Save the Date – Thursday, November 3rd – FOOD4KIDS Honors Rosa DeLauro

rosa_delauro_photoMark you Calendar  – On Thursday, November 3, 2016, FOOD4KIDS New Haven will honor Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro at LoRicco Tower in New Haven. Invitations will be sent shortly and reservations ($50 per person) can be made online at in early October.

FOOD4KIDS is a joint project of Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven and Women’s Philanthropy Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.  The program is dedicated to addressing child food insecurity in New Haven by providing nutritious, weekend supplemental food packages for school children.  Proceeds from this event will help provide more than 200 children with weekend food during the academic year.

To make reservations or to sponsor a child, please click here.

For more information about this event, please contact Rachel Scolnic Dobin at 203-389-5599, ext. 109 or

Eating to be Your Healthiest – For Cancer Survivors

eating-to-be-your-healthiestJewish Family Service of Greater New Haven invites cancer survivors to come join us for a lite, healthy breakfast and lively discussion with Michele Krilivsky, Registered Dietician, Certified Specialist Oncology Nutrition – Smilow Cancer Hospital.  This hour-long presentation will cover ways to eat to be your healthiest.  Learn about foods that can boost your body’s energy and well-being.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven
1440 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, CT  06515

RSVP Required to Amy Rashba, 203-389-5599, ext. 113 or”>

Help Take a Stand Against Hunger

September is National Hunger Action Month. Every week the JFSGNH Food Pantry & Nutritional Health Center staff takes a stand against Hunger. You can make a difference to those who are food insecure in our local community. We are collecting new, non-perishable food items throughout September. We are currently in need of canned soups (especially meat based) and cereal. Items can be dropped off at the JFS office during regular hours, or the JFS Food Pantry on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9-noon. Together We “Can” Make a Difference!  For more information or to arrange a drop off time, contact Sandra Hagan at or 203-389-5599.  hunger-action-month-logo-300x200

JFS is Now JFS of Greater New Haven – Launches New Website

Jewish Family Service of New Haven, the community’s indispensable nonprofit social and human service resource for the past 75 years, is now officially Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven.  The name change reflects the much expanded role that today’s JFS has assumed in responding to the ever growing needs of our community’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and families.

From Chester to Cheshire, Milford to Guilford and all points in between, today’s JFS can be found serving clients in need throughout the entirety of Greater New Haven County and beyond.  We have become, truly, “an agency without walls.”

In conjunction with the name change, JFS of Greater New Haven launched our new website, with a new logo, both which are intended to capture the agency’s character and identity – its values, its mission and vision, and the diversity of essential services that JFS presently offers in response to the community’s greatest needs and struggles.

JFS invites you to “surf” our website and learn about the wide and varied array of social and human services that we offer to community residents in need: Innovative and essential programming such as the JFS Food Pantry and Nutritional Health Center; the Jewish Wellness and Healing Center; the Jewish Community Outreach “SOS” program; JFS’ many specialized Foster Care, Child Permanency, and Adoption programs; the Food4Kids weekend backpack program; Emergency and Safety Net Services; Older Adult and Holocaust Survivor Assistance programs; Volunteer Services; and programs serving Domestic Violence victims; Adults with Developmental Disabilities; and JFS’ traditional myriad Therapeutic Counseling and Family Support programs – and so much more.

The website also offers a monthly calendar section, JFS and community news items, and a host of easy to find information for consumers, donors, community stakeholders and community partners alike.

In addition, friends and supporters can now simply and easily donate to JFS, directly from the website, to the program(s) or cause(s) of their choosing.  Also, a beautiful, newly designed Tribute Card now can be sent to recognize life cycle events “in honor of” or “in memory of” a loved one. One can visit the “Donate Now” page of the website to learn more.




School Supply Drive To Help Local Children

JFSGNH is collecting new school supplies for children and teens whose families uSchoolSuppliesse our agency services.  We would like to provide for these 68 families (125+ children and teens between the ages of 4-16). Some of the items we are seeking include: new backpacks (all sizes) ; crayons (thin and the thick ones); one-subject, wide ruled notebooks; two-pocket folders; No. 2 pencils; pens; child safe scissors; colored pencils; child safe pencil sharpeners; water based markers; white glue sticks, erasers; loose-leaf notebook paper; construction paper; highlighters, etc. The JFS main office, 1440 Whalley Avenue, New Haven (2nd floor) will have a drop off box in the reception area. In addition, donations may be dropped off at the JFS Food Pantry (1st floor) on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  If you are an organization, business or school and you would like to conduct a collection to assist us, please contact  We are hoping to distribute the items before the start of the school year. Thanks in advance for helping our kids to get ready for a great school year ahead!

CT Open and JFS Team Up for Fundraising Opportunity

You can help support Jewish Family Service while enjoying the excitement that comes from watching professional tennis right here at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale (no need to travel to Wimbledon or Flushing, NY). JFS has teamed up with the Connecticut Open which is being held August 19-27th. If you purchase tickets using our promo code, a total of 50% of your ticket purchase will be donated back to JFS! There are a variety of matches and times/dates and schedules are available at CTOPEN.ORG.

Please remember to use our unique code in order for JFS to benefit CO16JFSNH
Visit and enter the above code when you begin to make your ticket purchase. If you prefer to purchase via phone, please call 203-776-7331 and mention our code. It’s a win, win situation.

