This month we honor heroes in our community who make life better for their neighbors during these trying times.
Along with our medical professionals, firefighters, grocery store clerks, sanitation workers and bus drivers who put their lives at risk each day for us; our JFS SV volunteers deliver groceries and meals, pick up refugees from the airport, connect people with technology and help them find jobs.
I hope you'll be inspired by their stories. Read on below...
P.S. You too can join our group of nearly 700 JFS SV heroes! Contact Lori Cinnamon to volunteer: email@example.com
California Wildfire Relief
As wildfires rage once again in our beautiful state, we're here to help. Whether you are in need of help, or to provide help, our community has united to answer the call.
JFS SV is partnering with our Jewish Federation to offer assistance to people in financial need who have been evacuated due to the California wild fires.
People in need of assistance should contact our staff as follows:
Seniors in particular should contact Avital Agam at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 408.357.7450.
Heroes Who Help Refugees
"Hope is Essential for the Soul"
|Hadar Feinberg and Debbie Khan|
Last week we welcomed a young family who escaped Syria. Along with our Resettlement Coordinator Azita Eshagh, volunteers Hadar Feinberg and Debbie Khan, met them at the airport and drove them to their new apartment. Hadar and Debbie tell us why they do this
Hadar: I'm a Jewish Israeli immigrant, a mother of three and have been doing biochemistry research at Stanford for over 20 years. It's important for me to take the time to volunteer because it is such an easy act that can make an impact. I have lived a very fortunate life, but I see what is going on in the world and know that when I look back in five or ten years it will be important for me to know that I didn't sit idly by.
My mother, Ruth, was born in Berlin in 1937 and was a Holocaust refugee. Her mother was able to flee with her to Sweden where they were joined by her father. In 1945 they arrived as refugees to Israel. I was raised to believe that if you are in a position of privilege, it is your obligation to fight to improve the lives of those who are less advantaged than you.
I enjoy working with refugees
because I feel these people are so incredibly brave to risk absolutely everything and come to the unknown. I believe that hope is one of the most essential things for the soul and these people are filled with so much hope they make me hopeful as well.
Because I am blessed with more than so many others, this is an opportunity to reflect and to give back. If all that wasn't enough, I get to share the experience with my close friend and one of the most altruistic people I know.
Since the pandemic began, JFS SV expanded our food assistance program to its largest capacity ever. We tripled our Shabbat Meal and grocery deliveries - with dedicated volunteers making it possible for older adults at risk to stay safe, and to spend their limited funds on other vital needs. Meet two of our volunteer heroes:
Barbara Fishman: I consider delivering Shabbat dinners a mini-mitzvah. It is easy for me to do, and is so appreciated by the recipients; especially during this strange and difficult time.
Tom Calderwood: With COVID-19 I was looking for a way to give back to the local community. Fortunately, the JCC reached out to members to volunteer for JFS SV to grocery shop and deliver to those who can no longer shop on their own. It doesn't take much time, and I get to visit with people I wouldn't meet otherwise. In all cases, our clients have been so appreciative - it makes a big difference!
Heroes Who Deliver Bikes to Kids
"Let's Go Places"
Arye Green and Robin Sabes with Turning Wheels donated bikes
We're grateful for our partnership with Turning Wheels for Kids, who recently donated eight bikes for children from refugee families.
Special thanks to Arye Green; along with volunteers Robin Sabes, Betsy Arnstein, Hadar Feinberg who picked up and delivered the bikes. This family from Ukraine was so happy to get their new wheels!
Heroes Who Are
Just Doing Their Job
"Lean On Me"
| Avital Agam, JFS SV Case Manager |
Recently our Development Manager Allison Zur had a conversation with Lillie G. about how Lillie's life has changed since the lockdown. Lillie has pain in her legs and can't stand for long.
In the past, she would shop little by little, 2-3 times a week. Now she can't do that because the lines are long and it's very painful for her.
Lillie no longer worries about that because a JFS SV volunteer brings her medication and delivers her groceries.
Lillie told Allison about her social worker, Avital Agam:
"JFS is a lifeline for me. When COVID-19 broke out, I felt lost and desperate. I often feel down in the dumps, but knowing that Avital is there, makes me feel that I have someone to lean on."
Heroes Who Build
Creating JFS SV "Ambassadors"
Board came together for their Annual Board Retreat. Rabbi PJ Schwartz of Congregation Shir Hadash ran a Board leadership training activity to help YA-LIVE build their skills as leaders in our community and ambassadors of Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley. Thanks, Rabbi PJ!
We Couldn't Do
All This Without You
In this past program year, JFS SV reached new heights.
Help JFS SV maintain essential services for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic
If you do not see a fund listed you would like to donate to, you can select "Other", and put your preference in the comment section.
Heroes of Good Morning JFS!
We also appreciate our heroes of Good Morning JFS!
Many local corporations match the charitable donations of their employees.
Census 2020: Everyone Counts!
JFS SV urges you to stand up and be counted!
Our government uses census data to decide how to allocate $1.5 trillion dollars in funding.
Be a Garden Hero!
Are your tomatoes terrific? Is your zucchini prolific? Share your garden's bounty!
The senior residents of Chai House will love your fresh-picked produce.
Sumi Kamiya, JFS@Chai House Coordinator: email@example.com to arrange for a drop off.