Making Connections
Your Monthly Update on Our Work and Impact
From Gail's Desk
May 26, 2022

As I’ve had the chance to get out into our community more lately, I hear just how much pain people are feeling – whether it’s mental health pain from two years of living in this pandemic, or economic pain as people face inflation, and beyond. It can be exhausting and overwhelming, as I’m sure many of you have experienced yourself.

But our work at JF&CS is to be a source of strength to the community, and that itself gives me hope. We look for where the pain is, and we go there, unafraid, to heal it.

The Talmud teaches that “whoever saves one life, it is as if they saved the entire world.” This year, JF&CS touched the lives of nearly 14,000 people. I’m pleased to share our new annual report, which showcases the incredible resilience of ten of those people, as well as our broader impact this year. As the Talmud teaches us, each of these ten people are lives that truly matter.

I hope you’ll read these stories and be inspired by what our community has accomplished together.

We have been able to touch these lives because of the unwaveringly generous support of you, our donors, and volunteers. I couldn’t be more grateful.
Gail Schulman
Chief Executive Officer
Read the JF&CS 2021 Annual Report
JF&CS is proud to present our 2021 Annual Report. It tells the stories of how we impacted lives by delivering our services with quality and care, launching new services, expanding our reach, innovating new approaches, and showing up for the people who need us. We are so grateful to be able to acknowledge the many donors and volunteers who enabled us to do this.

We focused on four themes of our work:
  • Combating Economic Insecurity

  • Improving Mental Health

  • Caring for the Caregivers

  • Promoting Independence for People with Disabilities
Combating Economic Insecurity
JF&CS is providing an integrated approach to combating economic insecurity: helping people feed their families, heat their homes, bury their loved ones, keep roofs over their heads, and more so they can make positive changes in their lives. 

Read how in Maria Levy's story, featured in the annual report:
“Many years ago, I had major surgery. I turned to JF&CS for financial assistance as I was unable to work full time as I recovered. I’m a single mother – I left my abusive marriage after my son’s bar mitzvah. Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I once again turned to JF&CS for help. My case worker helped me in so many ways. She helped us find a scholarship for my son’s first year at Amherst College. When my child sent me the transcript from the first semester at school, I started crying. I called him and said I’m very proud of you.”
Increase in our Family Table capacity, enabling us to serve 350 new families
Financial and food assistance provided since the start of the pandemic
Hebrew Free Loans given for moderate income people to assist with a range of financial needs including lifecycle events, housing repairs, and more
Improving Mental Health
To confront the mental health crisis in Greater Boston, JF&CS launched Mental Health Connect - our free, confidential help line - expanded dozens of support groups, offered one on one coaching to address the challenges in people's lives that impact their mental health, and more. 

Read about our impact in Andrew Gabriel's story, featured in the annual report:
“My dad died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep in 2015. Then in 2017, my fiancé went back home to the Cape and was hit by a drunk driver and died. After that, I moved in with my mom full-time to take care of her. She had a liver problem and passed in 2019. I was in a state of trauma and shock, and I needed guidance. JF&CS helped me with everything: getting full social security disability benefits, finding housing, getting food benefits, and, ultimately, improving my mental health. It gave me a very stable and calm feeling knowing that I had someone who would call me every Tuesday to help me with everything.”
Mental health calls across all JF&CS help lines
Goals our one-on-one clients achieved or are on their way to achieving
Synagogues we regularly provide mental health support to via the Caring Community Resource Network
Caring for the Caregivers
These last two years have been particularly stressful for those in our community who are caring for others - whether for children, older adult parents, or partners.
JF&CS offers a range of support for caregivers.

Read about this support in Marcia Spraker Cavallo's story, featured in the annual report:
“I was a wound care specialist nurse. I had a client who had a very bad leg wound. He had Parkinson’s Disease. I would see him weekly to follow up on the progress of the wound, and I became aware of his involvement as a client in the JF&CS Parkinson’s Disease support groups. Then, my husband Vin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. How providential. We participated in the Parkinson’s dance classes because Vin and I loved to dance. In our group, there may not be answers but there is the sense of support you can give to someone else who is living the life you are living. Because of JF&CS I feel that I can continue to go right on.”
Calls from caregivers to a JF&CS help line
Active volunteers this year, including 67 Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms
Hours of personal support from Your Elder Experts for families navigating the complexities of aging
Promoting Independence for
People with Disabilities
CHAI Services stands for promoting Community, Housing, Access, and Independence for people of all abilities. It's very fitting that CHAI means "life" in Hebrew, because our goal is to enable every person to live a meaningful life, with as much independence as possible.

Read how in Elizabeth Juraschek's story, featured in the annual report:
I’m on the spectrum. It’s just a part of me. I’m always determined to do the best I can. I don’t think of my autism as the biggest part of me. I’ve been living in the JF&CS Aliyah house with a roommate for a year and two months. I want to be able to live on my own. Having the support of the staff really motivates me and helps me see that it’s for my benefit. JF&CS is always trying their hardest and they help you to come up with goals. They are always supportive of anything that comes up. Always trying hard to make sure I get help whenever I need it.”
People with disabilities who we supported to work in the community
Hours of programming and services delivered since the start of the pandemic to residents of our community-oriented homes for people with disabilities
Children with disabilities with more friends and skills from our respite and recreation program
CJP Launches Mental Health Initiative
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month. We're thrilled to be part of CJP's Mental Health Access Collective Impact project.
Legacy Giving
Read more of Judy's story as featured in the annual report.

Create your JF&CS Legacy today.
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