Jewish Family Services Keeps Working Hard During The Crisis!
May 2020 
Dear Friends,
This week we welcome the month of May, one of my favorite times of the year.
Here are my May wishes for you:
  • May the coronavirus pass you and your loved ones by...
  • May you get outside and enjoy our beautiful weather...
  • May you get the help you need to cope (and we can help with that!)
  • May your hearts be filled by all the good that really is happening all around us...
And May this month herald in an era of openness, possibility - and good health!
With love,
Mindy Berkowitz
Executive Director

Upcoming Events! 

Wednesday, May 13, 10:30am to 11:30am 
Featuring JFS SV, along with 3 other agencies
Join JFS SV's Executive Director Mindy Berkowitz along with HIAS and Executives from the other two California affiliates - JFCS-East Bay and JFS San Diego - for an online event with the four agencies that are serving refugees and asylum seekers right here in California and around the globe during the COVID-19 crisis.
There's so much we can all do to assist those in our own communities. Join us to learn how you can take action.
Zoom JFS SV Volunteer Appreciation Event
May 20 at 7:30 PM
In celebration of our volunteers, we will be partnering with our YA-LIVE (Young adult group) and holding a fun, light evening.
If you're a JFS volunteer, look for your invitation with the link to the event. For more info, contact Lori Cinnamon: 
YA-LIVE Virtual Visit with Chai House Seniors
Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 3 PM - 4 PM
Join JFS SV's YA-LIVE (young professionals ages 21-39) as we virtually visit Chai House residents and bring them joy!  
More details will be available closer to the date.
Please RSVP through the YA-LIVE Facebook page or by sending an email to Allison Zur at
May News from our JFS SV Staff 
Hello from Hilla 
Just to warm your heart, I want to share with you what two of our Holocaust survivor clients told me:
~ From Kira, after I delivered a food package to her: "Nobody is taking care of me like you do. Truly. I really appreciate it."
~ From Boris who has a new volunteer who brings him  groceries: "During this difficult time, we know that we are not alone. Our volunteer is so sweet to us! Every help that we ask for, you are taking care of it right away. Thank you. We are so grateful to have you in our lives."
Hilla was featured in a recent Jewish Telegraphic Agency article. 
Sunshine from Sandra
I have a 71-year client, a breast cancer survivor who completed her treatments five months ago.  Since the shelter in place has been enforced, I've been checking in with her weekly. This week, she told me she was able to purchase some healthy foods with the grocery gift cards I gave her last week.  
She also shared how grateful she was for our weekly conversations.  She said our talks made her feel "uplifted, comforted and safe".  She expressed her appreciation for all the help and support she has been given.
Goodness From Galina
I just received a call from Tatyana at Rincon Gardens. Seven of her neighbors received food packages from JFS. Everybody is delighted and said that packages were like Hanukkah gifts. Last week we helped 40 Holocaust survivors receive challahs as gifts from ChallahFresh. For many of them it was a pleasant surprise, and made their Shabbat special.  
Chai House Update
from Sumi and Caroline 
Jewish Family Services offers a range of social services on-site at Chai House. We've just printed our third Chai House enewsletter. Residents love keeping in touch and doing the puzzles, too!
Over the past few weeks we've received many cloth mask donations from Knitzvah and a donor from the community.  We've distributed 25 masks and counting. Everyone is grateful for the support!  We stay in constant touch with as many residents as possible so no one is alone, and bring meals to those who can't get out.
Our first virtual group at Chai House will be Thursday, May 7 at 3pm. We're all looking forward to it.   

 Need Spanish Speaking Volunteer 

We currently need a volunteer who is fluent in Spanish to be a lively phone buddy for an older woman. Please let me know if that describes you.  
If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity or in other volunteering for JFS SV, contact Lori Cinnamon at  
New Ways to Help
During this pandemic, the needs of so many in our community are paramount - and JFS SV is here to meet them. Your JFS has increased its services that address financial instability, access to food, mental health, and isolation. Our success depends on your support.
Help JFS SV protect our community by continuing to:
* Deliver prescription medications and groceries to Holocaust survivors, Chai House residents, disabled adults, newly arrived refugees, and isolated seniors
* Provide hand-sewn masks from our Knitzvah volunteers to medical professionals and others providing essential COVID-19 relief
* Connect unemployed adults with employers
* Explain housing and payment rights during this unique time to refugees and others
* Connect isolated seniors through phone buddies, counseling and specialized technology
JFS SV is currently the only organization resettling refugees in Santa Clara County.
During these dark days of Covid-19, we are newly aware - more than ever - of what "essential" means. Basic needs: housing, food, a place to shelter, to call home, is what is keeping us safe and healthy.  
Housing refugees in the densely populated and extremely expensive Silicon Valley Bay Area is always a challenge. Families that were once able to provide rooms to refugee families no longer can. The health and safety concerns are too great a risk to allow the previous sharing of space that we took for granted.
Refugee families require separate safe housing. The most basic low cost rental is sufficient. We have families of seven or eight sharing two bedroom apartments.
We are all facing economic and social uncertainty, but perhaps we can alleviate some of that anxiety by offering what we can to people even more at risk than ourselves.
We were once strangers in a strange land, but we're all strangers to these dark times. Hopefully, together, we can hold hands, at least figuratively.
Any donation, no matter the size, would go such a long way toward ensuring the health and safety of a lonely and frightened family.
 Help JFS 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 make any choice, and put your preference in the comment section.
Share Your
Garden's Bounty 
With Chai House Residents 
Is your garden going to be overflowing this summer?  
Share your garden's bounty with the JFS@Chai House! Chai House residents will love your fresh fruits and veggies!
If you are interested, please email Mindy at mindyb@jfssv.orgby June 1st to learn more.
We will be following current government guidelines to ensure everyone's health and safety. 
JFS HomeCare Services

JFS HomeCare Services are safe for you and your loved ones.   
JFS partners with 24hr HomeCare to provide safe, high quality service and individualized care for you or your loved one.

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.

Get Help!

Our staff are here to help you during these unsettling times.
Please note: Email is the fastest and best way to reach our staff, as we work remotely    

During these challenging times, JFS SV is busy reaching out to our community in their time of need.  Although our offices are closed, we're as busy as ever with virtual support to provide essential needs to our clients in need.

JFS Quick Links

JFS SV Facebook Page

Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley
14855 Oka Road, Suite 202
Los Gatos, California 95032
(408) 556-0600 phone
(408) 551-0091 fax