Accelerating Social, Academic and Health Equity
in Our Community
Monthly Report to the Community
May 2021

What are MetroWest Leaders Saying about the COVID Vaccine?

JFS joins the MetroWest Health Foundation and leaders from across the region to encourage community members to get vaccinated.

Click an image below to learn more!
Dear Friends:
Thank you to all who attended and supported Seize the Dream! In case you missed it, we invite you to enjoy the video of the event which celebrates the work of our over 300 volunteers – steadfast team members who partner with JFS every day to lend a hand to those who need it the most. Watch the video and hear powerful stories of friendship, of the sharing of values with the next generation, of Tikkun Olam that has positive impact. Through JFS, individuals and families are working together and forging bonds that build community, that persist beyond the work and change lives in meaningful ways. Volunteers like Carol and George, featured below, who have stepped up, and shown up - sharing their time and talents, sharing their dedication to the mission of JFS.
As Carol and George have found many ways to get involved with JFS, so too can you. Below are three exciting opportunities coming up in June – if you are as inspired by the stories told during Seize the Dream as I am, I hope you will follow the links below to learn more.
Also highlighted below is a special workshop Singing Our Stories with Yoni Battat brought to you by the Community Creative Fellowship (an initiative powered by JArts and CJP) for JFS, JFS Committee on Anti-Racism & Fighting Antisemitism, Islamic Center of Boston, and the Metro West Jewish community. Space is limited, so sign up today!
Partnerships like this are one of the ways the JFS Committee on Anti-Racism and Fighting Antisemitism is continuing its work in our community. We are also excited to report that in partnership with Open Spirit, over 80 active bystanders have been trained to respond to hate when situations arise. If you would like to participate in this training or bring it to your organization, please click here and complete the form.
The important work of this committee, as well as the other initiatives offered by JFS, are possible only through the generous support of our contributors. In recent months, JFS has been the grateful recipient of new funding from several organizations in order to provide assistance to low-income families in the immigrant community and isolated older adults, to increase JFS’ physical and technological security, to support our telehealth initiatives, and to provide educational information to members of the Latinx community. Many thanks to the following funders for their generous support: Combined Jewish Philanthropies, CJP Communal Cybersecurity Initiative (CCI), Cummings Foundation, Eastern Bank, Mass. Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Mass. Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Fish Family Foundation, Foundation for Metrowest, Health Resources in Action, Massachusetts Service Alliance, Metrowest Health Foundation, Sanofi Genzyme, Schwartz Foundation, Stop & Shop, Sudbury Foundation, and TJX.

Our contributors have confidence in investing in JFS, not only because of our demonstrated impacts, but also because of JFS’ multi-year 4-star Charity Navigator rating. Guided by an exceptionally talented Board of Directors (meet the officers below) and managed by our experienced Director of Finance, Elizabeth Ramirez-Grzela (also highlighted below), JFS’ sound fiscal practices ensure that every dollar donated is handled responsibly.
To learn more about the business of JFS, you are invited to attend our annual meeting on Monday June 7th, 7-8pm. Featured guest speaker will be Mohamad Ali, CEO of IDG (International Data Group). All are invited to attend – click here to get the zoom link or watch the meeting stream live on Facebook @jfsofmetrowest.
In closing, as we each get ready to enjoy the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, I hope you have some time to remember the fallen that have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. 
Lino Covarrubias, CEO
Ashley DePaolo, Secretary, JFS Board of Directors

Director since 2019

Place of Employment: President/Owner at CommCreative

Education: Emerson College, MA. Florida State University, BS

Ashley has always been a huge proponent of sticking up for the underdog and teaching her children that kindness truly does matter. JFS’s dedication to standing up for those left behind resonates deeply with her and she’s honored to do her part to help the agency carry out its mission.

John Herrera, Treasurer, JFS Board of Directors

Director since 2015

Place of Employment: Booking Holdings

Education: Boston University, MBA. University of Washington, BA

John believes it is important to give back to society, and working with JFS is one of the ways that he can do that. The work that JFS does is very tangible and supports some of the most vulnerable members of the community which is why he continues to be involved with JFS even after relocating to Connecticut.
Allison Kates, Vice President, JFS Board of Directors

Director since 2010

Place of Employment: Former School Psychologist, Current Stay-at-Home Mom and Community volunteer

Education: UMass Boston, M.Ed and CAGS. Brandeis University, BA

Allison believes JFS is an invaluable organization in the Metrowest community and being a member of the Board allows her to play a direct role in programming that has such a positive impact on so many people. Personally, she’s drawn to the work that JFS does with children and families.

She helped to establish the Clothing Closet, which started out in a closet and has since grown to occupy its own warehouse space, and has provided hundreds of low-income children in Framingham with clothing and shoes.

It's important to her to instill in her children a desire to help others and give back to their community. JFS allows her to do just that, through programs such as the annual Backpack Event and delivering holiday meals to those in need. She’s honored to be a part of an organization that is such a pillar of the community.

Sari Rapkin, Vice President, JFS Board of Directors 

Director since 2014 

Place of Employment: Retired, Former Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Sari currently spends her time volunteering on not-for-profit boards. 

Education: Rochester Institute of Technology, BA in Business and Accounting 
Sari’s work with JFS resonates with her on every level. She believes it's remarkable for an organization of its size, to have such an impactful footprint. The work that JFS does with seniors was what originally attracted Sari to JFS. She was so impressed with programs such as Patient Navigator and Home Care services. 

She was also so inspired by the work JFS does in the immigrant community. Whether it was working with children at the Woodrow Wilson School, or providing clothes through the clothing closet, Sari was able to see first-hand how the organization touches the lives of individuals JFS serves. She is extremely proud of the Syrian Refugee Humanitarian Program, assisting families settle in the Boston area. This was an extension of the decades of work that JFS has done for waves of immigrants.  
Ian Rubin, Vice President, JFS Board of Directors

Director since 2014

Place of Employment: Solutions Partner, Forrester Research

Education: Columbia Business School, MBA. Brandeis University, BA

Ian’s work with JFS is very important; it provides him with balance. His professional work is corporate, and he works with the largest banks, insurance companies, and wealth management firms in the world. But the time he spends with JFS is community-based, at the family and individual levels. He sees the immediate impact the work has on our clients. Ian believes “Whatever value I may bring to JFS I receive back ten-fold.”
Jeffrey Swartz, Vice President, JFS Board of Directors

Director since 2016

Place of Employment: Morgan Stanley, Managing Director

Education: University of New Hampshire, BS

Jeffrey always knew that, as a Jew, he had a responsibility to help others, but it was 10 years ago during an Acharai Program that he began to understand just how profound that responsibility really is. His role at JFS allows him to perform the moral obligation of Tzedakah & Tikkun Olam in his community. Jeffrey believes the greatest impact over time comes from the collective contributions of those people who care about our future.

Thank you to these officers for the energy, passion, and commitment they bring to the JFS Board––Learn more about the JFS Board of Directors!
Carol & George Hengerle

JFS Volunteers since October 2018 and March 2020

Why do you believe the work you are doing at JFS is important?

“We were drawn to JFS by the many programs it has to help almost every sector of the community where there is a need. The kindness and dedication of everyone involved is inspiring and we have seen and felt the sincere appreciation from everyone we are supporting.” 
Carol recently retired from her position as a program administrator at Brandeis. George retired from his career as an engineer in the energy industry and has recently formed his own consulting business. They enjoy spending their free time in the lakes region of New Hampshire.

Both Carol and George volunteer at JFS in numerous ways. Carol has been a long-time volunteer in the development office where her wonderful phone manner and organizational skills have been a huge asset. She also volunteered in our Healthy Harvest program, filling bags full of healthy food for families at the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. George became a volunteer last spring as a Pathways to College Success mentor, sharing his professional expertise and wisdom with business students at MassBay Community College.

During the pandemic, Carol and George joined forces and became an all-star food delivery team. They have delivered Rosh Hashanah and Passover meals as well as regularly delivering meals to elderly individuals in need. Most recently, they joined our food distribution team formed in response to the increased need for food assistance during COVID-19. 

We know when we have a need for volunteers, we can always reach out to the Hengerles! Thank you, Carol and George.

Elizabeth Ramirez-Grzela, MBA

Director of Finance
With JFS since September 2015
Bilingual in Spanish and English

“The work we as an organization perform on a daily basis is important because we improve the quality of life for our constituents, and we advocate and speak on behalf of those who cannot.”

JFS is proud to announce that the agency’s Board of Directors has approved to set the JFS minimum wage to $15/hour! The decision was approved at this week’s Board of Directors meeting on April 26th.

This change will impact 30% of JFS employees who have been paid at the current state minimum wage level ($13.50/hour). Many of these employees are homecare and administrative staff, and identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). These employees will now receive an average increase of 7.4% in compensation.

JFS thanks our Board of Directors for making this decision, for supporting the JFS workforce, and for promoting equity in our organization’s values and policies.

JFS is a Proud Recipient of the Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant Program!

The Baker-Polito Administration announced $950,000 in grant awards to 53 faith-based organizations and houses of worship to strengthen on-premises safety and security. These grants will help fund organizations’ safety enhancements to protect staff, attendees, and clients at sites facing potential increased risk of violence.


Save the Date!
JFS of Metrowest Annual Meeting

Mon. June 7, 2021 - 7pm-8pm

Free Workshop:

Singing Our Stories with Yoni Battat
Sunday, June 6th, 2021 
4:00-5:30 pm

A special workshop for JFS of Metrowest, JFS Committee on Anti-Racism & Fighting Antisemitism, Islamic Center of Boston, and the Metro West Jewish community. Brought to you by the Community Creative Fellowship, an initiative powered by JArts and CJP.

Join musician Yoni Battat as partners in the process of writing a new song about fragmentation and memory. Held by a soundscape of Yoni’s music, we will connect with our ancestors, tell stories, reflect, and sing together in a safe, empowering space. Yoni will discuss his creative process and invite you to fill in the holes of his song with your own words, ideas and experiences. In culmination, you will be invited to join your voices together virtually and record musical phrases that will be mixed into the final piece of music. Together we will weave a tapestry of our collective memory and shared human experience of brokenness, strength, and belonging.

Limited to 15. Registrants beyond this number may be asked to attend at a different time.

At this year’s virtual Seize the Dream celebration, JFS highlighted the many ways in which volunteers are the engine behind our programming.

We welcome you to join the JFS volunteer team and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need help the most.
Become a Patient Navigator!
Join our Patient Navigator team and accompany older adults to medical appointments, easing the stress of the appointment for both the patient and their families.

You’ll help older adults prepare for upcoming medical appointments, serve as a companion at the appointment, facilitate communication between doctor and patient, and take notes during the visit.

Patient Navigator is a flexible volunteer opportunity that can work with your schedule! We ask you to commit to a minimum of 4 appointments per year. All appointments are during daytime hours.

Upcoming Clothing Closet Pop-up Event on June 17th!
The JFS Children’s Clothing Closet provides a seasonal response to the clothing needs of the elementary school-aged children in the Metrowest community.

Join us at our first pop-up event of the summer on Thurs. June 17th, where we will bring racks of clothes from the Children’s Clothing Closet to the Pelham Life Long Learning Center in Framingham.

Families can “shop" for the clothing they need, and volunteers will help set up racks of clothing and assist families while they select clothing. This is a great opportunity for families to volunteer together!

Click here to learn more about the JFS Children's Clothing Closet!
Start Your Own Community Drive!

Connect with your family, neighbors, or colleagues and organize a collection drive for clothing or personal care items!

This opportunity makes a great addition to your first cookout this summer. When people ask, “what can I bring?” ask them to contribute an item to your drive.

The items you collect will be distributed to families in need in our community.

Interested In Any of These Opportunities?

Please complete this short form and a JFS staff member will get back to you,
or email Gail (Manager of Volunteer Services & Community Engagement) at

JFS responds to the ever-changing needs in our community and we are continually adding new volunteer opportunities. Watch the recording of this year’s Seize the Dream and hear directly from our volunteers about the impact they are making in the community every day!

If you’d like to support this impactful work, please donate!

In Case You Missed It...
The 2021 Seize the Dream Virtual Gala!
JFS Pleased to Present the 2021 Virtual Seize the Dream Gala!

Celebrate our award recipients and volunteers, and learn about the important work JFS is doing in the community to support our neighbors in need.

Click to view the 2021 Seize the Dream tribute book! – 167 pages of heartfelt messages from friends and supporters!

Please patronize these establishments and thank them for their support of JFS of Metrowest!
JFS Committee on Anti-Racism & Fighting Antisemitism
Learn about upcoming news and events as they occur, like/follow the new JFS Committee on Anti-Racism and Fighting Antisemitism social media channels:


"Has there ever been a year in recent memory that was so full of loss? The death of a loved one is hard at any time, but during the past 18 months our losses have multiplied and we have been deprived of our mourning rituals and the in-person support of friends and family. There has been an unceasing toll of news stories about illness and loss that has overwhelmed all parts of our globe. The activities we might have engaged in to distract ourselves were either unavailable or changed in ways that were awkward and strange. 60 people on a virtual Shivah is not the same as 60 people visiting a house of mourning spread out over several days."

In response to the events of the past year, JFS of Metrowest is partnering with local congregations to provide support to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one during the past year. See below to learn more!
In partnership with area synagogues, JFS of Metrowest is introducing a pilot Online Bereavement Support Group.

All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please see session details below, and for more information please contact JFS at 508-808-3263 or visit

Helping individuals and families with life’s ups, downs, and everything in between.
The CJP Interest-Free Loan Program is here for the times you need help affording bar and bat mitzvahs, other lifecycle traditions, or managing challenging expenses.

Loans are available from $1,000–$10,000 to households of moderate income. You must be a resident of the Metrowest area to apply, and a complete loan application is required. Learn more.

JFS seeks a full time bilingual caseworker to help advance JFS’ commitment to accelerate social, health and academic equity for low income, often disenfranchised populations. This position will focus mostly on JFS services for immigrants and older adults in Metrowest:

  • Masters or Bachelors plus 3 years experience in related field.
  • Bilingual English and Spanish proficiency required.
  • Ability to interact with clients in a non-judgmental, compassionate, and respectful manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to set limits and maintain boundaries.
  • Strong ability to be part of an interactive, supportive team with high expectations.
  • Ability to develop and maintain knowledge of community resources.
  • Ability to multi-task, operate independently and problem solve in real time.
  • Good written and oral communication skills.
  • Experienced in real-time electronic record keeping skills. (Salesforce Platform experience a plus).

Seeking per diem Geriatric Care Managers to work with growing Metrowest geriatric care management practice--LICSW or CCM preferred but not required; Applicant should have the following qualifications:

  • MSW, RN, or degree in related field
  • 3 to 5 years experience working with older adults and families
  • Experience working with people with dementia preferred
  • Knowledge of community resources and entitlement programs
  • Strong oral and written skills
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and meet deadlines
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to use computer (Microsoft Office Suite)
  • Ability to drive and have access to a car
  • Flexible schedule, occasional evening and weekend hours may be required to accommodate client needs

JFS of Metrowest is seeking to hire employees with older adult in-home homecare experience with the following requirements:

  • PCA qualification
  • One year home care experience desired
  • Availability on short notice to take assignments
  • Reliable transportation and valid drivers license
  • In good health-physical exam and TB screening mandatory
  • Fluent English/good communications skills. Multilingual a plus (Spanish and Portuguese. Also Mandarin Chinese)
  • (2) work references in the healthcare industry
  • Must enjoy working with the elderly population
  • Most work is during the day Monday-Fridays with very flexible hours
  • Flexibility a plus

JFS Supports Our Veterans
JFS has a commitment with our partner agencies to ensure
no veteran is left behind.

Memorial Day is a time to recognize the sacrifices our service members make
to ensure our freedom and safety every day.

Help JFS support our veterans at the local level with a donation to the 
JFS Veteran Assistance Program. Or, to support veterans at a national level, consider a gift to the Military Family Advisory Network.
JFS and the Volman Family are proud to announce the establishment of the Carole Edith Volman Memorial Fund to honor Carole’s life and devotion to humanity and supporting others.

To honor Carole’s deep devotion to humanity, this fund will enhance JFS ability to resettle refugees and asylees from around the world, help isolated older adults thrive and live in dignity, and accelerate equity for the most vulnerable families with young child. The Volman family is so proud to honor the amazing life of Carole by establishing this fund.
Thank you to Ashley, John, Allison, Ian, Sari, Jeff, Carol, George, Liz, and all who are partnering with JFS to Accelerate Social, Academic and Health Equity in our community.

Your help is needed - get involved today!
JFS of Metrowest | 508-875-3100 | |