Accelerating Social, Academic and Health Equity
in Our Community
Monthly Report to the Community
March 2021
Dear Friends,

Moving into the month of March, we gladly say goodbye to another New England winter and welcome the warming temperatures and sunnier days of spring.

This winter was particularly difficult for many due to the pandemic, and JFS received hundreds of calls about individuals and families in crisis. Older adults who stopped receiving services, parents that lost their jobs and were on the verge of eviction, families struggling due to the loss of loved ones... So many stories of worry and heartache. JFS's response has been deep and far reaching - meal deliveries, supply distributions, assistance with benefits and advocacy - deploying critical resources where help was needed the most. One example is in the story of a single mom who could not care for her small children when she became ill with COVID-19. JFS social workers responded to the calls for help and assisted the family in finding the support they needed so the mom could safely focus on getting better. For this family and many others, JFS has been a life line, making connections and ensuring no one falls through the cracks.

JFS's work in the community has also continued through the JFS Committee on Anti-Racism and Fighting Antisemitism. In partnership with Open Spirit, we are happy to report that 14 individuals have been trained to provide Active Bystander Training. This training is designed to empower a bystander who is witnessing a harmful situation to ACT. "The Training Active Bystanders (TAB) program helps participants recognize when they are bystanders, analyze situations, and evaluate the consequences for everyone involved. TAB heightens bystanders’ power. It teaches how bystanders can interrupt harm doing and generate positive actions by others." (

The Committee believes that having a citizenry that will ACT is foundational to fighting hate and bigotry in the community. As Max Michelson (z"l) of blessed memory would say “Do not stay silent. Act. Stand up for those powerless, those without a voice.” To learn about events, programs and news as they become available, like/follow the Committee's new social media pages on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as these channels will provide a forum through which partner organizations may list work specific to this initiative and allow community members a one stop place to see what is going on and be part of this important movement.

Max's legacy will also be honored during this year's Seize the Dream on Thursday May 6th at 7pm when we will present the Max Michelson Humanitarian Award to this year's recipients, and we will celebrate the 300+ volunteers that power JFS's work the community. Reserve your Special Friends Sponsorship today!

In closing, as we come upon the Passover and Easter holidays, I am reminded of the courage of our ancestors who we honor through these traditions. Thank you to all who are courageous and choose to stand against injustice and inequity. JFS is committed to staying in the fight, and it is only through your partnership that JFS may continue to accelerate social, academic and health equity in our community. Follow the links herein to learn how you can get involved today.

May your holiday celebrations be meaningful and joyful.

Lino Covarrubias, CEO
JFS Team Spotlight Series:
Interview with JFS CEO Lino Covarrubias
In an exclusive interview series, Lino Covarrubias discusses the Impact of COVID-19 on JFS and the communities we serve--check it out!
Join us as we Celebrate Our “Everyday Hero”,
Abdulkader Hayani!
The Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) has selected Abdulkader Hayani to be an honoree for this year’s Immigrant Heroes Award Benefit on Tues. April 6, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.

JFS first met Abdulkader when he and his family fled violence in Syria and resettled in the U.S. in 2017. Through the JFS Syrian Refugee Humanitarian Project, JFS welcomed the Hayani family and supported them in creating a new future in which their children could grow and thrive.
Today, the Hayani family is indeed thriving, contributing to their community, and giving back in service to others–Click to read more!
Register today for this inspirational event and join us as we congratulate Abdulkader on this special honor!
JFS Sends Gratitude to Friends at Boston Area Mask Initiative!

JFS thanks our amazing friends at the Boston Area Mask Initiative! 

Thank you for the 800 fabric masks, which will go directly to frail older adults and immigrant families in the Framingham community

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:

March 31, 2021 at 6:30 PM
Join a Joint Celebration between

Thank You to GBVC and the Bob Woodruff Foundation for Helping JFS Support Vets in Need!
Thank you to the Greater Boston Veterans Collaborative (GBVC) and the Bob Woodruff Foundation for providing Stop and Shop cards to JFS to help our veterans in need!

JFS is grateful for the support of these invaluable partnerships that allow us to continue fulfilling our commitment to helping veterans in the Metrowest community. Follow the links to learn more about GBVC, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and other resources for veterans! Click to read more!
JFS Supports Our Veterans
JFS has a commitment with our partner agencies to ensure
no veteran is left behind.

According to CBS News, U.S. military families are going hungry at alarming rates. CBS News reported on a study that found nearly 40% of active-duty service members are facing food insecurity, forcing them to rely on food banks to feed their families. This is a disgrace! 

