Making Connections
Your Monthly Update on Our Work and Impact
Greetings!

Long before I became the CEO of JF&CS, I was a volunteer—experiencing first-hand the satisfaction and impact of contributing to our community. This year, over 2,400 people generously volunteered their time and talents to make JF&CS programs possible. As we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Month this April, we honor the effort and impact that these volunteers are making in our community.
 
Every time we put out a call for volunteers this year, you stepped up. Just this month, over 120 JF&CS volunteers delivered over 3,000 Passover meals to people in need across Greater Boston.
 
I invite you to read the stories from some of our amazing volunteers below to learn about what your neighbors are doing to help the community, and to explore opportunities for you and your family to get more involved. Be in touch with our Volunteer Services Manager Ava Harder if you are interested in getting more involved.
 
One way you can get started is with our inaugural JF&CS Day of Service on Sunday, September 11 in the parking lot of our Waltham offices. We will be sharing lots more about this event in the months to come, but it’s not too early to save the date.
 
On behalf of our staff, our clients, and our community, thank you to all our volunteers for giving so much of yourselves!


Gail Schulman
Chief Executive Officer
Passover meal delivery volunteers
Shaping our inaugural JF&CS Day of Service:
An interview with
Jennifer Drucker & Lori Shaer
Jennifer Drucker
Lori Shaer
Save the date! On Sunday, September 11, 2022, we will hold our inaugural JF&CS Day of Service. We are thrilled to announce Jennifer Drucker and Lori Shaer as co-chairs of this event.
 
How did you connect with JF&CS?
Lori: When our children were younger, we were looking for hands-on philanthropy opportunities. We found it impactful to bring our children to Family Table to pack groceries, deliver them to homes and interact with the clients. When our oldest child learned to drive, he took on the responsibility of collecting 100 cans of tuna and salmon from our temple every month and dropping them off at Family Table. Seeing his involvement evolve as he matured has been so meaningful. Over the years, my involvement with JF&CS grew, including co-chairing the Women’s Breakfast several years ago. My husband also volunteers with the Friendly Visitor program, spending time with a Holocaust survivor who we’ve all gotten to know.
 
Jennifer: Hands on philanthropy work has always been my passion. As I prepare to be an empty nester with more time to give, I was looking for new opportunities to make a difference. I became a mentor three years ago with JF&CS through the Journey to Self-Empowerment program, working with a survivor of domestic abuse to help her gain economic sustainability. We work on her resume, interview skills, budgeting, researching camp options for her daughter, credit card debt – anything financially related. I spearheaded a fundraiser this year to buy gift cards for our Journey to Safety clients. Our goal was to raise $1500, and we almost tripled that. I now sit on the Center for Basic Needs Assistance advisory board.
 
Why are you excited about creating a Day of Service with JF&CS?
Lori: I feel strongly about the great work that JF&CS does and how many different lives the agency touches. Hands-on philanthropy really resonates with me. It's always been very important to me that if we're involved with an organization, we're not only giving financially but giving our time as well. The date of 9/11 is one that we will always remember. Giving back to make this world a better place and helping others on that day feels right.
 
Jennifer: The Day of Service is hands on work, and it is allowing people to learn about JF&CS. People don’t realize how many lives JF&CS touches and how many lives they improve. It’s what makes me tick. This is a family event that children of all ages can get involved in. They are the next generation, so for them to learn about JF&CS and service is critical.
Supporting new moms:
An interview with Debbi Coran
Debbi Coran volunteers with the Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms program. She is also a member of the Center for Early Relationships Committee, a group leader for the Sharon New Parents Support Group, and serves as a Synagogue Ambassador. Debbi has been volunteering with JF&CS since 2005.

Why did you pick JF&CS?
Many years ago, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity to fill up some free time and came across a small ad in our local newspaper for a Visiting Moms training. That was 17 years ago, and I've supported probably 40 new moms with weekly visits since then. The work is extremely fulfilling. The support I get from JF&CS is beyond what I ever could have believed. The supervision of volunteers, having people to go to when things come up with a mom makes the experience so much richer. And I love what I do now as much as I did 17 years ago. I love every minute with the moms and the babies.
 
What's been a very meaningful moment from your volunteering?
Within a week of the world shutting down with COVID, JF&CS put together a Zoom platform for new parents to meet other moms, replacing the existing in-person new parent support groups. It really helped the moms in that first year, when they would have been totally isolated. They were able to create friendships, for themselves and their children. That to me was a real defining moment: JF&CS just stepped in and made it happen so that these moms weren't left dangling with no support system whatsoever.
Helping Holocaust survivors:
An interview with Jeff Cotton
Jeff Cotton volunteers with Schechter Holocaust Services. He has been volunteering with JF&CS since 2014.

How did you get your start with JF&CS?
After retiring in 2014, I wanted to give back. I had done a trip with my daughter through the March of the Living where we visited half a dozen concentration camps in Poland, before going on to Israel. Now I volunteer with JF&CS Schechter Holocaust Services.
 
I love JF&CS as an organization. We have approximately 400 Holocaust survivors that we follow. I have an awful lot of 80, 90-year-old boyfriends and girlfriends that I've made through this program. I send out birthday cards and Caring Cards to all survivors. Probably about four or five times a year, I will get heartfelt thank you’s that this card made their day, their month or their year.
 
What would you say to others looking to volunteer?
Whatever you give, you get so much more back in return. It's a wonderful place to volunteer, with so many different programs. And you may start off in one direction and find that you're pulled in a different direction, and you keep adding directions. And that's a good thing. 
Virtual Community
Holocaust Commemoration of Yom HaShoah
JF&CS is proud to co-sponsor JCRC’s event,
At a Crossroads: Preserving the Truth,” a virtual commemoration of
Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, May 1 at 2PM.
We live in a time when there are many who distort the facts of the Holocaust. Survivors have fought these distortions by preserving the truth of their lived experiences. This year, we will hear from community leaders throughout Greater Boston including Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Rick Mann, Ambassador Meron Reuben, local Holocaust survivor Frieda Grayzel and more.
Bill and Ruth Weinstein:
Leaving a lasting legacy
Longtime volunteers and donors Bill and Ruth Weinstein became members of our Tree of Life Society when they made a legacy bequest to JF&CS in their will.
Create your JF&CS Legacy today.
Help us care for those in need tomorrow.
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