Monthly Archives: May 2024

A Powerful Collaboration For Families With Disabled Individuals: JFS & Coordinated Care Of MetroWest

Two effective organizations collaborate to offer crucial support for families with disabled individuals in MetroWest.

In the heart of the Greater MetroWest community, a pressing concern has brought families together in search of a solution for one of life’s most challenging questions: who will care for our loved ones with special needs when we are no longer able to? 

Michael, a dedicated father and board member of the Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey (JFS), faced this very dilemma. His story is not unique but represents a common fear among parents of children with developmental disabilities.

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ: A Mainstay of Support

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ (JFS) stands as a community mainstay of support and advocacy for individuals facing various challenges, including those with disabilities and their families. JFS’s mission is deeply rooted in the values of compassion, dignity, and respect, striving to provide comprehensive social services that improve the quality of life for all community members. As an organization, JFS embodies the principle of tikkun olam, or repairing the world, through its dedicated efforts to offer guidance, support, and resources to those in need.

The Birth of Coordinated Care of MetroWest

In response to the community’s call for specialized support for families with children who have developmental or acquired disabilities, Coordinated Care of MetroWest (CCM) was founded. Initially partnering with JFS and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest (JCF), CCM has since merged with JFS, reinforcing its commitment to the community and ensuring the sustainability of its vital services. This collaboration has led to the creation of a comprehensive suite of services designed to address the immediate and long-term needs of individuals with disabilities and their families.

Services and Support Offered by CCM

CCM works closely with families and guardians to provide personalized care, connecting them to local resources, offering support for daily challenges, and assisting with future planning. Case managers act as “boots on the ground,” ensuring families make informed decisions about housing, finances, medical care, and crafting a life plan that aligns with their loved one’s needs and the family’s priorities.

Read more: Elder Support: Ensuring Dignity and Independence for Our Seniors

Planning for the Future

One of the most significant challenges CCM faces is helping families come to terms with the necessity of planning for the future—a future many prefer not to think about. These considerations are difficult but crucial for ensuring the well-being of their loved ones with disabilities. By enrolling in CCM, families gain a safety net of support, knowing there is a dedicated team ready to step in when they can no longer provide care themselves.

The Role of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund plays a pivotal role in bolstering organizations like JFS by providing funding that enhances their ability to effect meaningful change. Through financial support, the Greater Newark Holiday Fund helps organizations extend their reach and deepen their impact, ensuring that families like Michael’s have access to the support and services they need.

A Lasting Commitment

Michael’s journey with CCM highlights the essential role that organizations like Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ play in the lives of families facing the complexities of caring for loved ones with disabilities. With the steadfast support of CCM and the backing of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, families can find peace of mind and the assurance that their loved ones will receive compassionate, personalized care, now and in the future.

Partnering With JFS

Consider making a donation to the Holiday Fund. Your contribution will supplement the vital support provided by the Holiday Fund to organizations like JFS, enabling them to continue their crucial work.

Every act of support plays a significant role in empowering JFS and similar organizations to serve our community effectively. 

Discover the transformative efforts of JFS by exploring how they’ve been supporting families and individuals across all ages and backgrounds to navigate life’s challenges since 1861.

Highlighting Hope: Supporting Mental Health Awareness In May

Supporting Mental Health Awareness Month emphasizes empathy and action, championed by Jewish Family Service.

May is a time to turn our attention to the subject of Mental Health Awareness Month. This period serves as an essential reminder of the significance of mental health, encouraging empathy towards those facing challenges and advocating for the elimination of stigma surrounding mental health issues. 

It’s a time for communities to rally together, emphasizing support for individuals navigating mental health conditions and promoting overall mental well-being.

The Vital Role of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ

At the heart of efforts to support mental health in New Jersey is the Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ (JFS), a Holiday Fund partner agency dedicated to providing crucial assistance to those in need. 

JFS provides innovative, compassionate, and outstanding social services to enhance the independence and well-being of individuals and families throughout all stages of life. Their work spans from aiding seniors and families to supporting individuals with disabilities, illustrating their commitment to nurturing a healthy and resilient community.

One of the remarkable contributions of JFS in this domain is their facilitation of 24 Support Groups, encompassing over 300 participants. These groups offer a safe space for individuals to share their experiences, find solace, and gain strength from others facing similar challenges. Through these groups, JFS underscores the importance of community and mutual support in the journey toward mental health recovery.

