Babysitting my 1-year old granddaughter this past weekend was unadulterated fun and pure joy! No messy face while feeding herself, changing “dirty” diapers, or being constantly on-the-go while chasing this budding walker could alter that perspective! I’ve heard it said that grandchildren are life’s dividends, and I can only say that as the grandparent of three (two toddlers and a baby), it is absolutely true!

Welcome Jeff Barin: JFCS new Board President
In the 1980s, Jeff Barin was a single dad who moved away from Minneapolis for a short period of time. His son, who was 9 at the time, was enrolled in JFCS’ Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister Program so he could have a “Big Brother friend.” Jeff said the friendship and time that Richard Cook, his son’s “big” gave him, was so very valuable.

Solar panels on JFCS’ new building help us go green
In partnership with Noble Conservation Solutions, JFCS recently installed two solar systems as part of our commitment to incorporating health and environmental design elements to the Stillman Family Foundation Building. The solar PV systems add a sustainable “green” energy source to our energy supply, and save JFCS money.

JFCS honors Garber Transportation volunteer drivers
JFCS held an appreciation luncheon on July 10 to honor Garber Transportation volunteer drivers and those who answer the Garber Transportation phone line. It was an opportunity for new and longtime volunteers to come together to meet and hear from JFCS Senior Services and Community & Volunteer Engagement staff, get a training refresher with updated materials, hear from CEO Judy Halper, and share successes and stories about their volunteer experiences over the years. 
JFCS’ Garber Transportation provides a critical service to seniors in our community and we couldn’t do it without our dedicated volunteers! According to Transportation Supervisor Alex Botvinnik, JFCS has provided clients with 2,100 rides since the beginning of 2019, and around 200 of those rides were provided by volunteers! We thank our volunteers for their commitment and compassion to serving so many with kindness, respect and reliability.
Become a Transportation volunteer
If you would like to learn more about volunteering with Garber Transportation or another JFCS Senior Services Program, contact Dana Shapiro, Community & Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, at or fill out the Volunteer Interest Form and she will connect you.

Transportation Founding Sponsors: Jacob Garber Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Funding from the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging as part of the Older Americans Act
Sponsor: Allianz Foundation
PJ Library Minneapolis: A year of growth and new opportunities for community engagement
By Carrie Fink • PJ Library Program Coordinator

There are PJ Library programs throughout the U.S., but we are proud to say that PJ Library Minneapolis is one of the most generous communities in the country. Unlike some cities, PJ Library Minneapolis has never put a family on a waitlist to receive a subscription, and we follow the “One Book Per Child” model, enabling every child in the family an opportunity to build their own Jewish library.

PJ Library Sponsors: Founding Sponsors: Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Harry and Sandy Lerner Lead Sponsors: Jacob Garber Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Susie and Hart Kuller 
J-Pride made its presence felt during Pride month
By Jayce Koester • J-Pride Coordinator

Leading up to Pride, I kept joking that our Jewish new year turns over at Rosh HaShanah, the gregorian new year turns over on Jan. 1 and the queer organizer’s new year turns over at the end of June. Now that we’re half way into July, it feels like we’ve turned over to the next page and enjoyed such a successful Pride celebration with our J-Pride Community. Pride is only a small piece of J-Pride’s programming; we work all year long to build community, host convenings, provide educational opportunities for Jewish community organizations, and grow a more inclusive nourishing space for LGBTQIA+ Jews of all backgrounds. Pride is a special moment, though, that allows so many in our community be visible and open and connected to the broader LGBTQIA+ community.

J-Pride Founding Sponsor: Lisa Heilicher z”l
JFCS Counselor and Program Manager Carole Cera named Social Worker of the Year
Carole Cera, a counselor and program manager with Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS), is celebrating 30 years with the agency this year and now she has another accomplishment to celebrate – she has been honored as the Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-MN)!

Counseling Founding Sponsor: Lynne and Andrew Redleaf Foundation
Tips for managing summer, screens, kids and keeping your sanity
By Leah Persky • Family Life Education Program Manager

On a recent family trip to Colorado, my two children ages 5 and 7 were allowed more time on their screens than normal. We logged hours driving, at the airport and on planes. We were armed with some fun and educational apps, games, and downloaded pre-approved movies and TV shows. The kids were so excited to use their own devices and for an hour or more at a time – something that we do not usually allow.

More upcoming events: Please join us
The Minnesota Community Mikveh Initiative
Mikveh Summer Event
Sunday, July 28 @ 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 8 @ 9 a.m.
Location given upon registration

Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis |