October 8, 2020
Congratulations to one of our founding Board members, Dr. Charles Garvin, on being inducted as a National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Pioneer. NASW Pioneers are social workers who have made important contributions to the social work profession throughout their career.
Congratulations, Charles, for your outstanding contributions and wonderful body of work!
Oct. 10-11
Simchat Torah means “Rejoicing in the Torah.” On this day, Jews celebrate the Torah—the first five books of the Bible—and mark the end of one yearly cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of another. It is a reminder that reading the Torah is a circle that never ends.
This holiday is a time of great celebration which includes dancing, singing, eating, drinking, and rejoicing.

Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County will be closed Friday, Oct. 9
in observance of Simchat Torah.
Meet JFS' Newest Staff Members
Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County is thrilled to welcome several new staff members! These staff members are all distinguished in their fields and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to JFS. We are very fortunate to have them all!

In order for our community to get to know each new staff member a little better, we asked everyone to share their favorite thing about fall.
Alana Deriggi, Thrive Clinical Therapist
Alana is excited to join JFS. She spent the last three years being as a full-time mom to her young daughter, and prior to that was an Infant Mental Health home visitor working with families in Washtenaw and Wayne County. Alana's background is in teaching and creative writing. She loves to read and write in her (very little!) spare time.

Alana is enjoying the beautiful leaves and crisp sunny days this fall.
Ellen Abramson, Special Campaigns Consultant
The majority of Ellen's career has been in fundraising, and alumni and external relations. She retired from the University of Michigan as a major gift officer for the Medical School and Health System. Prior to that role, Ellen worked as director of development for the local chapter of the American Red Cross. She felt privileged to be a Red Cross employee on September 11, 2001, and to participate in their response effort. Earlier employers include the U-M Ross School of Business, Hospice of Washtenaw , and working in the Mayor’s Office of the City of Cleveland. Until recently, Ellen was president of NorthCoast Banners and Bags, a business she and her late husband founded in 2005.  

Ellen is the author of The Money Game and How to Win It which describes how she and her husband paid off a significant amount of debt and changed their lives in the process.

Ellen's favorite thing about fall is the glow of the sun shining through the beautiful leaves in warm hues of red, orange and yellow.
Jaime Meyers, Marketing and Communications Consultant
Jaime Meyers, a Michigan native, brings a variety of communications expertise to JFS. She earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan, then spent more than ten years working in the news business in Michigan and Pennsylvania. After a switch to higher education communications, she joined the U-M School of Nursing Communications and Marketing team. Most recently, she earned a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education before returning to Ann Arbor.  

Jaime's favorite thing about fall is the changing colors of the leaves. 
Murphy Vandervest,
Human Resources Assistant
Murphy is a senior at the University of Michigan studying Neuroscience. In addition to working at JFS, she also works as a CNA at a local nursing home. Murphy is an active member of the University of Michigan Sailing Team.

Her favorite thing about fall is the ability to wear sweaters every day!
Jane Cherunya, Interpreter and Translator
Jane lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She holds a degree in translation and interpretation from University of Mainz, Germany and a Master’s degree in linguistics from the University of Alabama. She is fluent in Kalenjin, Swahili, English, and German. 

Jane loves what JFS is doing by helping the most vulnerable people in our communities. She is happy and proud to be part of this mission. 

When she is not interpreting or teaching languages, Jane loves taking long walks, baking, and gardening.
Jane's favorite thing about fall is definitely pumpkin soup made with ginger and coconut milk. She describes it as being like a beautiful blend of cultures.
Jodi Smolek,
Development Manager
Jodi comes to JFS with 15 years of development experience. Prior to joining JFS, Jodi worked for the University of Michigan filling several development roles through two fundraising campaigns. She believes that one of the most rewarding aspects of development work is connecting people to meaningful resources and opportunities that have a lasting professional and personal impact. 

Jodi earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from Cleary University.

Jodi's favorite things about fall are the beautiful colors, the crispness in the air, and pumpkin spice lattes.
Kevin Nguyen, Youth Program Assistant
Kevin is a junior at the University of Michigan studying Cognitive Science. He was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Before joining JFS, Kevin was a research assistant for a graduate researcher at U-M.

Kevin's favorite thing about fall is all of the trees turning different colors.
Kylee Golzar, Micro-Enterprise Development Associate
Kylee graduated from DePaul University in 2018. Kylee first became involved in the nonprofit field when she served as a Project Management Intern at the Institute of Global Homelessness, facilitating global conferences on homelessness and best practices for ending it. She also worked as part of a core team to successfully coordinate the nonprofit, Girlforward's, summer program for young women who were recently resettled as refugees in Chicago. Kylee is excited about her role at JFS, and can't wait to grow and learn alongside the JFS staff and clients. 

Kylee's favorite things about fall are the outfits!
A special thank you to Dina Nayeri for being our special guest during Welcoming Week. All who participated in this virtual event were treated to an engaging and fascinating discussion about her book, The Ungrateful Refugee, and her experiences as a refugee.

You can listen to the Q & A portion of the session here. You can also visit Dina's website for additional information and links to interviews.

We have a few copies of The Ungrateful Refugee available for sale. Click here to purchase the book.

Please join us for Caregiver Conversations - an informal group for caregiver support and education.

Tuesdays | 3:00pm-4:30pm
October 20, 2020
November 17, 2020
December 15, 2020

Visit our website for more information and to register for any of the upcoming dates.
The need for JFS Specialty Food Pantry services is great and volunteers are needed to accomplish this important work. For additional information or to sign up to volunteer click here.

Are you looking for other ways to help the food pantry? Contact us at volunteer@jfsannarbor.org.