December 17, 2021--Shabbat Shalom
An Update from our Resettlement Director, Becca Schwartz
“Unprecedented” is a word that is overused lately but it is the word that feels most accurate to describe the environment that staff, volunteers, and community partners have been working through over the past few months. In the Federal Fiscal Year that ended September 30th, 2021, the United States resettled a total of 11,411 refugees. For our part, Madison welcomed 54 individuals. By contrast, nearly 70,000 Afghan evacuees have arrived at various military bases in the US since the fall of Kabul and they are all slated to be resettled by mid-February, just 4½ months. As of the day I’m writing this, 54 Afghan evacuees have arrived for resettlement by JSS in the past 3 months. It feels like a lot more because it is a lot more than we’ve seen before. By mid-February, we expect to welcome 21 more to make a total of 75. 

As we move forward with resettling this population, we worry about their Humanitarian Parole status which means that most of these evacuees can only stay in the country for 2 years. They will need to apply for asylum within 24 months. Those eligible for SIV status because they've worked with the US military, will need to start or continue that application process. Many fear that the evacuees will bog down an already overwhelmed asylum system and that local immigration legal capacity in cities where Afghans are resettling is not enough to handle those who need support. The passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act would provide a simpler path to permanent residence for this population. Please reach out to your elected officials and encourage them to support the introduction of this bill.

We anticipate regular refugee arrivals to restart in mid-January and thanks to our increased staffing, we intend to resettle 80 refugees and SIVs in addition to the Afghan parolees in 2022. This total of 155 for the current fiscal year is more than double our previous busiest year. As we approach our 5th anniversary of restarting our resettlement program and our partnership with ODFR, it’s important to pause every so often to appreciate the amazing work we have done together: Over 250 people resettled in the Madison area; nearly 60 new homes beautifully set up; limitless possibilities for the lives of our new neighbors.

With deepest gratitude,

Becca Schwartz and the JSS resettlement staff
JSS is hiring for 5 NEW POSITIONS!

Social Services Case Manager

See the full job posting here

Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume to the Associate Director Chris Shanahan at shany@jssmadison.org. Please include CM-SS in the subject line. Position open until filled.  

Managing Attorney of Immigration Legal Services, Jewish Social Services of Madison

See the full job posting here

Please submit a cover letter and resume to the Associate Director Chris Shanahan at shany@jssmadison.org. Please include ILS Managing Attorney in the subject line. Apply today!

Resettlement Case Aide

See the full job posting here

Interested individuals should send a cover letter and resume to Jewish Social Services at HR@jssmadison.org. Please include “Resettlement Case Aide” in the subject line.

Resettlement Case Manager, ICM

See the full job posting here

Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume to hr@jssmadison.org. Include RR-ICM Case Manager in the subject line. This position will be posted until it is filled but priority will be given to applicants who submit early, so don’t wait. Apply today!

Job Developer Case Manager

See the full job posting here

Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume to hr@jssmadison.org. Include RR-Job Case Manager in the subject line. This position will be posted until it is filled but priority will be given to applicants who submit early, so don’t wait. Apply today!

If you need assistance or accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at office@jssmadison.org or you may call us at (608) 442-4081.
Donations Item Wish List

Our Social Services Case Management Team is looking for the following items for current clients:

Warm pants, size XL

Winter boots size 12
Male sweaters, size 3XL
Male warm pants, size 3XL
Long warm socks, size 12

Hats, mittens for both male and female

Please contact Maya Garbuz at maya@jssmadison.org or (608) 442-4085 if you have any of these items. Thank you!

Thank you!

Have a car you no longer use? Consider donating it to JSS! The proceeds go directly to our programs.

Donating a car to JSS could mean hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars in support of our programs. Our vehicle donation program provides free pick-up and supports you through the entire donation process.

To learn more or to get started, call CARS (Charitable Adult Rides & Services) at 877-537-5277 or simply submit a secure online donation form. The CARS Vehicle Donation Support team is available seven days a week.

We are running low on funds for this NECESSARY program.
Consider donating to our COVID Emergency Fund!

Watch for our next E-Connect to hear more about some of the people that YOUR gifts have helped.
Join us for Shabbat – All are welcome!

Capitol Lakes in the Grand Hall
333 West Main St (first Fridays)
Friday, January 7: 3 – 4 pm

Oakwood Village West in the Chapel Annex
333 West Main St (third Fridays)
Friday, December 17: 3:30 – 4:30 pm (TODAY!)
Friday, January 21: 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Masks are required for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status. Thank you for keeping our community safe!
TO JOIN ZOOM PROGRAMS: Watch out for an email, or go to www.jssmadison.org/calendar and choose a program by date. Click on the event title to open up a new window that will have details and a Zoom link for that program. On Monday mornings, we send out an email notice with the link for Yoga From A Chair. If you are not on that email list, but wish to be – please let us know.

Recordings of past Zoom programs are available on JSS’ YouTube channel. There is also a link to the channel on www.jssmadison.org under the Communications menu.
Yoga From a Chair and Schmooze

Get a leg (and a few arms) up on welcoming in 2022!

All are welcome to join us to schmooze and check in with each other, followed by yoga from a chair session with Betsy Haimson and/or Estelle Katz.

