Help Stock the Soup Shelf in January During National Soup Month

January is National Soup Month and it’s time for our Annual 2024 “Soup”er Bowl of Caring.” During January and the first two weeks of February leading up to the televised championship football game, the JFS Food Pantry & Food Assistance Program will be collecting all things “Soup.”

You can join our team to help in our battle to fight hunger in our local community.  Here’s what you can hand off to us during this special non-perishable soup collection:

Meat based soup (beef, chicken all varieties)

Kid’s soup (chicken & stars, chicken & rice

Cream soup (cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, potato, clam chowder, cream of broccoli, split pea)

Dry soup mixes

Broths (chicken, beef, turkey, vegetable) cans or cartons

Low sodium or healthy soups

Single serve microwaveable soup

Kosher soup mixes

Organic soups

Donations can be dropped off at the JFS Food Pantry, 1440 Whalley Avenue, New Haven beginning January 3rd on Wednesday and Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. If you will be dropping off a large quantity of items, or need a different day and time, please contact us so we can schedule your donation drop off.  If you have any questions, please contact the Pantry at (203) 397-0796 or Sandy Hagan at

Upcoming Safe Space to Grieve Support Groups

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven is offering opportunities to participate in
community programs, an offering made possible by a generous Community IMPACT grant
from our Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. SAFE SPACES TO GRIEVE is a community, peer-support approach to coping with and remembering loved ones who have died. The groups will be led by Certified Grief Educator Barb Segura, LPC.

For more information, or to register for any of the groups listed below, contact Barb Segura, LPC, or Dinesh Perera, LMFT, at You will receive zoom link and password.



This group meets twice a month and uses the guided journal Mourning and Mitzvah by
Rabbi Anne Brener, MAJCS MS, LCSW. This book will be provided free for the first 20 group participants who return to the second group meeting. The group will start November 7th from 3 PM – 4:30 PM and is scheduled the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Group attendees with facilitator’s support, will be able to identify the most emergent topic
related to loss, grief, and healing. Topics range from a focus on personal and/or community
responses and impact from loss and grief.
Meeting Time: TUESDAYS 7 PM – 8:30 PM on ZOOM
November 14th, December 12th, January 9th, February 13th

Barb Segura, LPC creates a sacred space for healing and transformation. Grief is often unacknowledged in our fast paced, youth-oriented culture. The grief journey is an individual journey, as unique as fingerprints. If tended to, grief can guide our healing and enrich our lives. She provides grief education, consultation, coaching and facilitates support groups. Some support groups are offered specifically for the Jewish mourner.

National Hunger Action Month & High Holiday Food Donation Guidelines

September signifies back to school, cooler weather, the return of Pumpkin Spice food & coffee, Jewish High holidays and National Hunger Action Month.  Hunger Action Month highlights food insecurity and how individuals, businesses and organizations can and do help those in their community and beyond.

Feeding America estimates approximately 1 in 6 people turned to charitable food assistance for additional support in 2022. In its last Feeding America Map the Meal Gap survey, 16.3% of households in New Haven; 6.7% of households in Woodbridge; and 5.2% of households in Orange were food insecure. 

Since the start of 2023, the JFS Food Pantry has served 1530 duplicated households and helped an additional 202 new households seeking emergency food assistance from the above town and others in Greater New Haven county.   

In recognition of Hunger Action Month the JFS Food Pantry & Food Assistance Program will be collecting non-perishable foods to help stock the JFS Pantry shelves.  Here are the most requested foods and our food donation guidelines (especially if you will be donating to your local synagogue High Holiday food collection/drive): 

Cereal  (all types for adult and children)

Soups and broths (cans and boxed)

Canned meals/meats such as Canned Chicken, Stew, Chili, Chef Boyardee or store brand canned pasta

Boxed Pasta (angel hair, fettuccini, elbows, shells, bowties, rigatoni, orzo, ditalini, penne, ziti, bagged egg noodles, rotini, tri-color rotini, linguine, spaghetti, whole grain)

Gluten Free  pasta such as chick pea or lentil pasta

Condiments such as BBQ sauce; salad dressing; mayo; mustard; ketchup

Canned vegetables such as corn or creamed corn; sliced carrots; French style green beans; potatoes (diced, sliced or whole); beets; sauerkraut

Canned Fruits or fruit cups (especially those in water or light syrup/no sugar added) such as applesauce, mandarin oranges, pineapple (all types), pears, peaches, fruit cups.

