Daskal and Caplan Recognized as CCFSA Family Champions

The CCFSA Board

JFS is proud to congratulate Mental Health Clinician Gayle Daskal, LMSW, and Board President Linda Caplan on receiving the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) Family Champions Award on Wednesday, May 22nd at the New Haven Lawn Club. Each year, the CCFSA recognizes a staff member and a board member from each of their participating family service agencies.  Both Gayle and Linda are well-deserving of this honor, and below you can find a little bit about them, as well as the reasons they received this award.

 

Gayle Daskal, LCSWMental Health Clinician

From left to right: DCF Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes, CEO Amy Rashba, LCSW, Mental Health Clinician Gayle Daskal, LCSW, Foster Care Manager Elaine Benevides, LCSW, and PPSP Team Leader Margaliet Ligtenstein, LCSW

When it comes to the definition of “Can Do,” Gayle Daskal’s name is embedded in the definition.  Gayle joined the JFSGNH staff three years ago as a per Diem clinician for the Permanency Placement Services Program. It was here that Gayle found herself performing therapeutic supervised visits with parents and children, providing clinical recommendations to DCF and the courts, and helping to stabilize pre-adoptive placements for children in the foster care system. She also showed her creative side while making Life Books for children within the DCF system of care and working with pre-adoptive families.  During the past three years, Gayle has shown that she is a hard-worker, is very reliable, and especially sensitive to client’s needs. She became a full time staff member one year ago.  As with any state funded program, contracts and programs themselves change and Gayle rolled with the changes and stepped up to create a new visitation program for families.  She has also taken on many new responsibilities including working with Holocaust Survivors in the Greater New Haven Area and meeting with clients for individual therapy sessions in the JFS Mental Health Clinic, including the child-parent psychotherapy.  Through the changes, Gayle has never lost her smile and cheerful disposition.  She is an inspiration to clients and JFS staff alike.

Gayle graduated with a Bachelors in arts from the University of Connecticut in 2012.  She earned her Master’s in Social Work, with a concentration in Clinical Social Work, Child Welfare, and Jewish Communal Service from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work in 2015.  She graduated as a member of the Phil Alpha Honor Society for Social Work: Tau Epsilon Chapter, and was awarded the Student Government Peer Mentor Award upon graduating as well as the United States Department of Health and Human Services – Yeshiva HRSA Grant Trainee for clinical practice with high risk adolescents.  She is trained in Child-Parent Psychotherapy, and the Circle of Security-Parenting Program.

Linda CaplanBoard President

President Linda Caplan with her husband Mark, and CEO Amy Rashba

Linda Caplan is an extraordinary and dedicated leader of the JFS Board.  She has worked tirelessly to help guide JFS in a very strong and positive direction.

She has unlimited passion, humor, and integrity and has a strategic vision that will greatly benefit JFS in the future.  Linda is an inspiration to our entire board and staff.

Linda became involved with JFS in 2013 as a volunteer in the JFS Food Pantry.  She joined the JFS Board of Directors in 2015.  Linda was named President of the Board in 2017.

Linda received her BS in Economics from SCSU and MBA from UNH.  She launched her first career working in procurement for large industrial companies.  She left the business world to raise her three children.  As Matt, Hanna and Leah went through the K’Tanim program at Temple Beth Sholom, Linda started her second career as a pre-school teacher.  Linda eventually retired from teaching and was able to more fully focus on volunteer roles with various organizations, including Hamden Hall and the Jewish High School of Connecticut.

Linda began her affiliation with JFS as a volunteer in the food pantry.  She later became a founding volunteer in the Food4Kids program, which provides nutritious weekend food for more than 350 New Haven children at risk of going hungry.  Linda lives in Wallingford with her husband, Mark, and a very pampered poodle, Martini.

From left to right: DCF Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes, LMSW, CEO Amy Rashba LCSW, Mental Health Clinician Gayle Daskal, LCSW, Board President Linda Caplan, and CCFSA Board President Barry Simon

JFS Honors Adoptive Families During National Adoption Month

JFS honored adoptive families on Sunday, November 4th at the JCC in Woodbridge as part of National Adoption Month. JFS Adoptive families were treated to family friendly activities including the play scape, rock wall, crafts, games and an ice cream party!  The event was organized by Liz Davenport, MSW, and Marissa Gonsalves, JFS Student intern.  Pictured are just some of the fun events during this celebration.  National Adoption Month is recognized each year as a time to acknowledge and celebrate families formed through adoption. It is a time to encourage others to adopt and increase awareness of the adoption process.  For more information about the JFS Adoption Program, please call Liz Davenport, MSW, at (203) 389-5599, ext. 117.      

JFSGNH Achieves National COA Accreditation

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven Achieves National Accreditation

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven, Inc.  has achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA). Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. COA evaluated all aspects of JFSGNH’s programs, services, and administration.

COA accreditation is an objective, independent, and reliable validation of an agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management, and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. The standards driving accreditation ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce. COA accreditation demonstrates accountability in the management of resources, sets standardized best practice thresholds for service and administration, and increases organizational capacity and accountability by creating a framework for ongoing quality improvement.

