can return to reunite with their families in Ukraine.  As the situation evolves, another meeting will take place in the coming weeks. Follow JFS on our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram – to be informed of when the next meeting will take place.

While we have been watching the situation in Ukraine closely, other work at JFS has continued. One project I am proud to highlight is the Seder in a Box program sponsored by CJP. During the weeks before Passover, our team coordinated the distribution of over 3,000 Kosher meals to community members throughout all of Greater Boston in need so they could fully celebrate Passover. This project was managed in collaboration with our partners Jewish Family & Children Services (JF&CS), Yad Chessed, New England Yachad, Daniel's Table, 2Life Communities, Hebrew SeniorLife, Temple Beth Elohim, Congregation Kehillath Israel, and Perini Management Services, Inc. as well as Adeas Mediterranean, Larry Levine’s Kosher Catering, Catering by Andrew, Ora Catering, Dushez Kosher Catering, Tova's Catering, and A Perfect Taste Catering. Deliveries took place over 3 days during which boxed meals were distributed to 905 households and 145 volunteers stepped up to handle 115 delivery routes, driving across Metrowest as well as the Greater Boston, North and South Shore regions. Many thanks to staff, volunteers and our collaborative partners for ensuring that these Jewish isolated older adults had what they needed to take part in the traditions of Passover!

We have also been hard at work preparing for Seize the Dream which will take place this Thursday May 5th at the Westin Waltham when we will be celebrate the work of JFS and the contributions of our exceptional honorees Jodi and Ken Bring and Rebecca and Allan Chasen. This is our most important fundraising event of the year, and while tickets are sold out, there are other ways for you to show your support:
  • The Auction is open! Lots of exciting and unique items to choose from – click here to view all items and don’t miss your chance to win!
  • Make a donation – 80% of our operating budget is funded by philanthropic dollars – please partner with JFS and help support this important work in the community.

Happy Spring and praying for peace in Ukraine soon.

Lino Covarrubias, CEO
Ukrainian Humanitarian Crisis

We are actively monitoring the situation and evaluating ways we may provide assistance in the coming weeks and months to civilians seeking safe haven. Click the link below to learn about opportunities to assist in these efforts.

Thank you for your caring, compassion and offers of support. Hope and prayers for the safety of all Ukrainians and peace soon.

Afghan Evacuee Resettlement Project

Since October, JFS has welcomed 13 Afghan evacuee families (47 individuals) to the Greater Boston Metrowest Area. Our partners at area faith organizations have been essential in supporting these families as they build a new life in the United States. We are especially thankful for the teams of volunteer coordinators at each faith organization who have recruited, onboarded, and supervised large teams of volunteers.  
Alma Cothias, Esq. MBA
Director of Immigrant Services
With JFS since February 2022
From Albania; Speak Albanian, English, Italian, and Spanish
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston; Juris Doctorate, Massachusetts School of Law Andover; Master’s in Business Association, Suffolk University, Sawyer Business School. Alma is a licensed attorney.

Experience: Alma gained valuable experience working as an Attorney for Downing Van Dyke, LLC and Harmon Law Offices, P.C. where she represented many clients in mediation, motion hearings, summary process trials, and in all aspects of the foreclosure process. Prior to becoming an attorney, Alma worked for nonprofit organizations such as Eliot Community Human Services and Jewish Family and Children Services, providing assistance to families in need.

In addition to her work at JFS, Alma helps family members and friends apply for Citizenship and different types of Visas and assists them to navigate in this new country upon arrival.

Alma enjoys traveling with her family and visiting new countries every year, as well as going to music festivals with my husband.

“I believe that the work that we do at JFS is very important because the help we provide to immigrants when they arrive in the United States, helps create a great foundation to build a better life here and work towards their goals of becoming independent and successful.”
Last month, Jordan, a 13-year-old from Newton, donated thousands of dollars of gift cards to JFS’s resettlement projects. In preparation for his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Jordan organized a gift card drive to support Afghan Evacuees and Ukrainian Refugees.

Jordan spoke about what inspired him to take on this hands-on Mitzvah (social action) project: “Over the past couple of years, my family has donated toys and money to support Afghan Evacuees, and my Torah portion talks about welcoming people who are struggling. So, the gift card drive felt like a great way to involve something my family and me care about with a topic related to my Torah portion.” He added, “The Jews have had to flee their homes throughout history. With that history and experience, it’s our duty as Jews to take in and support others.”

Following the success of his project, Jordan shared advice for his classmates: “It’s worth taking time every day or every week to help others. In a few hours, the impact you can make in someone’s life is far greater than what you’d be giving up in those few hours. It’s the most meaningful way to spend your time.”

Looking to the future, Jordan hopes to become more involved in resettlement projects. “Once I’m older, I want to do in-person, interactive volunteering, where I can meet families and connect with them.” 

Thank you, Jordan!

Learn how you can support JFS’s work with 
Together, with the help of over 149 volunteers and staff, JFS of Metrowest coordinated the delivery of over 3,000 Kosher meals for Passover to families and older adults throughout Metrowest, Boston and North and South Shore communities.

