News

JFSGNH Announces New CEO

Amy G. Rashba, LCSW, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven (JFSGNH). “We are thrilled that Amy has accepted this leadership role,” says Linda Caplan, JFSGNH Board President.  “Her energy and devotion to JFS is inspiring.”

Rashba’s career at the agency began in 1986 when she came to JFS as a MSW student.  Shortly after joining JFS, Rashba developed the Shalom Group, offering educational enrichment and social interaction to developmentally disabled Jewish adults.  During her 30-plus years with the agency, she has created new programs, helped families adopt children and provided counseling services throughout our community to children, families and aging adults and takes great pride in directing both the adoption and mental health programs. “Having spent my entire professional career here, it’s a privilege to lead JFS, an agency I am passionate about,” says Rashba. “I’m grateful to the staff and Board for their support and look forward to many years of collaborating on the future of our beloved JFS.  I am humbled to have made a difference in the lives of those in our Jewish community.”

“Amy’s ability to develop and cultivate relationships with staff, board and community makes her a natural to lead JFS”, says Caplan.  “She has a unique combination of approachability and positivity and is well-respected by clients, peers and community members.”

Rashba’s local Jewish roots run deep.  A Hamden native, she attended the New Haven Hebrew Day School, and her father owned the renowned Glick’s Delicatessen in New Haven.  She and her husband Steve were married at B’nai Jacob and their children attended local preschools- daughter Ilana at Yeladim, and son Jordan at Temple Beth Sholom.  The family has been members of Temple Beth David of Cheshire for over 20 years.

A summa cum laude graduate of Quinnipiac College, Rashba earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) at Southern Connecticut State University. Upon being named CEO, she said, “It is my honor to be leading the amazing staff at JFS who all work hard every day to provide quality services to our community- protecting children, creating families, feeding the hungry and healing hearts.”

Amy Rashba looks forward to bringing more awareness of JFSGNH’s many programs and services to the Greater New Haven region.

To contact her: arashba@jfsnh.org

 

 

JFS Launches Ken’s Closet Program for Community

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven (JFSGNH) is excited to launch a new program called Ken’s Closet, clothing for men and women. This program honors the memory of the late Ken Sperling, who had passion for JFSGNH, as well as a clear understanding of how looking presentable positively affects self-esteem.

Through Ken’s Closet, JFSGNH will supply work-ready clothing to clients who need help navigating the challenges of the job market — with employment as their goal; in addition to other life situations/circumstances. Prospective Ken’s Closet clients will be screened through JFSGNH programs such as Social Work Outreach Services, Mental Health & Counseling and the Food Assistance.  To schedule an appointment with a social worker, please contact Rachel (ext. 109) or Liz (ext. 117) at 203-389-5599.

Stay Home During the Food4Kids Non-Event Fundraiser

You can Stay Home in Support of Food4Kids New Haven this November!  Food4Kids is hosting a “Non-Event” fundraiser this month allowing you an evening to do whatever you like.  We hope this evening will include a donation to this vital kids feeding program.

Food4Kids New Haven provides weekend supplemental food to 354 children in the New Haven school system.  For as little as $211, you can sponsor one student for a full academic year.  To sponsor a child or to make a donation to this program, please click here.    Be sure to choose Food4Kids in the drop down menu on the donation page.

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.      

JFS Foster Care Resources Now on Facebook

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven has created a foster care specific Facebook page called “JFS Foster Care Resources.”  The purpose of this page is to educate the general public on the importance of foster care and to highlight the need for loving families and individuals to become foster parents.   At any given time, there are over 4,000 children and teens in foster care.  By educating and motivating others to open their homes and hearts to children in need, we hope that the number of children in foster care will decrease over time. Please visit and like this Facebook page (JFS Foster Care Resources), as well as our agency Facebook page (JFS of Greater New Haven) where we post updates, events, timely news and program information.

September is National Hunger Action Month – Help Us Help Others

Food Collections to Benefit JFS Food Pantry During National Hunger Action Month

September is National Hunger Action Month and Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven, Inc. is participating by collecting non-perishable food to help stock its pantry shelves. Hunger Action Month is your opportunity to be a part of this national movement by donating non-perishable items to help feed the many local families in need of food assistance.

Some of the items most requested include:
Boxed pasta, Dried beans; Canned meats (chicken, Spam, turkey); Canned Fish (albacore tuna, salmon, chunk white tuna); Hamburger Helper; Rice mixes (Rice-a-Roni, microwave rice pouches); Grains (couscous, quinoa); Canned vegetables all varieties (beets, mushrooms, potatoes – sliced, whole or diced, corn, French style green beans, peas, lima beans); Tea and Coffee (especially Decaf); Soups of all types; and baking mixes.

On Friday, September 14th (National Hunger Action Day) the JFS Food Pantry & Nutritional Health Center will be open from 8-12 accepting donations.  In addition, non-perishable food donations can be dropped off at the JFS Food Pantry (1440 Whalley Avenue) on Wednesdays or Thursdays between 8:30 – 11:45 a.m. or the JFS main office during non-pantry hours (please be aware that the Jewish High Holidays are in September so the offices will be closed on several days).

In addition, synagogues conducting food drives during the High Holidays are asked to please sort and remove any expired food before delivering.  To arrange a drop off day and time, contact Mara Ginsberg at mginsberg@jfsnh.org.   For additional information please contact Sandy Hagan at (203) 389-5599, ext. 121 or shagan@jfsnh.org.

JFS Upcoming High Holiday Closings

The High Holidays begin on the first day of the Jewish calendar and include two of the most important Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

Prior to the start of the High Holidays, the JFSGNH office will be closed on Labor Day, Monday,  September 3rd.  Then in observance of the High Holidays, the JFS office will be closed on the following dates:

Closed Monday, September 10th and Tuesday, September 11 (Rosh Hashanah)
Close at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18 (Yom Kippur)
Closed Wednesday, September 19 (Yom Kippur)
Closed Monday, September 24th and Tuesday, September 25th (Sukkot)
Closed Monday, October 1st (Shimini Atzeret)
Closed Tuesday, October 2nd (Simchat Torah)

 

JFS Collecting Back to School Items for Families in Need

 

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven is collecting school supplies for service recipients.  Currently there are 100+ children between the ages of 4-18 in need of supplies for the upcoming school year.  Items we are seeking include:  New backpacks, two pocket folders; crayons (thick and thin); markers (thick and thin); pre-sharpened pencils; ink pens (blue or black only); One-subject notebooks (wide or college ruled); two+ subject notebooks (wide or college ruled); three ring binders; child safe pencil sharpeners; child safe scissors; glue sticks; erasers; construction paper; and highlighters.

Items can be dropped off at the JFS Food Pantry on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. or the JFS main office, 1440 Whalley Avenue, New Haven  during operating hours (Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or Friday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.).   If you have questions, please contact Sandy Hagan.

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.