News

Spring Celebration – Dear JFS Community

Dear JFS Community,

Jewish Family Service is very fortunate to have the privilege of honoring these extraordinary individuals, Debra & Richard Epstein and Betsy Flaherty. We wish them a warm Mazel Tov for the many years of dedication, leadership and most importantly their lasting impact they continue to have on the JFS community.

In light of the continuing uncertainty from socializing in large gatherings, we regret we have to cancel our JFS event on September 1, 2020. We continue to honor them in our hearts as we move forward to preserve safety for everyone.

We appreciate your positive spirit and patience as we try to navigate our way through this process. All of your good wishes matter so much to our honorees and to all of us at JFS.

JFS will present Debra, Richard and Betsy with a Spring Celebration Program, which includes everyone who donated to JFS in their honor, along with a beautiful Judaica gift for each of them. 

We hope that if you’ve already purchased tickets, you will permit us to retain your funds as a donation in their honor to support the critical services we provide.  However, if you’ve already purchased tickets and would like to be reimbursed or if you have any questions, please email me or call me.

If you haven’t donated in their honor but still wish to do so, we would be very grateful. You may click on the Spring Celebration 2020 link here. Please donate by July 24, 2020 to have your name included in the program.

We thank our honorees for their numerous years of service which have enabled JFS to serve those in need.  It is our hope that the JFS community can toast a L’Chaim to them in person in 2021 when we can all be together.  Thank you so much for your support and generosity.

Warmly,

Ilene

Ilene Rosalimsky Bronen
Chair, JFS Spring Celebration
Co-President, Board of Directors
Email: RosalimskyBronen@aol.com

Help Shape the Future of the Jewish Community

What changes do you want to see in our community? What services and programs should our Jewish community provide? Make your voice heard. Regardless of how you identify Jewishly, no matter your level of observance (or non-observance), please take the Jewish Federation survey. Your feedback will help all our entire community – synagogues, schools, and agencies – work together to build a more dynamic and relevant Jewish New Haven for you!

Take the survey at https://www.jewishnewhaven.org/survey

Job Seekers Workshop & Support Group

Have you been furloughed or lost your job due to COVID-19? Are you overwhelmed and don’t know where to start a job search? Are anxiety or depression making it difficult to take the first step? 

Join Rachel Scolnic, LMSW and Hannah Leiterman, LCSW for a free Job Seekers Workshop and Support Group, at Jewish Family Services of Greater New Haven. We will meet on Zoom on Tuesday, June 23 and July 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You’ll receive guidance on job search strategies during the pandemic, and help coping with the emotional toll a job loss takes. Hear from others experiencing similar obstacles, and share ideas and leads. We will provide individualized assistance as needed for participants, including resume assistance and mental health counseling.  To register for these workshops, please contact rsdobin@jfsnh.org. If you have a resume you would like to use during this workshop, please forward that as well. Once registered, you’ll receive a Zoom invitation. 

Prayer, Protest and Peace March

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” JFS stands with the community against racial inequality and we share this important event.   

Our Jewish Federation is proud to co-sponsor the Prayer, Protest and Peace March 

Beginning at Varick Memorial Church’s parking lot with 3 minute speeches by an array of community leaders, the march will progress down Dixwell Avenue to the New Haven Green led by the Flaming Knights Motorcycle Club, several hearses and caskets on gurneys.  Upon arrival at the Green, 7 faith leaders will offer prayers.

Social Justice Collaborative Presents:
Prayer, Protest, and Peace March
Pastor Kelcy G.L. Steele, Social Leader/Organizer


June 14 at  Noon Beginning at the Varick Memorial AME Zion Church
242 Dixwell Avenue, New Haven CT 06511

Community speakers followed by a march to the New Haven Green with Multi-faith Prayer

Co-Sponsors:
Varick Memorial AME Zion Church
Ice the Beef
Conn CAT
Howard K. Hill Funeral Home
Greater New Haven Clergy Association
Beulah Heights First Pentecostal
Marantha COGIC
Episcopal Clergy
Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven
Bethel A.M.E. Church
Flaming Knights Motorcycle Club
Council Funeral Home
McClam Funeral Home

The Great Give May 5-6


Starting at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, May 5, you can join this community giving event and show your support of JFS through The Great Give 2020 website. You will have 36 hours to make your donation, and all giving will end at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, May 6. Of course, if you would like to make a donation before the two-day event, the giving link is already open to help support organizations during this pandemic. As always, JFS appreciates your support and more so during these uncertain times.

Parent Education Postponed

All Parent Ed classes are currently being postponed as mandated by the state. We will contact you as soon as we can safely reschedule the classes. In the meantime, please email or call Rachel Scolnic Dobin at rsdobin@jfsnh.org or 203-389-5599, ext 109 with any parenting plan or co-parenting concerns you may have while navigating this very difficult time.

Important Coronavirus Update

Important Coronavirus Update

According to the CDC and Health officials, social distancing is seen as the most effective means of slowing the spread and reducing the impact of COVID-19 among our employees, volunteers, clients and the general community.

Due to the volume of traffic into our office, Jewish Family Service is taking the following steps in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) until further notice.

The JFS office is currently closed and the staff of JFS is currently working remotely. The best way to contact staff members is via email or voicemail.