More about JFS’s impact: Strengthening Communities With Support Groups

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund: Amplifying Impact

Supporting organizations like JFS in their mission to promote mental health awareness and provide essential services is crucial. One way to contribute is through the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, a long-time supporter of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ

By donating to the Holiday Fund, your contribution extends its reach, impacting ELEVEN top-tier agencies, including JFS, that make a tangible difference in northern New Jersey.

Your donation not only supports mental health awareness but also fuels the critical work being carried out to improve it. The Greater Newark Holiday Fund ensures that your generosity aids in providing the necessary resources and support for those navigating mental health challenges.

Join Us in Making a Difference

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s come together to shine a light on the importance of mental health and the ongoing efforts to support those affected. Consider making a donation to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund today. Your support can transform lives, fostering a more compassionate and understanding community where mental well-being is prioritized.

This Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s deepen our dedication to fostering kindness and nurturing a sense of community. Donate now and be part of the change you wish to see in the world. 

Advocacy of Family Service League In The Fight For Women’s Rights And Recovery

Family Service League upholds women’s rights and strengthens survivors of sexual violence through their SAVE of Essex initiative.

Family Service League (FSL), a committed partner of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, is a critical agency for survivors of sexual violence. Their dedication towards uplifting, strengthening, and empowering victims is unwavering and deeply impactful.

Understanding the Landscape of Sexual Violence Advocacy

In the realm of sexual violence advocacy, those at Family Service League are privy to the experiences of survivors and victims alike. It can be a challenging landscape, but it is also one filled with resilience and triumph. Every day, the team at FSL stands up for victims, providing them with the support they need to reclaim their lives.

SAVE: Empowering Survivors through Advocacy and Support

SAVE of Essex is one of FSL’s remarkable initiatives. To start, this program operates a confidential hotline 24/7, staffed by trained advocates ready to lend a listening ear and offer assistance. 

Additionally, its Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates help survivors navigate forensic exams and legal processes in Essex County, attending hospitals, police precincts, and courtrooms. They also provide care packages to survivors, aiding in dignity restoration post-assault. 

Celebrating the Women Behind SAVE of Essex

The tireless efforts the women who lead this powerful initiative not only offer immediate support and resources but also contribute significantly to the broader fight against sexual violence, advocating for systemic changes and greater public awareness.

Take time to consider both the women who lead SAVE of Essex as well as the many victims who have bravely stepped forward to share their stories and begin their journey of healing. 

Read more: Family Service League Supporting Survivors At The 2nd Annual Legislative Breakfast

Support the Greater Newark Holiday Fund

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund is a proud supporter of FSL’s crucial work. By donating to the Holiday Fund, you can contribute to the vital services provided by FSL, ensuring they remain accessible to those in need. Your contribution will make a significant difference in the lives of many.

A generous gift from you could mean a world of change for someone else, and a stronger community for all. Let’s impact lives together. 

Let’s honor the incredible work of FSL and support their invaluable work. Together, we can help create a world free from sexual violence.

Boosting Senior Mental Health: The Shop & Drop Program By JFS MetroWest

Volunteers of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ impact senior mental health by delivering essential goods to homebound seniors.

May is a time to highlight the significance of mental health awareness, reminding us of the invisible battles many—regardless of age or background—face daily. It’s a month dedicated to breaking down the stigma associated with mental health issues and emphasizing the power of community support.

In these times, when mental health support is more crucial than ever, the focus is on ensuring that individuals struggling with mental health challenges receive the compassion and assistance they deserve. Keep reading to discover one powerful way Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ (JFS) has been lending help to those who are most vulnerable. 

The Role of Shop & Drop Trips Impacting Senior Mental Health

With 224 Shop & Drop Trips to homebound seniors completed by 55 incredible volunteers, JFS has made significant strides in supporting our community here in New Jersey. 

Each Shop & Drop Trip involves volunteers carefully shopping for groceries and other requested items on behalf of a senior, then delivering these necessities directly to their doorstep. This not only ensures that homebound seniors have access to fresh and nutritious food but also provides them with a sense of connection and support from the community, reminding them that they are not forgotten. 

By stepping up to fill this vital need, JFS and its volunteers have not only made strides in supporting the physical well-being of homebound seniors but have also contributed to their emotional and psychological health, fostering a stronger, more caring community here in New Jersey.

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund’s Support

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund plays a crucial role in supporting the work of organizations like JFS. By partnering with JFS, the Holiday Fund ensures that the vital services provided to those facing mental health challenges continue. 

Your donation to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund not only supports this important work but also makes you part of a larger movement aimed at uplifting and empowering individuals in need.

