Jewish Family Service of New Haven traces its roots to 1881 when the lay leadership of the community established the Hebrew Benevolent Society to provide food and coal assistance to newly arriving Russian immigrants to the New Haven area. The demand for assistance was great and other Jewish community members established similar groups (e.g., Hebrew Charity Society, Mishkan Israel Sisterhood Philanthropic works). In 1919 they all merged to become United Jewish Charities.
Upon the hiring of a professional social worker, the former lay agency laid down the foundation for the current professionally staffed social service agency. In 1920 this agency, along with others in the community, helped to found the Community Chest, known today as the United Way.
In 1940, the name was once again changed from the United Jewish Charities to its current Jewish Family Service of New Haven. And finally, 75 years later, in 2015, the name of the agency was changed once again to its current Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven to better reflect the agency’s expanded outreach and community presence throughout the entire Greater New Haven region.
Jewish Family Service is a licensed and fully accredited multi-service social service agency supported in part by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. We are a member of the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies (AJFCA), the CT Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA), and the CT Association of Non-Profit Organizations (CAN). Jewish Family Service is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families & Children (COA). JFS Foster Care and Adoption programs are funded in part by the CT Department of Children & Families (DCF).