Tea bags/Instant, decaf or regular coffee Things to Keep in Mind:  Avoid oversized containers and packaging, as they are awkward and difficult to carry and transport home by our pantry guests and many of our visitors are one and two member households.  Check and verify that all items are not past their use by/best buy or expiration date.   Please avoid glass containers, as they can break in transport or during processing.  Please remember, due to health and safety concerns we cannot accept any open/partial containers or boxes, repackaged items; or homemade items – this includes items without a label.  If you have any questions, please contact Sandy Hagan at or 203-397-0796.

Now Offering…JAMP on the Shoreline! (Jewish Aging Mastery Program)

We’re thrilled by the community’s enthusiasm for this program and are delighted that so many of you signed up for the first round of JAMP (Jewish Aging Mastery Program)! The program’s first cohort at the JCC has reached capacity, but don’t worry…

  Registration is LIVE for another 12 week JAMP on the Shoreline!

  PLEASE DO NOT re-register for JAMP. If you have already registered, you will be receiving an email with a seat offer for the 2nd cohort. There is no need to register again.

  The Jewish Aging Mastery Program, brought to you by the National Council on Aging and Jewish Family Service, invites you to join us for an exceptional lineup of sessions that delve deep into the intricacies of aging. These sessions aim to provide you with valuable knowledge, practical insights, and strategies to enhance your well-being as you embrace the aging process! 

Each session will be led by knowledgeable experts in the field of aging and health, who will share their expertise, experiences, and evidence-based practices to further support and educate you. We are confident that these dynamic and lively sessions will empower you with the tools and information necessary to lead a fulfilling and vibrant life. 

The Jewish Aging Mastery Program is a 12 week program. Normally, such a program would be extremely costly. However, thanks to a generous Community Impact Grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, this program is FREE to you.   SIGN UP NOW!

Join us for twelve Mondays, January 8th – March 25th, 1:30-3:00 PM at Chabad of the Shoreline, NHMR, Guilford CT. Please ensure Zoom compatibility due to potential winter weather. Snacks will be provided.

  Spread the word — If this program isn’t for you, it’s for someone you know!
 Look for #JAMPGNH on our social media for more information about speakers, updates, and more.
Click the link below to SIGN UP NOW!

Click Here to Sign Up for JAMP and Choose Chabad of the Shoreline!

Contact Elanit Linder with Any Questions

Check Out JFS for More Adult Aging Education Opportunities

Welcome to JAMP -Jewish Aging Mastery Program

There’s a critical problem facing those aged 55+. Our life expectancy is increasing, yet for many of us, our health, finances, relationships, and quality of life are expected to decrease.

Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem: It’s an upcoming evidence-based 12-part series by the National Council on Aging, called the Aging Mastery Program. Jewish Family Service is presenting this through a Jewish lens and we are thrilled to invite you to it. 

In the Jewish Aging Mastery Program, you’ll gain:

  • The Basics of Aging Mastery and How to Navigate Longer Quality Lives.
  • How to eat, exercise, and sleep to give you a better quality of life as you age.
  • Increase your Financial Fitness so you’re better prepared for the sudden medical bills and unexpected expenses that are a part of aging.
  • How to heal difficult or broken relationships with family and loved ones.
  • And much, much more!!!

Spaces are very limited, so SIGN UP NOW!
The Jewish Aging Mastery Program is a 10-12 week program. Normally, such a program would cost thousands of dollars. However, thanks to a generous Community Impact Grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, this program is being offered FREE to you.

Learn the core competencies of aging well and empower yourself and your friends to be the champions, advocates and masters of your own aging. These are the 10 Best Ways to a Healthier, more Satisfying Life as You Age without the Fears (and magical thinking) of Growing Old!

Tuesdays, August 22nd through November 7th, 2023 at 11:15am in the Terrace Room at the JCC Of Greater New Haven. (15-minutes after the Silver Sneakers Exercise program at the JCC ends)

If this program isn’t for you, it’s for someone you know!

Click here to sign up.

Jewish Family Service talks about keeping our resources within the community

“Haven’t We All Needed Help”

Reprinted from Shalom New Haven Summer Edition 2023

Historically, Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven was an organization that people reached out to in time of need. The NEW JFS says, “haven’t we all needed help? Can the neediness of an incident be prevented by community resources and involvement?”

What do we mean? Let’s use the newly minted Care Navigators program as an example for how community members can make use of JFS services, keeping our resources in the community while avoiding a spend-down to outside corporations without being in need. Simultaneously, these users of the Care Navigators system will be engaged in creating their own vibrant quality of life to their own standards and definition. 

