Foster Care Informational Drop-In

Every Friday in May, JFS will be distributing Foster Care information from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at a special table in front of the agency.   Social workers from the JFS Therapeutic Foster Care Program will be on hand to discuss the program and the process of becoming a foster parent.  Please stop by and learn about the need for foster parents in Connecticut and how you can change a child’s life by providing guidance, love and a safe home for a child in need.

If you cannot attend one of the drop-in dates but would like to learn more about the program, please contact Stacy-Ann Clarke, at 203-389-5599, ext. 116.


This is Hunger Interactive Exhibit to Visit Mishkan Israel

The faces of hunger in America are both familiar and hidden from view, yet they are all too real and far too many. 

Thanks to the efforts of local Rabbi Josh Ratner, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger travelling exhibit of “This Is Hunger”, is coming to our local community.  This powerful community engagement program that will encourage individuals to embark on a journey—one that that will challenge their beliefs about who in America struggles with hunger and why, and empower them to take action.

From Sunday, May 7th through Wednesday, May 10 this exhibit, which includes a 53-foot-long double expandable trailer, will be located at Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Road in Hamden.  Visitors to this exhibit will be taken on a virtual and interactive journey and meet virtually real people struggling with hunger. They will see the faces of hunger, hear their stories and learn about this silent but prevalent issue. Participants will also be invited to engage in activities and experiences that will deepen their awareness about the complexities of being hungry.

This event is free and open to the general public.  To reserve your spot, please visit

JFS to Participate in the Great Give May 2-3rd

Ready. Set. Give!  The Great Give 2017 is upon us and Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven is once again participating!  This 36-hour, online-giving event through the site starts at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 2nd and ends Wednesday, May 3rd at 8 p.m.  In addition to the dollars we raise with your charitable donations, you can help make JFS eligible for thousands of dollars in grant prizes when you support us through!  Use this personalized link on Tuesday, May 2nd – Wednesday May 3rd.  To donate during this two day event click here.

Community Supports JFS Spring Celebration

On March 25th, 2017 Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven (JFS) held its annual Spring Celebration Fundraiser at Temple Beth Sholom to raise funds to prevent homelessness in Greater New Haven and to support our vulnerable homeless population.

A little over a year ago, JFS embarked on a journey to tackle this vexing issue in a significant way.  JFS joined their local Community Access Network of partner agencies working together throughout the Greater New Haven Region to address the homelessness problem; they became a certified and approved intake site to help and guide individuals and families in – or on the cusp of – homelessness; and they continue to serve greater and greater numbers of people who have fallen prey to this devastating condition.

JFS’ clients who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless have multiple and complex needs. The money raised from the event will support them in some of the following ways : rental assistance, an emergency stay in a motel, bus passes, restoring heat and electricity, counseling and case management services, or an emergency visit to the JFS Food Pantry with a supply of packaged and fresh food.  We could not have had such a successful event without our generous sponsors and all our guests who all came out to support this vital mission to prevent homelessness.


Local Families Receive Passover Assistance from JFS

The ritual foods of Passover are out of reach for many local individuals and families who use the JFS Food Pantry and Nutritional Health Center. Thanks to B’nai B’rith’s Project H.O.P.E., and Harold Miller, the JFS Food Pantry is one of several local organizations within Connecticut who receive Passover packages to distribute to clients. Volunteers from the local community and JFS helped pack bags on Sunday, April 2nd.    Following the packing, JFS distributed the bags to more than 125 families.  JFSGNH clients also receive a grocery gift card to help with their holiday purchases. Here are some of the photos from Sunday’s bag packing and distribution.

New Bereavement Support Group Starts March 28

Finding Comfort and Support:
A Jewish Bereavement Group

The loss of a loved one is felt differently by different people. Some who are grieving want extra support when times get more difficult, especially before holidays.

The Jewish Wellness & Healing Center at JFS is starting a bereavement group. This group is an opportunity to receive peer support from individuals who have experienced something similar so you can cope a little easier.