Read more: Elder Support: Ensuring Dignity and Independence for Our Seniors

Join the Movement: Make a Difference

In partnership with the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, we invite you to contribute to the ongoing efforts to support mental health awareness. By donating, you become a key player in a collective effort to make a real difference in the lives of those struggling with mental health issues.

Let’s come together to support this cause. Your support can transform lives and bring light to those in dark places. 

This Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s reaffirm our commitment to kindness, support, and community.  Donate now and be part of the change we wish to see in the world. 

Recognizing Compassion And Service: An Evening Of Appreciation With JFS

In May 2024, An Evening of Appreciation will honor supporters of the Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ in Florham Park.

On the evening of May 29, 2024, the Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, New Jersey, will be sparkling with the spirit of gratitude and community as the Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey (JFS) hosts its much-anticipated, annual gala: An Evening of Appreciation. 

This event is not just a gala; it’s a heartfelt acknowledgment of those who have significantly contributed to the mission of JFS—a place of unwavering support for individuals and families across all stages of life.

The Mission of JFS

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ has carved its niche as a leading provider of innovative, compassionate, and outstanding social services. With a focus on enhancing the independence and well-being of its clients, JFS stands out for its approach to addressing the social services and mental health needs of the greater community. The organization operates with an unparalleled level of professionalism, humanity, and respect, ensuring that everyone who seeks its support is treated with dignity and care.

Throughout its history, JFS has been at the forefront of responding to life’s emergencies, adapting to meet the evolving needs of the community it serves. The upcoming gala is not just a celebration but a call to action—garnering support to ensure that JFS can continue its critical work now and in the future.

Read more: How the Jewish Family Service Helped A Mom of Three Reclaim Her Life

Honoring the Pillars of the Community

The gala’s 2024 award recipients will be recognized, and are a testament to the power of community and dedication. This year, JFS is proud to honor:

  • Sunrise ShopRite, recognized as the JFS Community Partner for their unwavering support and partnership.
  • Carol & Robert Marcus, awarded the JFS Lifetime Philanthropy honor for their generous and continuous contributions.
  • Stephen Weinstein, named the JFS Rising Star for his emerging leadership and commitment.
  • Jocelyn Thompson, celebrated with the JFS Maxine Myers Volunteer Award for her exceptional volunteer service.

These distinguished individuals and entities exemplify the spirit of giving, dedication, and support that fuels the mission of JFS. Their contributions enable quick and effective responses to the community’s needs, especially in times of emergency.

The Role of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund

Supporting the efforts of organizations like JFS, the Greater Newark Holiday Fund plays a crucial role in amplifying the impact of social services within the community. Through its support of targeted initiatives and programs, the Holiday Fund bolsters critical New Jersey organizations like JFS with additional resources that enhance their ability to effect meaningful change in the community.

There are two impactful ways you can support the Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ in their mission to make a difference in the community:

  1. Join us at the gala! It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, learn more about JFS’s invaluable work, and show your support in person. For ticket information, please visit the JFS website.
  2. Consider making a donation to the Holiday Fund. Your contribution will supplement the vital support provided by the Holiday Fund to organizations like JFS, enabling them to continue their crucial work.

Every act of support, whether it be through attendance at the gala or through a donation, plays a significant role in empowering JFS and similar organizations to serve our community effectively. 

Discover the transformative efforts of JFS by exploring how they’ve been supporting families and individuals across all ages and backgrounds to navigate life’s challenges since 1861.

Honoring Diversity And Youth Empowerment During Black History Month

Family Service Bureau of NCC fosters diversity and youth empowerment through vibrant cultural events during Black History Month.

New Community Corporation (NCC), of which the Family Service Bureau is part of the health division, is a cornerstone in our New Jersey community. The organization provides essential services and initiatives aimed at fostering respect for diversity and empowering the next generation. 

Through its various programs, the organization not only supports families and individuals but also contributes to the overall development and enrichment of the community.

One such initiative that stands as testament to the organization’s commitment to cultural education and youth empowerment was the recent Black History Month event hosted by NCC’s Youth Services Department.

Youth Empowerment Showcased at Black History Month Celebration

This special event, dedicated to commemorating Black History Month, saw young participants from NCC’s after school programs showcasing their talents and knowledge. The children read poetry, shared enlightening facts about significant Black figures, and even performed sections of the iconic musical, The Wiz.