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven has provided important and vital services to the community since 1941 and continues to respond to the community as new services are needed.   From  mental health and counseling for children, adults and families; Adoption services; Foster Parent Training and Support; Case Management, Food Assistance, Energy Assistance; Holocaust Survivor’s Assistance; Volunteer Opportunities, to Services for Adults with Developmental Disabilities, JFS is proud of its staff and board for their dedication and the quality services they provide to our community and beyond.

Pictured is Acting Executive Director, Amy G. Rashba and just a few of the JFS staff members who were involved in the COA Re-accreditation.

 

Scolnic Dobin and Randell Recognized as CCFSA Family Champions

JFS Board Member Linda Randell; JFS Acting Executive Director Amy Rashba, LCSW, and JFS Staff Member, Rachel Scolnic Dobin, LMSW

Congratulations to JFS staff member Rachel Scolnic Dobin, LMSW, and board member, Linda Randell, on receiving the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) Family Champions award on Tuesday evening, June 5, 2018 at the New Haven Lawn Club.  Each year the CCFSA recognizes a staff member and a board member from each of their participating family service agencies.  Both Rachel and Linda are well-deserving of this honor and below are the reasons they received this award.

Rachel Scolnic Dobin, LMSW, Community Outreach Coordinator, is a pivotal member of the Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven, joining the agency in August 2010.   She consistently steps up to help in any and all ways to further JFS’ mission of helping make a difference in our client’s lives.  She passionately cares about her clients and is an excellent advocate for them.  Rachel’s work touches so many of JFS’s Programs and Services, however in particular the SOS Program and the Shalom Group.  Through SOS, Rachel helps people who are experiencing tough times get back on their feet through employment and career resources, case management or community resources.  In addition, she provides a friendly, educational and social environment for Jewish adults with developmental disabilities to find a community to connect with their heritage and each other through our Shalom Group.

Linda Randell began her journey with JFS in 2007 when she joined the JFS Board of Directors.  Over the past 11 years, she has served on various committees, and as Vice President from 2011-2013 followed by President of the Board from 2013-2014.

Ms. Randell stands out for her unfailing willingness to go the extra mile for JFS whether it’s serving as a Board member, her kindness and generosity to both staff and board, or her keen sense in interpreting policies, procedures and issues with governance.  She is currently is Chair of the JFS Governance Committee and Co-Chair of the Personnel Committee.

Ms. Randell also currently serves on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, where she chairs the governance committee, and on the Boards of the Towers and the Gateway Community College Foundation.  She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with honors and high distinction, and received her J.D. from the Yale Law School.  Ms. Randell was the first woman partner at Wiggin and Dana, where she headed the regulated industries practice group, and was senior vice president and general counsel of a New York Stock Exchange-listed public utility holding company.  Ms. Randell currently speaks on governance, culture and ethics.

JFS Staff and Board and guests at the event: Front, Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic and Dorene Scolnic; JFS Board Members Cindy Papish Gerber and Sandy Friedman. Back row: Board Members Linda Randell, and Ros Sperling; JFS Staff Rachel Scolnic Dobin, LMSW; Amy Rashba, LCSW, Acting Executive Director;  and Mara Ginsberg, JFS Volunteer Coordinator.

JFS Secured the full $10,000 Grant from Safeco Insurance!

We did it! Thank you, everyone, for helping Food4Kids win the full $10,000 grant from Safeco Insurance! Your likes, comments and shares helped us to push past the necessary 200 social media interactions in the first day! We are so lucky to have such meaningful support for this program, which provides supplemental food for food insecure children throughout New Haven. Thank you again!

Help FOOD4KIDS win a $10,000 award from Safeco Insurance

Safeco will feature an original story about FOOD4KIDS New Haven which is scheduled to run on Safeco’s social media sites for one week, starting Wed. March 28. Jewish Family Service supporters need to like, comment and share the story on social media at least 200 times during the week starting this Wednesday, and FOOD4KIDS New Haven will receive a $10,000 donation. FOOD4KIDS has already won $5,000 through this Safeco award, but your likes, comments and shares will double the award to $10,000.

Stay tuned on the Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven Facebook Page to find out how to engage with the social media post.  A link to the post will be made live once it is available on Wednesday.

Thank you in advance for your likes, comments and shares of the social media story.

To learn more about the FOOD4KIDS program, please visit: https://jfsnh.org/programs-services/food-4-kids-program/

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.

2015 ‘Family Champions’ Recipients

Congratulations to JFSGNH Adoption Coordinator Amy Rashba, LCSW, and David Ottenstein, a member of the JFSGNH Board of Directors on recently being named the 2015 Family Champions for Jewish Family Service of New Haven. The pair were celebrated by the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies during a reception June 8th at the Trumbull Marriott. This award recognizes one staff member and one board member who have gone above and beyond. Please continue reading for the bios for each champion. Continue reading “2015 ‘Family Champions’ Recipients”