As Thanksgiving approaches, my mind is focused on the state of food insecurity in our own community - it is astounding. Many of us have so much to be thankful for while there are still those among us who struggle with what the rest of us take for granted. Since March of 2020 the demand for our Corner Market Food Pantry has skyrocketed and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. While challenges persist, I am immensely thankful for all of you who donate your time and money to help us eradicate food insecurity in our community. In November alone we had several impactful food drives, executed by some of our local synagogues and schools and it was gratifying to see the community band together to help us solve this very real problem.

With Chanukah starting next week, the concept of our community joining together to support our work in the area of food insecurity, mental health struggles, older adult services and basic needs assistance, means that we all participate to bring bright light and hope into the lives and homes of our clients.

So, as you enjoy your Thanksgiving and your families light the Chanukah candles that brighten your homes, know that JFCS is helping our neighbors and friends who are less fortunate to do the same.

I am wishing all of you and your families an abundant and happy Thanksgiving and a bright and joyous Chanukah!!!!


Giving Support to Holocaust Survivors in Our Community
Sam was only 7 years old when he lived through Kristalnacht. He remembers being forced to leave his public school, where Jews were no longer permitted to attend. The windows of his family’s store were smeared with anti-Semitic graffiti, local synagogues were set ablaze, and he was terrified. That sickening feeling remains with him to this day. 
Fast forward nearly 75 years, Sam and his loving wife, Alice, have been together for many years. But not long ago, Sam fell upon hard times again, and he and Alice have been struggling ever since. Thankfully, this time, Sam had a safety net. JFCS’s Older Adult Services department was able to step in to lessen his hardships and has been providing Sam assistance in multiple ways. Sam’s health was deteriorating, so JFSC provided him a care manager to help him apply for government programs, including a prescription plan and coverage for a home health aide. Sam’s care manager also helped him apply to a Claims Conference funded program for Holocaust survivors, after which he received a meaningful one-time payment. Also, through a grant from the Claims Conference, JFCS was able to cover Sam’s costs for cleaning help, medical supplies, supermarket gift cards, and rides to medical appointments. In addition, JFCS connected Sam with a pro bono service for Holocaust survivors who cannot afford basic dental needs. He has benefited greatly from the generosity of these kind dentists. 
Sam and Alice often talk about how grateful they are for JFCS and how they don’t know what they would do without its support. 
Corner Market Food Drives are a Success!
Many people feel a strong responsibility to give back to the community. JFCS has been so fortunate that recent food drives from synagogues, schools, other community organizations and even individual families have kept our Corner Market Food Pantry continuously stocked and have allowed us to help alleviate food insecurity in our community. It has been extremely fulfilling watching the inspired and humble faces of our new Food Pantry volunteers. By just unpacking and stocking the shelves, they have gotten to see how the food pantry operates, and how their critical donations are put to immediate and vital use. 

The flexibility of our Food Pantry makes it easy for anyone interested to get involved and give back to the community. At least once a month, we hold Sunday events where volunteers can come bring their donations and experience hands-on work. We have the ability to accommodate just about anyone who wants to be a part of our mission - B’nei Mitzvah groups, business projects, synagogue organizations or just family gatherings. We’ve even had participants as young as two years old come in with their families for their very first volunteering experiences. 

Although JFCS offers a plethora of services, our Corner Market Food Pantry has seen the most significant surge in demand over the past year, which only furthers our resolve to help end food insecurity within our small corner of the world. We, at JFCS, believe that no one should go hungry. However, it is only due to all of our committed donors and volunteers that we can continue to offer this valuable Food Pantry service to those who need it most. 

A true mitzvah is taking time out of your day, purely to help others, and expecting no compensation in return. Sometimes, however, our volunteers do leave with an unexpected sense of reward. We cherish and thank all who help to make JFCS the critical safety net that it is today. 

If you’d like to partner with JFCS to organize a food drive, make a donation or volunteer, simply reply to this email. 
Are You Looking to Volunteer Your Time?
Our amazing volunteers are the lifeblood of all of our social services! Without them, we would not be able to serve nearly as many people or offer such high-quality support. If you or someone you know is interested in getting involved, contact our Volunteer Coordinator at or (201) 837-9090 x238. 
Celebration 2021 Ad Journal & Photo Album
Our 2021 Annual Celebration Ad Journal and Photo Album are available to view on the JFCS website. This year's Celebration was a night to remember as over 180 people gathered together on October 24th, 2021 to celebrate JFCS and honor Debbie Harris and Helen Graf for all that they do for JFCS and the community.

We thank everyone who was involved and we can't wait to do it again next year!
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