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

Like many of you, I'm approaching Rosh Hashanah with reflections on the past year. I've had moments of disbelief and awe as I consider the state of our world and JF&CS's place in it. Those feelings really came to the fore as we put together our JF&CS annual report for 2020. 

This was my first year as CEO of JF&CS – and it certainly wasn’t the year I imagined. But as you’ll see in the pages of the annual report shared below, JF&CS clients, staff, donors, volunteers, and partners rose to the occasion and then some. I couldn’t be prouder to lead this organization in this time.

In this issue of Making Connections, we also share stories of how JF&CS continues to innovate and serve as we move into the new year, from our new suicide loss survivor group to our retooled and flourishing Balancing Act group for caregivers of people with dementia, and beyond.
Shana Tova - wishing you a New Year of health and peace!


Gail Schulman
Chief Executive Officer
cover of 2020AnnualReport
“The world collapsed—and like rescue workers, JF&CS was here, there, and everywhere.”

We are proud to share our new annual report, titled “We Are Here.” It tells the stories of how amid the pandemic, JF&CS retooled our programs to operate safely, responded to an unprecedented number of calls for help, and added services as new needs arose. We are so grateful to be able to acknowledge the many donors and volunteers who enabled us to do this.
This month, in partnership with CJP, JF&CS launched a support group for suicide loss survivors. Our goal is to provide survivors of suicide loss with a safe, supportive and judgement free environment where they can express themselves, and find comfort, hope and resources with others confronting the pain and loss of a suicide.

Our facilitators have been trained by Samaritans of Boston and bring relevant professional and personal experience in the Jewish community to provide healing support in a safe space. If you know someone who has lost someone to suicide, please share information about the group, which is free and meets virtually twice each month.
JF&CS is now recruiting a team for the 10th annual Ride for Food. The Ride is our biggest annual fundraiser for Family Table, the JF&CS food pantry and delivery service. Our goal this year is to have a team of at least 40 team members and to raise $60,000.

The Ride for Food features a traditional cycling event of 25 or 50 miles on October 3rd, as well as a walking trail option. The Ride for Food also offers an “Off the Beaten Path” option for participants to independently undertake any activity you choose to fundraise for Family Table. You can ride a bike, hike, run, swim, shoot baskets...the possibilities are endless! 

Our CHAI Disability Services works to help individuals with disabilities lead productive and integrated lives in their communities and increase their feelings of self-worth and confidence. One piece of that effort is advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce.

If you’re an employer looking to hire and finding it difficult to find great talent, or you know someone with a disability eager to find work, click here to learn more about our efforts to match clients with meaningful jobs that fit their skills and support them to succeed in their roles.
Dementia is progressing faster for many people because of the social isolation and stress of the pandemic. For adults caring for parents with dementia, they must now deal not only with the many stresses of their parent’s worsening disease, but also with the added challenges of reduced availability of services and with their own experiences of stress and trauma from COVID. 

Balancing Act, the JF&CS support and discussion group for adults coping with a parent’s dementia, has grown significantly since the start of the pandemic to meet this increased need, and now gathers for two evenings each month on Zoom. We help participants learn to maintain their own balance while offering support to parents and give participants the opportunity to share wisdom, information, and encouragement with others. 

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Waltham Headquarters | Brighton | Canton | Central MA | North Shore
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