December 2019

It isn't too late to donate to JSS' Winter Campaign
Dane County social service agencies recently experienced severe funding cuts to senior programs. Your donations to JSS will help ensure we can provide needed services to all our participants and clients. Article in the Wisconsin State Journal
JSS Hosts a Successful Event About Healing with Rabbi Eric Weiss!

The Jewish Social Services Chaplaincy Program with support from Tim and Kathy Mazur was delighted to host author Rabbi Eric Weiss, President of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, for a special brunch event on November 17th. Over 80 attendees shared a thought-provoking exploration of how humans connect to something larger than ourselves and locate a sense of greater meaning in our lives.

Rabbi Eric teaches that e ach person’s path to expanding the boundaries of our individual selves is unique, and if we can identify those paths, we can then turn to those things that are most meaningful in difficult times. Caregivers can use that knowledge about those they care for to support their well-being, whether by playing classical music, providing access to nature, or whatever brings them the most joy, peace and meaning. 

During his visit, Rabbi Weiss also worked directly with Madison-area clergy and JSS staff to enhance their professional skills related to Jewish spiritual care.  

Thank you to Rabbi Weiss for making the journey from San Francisco, to JSS staff who helped during these events, to Thomas Palay and the Florettes for in-kind support for the venue and decorations, and to Eve-Lynn Siegel for the wonderful photos.  

Action You Can Take: Advocate for Immigrants Regarding Fees
Proposed Rule: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has proposed to dramatically increase the fees charged for individuals to get their green cards, renew DACA, and to become citizens. These changes will prevent many from being allowed to work, go to school or actively participate in our communities. The federal government will allow individuals and organizations to submit comments regarding these proposed changes.

Please help those in need by submitting your comments to Homeland Security Department. Here is where to submit your comments:

JSS has submitted the following comment. While you are welcome to copy and paste our words into into your comment submission, we encourage original comments since those have a greater impact.

To the Department of Homeland Security:

Jewish Social Services of Madison strongly opposes the proposed rule regarding the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule and other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements. The fee increases of 55% or greater are both unreasonable and unjust. If the fees must be increased, the increase ought to correlate to the cost of living. In addition, we request that the government continue to offer fee waivers for low income individuals and families. The plans for the proposed rule includes drastic cuts to fee waiver eligibility which will have devastating consequences for those who follow the legal immigration processes.

Much like our parents and grandparents, individuals from all over the world move to the United States for a chance at a better life. Migrants who come here will often work at low paying, grueling jobs that are vital to our economy, particularly in agriculture and factory production. Immigrants face a greater likelihood of experiencing discrimination and exploitation than do those born in the United States while working in fields that others will not do. By passing this proposed rule, the government is increasing the financial hardship of legal immigration; placing one more hurdle in the path to successful integration.

JSS also disagrees with the plans outlined in the proposed rule to use United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Fees to fund the activities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The enormous backlog of immigration cases that are awaiting the attention of USCIS is a testament to the fact that more funding is needed toward processing these applications. It is unjust to put immigrant dollars toward immigration enforcement rather than assisting the individuals who are following the immigration laws.


Jewish Social Services
Governor Tony Evers sends letter of support for refugee resettlement to Secretary Michael R. Pompeo

"Our state has a rich history of opening its doors to people of all backgrounds, experiences, and walks of life. Through the years, while the people seeking resettlement opportunity in Wisconsin have changed, their circumstances have not: they are people seeking a new life, they embrace American ideals, and they bring with them valuable skills and experience which benefit all of us." -Governor Evers
JSS and Madison Refugee Union Rally to Bring Refugees to the US

JSS Wish List

New or gently used boys clothing:
  • Size 8 jeans (2-3 pairs)
  • Shirts sizes Medium & Large
  • Size 10 sweat pants (2-3 pairs)
  • Underwear sizes Medium & Large
  • Socks sizes 4 & 5
  • Gloves & hats (3-4 pairs)

Sheets and pillow cases for 2 full-size beds

Please contact Maya to find out the best time to drop them off.

Jewish Grief Support Group to Begin in January

The loss of a loved one is both a universal human experience and a deeply personal one. People experience grief on many levels: physical, psychological, and spiritual. This 6-week group will support those on the journey of grieving with tools from the Jewish tradition.

When : Tuesdays January 7 th through February 11 th 2020, 3:00-5:00pm
Professional facilitation : Rabbi Renée Bauer, Community Chaplain and Nancy Feingold, MSSW
Location : Beth Israel Center, 1406 Mound St, Madison
Fee : $54 includes snack and a copy of Mishkan Aveilut: Where Grief Resides by Rabbi Eric Weiss

To register, please call Rabbi Renée at (608) 442-4088.
A tribute gift is a meaningful way to convey sympathy to the bereaved, memorialize a loved one, commemorate a special occasion or honor a person’s life and accomplishments.

Your gift to Jewish Social Services made in honor or memory of this special person ensures a legacy that extends far into the future.

It's time for Goodman Lechayim Lunchtime Plus!

Monday, January 6
11:30 am-12:00 pm    Yoga from a chair with Betsy Haimson
11:30 am -12:30 pm   Complimentary Blood pressure check with
nurse, Lori Edelstein
12:00 pm-1:00 pm     Vegetarian lasagna, Italian dressing with iceberg
salad, rolls, fruit, dessert
1:00 pm-2:00 pm       Ken and Claudia Miska travelogue: “Yellowstone
and Grand Tetons”

Monday, January 13
11:30 am-12:00 pm    Yoga from a chair with Betsy Haimson
12:00 pm-1:00 pm     Chicken matzah ball soup, mixed green salad w/
balsamic vinaigrette, roll, fruit, dessert (Veggie
option: no chicken)
1:00 pm-2:00 pm       Joni Pico presentation, “Life, Work, and
Traditions among the Tlingit and Haida people
of Alaska”

Monday, January 27
11:30 am-12:00 pm    Yoga from a chair with Betsy Haimson
12:00 pm-1:00 pm     Brisket, mashed potato, tszimmes, mixed green
salad with balsamic vinaigrette, birthday cake
(Veggie option: Shephard pie)
1:00 pm-2:00 pm       TBA

Next month dates:  February 3, 10, 17, 24
Save the Date for Jewish events in the Madison Community

Monday, December 23 rd from 2:30 to 6:30 pm
For more information : please contact dinner coordinators Merle at 608-298-7537 or Corliss at 608-831-6521

Blockstein Lecture at Temple Beth El
Sunday February 9th, 2020 from 9:45am to 12pm
More Information Coming Soon