The event was a vibrant celebration of culture and history, echoing the values and mission of the New Community Corporation and the Family Service Bureau. It served as an inspiring platform for these young minds to express themselves creatively and learn about the rich heritage and contributions of Black individuals.

Read more: Unwavering Support: The Family Service Bureau’s Contribution to Our Community

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund: Supporting the Family Service Bureau of NCC

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund has been a steadfast supporter of NCC and the Family Service Bureau, celebrating initiatives like the Black History Month event. 

You too can contribute to this cause. By donating to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, you are directly supporting initiatives that impact lives positively in New Jersey. Your generosity can ensure the continuation of such events and programs that foster respect for diversity and empower the youth in our community. 

Your donation can transform lives and strengthen our communities. Let’s unite to create a powerful change.

Championing Mental Health With Jewish Family Service

Advocating for mental health requires empathy and action against hidden mental health issues.

May marks a significant time of the year dedicated to shedding light on an issue that touches many lives, yet often remains shrouded in silence. Mental Health Awareness Month encourages us all to break that silence, and co-create a culture of understanding, empathy, and support for those among us facing mental health challenges.

The Critical Need for Community Support

Mental health issues are more common than many might think, with 1 in 5 people facing such challenges. Despite its prevalence, the stigma surrounding mental health persists, making it difficult for many to seek the help they need. 

This month serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of community support, highlighting the need for open conversations and actions that can make a real difference in the lives of individuals struggling with mental health issues.

JFS MetroWest NJ: On the Front Lines

At the forefront of addressing these challenges is Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ (JFS). As a key player in the mental health field, JFS provides a range of services including counseling, consultation, and support to over 3,600 individuals. Their work is pivotal in bridging the gap for those who require assistance, offering a lifeline to many and promoting mental well-being within the community.

JFS’s commitment to serving the community extends beyond just mental health services. The organization is dedicated to 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. This holistic approach ensures that every individual has access to the resources they need to lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Greater Newark Holiday Fund: Amplifying Impact

Supporting the efforts of organizations like JFS is the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, a partner that plays a vital role in bolstering mental health services in New Jersey. Through its support, the Holiday Fund enhances JFS’s ability to reach and assist more individuals, amplifying the impact of their work.

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund collaborates with eleven top-tier agencies, including Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ, to address the pressing needs of northern New Jersey’s communities.


Read more: A Special Event by Jewish Family Service

Support Mental Health Awareness

As we honor Mental Health Awareness Month, let us remember the importance of empathy and support in making a difference. By contributing to organizations like the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, you are not only acknowledging the significance of this month but also actively participating in improving mental health services and support systems in New Jersey.

Your donation can change lives, offering hope and assistance to those in need.

Let’s come together to support those making a difference in the realm of mental health. Donate today and take a step toward a more compassionate and understanding community.

Celebrating LGBTQ+IA Youth With Family Connections

Family Connections hosted an inspiring event for LGBTQ+IA youth in Maplewood.

Family Connections hosted an unforgettable evening, celebrating love, acceptance, and support for LGBTQ+IA youth in Maplewood. 

The heartwarming event brought together parents, teachers, counselors, caregivers, and more, united by a singular purpose: to ensure the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+IA youth in our community.

Spreading Hope: Guest Speaker Kate Brookes

Gratitude was extended to the guest speaker, Kate Brookes, author of Transister, for sharing her inspiring story. She shed light on the importance of family acceptance and understanding, reminding us of the power of love and inclusivity.

Making a Difference: The Dedicated Panel

The panel, comprising social workers, clinicians, teachers, parents, and counselors, shared their invaluable insights with the community. Their dedication to supporting LGBTQ+IA youth is commendable and their contributions are making a difference every day.

Read more: Giving Back: An Impactful Family Connections Thanksgiving Initiative

Stronger Together: Our Partners

Special thanks go to the event partners: Maplewood Public Health, Maplewood Arts and Culture, and North Jersey Pride, for their support and collaboration. It’s through partnerships like these that we can create a more inclusive and accepting community for all.

In addition, Family Connections expressed heartfelt gratitude to their Board President Braden Schipke and Board Member Marsha Atkind. Their leadership and commitment to the mission have been instrumental in driving positive change and empowering LGBTQ+IA youth in Maplewood.

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund: A Supporter of Family Connections

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund is a proud supporter of Family Connections’ various initiatives that foster unity and inclusivity in our communities. Through our partnership, along with donors like you, we can create a world where every LGBTQ+IA youth feels loved, accepted, and supported. 

Join us in this mission by giving to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund today. Your contribution can build a more inclusive future for all.