The first meeting is scheduled prior to the holiday of Passover- which is so family centered- when the loss might be felt more acutely. Each group member will get the opportunity to verbalize their feelings and receive appropriate feedback from other group members and the facilitator.

Rabbi Fred Hyman, Ed.D, Director of Pastoral Counseling of the JFS Jewish Wellness and Healing Center, who has many years of experience as a congregational rabbi and as a mental health clinician, will facilitate this group.

The first groups will take place Tuesday, March 28 and Tuesday, April 25 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the JFS office 1440 Whalley Ave. New Haven.

If a bereavement support group might be of help to you, please know that you are
welcome to come to either of these groups.

For more information and/or registration, please contact
Rabbi Fred Hyman at 203-389-5599, ext. 135

Rabbinic Wednesdays at the JFS Food Pantry

Rabbi Hesch Sommer Once a month, the JFS Food Pantry and Nutritional Health Center hosts “Rabbinic Wednesdays.” Organized by Rabbis Hesch Sommer and Steve Steinberg, local rabbis from the Greater New Haven area volunteer at the JFS Food Pantry. Rabbinic Wednesdays are an opportunity for individuals who utilize the services of the Pantry to meet and interact with the rabbis as the rabbis model an aspect of “tikkun olam.” The rabbis get involved in the hands-on operations of the Pantry, including greeting clients, stocking shelves, bagging groceries and assisting with storing and distributing fresh and frozen foods. “We hope that our rabbinic participation will spread the word to the Jewish community of the importance of supporting the JFS Food Pantry,” commented Rabbi Sommer. Pictured are Rabbi Hesch Sommer working the frozen and fresh produce area, and Rabbis Jon-Jay Tilsen and Steve Steinberg stocking shelves.

National Soup Month Food Collection Underway

January is National Soup Month and there’s no better time to kick off our JFS Food Pantry “Souper” Bphoto of footballowl leading up to NFL’s biggest event of the year on February 5th. For the next 18 days, the JFS Food Pantry will be collecting canned and/or dry soup mixes to help in its fight against Hunger. Don’t stand on the sidelines!! Take a time out and help us gain the offensive lead in tackling food insecurity in our local community. Our team is ready to receive your canned soup and/or boxed soup donations! Donations can be handed off at the JFS Food Pantry on January 19, 25, 26, or February 1 and February 2 from 8:30 – 12:30; or donations can also be dropped off at the JFS main office during non-pantry hours.

Save the Date – Spring Celebration – March 25, 2017

Trompete und SaxophonSave the date and plan to join us for our Special Spring Celebration on March 25, 2017!  Enjoy an evening of Jazz featuring the Jassmen with Master of Ceremony WTNH’s Jacquie Slater. This Saturday evening event will begin at 8 p.m. and will include a light dinner.

Proceeds from this event will help in our mission to end homelessness through our Emergency Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program.  JFS does its best to forestall and/or mitigate housing crises by simultaneously working with our families via financial and mental health counseling, comprehensive case management, community advocacy, benefits screening, housing dispute mediation, information and referrals, and vocational coaching.  The target population for our Emergency Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program is individuals and families residing in Greater New Haven County who are confronting homelessness due to dire financial circumstances that threaten their ability to maintain or obtain suitable housing arrangements. Given the overwhelming need in our community for housing assistance, priority has always been given to those who face imminent danger of losing their current homes, and, as a result, face potential homelessness.  Today, a family in our region needs to earn at least $45,000 to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

In 2016, JFS began its participation in the Greater New Haven Coordinated Access Network.  As such, we provide drop-in intake hours to assist clients with who are at immediate risk of homelessness.  Many of our referrals come through The United Way InfoLine 2-1-1.  This work is geared toward providing housing diversion interventions, targeting individuals and families at the very critical state as they are applying for entry into shelters.

Reservations and ticket information for this event will be released shortly.