To alleviate food insecurity for veterans at the local level, please consider donating to the JFS Veteran Assistance Program, or else to the Military Family Advisory Network to combat food insecurity for veterans and military families at a national level.

Available Immediately

20-hour (Part-time position)

This is a part-time position (20hrs per week) for an energetic and experienced Bookkeeper.

The Bookkeeper needs to have 5+ years of Bookkeeping experience in a nonprofit environment.

Full-time Position
(40-Hours w/ benefits)

JFS seeks an energetic Business Office Manager, Bilingual (English/Spanish) with a customer service orientation to manage the business functions of the agency, supervise administrative staff and provide logistical and operational support to all agency departments and programs.

Full-time Position
(40-Hours w/ benefits)

JFS seeks a 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.

Full-time Position
(40-Hours w/ benefits)

JFS seeks a senior level caseworker/social worker to help advance JFS’ commitment to accelerate social, health and academic equity for low income, often disenfranchised

"Even as 2021 brought the promise of a vaccine and an end to the pandemic, many families continued to struggle with the health and financial impacts of the last year. For some who had managed to stay healthy and maintain their jobs, a sudden onslaught of the virus was all it took to bring them to their knees. This was the experience for one young mom and her family..."
“When talking with my friend Linda the other day, she commented that she feels more alone when she and I talk over Zoom than she does when we just speak on the phone. Somehow, talking on the phone just seems more normal…”, she said.  

My friend Linda has never married. She hadn’t planned to be alone at age 75, but here she is. These past 10 months alone in her condo have really shown Linda that she is on her own. Linda is part of the more than 20% of older adults in the U.S. who do not have a family caregiver available in case they become ill or incapacitated...

In this month's issue of Ask Ally, a blog series authored by Malka Young, Director of Allies in Aging JFS Elder Care Solutions, questions about future planning are considered in situations where an older adult may not have family members upon which to rely.

learn about available resources and options.

Save the Date
Thursday, May 6, 2021, 7:00pm
Josef Volman, Board President
Lino Covarrubias, CEO 
are excited to announce the recipients of the 2021 Max Michelson Humanitarian Award:

Diane and Chester Black


Contact Gail Gregory, Manager of Volunteer Services and Community Engagement, at for more information.
Older adults need our support more than ever in getting to their medical appointments. Over the last several months, the JFS Patient Navigator Team has worked tirelessly to restore this program, taking into account COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures. With new and creative precautions that prioritize the safety of our volunteers and clients above all else, volunteers make a difference in the lives of older adults in our community by becoming a trusted guide at medical appointments.

As a volunteer, you will receive comprehensive, ongoing training and support. As a Patient Navigator volunteer you will…

  • Help older adults prepare for upcoming medical appointments, review concerns and frame questions
  • Serve as a companion to medical appointments and procedures
  • Facilitate communication between doctor and patient
  • Take notes during the visit
  • Assist in scheduling follow up care and picking up prescriptions

Liz Serotte
Volunteer since September 2019

Liz has served in multiple roles in the JFS Pathways to College Success Program – both as a “traditional mentor” and as a “classroom coach” in MassBay Community College, Professor Niemi’s honors management course. She has helped recent mentees with mock interviews, career strategy, and with feedback on their final projects in management and marketing courses. She draws on her many areas of expertise in her role as a mentor, and is committed to helping her mentees succeed. 

When not volunteering, Liz keeps busy working as a Marketing strategy consultant, spending time with her family, and hosting a podcast for busy women seeking balance called Seven Plates Spinning. 

We’re grateful for Liz’s commitment to the students in the Pathways to College Success program.  Thank you, Liz! 

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

Through the Pathways to College Success Mentoring Program I’ve enjoyed getting to know several students at MassBay over the past two years. I think the program is incredibly valuable as it gives students – many of whom are the first in their family to attend college – access to mentors who can share real-world professional experiences that relate to their coursework and enhance classroom learning. It’s been a fantastic experience for me as a volunteer as well. Developing connections with the students, exploring their career interests, and talking through steps they may take to work towards their goals, has been extremely rewarding.” 
Gail Gregory

Manager of Volunteer Services & Community Engagement
With JFS since January 2020

“In the best of times, our work is critical to so many in our community. In these historic times, it has never been more important. JFS simply could not make the impact we do without our amazing volunteers. To be able to connect volunteers with meaningful ways to serve others in their community is incredibly rewarding to me.”

Thank you to Liz, Gail, 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 | |