The Census Bureau reports that within a decade, 1 in 5 people will be older adults, notes Elanit Linder, LMSW and Director of Adult Aging Services at JFS. “If we ignore the fact that in a short 10 years we will have more older adults than any other age group including children, then our entire social service network will be in crisis,” she warns.

AARP reports that an initial assessment by an Aging Life Care Professional can vary widely and generally runs between $800 to $2,000 (Julie Wagner, CEO of the Aging Life Care Association). Hourly rates for ongoing services range from $90 to $250. JFS’s research showed that the only non-profit Aging Life Care Program in the state is through the Agency on Aging. The Agency on Aging catches those folks in in poverty on Medicaid and cannot serve the middle income poor struggling on their Social Security and pension payments. After months of research, JFS settled on an out of state non-profit model to build a program that serves a diverse cohort of people regardless of background or socioeconomic status. 

Care Navigators is made affordable by billing in 10 minute increments or a Care Navigator Unit at $36. This way clients only pay for what they need. As a non-profit, any fees that come in help the community of older adults who may not have resources. All revenue from Care Navigators is returned to the “pot” and helps to fill in gaps in service. JFS reviews all cases regardless of ability to pay. The number of double chai or $18 x 2 was chosen specifically to communicate that by using the Care Navigators services a client is not only educating themselves for preventative measures but also giving charity or tzadakah by keeping their resources in aging and in the Jewish Community. Why wouldn’t someone choose to get their information at a lower cost and a benefit to the community?

With an upcoming Aging Mastery program the goal of Care Navigators and JFS as a whole is to re-empower the community. In aging, this is incredibly important. The upcoming Boomers will not live like their parents. This is an intentional, self-sufficient generation that advocated not only for themselves but also for social justice and equity. They will not “receive care” but will empower themselves to make decisions. Care Navigators wants to take the fear out of aging and tackle the hard questions.

Says Elanit, “I cant stand it when people put death, dying and disability on the aging. People live or die at every age and stage of life. One of my favorite linguistic changes that I’ve implemented is to change the language of death to ‘life completion.’ I didn’t find this in an existential book on aging and life like Guande’s Being Mortal, which should be read by everyone, I stole it from a Trevor Noah joke. When people asked what the Queen of England died from, he pauses, stares into the camera and shouts “she died from completing her life!” 

That makes so much sense to me. We are all on a spiritual journey. A woman I grew up with passed away in her 30s, another friend lost a child, and I work with sharp healthy centenarian folks! Life is about living and life completion is a part of that process. I also follow a lot of the disability arts and am passionate about the work of Gaelynn Lea. There are many paths to live a meaningful life at every stage of health and wellbeing. Please check her out!” 

Care Navigators helps untangle messy family relationships and historical trauma so that everyone can age well in the best communication possible. They educate to truths about how we age in this for-profit healthcare system and in the state of Connecticut. They share resources such as palliative and hospice care information, helping folks to choose what end of life decisions they make. 

Please reach out to Elanit at to find out how you can get more invested and excited about your aging, as well as more involved in this important community program. She is available to share in a scheduled appointment or at your local book club, synagogue or community center.

July Pantry Collection Focuses on Salad Ingredients

During the summer, people look for quick and easy meals that won’t keep them inside cooking in the hot weather.   This month the JFS Food Pantry is focusing on items which can be used in or on salads.  This includes the following non-perishable items: salad dressings, canned beets, sauerkraut, canned olives, cannellini beans, dark red kidney beans, chick peas, pigeon peas, canned potatoes, canned green beans, canned corn, pasta (for a pasta salad); solid white tuna or canned chicken.

Donations can be dropped off at the JFS Food Pantry, 1440 Whalley Avenue, New Haven throughout the month on Mondays – Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. or you can call (203) 397-0796 to schedule an alternative time. Questions can be directed to

June Pantry Collection Focuses on Summer

Although Summer officially begins on June 21st, June offers many opportunities prior to summer to join in outside festivities.  What better time to collect traditional picnic items.  The JFS Food Pantry will be collecting items such as mustard (yellow and spicy); ketchup, BBQ sauce, relish; mayo, baked beans, canned sauerkraut, canned beets and salad dressing.  Help our Pantry visitors celebrate the warmer weather with these common condiments and picnic accompaniments.  Our non-food collection items for June are paper towels and napkins.

Donations can be dropped off at the JFS Food Pantry, 1440 Whalley Avenue, New Haven on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. or you can call (203) 397-0796 to schedule an alternative time. Questions can be directed to