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.

Rabbi Hesch Sommer to Retire December 30th


After seven years of leading the JFSGNH Jewish Wellness and Healing Center, Rabbi Hesch Sommer will be retiring at the end of 2016.  Rabbi Sommer, working with community leaders, developed a partnership with agencies throughout the Greater New Haven community to offer pastoral care and counseling to individuals who all too often were left underserved.  The JWHC is actually a “center without walls,” in which support through programming and pastoral outreach is offered wherever a need is identified.

The work of the JWHC will continue, with the educational programs to be facilitated by Sydney Perry and the pastoral care and counseling to be offered by Rabbi Fred Hyman.  Please check our website link to the Wellness and Healing Center for upcoming programs and support groups.  Sydney Perry and Rabbi Hyman will both be joining the JFSGNH staff in January, and they can be reached after January 1st by contacting JFS of Greater New Haven (203-389-5599).  Ms. Perry’s extension will be 117 and Rabbi Hyman’s voice mail extension will be 135.

Rosa DeLauro Honored For Her Dedication to Children and Preventing Hunger

Rosa DeLauro Honored For Her Dedication to Children

rosa-1On Thursday, November 3rd, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro was honored by Food4Kids New Haven during a celebration at Lo Ricco Towers in New Haven.  The event was a celebration and appreciation of DeLauro’s many years of hard work and dedication to issues affecting children and families – especially childhood hunger.  Rosa is a leader and a powerful voice in fighting to improve and expand federal support for child nutrition and for modernizing our food safety system.  She continually advocates for the School Lunch Program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provide critical aid to aid children and families at or below the federal poverty level.

Food4Kids New Haven provides weekend supplemental food to school children in New Haven.  The bags, designed to discreetly tuck in backpacks, contain kid-friendly, non-perishable foods that can be easily opened and consumed.  This program, now in its fourth year, is a joint project between Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven and Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.  To support his vital program, please click here and be sure to specify “Food4Kids” in the program designation.

Help Local Families Celebrate Thanksgiving

Help Local Families Celebrate Thanksgiving

For many of us, the holidays are a time to celebrate with family, friends and food.  Yet for some of our neighbors, feeding their families is a daily struggle and a holiday feast is a luxury they cannot afford.  Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven would like to help these families by providing traditional holiday food for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  This year the JFSGNH Food Pantry and Nutritional Health Center will be distributing more than 250 bags of non-perishable foods, fresh produce and gift cards to people who need holiday assistance.  Your contribution to the JFSGNH Food Assistance Program will help many local families to be able to celebrate the upcoming holidays and beyond.  To donate please click here and be sure to specify “Thanksgiving” in your program choice.

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