How often does someone attempt to know you by asking questions regarding where you live, what you do, who you know, or who lives with you? I’m guessing we all experience this type of well-intended inquiry, and that we engage in it as well. Consciously and unconsciously, we seek to organize information by checking mental boxes and making easy assumptions in order to categorize who we meet, get to know, and include in our lives.

Creating a path to IT jobs for those facing significant barriers
In a metro-wide initiative that aims to diversify the population of tech workers, JFCS’ IT Pathways program is ‘the glue that holds the program together’

Kirsten had been working a couple low-wage part-time jobs when she decided to enroll in The Software Guild’s coding boot camp, which teaches people without any tech experience fundamental skills needed for IT jobs. She held a bachelor’s degree in biology and was working towards her Ph.D in entomology, but was unable to secure employment that met her qualifications due to a criminal background. She had also dealt with mental health issues.

April is Advance Care Planning Awareness Month
By Betsy Snyder • JFCS Senior Services Care Coordinator

Happy Advance Care Planning Awareness Month! Despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe it’s important to write down their end-of-life wishes, only 36% of people have actually done so (Kaiser Permanente, 2019). Many people avoid discussing this topic because they don’t know how to bring it up or because they worry it may upset their loved ones.

Senior Services Sponsors: Kelen Family Foundation, Elyse Rabinowitz & Jim Porter, The Oren and Sharron Steinfeldt Foundation
Earth Day, Good Deeds Day & bal taschit:
Each of us can make a difference every day
By Leah Persky • Family Life Education Program Manager

Each year Earth Day is celebrated on April 22. Today we tend to think of it as a celebration or as a call to action to do something good for our local and global community. The first Earth Day in 1970 was different. It was about social activism and protest; a way to bring awareness and attention to the real challenges of pollution, climate change, deforestation, and unsustainable economic growth. In 1970, more than 20 million Americans across the country took part in the day with demonstrations and rallies. The outrage and awareness about the ill-health of our planet and the general unhappiness with the status quo of pollution and environmental degradation were the catalyst behind the first Earth Day.

It’s men’s turn to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month
By Mark Kaufman, MSW, LICSW • JFCS Therapist

When our Counseling department decided to write a blog post in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I apologetically and reluctantly volunteered.

“I’m willing to write it, but who wants to hear from a man? I mean, we’re the ones responsible for most sexual assaults.”

Counseling Founding Sponsor: Lynne and Andrew Redleaf Foundation
The Conference for Caregivers: Find resources here
Almost 300 people recently attended “Keeping the Spirit Alive”: The Conference for Caregivers and Those Supporting a Loved One with Dementia on April 7 at Beth El Synagogue.
The event featured a keynote speech from Dr. Vic Sandler, MD, as well as ten breakout sessions led by experts from local legal, medical, religious and other fields.
The Caregivers Conference is designed to support caregivers and let them know that they are not alone on their journey. For caregivers, family members, lay leaders, clergy and professionals, the event provides practical approaches for caregiving, tactics to take care of the caregiver, plus educational and research updates about dementia, all through the lens of a Jewish perspective. The conference also provides information about community resources that are available. JFCS, along with Jewish Family Service of St. Paul (JFS) and The Twin Cities Jewish Community Alzheimer’s Jewish Task Force, hosts the Caregiver’s Conference bi-annually.

For information about caregiver support and dementia-related services please contact JFCS at 952-546-0616 or visit our website at

Caregiver Conference Sponsors: Kelen Family Foundation, The Oren and Sharron Steinfeldt Foundation, Aurora on France, Cherrywood Pointe of Minnetonka, Sholom Community Alliance, Machov Family Philanthropic Fund, Annette & Vic Sandler, Jewish Family Service, The Beverly Foundation, Fingerhut Family Foundation, The Carol & Alan Shapiro Family Fund | Community Partners: Alzheimer’s Association, Beth El Synagogue, Hadassah Upper Midwest, Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Minnesota Rabbinical Association, NCJW/MN, Sabes JCC, Sholom, St. Paul JCC, St. Paul Jewish Federation | This conference is a collaboration of Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis and Jewish Family Service of St. Paul

We would also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Beth El Synagogue for their hospitality and generosity.
Join us for a free movie screening: 'Normal Isn’t Real'
Presented by JFCS, in conjunction with the Learning Disabilities Association of Minnesota (LDA)

Sunday, April 28
2-4 p.m.
Community Room at JFCS, 5905 Golden Valley Rd, Golden Valley

“Normal Isn’t Real” is a series of four mini documentary-style videos featuring successful young adults sharing their stories of coming to terms with their learning disability and ADHD. These candid portraits take the viewer into the subjects’ daily lives; showcasing their talents, venting their frustrations, and employing the strategies they use to manage their challenges and utilize their strengths. Viewers leave equipped with insights and tools they might adapt to their own lives, and a large dose of inspiration.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation for JFCS’ partner agency, PRISM Food Shelf and Thrift Shop for Change (toilet paper is especially requested) . The film has English subtitles for those with hearing impairment and an ASL interpreter will be provided during the introduction and following panel discussion.

Upcoming events: Please join us
Movie Screening: "Normal Isn’t Real"
Sunday, Apr 28 @ 2-4 p.m.

Shalom Baby Circle Time
Sunday, Apr 28 @ 3:30-5 p.m.

Moving From Anxiety to Optimal Well-being
Wednesday, May 1 @ 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Good Deeds Day
Sunday, May 5 @ 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Trauma, Security, and Faith: Jewish Perspectives on Gun Violence
Friday, May 10 @ 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

JFCS Annual Meeting 2019
Wednesday, Jun 12 @ noon to 1:30 p.m.
Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis |