“Understanding and love requires a wisdom that comes only with age.” These are the words of the famous poet, Anne Sexton. With every passing day, I acknowledge their truth more and more. That’s a reflection of my own aging, as well as insight stemming from my role as caregiver to an aging parent. The fascinating thing about this time in history is we are learning in real time what it truly means to live into very old age. It is now considered common for people to live 10 decades and beyond. It calls into question medical protocols, financial challenges, and so much more.

Keeping the Spirit Alive – The Conference for Caregivers is just 2 weeks away – register now!
Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Vic Sandler and emcee Jana Shortal

Sunday, April 7, from 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Beth El Synagogue (5225 Barry St. W., St. Louis Park)
This conference is free and open to all

Questions about this event, contact Sharon Goldetsky at or 952-417-2149

Caregiver Conference Sponsors: Kelen Family Foundation, The Oren and Sharron Steinfeldt Foundation, Aurora on France, Cherrywood Pointe of Minnetonka, Sholom Community Alliance, Machov Family Philanthropic Fund, Annette & Vic Sandler, Jewish Family Service, The Beverly Foundation, Fingerhut Family Foundation, The Carol & Alan Shapiro Family Fund | Community Partners: Alzheimer’s Association, Beth El Synagogue, Hadassah Upper Midwest, Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Minnesota Rabbinical Association, NCJW/MN, Sabes JCC, Sholom, St. Paul JCC, St. Paul Jewish Federation | This conference is a collaboration of Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis and Jewish Family Service of St. Paul
What's next for NextGen
By David Lauer • Development NextGen Coordinator

I started working with NextGen in November 2018, and it has been a wonderful time of growth and discovery. I was intrigued to start learning about the history of the program. Founded in 2012, NextGen set out to provide volunteer and leadership experiences, engage young people in philanthropy, and connect post-college young Jews and other community members with JFCS.

It’s been a successful seven years, with NextGen providing the agency and community with new volunteers, a thoughtful and involved Board, thousands raised for JFCS programs, and fun social events. Board members and presidents have gone on to serve on the JFCS Board of Directors and have become leaders in other parts of the community. NextGen also continues to serve a valuable social role in the community, along with many other organizations.

David was recently featured in TC Jewfolk’s Who The Folk?! Learn more about his family ties to Jewish social service work, how he’s evolving NextGen, and what he’s planning for JFCS this year, on this week’s Who The Folk?! podcast.

NextGen Sponsor: Cindy and Perry Witkin
Announcing the launch of Jewish Community Addiction Services
By Becky Lyle Sulkin, MSW, LGSW • Jewish Community Addiction Services Coordinator

JFCS is excited to announce the launch of Jewish Community Addiction Services. In developing these initiatives, we have been guided by a community survey and the Jewish Community Addiction Services Advisory Committee. This committee includes people from the Jewish community who have been affected by addiction and/or work in the field of addiction services, and we are grateful for their help in expanding JFCS’ capacity to support people in the Jewish community who are affected by alcohol or other drug addiction.

Jewish Community Addiction Services will seek to promote recovery and reduce stigma for individuals affected by substance use disorder and their families by providing knowledgeable, confidential, and culturally-sensitive supports and services.

JFCS and The Jewish Recovery Network invite you to the annual Freedom from Addiction Seder
Celebrating our Freedom from Addiction and our Exodus from Slavery. Led by Cantor Art Shragg.

Monday, April 22
6–9 p.m. Seder (Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.)
Beth El Synagogue, 5225 W. Barry Street, St. Louis Park
Cost: $25 per person (Children under 10: $10)

Full Non-Alcohol Seder Meal, Financial Assistance Available, Special JRN Haggadah. For further information, fee adjustment or directions, please call Stan: (952) 237-3545 or email

JFCS Care Coordination allows Sam to share good times – not paperwork – with her mother
By Karin Onarheim, LGSW • Senior Services Intake & Care Coordinator

I recently received an intake call from “Sam,” a caregiver who had many questions and areas where she needed assistance. Like most caregivers, Sam was focused on her loved one and her needs. Her mother, “Abby,” faced medical problems and needed help navigating the medical system. Coordinating insurance coverage, pharmacy updates, and medical appointments became too much for Sam, who already did so much for her mother.

Senior Services Sponsors: Kelen Family Foundation, Elyse Rabinowitz & Jim Porter,
The Oren and Sharron Steinfeldt Foundation
How to tell the difference between the ‘winter blues’ and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
By Natalie Oleson, MSW, LICSW • JFCS Counselor

Are you totally sick of winter? If you’re anything like me, you’re getting tired of the sun going down by dinnertime, driving on slippery roads, and bundling up like Maggie from The Simpsons. Many people notice a difference in their moods during the winter. How can you tell if it’s the “winter blues” or something more significant like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Counseling Founding Sponsor: Lynne and Andrew Redleaf Foundation
Join us for a free movie screening: 'Normal Isn’t Real'
Presented by JFCS, in conjunction with the Learning Disabilities Association of Minnesota (LDA)

Sunday, April 28
2-4 p.m.
Community Room at JFCS, 5905 Golden Valley Rd, Golden Valley

“Normal Isn’t Real” is a series of four mini documentary-style videos featuring successful young adults sharing their stories of coming to terms with their learning disability and ADHD. These candid portraits take the viewer into the subjects’ daily lives; showcasing their talents, venting their frustrations, and employing the strategies they use to manage their challenges and utilize their strengths. Viewers leave equipped with insights and tools they might adapt to their own lives, and a large dose of inspiration.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation for JFCS’ partner agency, PRISM Food Shelf and Thrift Shop for Change (toilet paper is especially requested) . The film has English subtitles for those with hearing impairment and an ASL interpreter will be provided during the introduction and following panel discussion.

Did you know: It's a great time to buy new winter coats and jackets and donate them to JFCS' Hag Sameach
You may be sick of winter and all the snow, but now is a great time to shop for winter coats and jackets to donate to JFCS' Hag Sameach (Happy Holidays) program! As winter is (finally) coming to end, and retailers begin to showcase spring clothing, winter clothing is getting marked down and there are some great bargains to take advantage of! Please consider purchasing some to donate to JFCS now. We are always in need of NEW winter coats for all ages and genders. Thank you!

Hag Sameach Sponsor: Clara Ruth Kaner Children’s Fund, a designated fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation
JFCS celebrates National Volunteer Week from April 7-13
Sponsored by Points of Light, National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice and support to causes they care about in their community. JFCS is in the midst of planning a week full of different ways to recognize the 700-plus volunteers that supported us over the past year.

Monday through Friday, head to the JFCS Facebook page, where we’ll have posts about the many ways volunteers help and giving away gift cards in live videos at 11 a.m.! Each day we’ll draw a name from the list of folks that volunteered with featured programs (Monday: The ACT Program and Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister Program; Tuesday: Senior Services; Wednesday: Annual Benefit, conferences and events; Thursday: Hag Sameach, J-Pride and NextGen; Friday: all volunteers). Can’t catch the live video? No problem! We’ll post the videos to our page and contact winners individually. 

If you are a current or past volunteer of JFCS, we want a chance to say hi and thank you in person! Stop by the Volunteer Open House at JFCS on Wednesday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to noon. This will be a great opportunity to tour our new home in Golden Valley, enjoy some coffee and nosh, connect with other volunteers and staff, and hear from our CEO Judy Halper (at about 11:30 a.m.). RSVPs are requested for planning purposes, but not required. Please contact Dana Shapiro, Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at if you plan to attend.

Thank you to all of our volunteers – whether you visit with or drive seniors to appointments, mentor a child, plan the Annual Benefit, or deliver Hag Sameach bags. We truly couldn’t accomplish all that we do without you!
PCHP and PRISM Legislative Outreach Day
On Feb. 26, JFCS and PRISM staff and volunteers participated in legislative outreach in support of our request for an increase in state funding for the Parent-Child Home Program and legislation supporting anti-hunger initiatives across Minnesota.

PCHP Founding Sponsors: Greater Twin Cities United Way, Beverly N. Grossman Foundation, Susan and Hart Kuller, Lynne and Andrew Redleaf Foundation
Lead Sponsor: Grotto Foundation
Sponsor: Walser Foundation Funded by the Walser Automotive Group
This program is made possible in part with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education
New JFCS partnership with Project Search will help Transition
Age Youth with disabilities find employment 
JFCS' Vocational Rehabilitation program, which provides personalized services to individuals with disabilities who are seeking to improve their work lives or find employment, is excited to begin a new partnership with Project SEARCH! The partnership is part of JFCS Career Services’ efforts to expand services to Transition Age Youth.

Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis |