January, 2018

Update from our Chief Executive Officer
"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it."
 -  H.E. Luccock
Dear Friends:

I truly believe that just as you can tell a great deal about a person by the people with whom they associate, so can you tell a great deal about an organization by the groups with whom they collaborate. With that in mind, JFCS is flourishing, and in wonderful company.

Englewood Hospital, Holy Name Hospital, J-ADD, Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, United Way, Nechama Comfort, Alzheimer's Association, Age-friendly Teaneck, Englewood and Westwood, Project Sarah, Areyvut, Israeli Scouts, Wayne Y...the list of affiliations goes on and on. 

As a community partner of Sharsheret, we have looked for opportunities to work together in a meaningful way.  We are excited to announce the start of a monthly support program for individuals affected by breast cancer.  Sharsheret is an incredible source of support for women, generally provided through linking newly diagnosed women with others further along in the treatment process.  Contact is generally made by phone, and the support is provided on an individualized basis.  There are, however, women who prefer a more traditional support group setting, and are looking for an experiential program.  It is here that we can be of tremendous help.

Working with Project Ezrah, not only in terms of providing financial aid and advocacy to needy families, but by providing career readiness services to individuals and referring those individuals now ready to start the search process, we are partnering to get the unemployed and underemployed back on their feet.

Our affiliations with our community day schools have resulted in our clients receiving hundreds of toys and gifts through the Bergen County Toy Drive, and our food pantry shelves have been filled through school food drives. More importantly, though, JFCS clinicians have provided much needed mental health services and support to so many students and families.

Our partnerships and affiliations make our services richer, our experience fuller, and our agency stronger.  We are grateful for the support we receive and we are proud of the support we provide. May our community continue to enjoy the beautiful orchestral harmony of cooperation and collaboration as we strive together to serve those in need...

Wishing you all a happy, healthy Twenty-Chai

Susan Greenbaum

Holiday Toy Drive

We were blessed this year with the donation of hundreds of gifts and toys for our clients and their families during the holiday season.  We received large donations through Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff, Flames of Giving (Sari Gross), Bergen County Toy Drive, and  Tara Merson, a JFCS Volunteer. It was amazing to see the gifts packaged and piled in our conference room for distribution.  Most often, when we receive donations of toys or gift cards, they are for families who can't afford to make those purchases on their own, and so we give them discreetly to parents to wrap and give to their children.

Sometimes, and more often lately, we see children for whom home is not a safe place (yet).  In those cases, our office needs to become the safe space first, and when clinically appropriate, the therapist might be the one to give a gift.

Last week the "My Little Ponies" were given to a young girl who was just removed from her home and placed in foster care.  She arrived with almost no personal belongings, and these were the first toys she was given that were her own.  Of course she was joyful to receive them, but perhaps more importantly, she spent the rest of her session arranging and re-arranging them into different configurations of families and using the toys to begin to talk about her highly-traumatic experience.

One of the donated stuffed animals was given to a little boy who has been dealing not only with a serious medical condition but with some extreme acting-out behaviors.  He is now in a very restrictive school setting but still struggling to control his anger.  His teacher suggested he use a stuffed animal to squeeze when he gets upset rather than kicking, hitting, and throwing things.  He went into a rage because he doesn't have any stuffed animals, which of course the teacher did not know.  Yesterday, however, his clinician was able to give him a teddy bear.  He hugged it the entire session and practiced how he might use it in class.  He was excited to go back to school to show his teacher, because for the first time, he is going back set up for success.

Food Drive for the JFCS Pantry

We want to extend our deepest appreciation to Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County and to Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey for collecting and donating much needed food items to our Food Pantry through their recent school wide food drives.  Gemilut Chasadim (acts of loving-kindness) include feeding the hungry, an important mitzvah to teach in our schools.  The families of these local area schools stepped up to help fellow community members who are in need by filling more than 130 grocery bags with a variety of food products and personal care items, refilling our shelves after the holidays. 

If you or your family would like to participate by donating non-perishable, unopened and unexpired food products, or if you, yourself, are in need of food, please contact us at 201-837-9090. 
Jewish Family & Children's Services of Northern New Jersey
Offices in Teaneck, Wayne and Fair Lawn
For more information call 201-837-909
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