Connecticut Open 50 50 Marketing Template-JFSNH

Food Pantry & Nutritional Health Center Awarded CHEFA Grant Funding


The JFSGNH Food Pantry and Nutritional Health Center was recently awarded $53,000 in grant funding from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA).  This year’s highly competitive grant solicitation garnered 124 applications totaling nearly $6 million in requests.  JFSGNH was one of just 23 organizations approved to receive part of the $1,125,000 distributed to nonprofit organizations across Connecticut.

“This funding will allow us to vastly expand our Nutritional Health and Wellness Program and provide vital social and human services and much –needed food to hundreds of our community’s most disadvantages, disenfranchised, vulnerable, and at-risk families and children, said Jonathan Garfinkle, JFS’ Executive Director and CEO.   “The ultimate goal is to offer our clients the opportunity to achieve long-term stability and self-sustainability by fostering the economic, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of the many, many additional individuals and families we will reach through this generous grant.”

According to Feed America, 13.9% of families in Greater New Haven County are currently facing food insecurity.  Funding such as this will help JFSGNH to provide relief to many individuals and families.  Food insecurity refers to a family’s lack of access to adequate food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecurity may result in the need  to make impossible  trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing costs or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.

With the current state of the economy, changes in philanthropic focus and dwindling funding options, nonprofit agencies and organizations depend on private, foundation, and governmental grant funding to help enhance services and programs.  Funders such as CHEFA help bridge the gap and enable agencies to provide much needed services to the communities in which they serve.

Senu and Fiske Named 2016 Family Champions

FULL PHOTOCongratulations to Princess Senu, BSW, Foster Care Case Manager, and Betsy Fiske, long time member of the JFS Board of Directors and Past President, on recently being named the 2016 Family Champions for Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven. The pair were celebrated by the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies during a reception June 9th at the New Haven Lawn Club. This award recognizes one staff member and one board member who have gone above and beyond. Please continue reading for the bios of each champion.

Princess Senu – Princess Senu started working at JFS 3 ½ years ago. As a Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) Case Manager, she has worked compassionately and effectively with children, adolescents and foster parents. Princess connects well with not only the young children and teenagers, but the families as well – and she continuously meets the many obstacles that have come her way with patience and calm – including challenging families, unusual situations and emergencies. Princess offers a wide range of talents and a great deal of flexibility to the agency as she also works in the Permanency Planning Services Program, in which the job responsibilities, service goals with clients and the paperwork are very different from those of TFC. Princess provides services to some of the most challenging clients at our agency and she does so with the gentlest of approaches. When she clocks in at 9 a.m. she never knows what the day will bring or when the day will end. However, through it all, she maintains her sense of commitment, and especially her sense of humor. She is a team player, willing to help out wherever she is needed. Princess is currently working toward her Masters in Social Work degree at Fordham University. She may be our “Princess” but most important, she is a champion to our children and families and she is now our JFS 2016 Family Champion!

Betsy Fiske – Being a Board member of a non-profit agency is a big commitment. From regular board meetings to special committees, events and fundraising – many volunteer hours are expended. Now imagine just how many hours this would amount to over the past 27 years in which Betsy Fiske has been a vital part of JFS. Betsy joined the JFS Board of Directors back in 1989 at the request of her neighbor and has never looked back. She has served in many capacities, including chairing the Fund Development Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Executive Search Committee, as Vice President, and eventually serving as the JFS Board President from 1996-1998. Even after her presidency, she continued to serve by representing JFS every year on important agency committees and special projects.

She is currently serving again as an active Board Director and is the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. In addition to her current board duties, Betsy also volunteers in the JFS Food Pantry where she greets clients, schedules appointments, answers phone calls and provides initial intakes of emergency clients. Betsy is always willing to go that extra mile to help out in whatever capacity she can, whether it be JFS Board duties or pantry help. She is empathetic, understanding and connects with clients, JFS staff and board members alike.

Betsy was born and raised in New Haven. She is a former printer and modern dancer. She has chaired the National Association of Litho Clubs Foundation for the past 35 years, awarding graphic arts scholarships to high school seniors across the country. She has a daughter, three step children, 2 grandchildren and 5 step grandchildren. In her free time, Betsy enjoys yoga and meditation and is learning to play bridge.

JFSGNH Annual Meeting on June 8

The JFSGNH Annual Meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at the JFSGNH Office, 1440 Whalley Avenue in New Haven. The meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. and will include a statement by Cindy Papish Gerber (outgoing President) and Jonathan Garfinkle (JFSGNH Executive Director/CEO).  Installation of the new slate of officers and new directors of the board is also scheduled.  The public is invited.  Please RSVP to Lisa Merriman, 203-389-5599, ext. 102.

Food Pantry Provides Passover Assistance to Local Families

The JFSGNH Food Pantry and Nutritional Wellness Center provided Passover Assistance to more than 135 families in the Greater New Haven area.  On Sunday, April 17th, B’nai B’rith Project H.O.P.E. volunteers and community members packed more than 380 bags, of which JFSGNH received 135 to distribute.  The bags were filled with traditional Passover foods such as Gefilte fish, macaroons,  matzoh, chamomile/mint herbal tea, matzo ball soup mix, pineapple tidbits, chocolate-covered marshmallows, apple sauce, borscht with beets, mayonnaise, tuna, oil, potatoes, cucumbers in brine,  and grape juice, among other items.  Each family also received a grocery store gift card to help offset the costs associated with their holiday shopping needs.  

“It’s important to recognize those in our community who may not have the means to celebrate Passover,” commented Sandra Hagan, JFSGNH Food Pantry Director.  “Many families may not attend a traditional Seder and working with Harold Miller of Project Hope is one way we help local families acknowledge the holiday and traditions.”