Accelerating Social, Academic and Health Equity
Monthly Report to the Community
September 2021
Dear Friends,

The month of September at JFS has been one of major impact and reflection. During the Jewish High Holidays, it is a time to welcome a new year and reflect on the past and more importantly plan our future work to help the most vulnerable in our community. The lessons and traditions of the Jewish High Holidays reinforced my sense of purpose and what is important - Tikkun Olam - Repairing the World. Happy New Year and to a great year of changing lives for the better. A few highlights: 

In collaboration with our partners JFS of Western MA and HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), our immigrant services team is preparing to resettle at least 30 Afghan evacuees (7-8 families) in the Greater Boston Metrowest area. The first priority is housing. The cost for one month’s rent for an incoming family can be as high as $2,500, and we are asking for donations to support the housing needs of these incoming families. Please click here and donate today. 

JFS has a long history of resettlement. It started in the 1980’s with resettling Russian Jewish families and we know that it takes a village/community for newly arrived families to feel welcomed and thrive in their new environment. As we recently experienced with the Syrian Refugee Humanitarian Project, volunteers are crucial to this work, and many have reached out to offer their time and skills in support of the Afghan evacuees. If you would like to have your name added to a list to be contacted as needs arise, please click here.

Helping immigrant families is an important element of JFS’ mission, and in addition to resettlement services, increasing access to basic needs, supporting academic success, and providing assistance with citizenship are just a few of the ways JFS supports the local immigrant community. Recent examples of this work are featured here:

~ Citizenship Day: Syrian Refugee Resettlement Update – Congratulations to the Bayyad family as they prepare to apply for citizenship!

In addition to recognizing Citizenship Day on September 17th, JFS is also proud to celebrate that September 15th to October 15th is marked on the calendar as National Hispanic Heritage Month. It is a pleasure as a Latino to celebrate with so many of our staff and board of Hispanic Heritage. Special shout out to our board members Javier Cevallos (President of Framingham State University), Fernando Castro (Owner of TaxPlus), and Cesar Stewart-Morales (Framingham City Councilman and Accounting Manager at Vineyard Wind). Our growing staff includes over 25 employees whose native language is either Spanish or Portuguese - including our new homecare manager Adan Hendrie (profiled below). Dedicated and caring, these team members work hard every day to ensure our neighbors receive the services they need, in the languages they speak.

The stories above represent a small sample of the tremendous talent that drives JFS, and illustrate the powerful impact of the JFS formula – Staff Driven, Volunteer Powered, Community Invested. It is only through these partnerships that JFS is able provide assistance to over 7,500 community members each year.

What impact do you want to have in your community? I invite you to scroll down to learn more about getting involved with JFS. Meet our newest Active Bystander trainers and sign up to attend a future training. Learn about our board members, experienced professionals who help shape the future of JFS. Join the staff of JFS – new positions have been added and more are coming soon. Also, read about opportunities to contribute to JFS financially, such as Stop and Shop’s Bloomin’ 4 Good program that will help support the Lucy and Joe Press Food Pantry.

The work accomplished by the JFS team energizes me every day. Join JFS in this important work – there is something for everyone.

Lino Covarrubias, CEO
Elana Margolis 
Place of Employment/Career Affiliation: Senior Director, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts 

Education: New England Law Boston and Brandeis University 

JFS supports people on every level, from community to individual, from newborn to elders, from life-long MetroWest residents to new-Americans. Elana is so proud to support and be part of an organization that never shies away from challenges. She believes JFS finds needs and seeks to fill them, presenting with a robust hineni (I am here)!
Neil Ross
Place of Employment/Career Affiliation: Managing Director – Global Tenant Representation, Jones Lang Lasalle 

Education: BA from Hobart & William Smith College

Neil was brought up to believe that if you are able to help others, you should do so. In both his professional and personal life, Neil has been extremely fortunate and wants to give back to those that may not be in that same position.
Andrew Troop
Place of Employment/Career Affiliation: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP 

Education: BA Amherst College and JD Northwestern University School of Law (now the Pritzker School of Law) 

People in our local communities need help not only to make ends meet but to navigate the complexities of our social, educational and governmental systems. JFS approaches these issues focused not only on making immediate differences, but also with a view toward the long term. Being a board member lets Andrew help advance this important, necessary work. He is honored to be a part of this enterprise that simply punches above its weight!
Marissa Wainwright
Place of Employment/Career Affiliation: Branch/Commercial Counsel 

Education: JD - Boston College Law School, BS - Vanderbilt University 

Volunteering as a member of the Board of JFS is important to Marissa because she is able to contribute her time to an organization that has a real, tangible impact on the lives of people who need it most. The families that benefit from JFS come from so many backgrounds but are brought to JFS because they need help in some way, and Marissa is so proud to support the incredible staff that meets those needs and makes the lives of others better. Our community can only thrive if we're supporting one another, and JFS embodies this mission with its programming to aid vulnerable populations that transcend race, age, and ethnicity, and she feels so fortunate to be a part of JFS' impact.
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!
Fr. Carl Chudy, M.A., D.Min.
TAB Trainer since March 2021
Place of Employment:  Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Holliston, MA | Interfaith Outreach Coordinator

Education: Master of Divinity; Master of Arts; Doctor of Ministry

"Active bystander's training has been a great opportunity to connect with like minded people who are deeply committed to community compassion in these divided times we live, and a particularly important feature for both faith and secular communities."
Reverend Liz Garrigan-Byerly
TAB Trainer since Feb 2021
Place of Employment: Area Conference Minister, Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ

Education: BSW from Bloomsburg University; M.Div from Andover Newton Theological School

"Each of us is responsible for the quality of our communities. When the issues that face our society--racism, economic disparity, climate change--feel so overwhelming, I find hope in equipping people to make a tangible and significant difference."
Sara Morrison Neil, MPA
TAB Trainer since Feb 2021
Place of Employment:  Church Administrator & Membership Coordinator, First Parish in Framingham

Education: BA English Literature, Earlham College and Master of Public Administration, UMass Amherst

"It is so important that more people who want to DO something positive learn the skills to address situations in our community so that we can all feel safe here."

Adan Hendrie

Homecare Manager
With JFS since March 2021

Originally hired as an office manager, Adan's role has transitioned to JFS' new full time Homecare Manager. Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Adan speaks Spanish, English, and some French and his skills and past experience will be tremendous assets in the homecare department as the program grows to serve more clients in the coming months.
"I’ve reached my sixth-month mark at JFS, but it feels much longer than that, especially transitioning from an office manager position to Homecare Manager in the last four months. A series of timely events favored the Homecare position at a time when the workers were on board with using their cell phones to check in and out of their shifts (replacing timesheets), and I became Damaris’s permanent replacement with her blessing. 
I’ve always wanted a community-based and bilingual job that involved scheduling and coordinating and helping others in their careers by giving them a job and providing training. I actually joined the Navy for 10 years in the hopes of being an interpreter, but it wasn’t meant to be. Homecare has become personalized by giving the workers, clients, and case managers individual attention not only to tend to their needs but to grow in a positive direction while adding a sense of humor here and there, like a case manager promising that a certain client will wear more than just his boxers the next visit. 
This job is reminiscent of having grown up in Mexico, but the workers and local population include Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Brazil which make for an exciting mix. Guatemala and Mexico, for example, celebrated similar dates for Independence Day in September. I couldn’t be prouder of the Homecare workers who have proven themselves to be supportive through times of transition, to include the pandemic, and who have also adjusted to a culture other than their own and have found a way to reach some level of financial independence and to be of service with the elderly community."
For the 10th consecutive year, JFS of Metrowest provided over 250 backpacks full of school supplies to children in our community who need it most! Build-a-Backpack brings families together, giving us the chance to learn how we can better help and support our shared community.

Following last year’s sixteen private mini-events led by teens throughout our communities, JFS took a step toward normalcy, organizing six outdoor events of 40+ participants. Attendees brought new, empty backpacks and filled them with supplies provided by JFS, some of which were donated by our close friends and partners from Temple Beth Am.
Together with the help of over 130 volunteers and staff, JFS of Metrowest coordinated the delivery of over 2,200 Kosher meals for Rosh Hashanah to families and older adults throughout Metrowest, Boston, and North and South Shore communities.

Check out this blog to read a meaningful story from Elana Margolis, JFS Board Member and volunteer meal delivery driver.
Last week, days before the official start of school, Framingham Public Schools hosted a renaming ceremony for the Harmony Grove Elementary School. The event marked the end of an initiative led by FPS students in collaboration with community partners, including the JFS Committee on Anti-Racism and Fighting Antisemitism, to rename Woodrow Wilson Elementary, following a well-received petition, which cited the racist policies of the 28th U.S. President

The outdoor celebration included food, music, and games. Further, in conjunction with JFS’s recent Build-a-Backpack event, backpacks filled with school supplies were provided to all Harmony Grove students.
Earlier this month, JFS distributed over 2,000 items of new clothing at a Children’s Clothing Closet pop-up. The event, held at Mary Dennison Park, was a part of Discovering Hidden Gems‘ Back-to-School Extravaganza.

Discovering Hidden Gems is a Framingham-based non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life of “at-promise youth” through recreational and educational experiences. The term “at-promise youth” shows the raw potential that each individual can access within themselves if treated with promise. They focus on youth’s abilities, creating access, community engagement, and inclusion.
In 2016, when over 5 million refugees had already fled Syria, JFS responded to the crisis by leading the JFS Syrian Refugee Humanitarian Project, a coalition of 17+ partner organizations from area synagogues, Islamic centers, academia, and the medical community.

We’re thrilled to share the Bayyads are the first family eligible for citizenship from the JFS Syrian Refugee Humanitarian Project. They have taken the Citizenship class offered via a partnership between JFS and FAESL. JFS will help them complete their forms and continue preparing for their citizenship exam as they await a date. We are excited and honored to support the Bayyads as they reach this significant milestone in their immigration journey.

To learn more about our JFS Immigrant and Resettlement services’s programs and how you can get involved, click here!
Save the Date: Indigenous Peoples Day Ceremony
Social isolation wears many faces. Changes in health and circumstance can make it difficult for older adults to maintain relationships or form new ones. 

The JFS Warm Connectors program matches older adults living in the community with volunteers who serve as "connectors" and create opportunities to connect with neighbors, friends, family and the community.

Trained volunteers are matched with older adults and once matched, they meet on a regular, mutually agreed upon schedule. Warm Connectors reduce social isolation both with regular visits as well as by helping build and grow relationships. Connections can include: attend a social or learning activity, join an exercise class, write letters to family, video call with friends or family, attend a faith-based service, etc. 

Click here to learn more about JFS Warm Connectors!
Interested In Volunteering?

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!

JFS Committee on Anti-Racism & Fighting Antisemitism
To learn about upcoming news and events as they occur, like/follow the new JFS Committee on Anti-Racism and Fighting Antisemitism social media channels, and CLICK HERE for a list of resources specific to this work.


When you need expert guidance navigating the challenges that come with aging, the elder experts of JFS Allies in Aging can help.

You may be eligible to participate in the Ready for Success employment support program. Developed by JFS and Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) and funded by CJP, this program is designed for active job seekers who have a clear career direction but need some help with job search activities and landing a job. Learn more.
Our Staff is Growing - New Job Descriptions Coming Soon!

Geriatric Care Managment Program Specialist

Homecare Coordinator

Development Gifts Officer

Case Managers/Aides/Interpreters
to work with Pashto- and/or Dari-speaking clients

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.

Are you a veteran interested in pursuing a college degree? Click the links below to learn about the options available to veterans through Mass Bay and FSU:

If you are feeling compelled to provide assistance to a refugee family in response to a world crisis and would like to partner with JFS, please complete the form below. If a time comes when assistance in the area(s) specified is needed, we will contact you.
We are happy to announce that the JFS Lucy and Joe Press Food Pantry has been selected for Stop & Shop's Bloomin' 4 Good Program!

For the month of October 2021, Lucy and Joe Press Food Pantry has been selected to receive a $1 donation for every $10.99 Bloomin' 4 Good Bouquet with the red circle sticker (pictured above) sold at the store located at 235 Old Connecticut Path, Framingham MA.

Help to fight food insecurity and support JFS by
purchasing a Bloomin' 4 Good bouquet at
this Stop & Shop location!
The demand for Ready-to-Wears is greater than ever before.

JFS needs your help to support children in our community!

Families are particularly in need of new socks and underwear

  •  A $20-$25 donation could fill 1 Ready to Wear order with a pack of socks and underwear each
  •  A $100 donation could help fill about 4 Ready to Wear orders with a pack of socks and underwear each
  • A $250 donation could help fill about 10 Ready to Wear orders with a pack of socks and underwear each
Thank you to Elana, Neil, Andrew, Marissa, Carl, Liz, Sara, and Adan 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 | |