Member Highlights
Summer 2020
The best part of our NETWORK is sharing successes. We want to promote your organizations. Let your fellow member agencies know what's going on in your community! Share updates with Megan, Director of Marketing & Communications.
Rales JFS Launches “Shop and Share”
Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services recently launched their “Shop and Share” Program. The Program matches volunteer “shoppers” with senior “clients” who are unable to shop for themselves. The volunteer “shopper” purchases items the “client” requests and delivers the items to the clients doorstep. Once the pandemic is over and it is safe to do so, the “shopper” will help unpack groceries and “share” time with their senior providing much needed socialization.
Increase in Domestic Violence Spurs Alpert JFS's Ongoing Online Support Group for Women
The COVID-19 health pandemic has been the impetus for a myriad of burgeoning mental and emotional health needs, as people experience unprecedented challenges during an unprecedented time. In response, Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service has brought many support groups online, to be there for community members and help them cope. One of many areas experiencing a heightened need for support are Domestic Abuse Services, and the agency is answering the call with the new, no-cost “Women in High Conflict Relationships” weekly support group, starting on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Facilitated by Alpert JFS Director of Domestic Abuse Sara Walsh, LCSW, (pictured left) participants will learn about abuse, power/control, how to identify red flags and unhealthy relationships, and the characteristics of an abuser, as well as how to set boundaries, increase self-esteem, and practice self-care.
For those with Disabilities, Pandemic Poses Unemployment & Employment Challenges
In June 2020, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities rose to 16.5%, compared to 11% for workers without a disability, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this high statistic is a result of pandemic-related layoffs and other challenges, it comes with disappointment as we recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the ADA that sought to secure equality for employment opportunities for workers with disabilities.

For the large number of program participants with disabilities who lost jobs as a result of COVID-19, staff in the JEVS hireAbility and JEVS Independence Network programs provided an array of supportive services to help individuals cope and reassess their options. Learn more here.
JFS Washtenaw County is a Semifinalist for Grant to Support Immigrants & Refugees
Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County is one of 20 semifinalists for the Opportunity Challenge grant: $1 Million to Uplift Immigrant Communities. The Opportunity Challenge grant launched in March in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. As two funders committed to unlocking potential for all immigrants and refugees, the WES Mariam Assefa Fund and the Tarsadia Foundation seek solutions to support the success of immigrants and refugees in low-wage jobs—and their communities—across the U.S. JFS applied for the Opportunity Challenge to support and expand its Micro Enterprise Development (MED) program, which empowers refugees and other immigrant groups to create economic opportunities for themselves by starting or expanding a small business. The program provides training and technical assistance, micro-lending, credit building, consulting services, and marketing support. 
This Loss is Different: Facing the High Holy Days and the Loss of a Loved One in the Time of COVID 
Jewish Family Service of St. Paul hosted “This Loss is Different: Facing the High Holy Days and the Loss of a Loved One in the Time of COVID” on Wednesday, September 2nd, via Zoom. For those who lost a loved one during this pandemic, the usual rituals have not been available to lend comfort. The event for an opportunity to come together virtually to consider the meaning of loss and its impact upon us as preparations are made to celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days. Participants had the opportunity to specifically recognize the memory of their loved one.
JFCS Minneapolis Joins Other MN Non-profits in Urging Lawmakers to Take Action on Pandemic Relief
jfcs minneapolis
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis was one of several non-profits that participated in a press conference on Aug. 24th, urging members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation to take quick and bold action to address the impact of the pandemic and economic downturn on our communities.
Their message was reminding representatives that Congress is in a powerful and unique position – and must take strong action, as they did earlier in this crisis and in past recessions – to meet the challenges of this moment and to jump-start a more equitable economic recovery.
JVS Boston & Hillel Council of NE Form New Partnership to Support College Students and Recent Grads
Jewish Vocational Service of Boston and Hillel Council of New England announced a new partnership designed to offer critical employment resources to college students and recent college graduates during these unprecedented times. Timed with the beginning of the academic year, the two organizations are coming together to launch a webinar series and a mentorship program. The co-hosted webinars will focus on job readiness, especially in the Age of Covid, covering core skills like job searching during the pandemic, virtual Interviewing, advanced strategies for online networking, etc. The mentorship program, FutureUp: Mentoring for Emerging Professionals, will pair juniors, seniors and recent college graduates with Jewish community leaders working in fields that match their personal interests.
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