JFS continues to diligently strategize how to best continue to help serve the needs of our clients and community at this time of need and yet keep all safe. We are so appreciative of your support and will keep you updated via email, Facebook and our website as we establish additional plans to serve our community. If you have any questions, please contact Amy Rashba at arashba@jfsnh.org

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven Names Honorees for Spring Celebration

For information on tickets & sponsorship opportunities, please click here

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven (JFSGNH) is proud to announce their honorees for their Spring Celebration, which will take place at Congregation B’nai Jacob, on Thursday April 23, 2020, from 6-8pm.  Debra and Richard Epstein and Betsy Flaherty will be recognized for their outstanding, ongoing commitment to JFSGNH.  In their various roles as board members, volunteers, program founders, advocates and donors, these three individuals have worked diligently to improve the lives of children and families in our community who rely upon JFS’s vital programs and services.

The accomplishments of the 2020 honorees also serve as inspiration for the Spring Celebration’s fundraising goals.  Proceeds raised will benefit all essential JFS programs including: Child and Adult Mental Health Services, Food Assistance Programs (Pantry and Food4kids), Social Work Outreach Services Program (SOS) and the Holocaust Survivors Program.

“It is not other people’s family members who need our food pantry, weekend supplemental food, warm clothing, require counseling, vocational outreach, emergency financial service assistance or are Holocaust survivors.  It is every one of us– our families, friends and neighbors!” explains JFS CEO Amy Rashba. We must continue to support one another.”

About the honorees:

Richard Epstein, a lifelong resident of New Haven is President of the L.H. Brenner/Thompson and Peck Insurance Agency.  He’s been involved in several local organizations–as Chair of the CT Special Olympics Games, President of Congregation B’nai Jacob, Board member of Hamden Hall Country Day School, Chair of the New Haven Police Commission and as Past President of Jewish Family Service.

For the past 40 years, Debra Epstein has served on numerous community boards, including Congregation B’nai Jacob, VP of Women’s Philanthropy, past chair of Rachel’s Table and the co-founder of Food4Kids New Haven.  Both Debbie and Rick are proud parents to Kate and Adam Fierman, Emily Epstein, Herbie and Michelle Epstein and grandparents to Zachary, Noah, Reid, Levi and Elyse. “We became involved in JFS because of the services they provide, regardless of one’s economic situation or religious affiliation,” she shares. “JFS uniquely allows its volunteers to be ‘hands on’, thereby directly impacting the quality of life for the disadvantaged.”

Betsy Flaherty, who previously served on the Congregation B’nai Jacob and Ezra Academy Boards, is currently a board member of Woman’s Philanthropy of Greater New Haven, a Regional Board Member of ADL as well as a facilitator for the ADL Words to Action program.  Betsy began volunteering at the JFS Food Pantry in 2013.  “Working at the pantry has given me insight into the extent of food insecurity in our community,” she says. “Getting to know and care about Pantry clients allows me to treat them with the integrity and respect they deserve, while helping them make ends meet.”  A resident of Bethany, Betsy and her husband Sean are parents to Cassi and Michael DiLorenzo, Hannah and Simon and grandparents to Mia and Vinny.

JFS CEO Amy Rashba feels privileged to honor both the Epsteins and Betsy Flaherty.  “I was so impressed with Betsy’s personal touch and compassion,” she says. “When she posted a Facebook photo of our nearly depleted Food Pantry shelves, our community was stirred to quickly fill them!  And long-time JFS supporters Rick and Debbie are so passionate about feeding hungry school children over the weekends with our FOOD4KIDS program.  All three honorees are the embodiment of all that is great within Greater New Haven.  They genuinely understand the critical needs of our clients, the significance of these fundamental programs and through their actions, encourage others to support the entirety of JFS.  I invite everyone to join us on April 23 to honor their amazing efforts.”

JFS Welcomes 3 New Employees!

Chief Executive Officer Amy Rashba, LCSW is excited to announce that Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven has welcomed several new staff members.  Andrea Joseph, LCSW, Hannah Leiterman, LCSW, and Maria Gaudet, MSW all bring a diverse set of skills and experience to the agency.

JFS welcomes New Haven native Andrea Joseph, LCSW as the Coordinator for Aging Adult Services. Andrea has over 20 years of experience in behavioral health, most recently focusing on the aging population.  Andrea earned her Master’s in Social Work from The University of Connecticut.  She began her career as a psychiatric social worker at Connecticut Mental Health Center of West Haven where she worked for ten years.  After raising her two daughters, she returned to the field in 2009 providing therapy to older adults.  She was recently employed at Masonicare’s Behavioral Health Clinic as well as other consulting agencies for nursing homes and assisted living environments.  Andrea also has strong ties to the New Haven Jewish community.  She attended Hebrew Day School, was a member of The Westville Synagogue and her parents were the owners of Gutkin Kosher Caterers.  Andrea is excited to “be back home” and is grateful to have the opportunity to expand the Aging Adult Services at JFS.

Hannah Leiterman, LCSW joins the JFS staff as the Mental Health Clinical Director.  Hannah earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago. Non-profit work has always been important to her, as she spent two years in Armenia as a member of the Peace Corps.  Hannah moved to New Haven in 2006 where she completed post-graduate fellowships at Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital and the West Haven Veteran’s Hospital (VA). She went on to work in psychiatric emergency services at Yale, and outpatient psychiatry at the VA.  Prior to joining JFS, Hannah worked at St. Raphael’s in the emergency and maternity departments.  Hannah is excited to build the mental health program, having seen firsthand in the emergency rooms the need for more social support in our community.

Maria Gaudet, MSW joins the JFS team as the Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) Recruiter. Maria earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Connecticut. She brings a wealth of experience as she previously worked at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and understands the issues facing children involved in the foster care system. Maria hopes to bring an awareness to these issues and is excited about forming new community connections as she recruits more foster parents.