Making Connections
Your Monthly Update on Our Work and Impact
Dear Friend,

Just as the miracle of the oil brought light for eight days of Chanukkah, we share eight “bright lights” of our work at JF&CS. As we head into another winter of uncertainty and struggle for our community, I find so much inspiration in the moments of creativity, caring and resilience we have created this year – and hope you will, too.

We are grateful for your continued partnership in this vital work, and we wish you a bright and healthy Chanukkah.

Gail Schulman
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. JF&CS was honored to have been named #74 on the 2021 Boston Globe Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts alongside many other significant members of the community! Check it out!
Family Table is expanding our space to serve 350 new families
Family Table has undergone a major expansion of our food pantry and delivery program, enabling us to almost triple our freezer and refrigerator space at our existing Waltham location. Healthy food - especially fruits and vegetables - is critical to support people experiencing food insecurity. As the needs of our community deepen and food insecurity worsens, we are making more room at the table.
Watch Channel 7 coverage of the Family Table Rededication!
JF&CS Memory Café
allows friendships to flourish:
new ones and 30-years-old ones
Abbe Smerling and Judy Roeder have been close friends for 30 years; eight years ago, Judy was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment that developed into Alzheimer’s. The JF&CS Memory Café has allowed Abbe and Judy to continue their friendship in a safe and kind space as Judy’s illness progresses. This April, Abbe and Judy’s amazing story was featured in a Wall Street Journal article, The Importance of Friendship for Alzheimer’s Patients.
CHAI Disability Services
heads to the Charles
Our CHAI disability supported housing service offers daily living supports for adults with disabilities, so they can build independence and a sense of community while living on their own. Creating meaningful connections and accessible fun during a pandemic has its challenges, but this summer, our CHAI clients enjoyed a beautiful kayak trip down the Charles River. Everyone had a great time, while also practicing communication and planning skills.
JF&CS Support Groups
grow to meet community in need
Our support groups went virtual in the pandemic and are now seeing record attendance, with some groups experiencing a four-fold increase. There are groups for new parents, bereavement groups, groups for caregivers, children of parents with Alzheimer's, and many more.
Super volunteer uses technology
to help people with Parkinson’s 
Our Tremble Clefs choir provides community and camaraderie for people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers, while also providing crucial opportunities to exercise face, mouth, and throat muscles affected by the disease. When the pandemic hit and the Tremble Clefs - part of our Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson’s program - switched to a Zoom format, Marilyn Neault set up a technology platform to help group members easily access song lyrics, work in sync with each other, and keep them all singing!
Mental Health Connect launches
As the mental health crisis deepened, JF&CS launched Mental Health Connect, a free, confidential information and referral service. We've already fielded over 400 calls in just nine months of operation - helping individuals and families find the resources they need to address their mental health needs at JF&CS and beyond.
Connecting in our parking lot
Our parking lot programs have offered a safe and welcoming place for families of children with disabilities to relax and have fun! The JF&CS Kids' Connection Corner provides children with autism ages 10-13 with the opportunity to participate in creative activities while making friends. Our Sibshops program for children ages 8-14 who have a sibling with special needs offers peer support and education in a fun environment.
Center for Early Relationship Support gets creative with life-sized dolls
Pandemic parenting has brought no shortage of challenges. JF&CS usually offers intensive in-home supports to teens and other young parents, to help them start their families off on the right foot. When we couldn't meet in homes this year, the team adapted - using life-sized dolls during video visits instead.
Don't forget the Shamash!
The shamash candle – the “helper” candle that lights all the rest of the Chanukkah candles – is you, our community. Our 2,425 volunteers and 2,974 donors fueled our work this year, enabling JF&CS to serve 14,000 people in our community. Thank you for supporting our work! | 781-647-JFCS (5327)
Waltham Headquarters | Brighton | Canton | Central MA | North Shore
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