Thank you to our staff, volunteers and collaborative partners for ensuring that these isolated Jewish older adults had what they needed to be able to celebrate the traditions of Passover!
In April, JFS welcomed alumni from Holy Cross as part of Holy Cross Cares ’22. Individuals representing the classes of 2018, 1993, 1992, 1983, and 1981, as well as some of their children, tagged, sorted, and folded enough clothes to fill 25 large bins! The bins are now on their way to the FPS Resource Room, where the clothing will be made available to families in need.

Thank you to the over 300 volunteers a year who help JFS of Metrowest accelerate social, academic, and health equity.

You are our heroes! You accompany older adults to medical appointments. You provide a warm welcome to refugees. You check in on the safety and well-being of isolated elders. You distribute food, personal care items, and clothing to families in need. You mentor first generation college students. You support immigrants on their path to citizenship. You support our fundraising efforts and share your unique talents with us. You ARE JFS!

During Volunteer Appreciation Week, and every other week, thank you!
Click the video above to watch our COVID-19 Vaccine PSA. We are proud to present our multilingual staff, who work tirelessly to accelerate social, academic, and health equity in our community!
Active bystanders learn how to recognize, safely deescalate, and intervene in potentially dangerous or problematic situations. Join JFS in fighting hate by attending a training to become an Active Bystander, and thank you to all who bravely stand against injustices of all kinds in our community.
To learn about upcoming news and events as they occur, like/follow the JFS Committee on Anti-Racism and Fighting Antisemitism social media channels, and CLICK HERE for a list of resources specific to this work.

Tickets and Special Friend Sponsorships are now available for the 2022 Seize the Dream Gala! Click here to learn more.
Seize the Dream Auction is Now Open! – Register Now!

JFS is honored to receive generous donations from the community to bring you this year's Seize the Dream auction. Items include getaways in Nantucket and Vermont, trips to Napa Valley, Monterey, and Puerto Vallarta, luxury dining experiences, and activities for families with children, including rock climbing, Duck Boat tours, escape rooms, and loads of Boston sports tickets!
Virtual Visitors Needed!
Join our Virtual Visitor team and connect remotely with an assigned older adult on a weekly, mutually agreed upon schedule.

You’ll reduce social isolation and provide periodic wellness checks to older adults living independently in the community.

You’ll receive training to learn the essential questions to ask related to the elder’s well-being and basic needs.

Virtual Visitor is a flexible volunteer opportunity that can work within your schedule. We ask for a 6-month commitment for this program.

Interested In Volunteering?

Please complete this short form and a JFS staff member will get back to you,
or email Gail (Manager of Volunteer Services & Community Engagement) at

JFS responds to the ever-changing needs in our community and we are continually adding new volunteer opportunities. Watch the recording of 2021's Seize the Dream, and hear directly from our volunteers about the impact they are making in the community every day!

If you’d like to support this impactful work, please donate!

Need help with an aging loved one? JFS Geriatric Care Managers can help.

When you need expert guidance navigating the challenges that come with aging, the elder experts of JFS Allies in Aging can help.

Supported by CJP, the JFS Family Assistance Network provides confidential and respectful assistance to individuals and families in Metrowest to help them meet the short-term challenges resulting from financial difficulties
Our goal is to help households remain independent and financially self-sufficient through a comprehensive array of coordinated services including case management, financial assistance and others. Learn more.
JFS Supports Our Veterans
JFS has a commitment with our partner agencies to ensure
no veteran is left behind.

Recent studies among military personnel and veterans have shown that mindfulness training can help increase focus and attention and assist in the healing of PTSD.

Follow these links to learn more:

With Lifeline from JFS of Metrowest, help is just the press of a button away.

We are pleased to provide members of Massachusetts’ older adult community with America’s most trusted medical alert service. For more than 40 years, Lifeline has enabled millions of people to live with greater independence, peace of mind and dignity in the place they feel most comfortable – their own homes.

Because the Lifeline service also helps family caregivers to balance the needs of their loved ones with the demands of their own busy lives, Lifeline is of immense benefit to them as well.

As a subscriber through JFS of Metrowest, you will be eligible to receive the latest promotions and incentives.

Questions? Call today (866) 674-9900 x4380
and mention Program Code MA670
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support JFS of Metrowest every time you shop, at no cost to you! 

When you link your regular Amazon account to AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same prices, selection, and shopping experience that you’re used to, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to JFS!
Need to retire that old junker? Donate your car to JFS through CARS (, and skip the costs and hassles of selling a car, like paying for advertising, insurance, and repairs. Vehicle donations are tax-deductible, and you could reduce your taxable income when taxes are itemized. There is no cost to the donor. All expenses are deducted from the gross sales price.
Thank you to Alma, Jordan and all who are partnering with JFS to Accelerate Social, Academic and Health Equity in our community.

Your help is needed - get involved today!
JFS of Metrowest | 508-875-3100 | |