Wednesday, December 29
Schmooze: 10:40 – 11:00am
Yoga with Betsy Haimson from 11:00 – 11:30 am

As long as it is safe to do so, we will continue with Lechayim lunches and in-person yoga on most Mondays. For any questions on this program, and future programming from Jewish Social Services: contact Paul Borowsky, 608-442-4083, paul@jssmadison.org

Harry J. and Belle Goodman Lechayim Lunchtime Plus

Find changes, updates and new information about JSS programs on our website, www.jssmadison.org.

Join us for great food, friends, fun and interesting programs at Lechayim Lunchtime Plus.

Meeting at Beth Israel Center, 1406 Mound Street, located on the corner of Mound Street and Randall Avenue.

If you would like a meal, contact Jewish Social Services at (608) 442-4083 or email: paul@jssmadison.org by Wednesday preceding the meal. If you are 60 years or older, a minimum donation of $4.00 is suggested, but please only pay what is comfortable for you. The cost of the meal is $9.07 for those younger than 60 years old.

Many thanks to UW Hillel Adamah Catering for providing our delicious kosher meals!

Monday, December 20
11:00 am -11:30 am: Yoga from a chair with Estelle Katz
11:00 am -11:30 am: Complimentary Blood pressure check with nurse, Lori Edelstein
11:30 am -12:30 pm: Braised Balsamic chicken (Veggie option: Balsamic braised tofu), garlic whipped potato, roasted vegetable medley, fruit
If you would like further information about programs and transportation, contact Paul Borowsky at (608) 442-4083, paul@jssmadison.org.

Recordings of Zoom programs are available on JSS’ YouTube channel. There is also a link to the channel on www.jssmadison.org under the Communications menu.
As more of us are vaccinated and COVID restrictions ease and protocols evolve, we want to thank our volunteers that could do so for staying active, often via telephone, internet and expanded holiday gift giving and deliveries.

Now that there are expanded ways to safely interact, requests for volunteers as friendly visitors, shopping partners, and other tasks are coming in quickly. We will be having volunteers help with Shabbats and hopefully more in-person events beginning this summer. Also, we are receiving more families for refugee resettlement. JSS has a van that can be used for larger families. If you are comfortable picking up and driving the van or have a larger vehicle yourself, we are always looking to have a good size pool of drivers. Some of you are already engaged in some of these roles – thank you again.

For those of you who would like get more specifics about these and other emerging volunteer opportunities, or know someone who may be a good fit for our programs – please contact me via email or phone number below. 
We understand that as we move forward volunteers and those we help will have varying degrees of comfort level and needs regarding any in-person visiting or transportation help. We will work together with you and clients to respect that and keep us all safe. Look forward to hearing from you.

For questions about volunteering, please Contact Paul Borowsky at 608-442-4083 or paul@jssmadison.org. 
Volunteers needed to help newcomers ride the bus

JSS is seeking volunteers to help newcomers learn to ride the bus. Newcomers are very much dependent on public transportation when they first arrive, to go to appointments and get to work. If you’re willing to ride the bus and know how to use the maps function on your smart phone, you will be able to help us teach our new neighbors how to navigate their new home.

Please contact Becca Schwartz at becca@jssmadison.org or (608) 960-7883. Thank you!

New semester starting--Adult learners need your help with English language and literacy

Thanks to Jewish Federation of Madison through the Cheryl Rosen Weston Fund – Jewish Social Services is partnering with the Literacy Network to offer training and volunteer opportunities this fall working with adult learners in English as a Second Language, GED preparation and/or general literacy skills.

It will involve an initial training session, gaining familiarity with lesson plans and materials prepared by Literacy Network staff, and weekly meetings with an adult learner. The fall session begins in September and runs through mid-December. Until further notice, all meetings will continue to be online.

Thanks for those of you who responded already – we still are recruiting. To get further info about this opportunity, please contact JSS volunteer coordinator, Paul Borowsky, 608-442-4083 or paul@jssmadison.org. Check for further descriptions, specific training dates, applications, and other details on the Literacy Network website: https://www.litnetwork.org/

PROGRAM EXTENDED!!! Thank You Bader Philanthropies.

Transportation Program for Older Adults:
Significantly subsidized private rides

JSS is excited to have received a grant from Bader Philanthropies of Milwaukee to allow JSS to provide additional transportation support to ALL older adults throughout Dane County, specifically focusing on those with fewer resources. When JSS cannot find a volunteer driver, trips to and from medical appointments, grocery stores, and similar necessities will be made available for a maximum of $8.00, round trip, with fee waivers available. 

If you know anyone who may benefit from this program, please let us know. We have it for our community. For transportation assistance, please contact us at (608) 442-4081 or office@jssmadison.org. We will connect you with one of our social workers who will be happy to help you access this service. We thank Bader Philanthropies for their interest in our community.
Download or read online our paper Connections newsletter. It has different stories and photos than you see in our electronic newsletter.

To reach our office, call (608) 442-4081*
*Please leave a message. We check the voicemail frequently, even when the building is closed.
Recordings of our Zoom presentations and programs are available to view on JSS' YouTube channel.

There is also a link to the channel on www.jssmadison.org under the Communications menu.
JSS is proud to be a beneficiary agency of: