Monthly Archives: September 2021

Urban League of Essex County

Urban League of Essex County helps to create jobs, teach new skills, and educate the future. This mission is accomplished through various programs, including:

Four Areas of Service

1. Ensure that children are well educated and equipped for economic self-reliance in the 21st century by offering the best foundations for education and job skills possible.

2. Protect civil rights by eradicating all barriers to equal participation in the economic and social mainstream of America by offering seminars, community outreach events, voter education and civic action opportunities.

3. Focus on neighborhood revitalization by undertaking resident driven plans to reverse the patterns of segregation and disinvestment, prevent displacement, and promote equitable revitalization throughout all communities.

4. Help adults attain economic self-sufficiency through good jobs, home ownership, entrepreneurship and financial literacy by offering seminars, study groups, job networking, remedial skills training and technology training.


Since its founding in 1917, the organization’s mission has been to help African Americans and disadvantaged residents achieve social and economic self-sufficiency has supported that ideal.  

When ULEC began more than 100 years ago, leather factories, iron works, breweries, and other factories thrived along the Morris Canal. Black workers streamed into Essex County from the South, escaping Jim Crow oppression and drawn by the plentiful jobs and available housing stock.

The Urban League was formed to improve the social, economic, and moral conditions of these new arrivals, who found that discrimination had followed them northward, despite the greater opportunities. 

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ULEC Founder William Ashby said, 

“The Urban League at that time was the only organization whose purpose and aim might give direction to the solution of some of the problems.” 

Solutions by Numbers

The following numbers give a snapshot of the impact ULEC has had on Northern New Jersey. 

During the pandemic, ULEC has:

  • Disbursed over $40,000 in emergency cash assistance during the pandemic
  • Distributed over $100,000 in emergency rental assistance.
  • Provided over 200,000 pounds of food during the pandemic.
  • Over 250 young people have participated in the Newark Kids Code Program since 2018.
  • 175 people attended ULEC’s In-person and Virtual First Time Home Buyer Workshops in 2020.
  • In 2020, the Urban League of Essex County helped 10 families purchase their own homes and 77 people avoided foreclosure.
  • 66 individuals enrolled in ULEC’s Savings Programs combined to save $30,765, even during the pandemic.

A Story of Hope

Isaac Oppong’s financial circumstances were trying, difficult, and unpredictable before being introduced to the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC).

Upon enrolling in the FOC, Mr. Oppong had no savings, was under-employed and had an unscored FICO credit profile due to insufficient credit history. 

After attending a mandatory financial capability workshop Oppong was intrigued and eager to enroll in multiple services provided by the FOC. 

He quickly began financial coaching sessions and took advantage of the Twin Account program, a matched savings client-incentive product. 

Within 18 months, Oppong saved over $5,000 toward emergency savings and the purchase of a car. 

“My situation has gone from stressful to hope filled, I feel I can achieve any goal I set,” said Oppong.

Now he consistently saves 15% of income and plans to enroll in an employer-based retirement plan this year. Now he says:

“I am so thankful I came to that first financial workshop and now have a financial coach. I changed my path in the direction I want — success!” 

Read more of Oppong’s story on the ULEC website.

Join the League

Individuals can partner with ULEC when they become members of the league, divided into three types:

  1. General
  2. Guild
  3. YPs

Guild and YP members can participate in skilled volunteer opportunities, whereas general volunteerism can be achieved through a general membership. More member information can be found on the ULEC website. Learn more about volunteering for ULEC on the Volunteer Match website

Learn more about the impact they’re making in New Jersey on the Urban League of Essex County website.

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey

Are you a child, teen parent or senior who needs assistance? Do you or someone you love live with a disability? Are you in an unsafe living situation?

The Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey wants to help you.

Through their many programs such as counseling, Rachel Coaltion, Holocaust Survivor Services, and volunteer services, JFS has been available to respond to the needs of New Jersey communities. 


Children, Teens, And Parents 

Families are helped by several types of psychotherapy, including: individual and family therapy, play therapy, and specialized therapies for children exposed to trauma. JFS also provides preschool services, counseling and assistance for children with learning differences and special needs, as well as support groups and workshops.


JFS MetroWest offers a range of programs and services to assist adult members of the community and their families in coping with challenges. Resources include individual, family, and couples counseling, group services, financial assistance and community workshops.

Older Adults

JFS provides a wide range of information and referrals, Family Caregiver Services which include Comprehensive Assessments, Geriatric Care Management and Care Consultation. JFS also offers counseling and support groups, Holocaust Survivor services, Alzheimer’s and related dementia programs, and emergency financial assistance.

Individuals With Disabilities

JFS offers services for children with learning differences and special needs, Support Coordination for individuals eligible through the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities, and Coordinated Care for family members of individuals with disabilities.

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JFS Impacting Lives

Quickly after the pandemic forced the country to shut down, JFS identified a need for safely delivered hot meals and groceries for isolated Holocaust survivors and older adult clients who had been advised to shelter-in-place. To fill that need, they began organizing weekly meals and coordinating weekly grocery shopping by volunteers.

Celebrating Chanukah

By the end of December, 2776 meals had been delivered by 78 volunteers to over 180 clients. Meals were dropped off with no contact to maintain safe social distancing to protect both volunteers and clients.

When the holiday season arrived, JFS partnered with other local organizations to distribute Chanukah packages. Here’s what Suzy Berman, Director of Volunteer Services at JFS, said:

“The holidays can be sad and lonely for our clients.  This year, our older adult clients feel especially isolated and vulnerable due to the current COVID crisis.  We hope that these Chanukah packages will bring joy, comfort, and a friendly face from our JFS volunteers, who are delivering the packages to the seniors.  Now more than ever, in these difficult times, it is wonderful to see our community come together to care for our elders.”

When organizations can quickly assess needs and respond accordingly, lives are impacted.

Here’s a snapshot of the kind of impact JFS has had in their community during a six-month period:

Numbers Served From Mid-March Through August 2021

  • 3,583 telehealth counseling sessions
  • 565% increase in financial assistance for food
  • 615 counseling sessions for domestic violence victims
  • 748 Shabbat meals for Holocause survivors and older adults
  • 440 essential care packages for Holocause survivors and isolated older adults
  • 100 play therapy kids for child and adolescent clients

The numbers speak for themselves. In just six months, JFS has made huge strides for New Jersey residents in need.

Mission of JFS

JFS MetroWest has been helping families and individuals of all ages manage life’s challenges since 1861. Guided by the wisdom and values of tradition and respect for all people, Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey provides innovative, compassionate, and outstanding social services to enhance the independence and well-being of individuals and families throughout all stages of life

JFS Vision

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest aims to be the premier agency within the MetroWest New Jersey area providing for the social services and mental health needs of the greater community with unparalleled professionalism, humanity, and respect for all who seek its support.

Volunteering With JFS

Do you have a similar mission and vision?

JFS MetroWest offers a wide array of meaningful volunteer opportunities. The volunteer staff will match your interests and talents to community needs to ensure a gratifying experience.

There are opportunities for mitzvah projects, adult volunteer opportunities, Rachel Coalition volunteer possibilities, and the RSVP Center of Essex & Hudson Counties, which is a comprehensive community service organization catering to individuals 55 and over.

Learn more about the impact JFS is making in New Jersey on the Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey website.

Family Services Bureau of New Jersey

If you live in the New Jersey area and need help as a result of substance abuse, the Family Services Bureau of New Jersey is here to help. 

Family Services Bureau of New Jerse (FSB), part of New Community, has served the needs of the community since 1882 as a licensed outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment center


The organization’s mission is to preserve, educate, support, strengthen and enrich family life through prevention, intervention and community education programs that assist families, children and individuals. 

Staff includes clinicians and interns under the direct supervision of licensed clinical supervisors. 

By adopting an integrated behavioral health model to treat the whole body, FSB aims to provide each consumer with the resources needed to improve their quality of life.

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Four Ways New Community and FSB Serve New Jersey

FSB is part of New Community Corporation, a comprehensive community development organization founded in 1968. Let’s take a closer look at how FSB fits into the New Community mission.

  1. Housing Opportunities
  2. Health Services, including Family Service Bureau, a licensed outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment center
  3. Educational Services
  4. Community Resources

Watch this informative video to learn more about the struggles faced by millions today.


The treatments services utilized depends in the individual, but here’s an overview of what FSB offers: 

  • Substance Use Disorder Treatment
  • Mental Health Level 1 Treatment
  • Psychiatric services with Medication Monitoring
  • Family and Couples Counseling
  • Anger Management Group
  • Domestic Violence Counseling
  • Parenting Skills Group
  • Telehealth 
  • Family Crisis Intervention Unit

Family Services Bureau Data

Healing has happened among individuals and families who’ve overcome substance abuse issues. Imagine the faces of pain, hope, and healing behind these inspiring numbers.

As of fall 2021, FSB reported:

  • Intakes: 153
  • Mental Health Individuals: 2,255
  • Substance Abuse Individuals: 346
  • Psychiatric Evaluations: 77
  • Medication Monitoring: 386

To learn more about FSB and obtain contact information for the Newark and Kearny offices, visit the Family Service Bureau website.