If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, then you haven’t heard of the latest philosophy on extreme organizing. Her name is everywhere these days, or so it seems, and she is known for her presentations and books on how to be your very best organizer. Her method is intended to help people to part with things that keep them disorganized and encumbered, and her appeal appears to be broad and psychologically sympathetic to our attachment to things we don’t need, use, or possibly even see, in our personal environments. It’s probably a rare person who doesn’t need a little help in this area.

Meet new JFCS Career Services Director Sheilah Howard
Sheilah Howard, who previously served as JFCS’ IT Pathways Program Manager and Data Optimization Manager, has been named the agency’s Career Services Director. She recently spoke about how her background has prepared her for this position and what some of the opportunities and challenges are today in addressing the needs of job-seekers.

"Many of the people who seek career assistance now often need help the most," Howard said of the current low unemployment rate.

Did you know: February is Family Life Education Month
By Leah Persky • Family Life Education Manager

Family Life Education (FLE) has been a vital part of JFCS for more than 30 years. Over the years, Family Life Educators have focused on creating lasting collaborations with the community by providing opportunities that enrich the lives and health of families. Family Life Education is focused on prevention efforts, educational opportunities and collaboration. Our partners include schools, synagogues, teachers, parent groups, healthcare providers, day camps, and cities throughout the metropolitan area. The goal of these efforts is to strengthen families and enrich our diverse community while addressing evolving and emergent needs.

We want to hear your input and ideas on how FLE can meet the needs of your family and your community.

Keeping the Spirit Alive – The Conference for Caregivers and Those Supporting a Loved One with Dementia

Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Vic Sandler, MD
and emcee Jana Shortal

April 7, 2019, from 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Beth El Synagogue (5225 Barry St. W., St. Louis Park)
This conference is free and open to all

Questions about this event, contact Sharon Goldetsky at or 952-417-2149

Caregiver Conference Sponsors: Kelen Family Foundation, The Oren and Sharron Steinfeldt Foundation, Cherrywood Pointe of Minnetonka, Sholom Community Alliance | Community Sponsors: 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.
Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Dana Shapiro
wants to connect with you
In over 8 years as a dedicated staff member, Dana Shapiro has worked in the Development, Volunteer Services and Career Services departments and has been involved in many programs beyond those areas. Once again, Dana's title and responsibilities have grown! She will now use her knowledge of JFCS, passion to help others and her natural ability to be a connector in her position as Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator & Intake Counselor. Wearing her Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator hat, Dana wants to connect with you! 

The upcoming JFCS Volunteer Information Night on Feb. 25 will be a great opportunity for anyone to come learn about different ways to get involved in JFCS volunteer opportunities. All are welcome to sign up and bring friends! Sign up here.

For more information contact Dana Shapiro,
Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator & Intake Counselor, 952-417-2112
Ask a JFCS Counselor: What should I expect when I see a therapist?
Seeing a therapist and receiving counseling services doesn’t need to be scary or daunting. We accept most insurance including Medicare. Below, JFCS Counselor Carole Cera, LICSW, answers a question we frequently receive.

What should I expect when I see a therapist?

This is a very common and very good question. We’ve all seen “therapists” on TV and in movies and wonder if this is how it really is? Are they going to tell me what to do? What if I don’t like them? How do we start? Again, all good questions.

JFCS’ highly skilled, licensed therapists work with care and compassion to address the challenges people face throughout their lives. They help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems that cause emotional turmoil, improve communication, coping skills and symptom management, strengthen self-esteem, promote behavior change, feel better and function at their best.

Counseling Founding Sponsor: Lynne and Andrew Redleaf Foundation
Two ways you can support food security in March
By Clare Gravon • Food Security Program Coordinator

Next month marks the Minnesota Foodshare March Campaign, which brings together community organizations, businesses, and faith communities to help stock nearly 300 food shelves statewide. It is the largest grassroots food and fund drive in the state. We've go two ways that you can support MN FoodShare and PRISM in March.

When winter brings snow and ice, leave the driving
to Garber Transportation
Garber Transportation provides rides for JFCS clients who reside within a defined service area in Hennepin County. It’s a convenient, reliable way for ambulatory adults to get to a doctor’s appointment, friend’s house, grocery store and more. Services are available on a sliding fee scale.

Transportation Founding Sponsors: Jacob Garber Endowment Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, The Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging Sponsors: Allianz Foundation, Kelen Family Foundation, Stevens Square Foundation
Are you friendly, compassionate and looking for an important opportunity to help others?
JFCS is looking for Volunteer Receptionists to work at the front desk alongside JFCS staff to greet visitors, answer phone calls, and set the tone to ensure a welcoming and positive experience for participants, guests and staff. The position is 2-4 hours per week, on regularly scheduled day(s).

Or contact Dana Shapiro,
Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator & Intake Counselor, 952-417-2112
Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month
Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is a unified effort among Jewish organizations worldwide to raise awareness and foster acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities and mental health conditions and those who love them. JDAIM is a call to action for all of us as we act in accordance with our Jewish values, honoring the gifts and strengths that we each possess. Established at JFCS in 2009, JDAIM is observed during February.

Inclusion Founding Sponsor: Lynne and Andrew Redleaf Foundation
Sponsor: Toodie & Frank Trestman Special Needs and Collaborative Education Endowment Fund, a designated fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. 
Upcoming events: Please join us
Shalom Baby Shower
Sunday, Feb. 24 @ 10-11:30 p.m.

JFCS Volunteer Info Night
Monday, Feb. 25 @ 7-8 p.m.

PJ Library Climbing Day
Sunday, March 3, @ 4-6 p.m.

PJ Library Traveling Havdalah
Saturday, March 9 @ 5:45-7:30 p.m.

Jewish Community Day at the MOA
Sunday, March 10 @ 1-7 p.m.

Better Angels Red Blue Workshop
Sunday, March 10 @ 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Parent Ambassador Committee Kickoff
Monday, March 11 @ 6:30-8 p.m.
Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis |