Here’s a riddle for you – what do the following have in common: Spooky (but safe) costumes for Halloween, locking your iPhone while driving so you won’t be tempted to check out the latest while sitting at stoplights, and cyber-bullying? Can’t crack the code on this riddle?? Neither can I! But, all three of these rather disconnected things relate to raising our children safely.

Over the past month, I’ve heard from co-workers, friends and family members, discussion on all these topics and more. I’m happy to say that at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS), we are always looking for opportunities to discuss the health and welfare of children, and providing resources, information and guidance to parents 

What does Moral Money mean to you?
By Dana Rubin • Development Director

Several months ago, Judy Halper, CEO, and I were approached by Jeremy Kalin, a JFCS Board Member and the Chair of our Annual Give Campaign to tape a podcast. Jeremy is working on a podcast series entitled "Moral Money," a collective inquiry into questions such as “Is money a necessary evil?” or "Is money a means to a good life?” Guests on the podcast range across different faiths, backgrounds, ages and income, and it includes conversations with financial practitioners as well.

Just released on Oct. 8, Judy and I are featured on episode 3, “Changing the Course of Someone’s Life.” We delve into topics such as why people give? How people give? The importance of telling stories and the impact that JFCS has on so many because we serve everyone. In preparation for taping, I thought about the term "Moral Money" and what it meant to me and what we were hoping to impart on those that listen. The term "moral" can be used as a noun or an adjective. A noun such as a lesson one has learned or standard of behavior. An adjective used to describe acceptable behavior, personal principles or human character. And money, a medium of exchange, a term used to describe affluence, disparity, a transaction, philanthropy, and on and on. Put the two words together, Moral Money, and I think we all agree that there are so many differing opinions and views on the topic.

As you are asked to consider giving a gift to various campaigns, benefits, programs and so much more, I urge you to consider your own definition of Moral Money and how you choose to take action. 

Laugh on Their Behalf with comedian Rachel Feinstein
at the JFCS 30th Annual Benefit on Dec. 1
Rachel Feinstein caught the bug for comedy and entertaining at a very young age. One of her most vivid memories from kindergarten is making a funny face and getting a big laugh. Another memory she has from elementary school is doing an impression of her teacher’s southern accent, which also drew a big laugh, including from the teacher herself. “That was my first sense of ‘I could kill with this,’” Rachel said. “It was a high.”

Video: A lot of important things can happen in 30 years
October is National Bullying Prevention Month and the issue affects
both children and adults
By Natalie Oleson, MSW, LICSW • JFCS Counselor
and Leah Persky, Ph.D • JFCS Family Life Education
Program Manager

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, which is timely, since kids are typically just getting settled into school. Bullying can be categorized in a number of ways, including verbal, social, and physical bullying. Verbal bullying includes teasing, name-calling, taunting, and threatening. Social bullying includes leaving someone out intentionally, convincing others not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors, or embarrassing someone in public. Physical bullying is hurting someone’s body or possessions. Bullying usually happens in a school setting, although it can also happen at home or in the community. Bullying can also happen online, while using technology (texting, e-mailing, or instant messaging) or social media. Ultimately, bullying creates an imbalance of power. The perpetrator/bully is attempting to control the victim.

Introducing our new PJ Library Coordinator Carrie Fink
Carrie Fink was recently hired as the PJ Library Coordinator at JFCS. PJ Library is an international award-winning program designed to strengthen Jewish identity by sending Jewish-content books and music on a monthly basis to children from age 6 months through 8 years. PJ Library also hosts regular community events for families. 

Learn about Carrie’s background, what her goals are for PJ Library Minneapolis, and help us welcome her to JFCS! 

PJ Library Founding Sponsors: Harold Grinspoon Foundation, The Louis Herman Memorial Fund, a designated fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Harry and Sandy Lerner
Lead Sponsor: Susie and Hart Kuller
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
By Jill Kozberg • JFCS Counseling Program Manager

Domestic violence is a serious issue in our society. It takes all forms. All shapes. All sizes. All genders. All ages. All religions. All races. All income levels. All educational levels.

No one is exempt.

Domestic violence refers to a pattern of behaviors in which one partner, in an intimate relationship, exerts and maintains power and control over the other. It is an abuse of power and control. It comes in many forms. It can be verbal, emotional, financial, physical, psychological, sexual abuse and coercion, reproductive coercion, stalking, and cyberstalking.

Leah Persky: TC Jewfolk's latest Who the Folk?!
Leah Persky, PhD, joined JFCS this past summer as Family Life Education Manager and was featured as this month's Who the Folk?! podcast on TC Jewfolk. Learn what’s it like to go from being a professor in Denver to a community service educator in Golden Valley and more.

2018 Elections: Are you ready to vote?
Just a reminder that early voting is now open in Minnesota! You can vote early at your polling location or via absentee ballot anytime between now and Monday, Nov. 5 – the day before Election Day.

Online and mail registration is closed as of Oct. 16, but you can still register in person and vote early at designated locations in each community – click here for more information.

Early voting is convenient – you can do it whenever it suits you and not worry about making it to the polls on time on Election Day. Do you know someone who may have trouble getting to the polls on Election Day? Minnesota has “no excuses” absentee voting – you can help them request an absentee ballot. You can also offer to witness their ballot if you are a Minnesota voter and/or mail it for them.

Still have questions about how to participate as a voter in the upcoming elections on Tuesday, Nov. 6? Click here for more information from our Office of the Secretary of State.
Ask a JFCS Counselor: The world is so divided right now. How do I stop feeling anxious all the time?
JFCS’ highly skilled, licensed therapists work with care and compassion to address the challenges people face throughout their lives. In this column, our counselors briefly answer questions we frequently receive. This month, Counselor Michel Rousseau, MSW, LICSW, answers the question:

The world is so divided right now. How do I stop feeling anxious all the time?

If you have a question you would like to submit for a future column, please email Jill Kozberg, Counseling Program Manager, at All questions will be published anonymously.

Counseling Founding Sponsor: Lynne and Andrew Redleaf Foundation
Upcoming events: Please join us
Shalom Baby Circle Time
Sunday, Oct. 28 @ 3:30-5 p.m.

Professional Networking Group
Wednesday, Nov 7 @ 9-11 a.m.

PJ Library's 10th Birthday Party
Sunday, Nov. 11 @ 2-4 p.m.

The December Dilemma For Interfaith Families
Tuesday, Nov. 13 @ 7-8:30 p.m.

My Hero Brother (film)
Sunday, Nov. 18 @ 2 p.m.

30th Annual Laugh on Their Behalf Benefit
Saturday, Dec. 1 @ 6 p.m.

PJ Library Chanukah Donut Celebration 
Sunday, Dec. 9 @ 1-3 p.m.
Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis |