Help is Always Available

With the recent tragedies in Parkland, Florida and Newtown, CT, we remind our community that help is available. You are not alone! Please refer to the links below:

Crisis Resources

  • For a life-threatening situation, dial 911 immediately.
  • For a crisis or in case someone is experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts dial 211in CT.  Outside of CT, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
    1-800-273 TALK (8255).
  • If someone is uncomfortable talking on the phone, she/he can also use the crisis text line by texting 741741 or use the Lifeline Chat online at:

Informational Resources

JFS Licensed Mental Health Clinicians are available for non-crisis counseling. Please call Shelly Bheer, LCSW, Mental Health Clinical Director at 203.389.5599 ext. 114 or email at


Jewish Family Service to Honor Past Presidents and Launch Expansion of Aging Adults Program at Annual Spring Celebration

Living comfortably and independently as we age is something we all aspire to for ourselves and our loved ones. Jewish Family Service (JFS) works tirelessly serving the aging population in our community and assisting their family members and friends. However, more help is needed.  With a focus on empowering the individual, the Agency is developing a more comprehensive aging adult program to further meet the needs of this growing population in our community. But JFS cannot do it alone!

Kicking off this initiative is the JFS Spring Celebration to be held on Thursday, June 13th. The event will honor all 18 JFS past Board presidents who have had a great impact on our local community and who fully support the expansion of these vital services.  Those being honored are: Darcy McGraw Altman, Charlotte Brenner, Rabbi Gerald Brieger*, Richard Epstein, Jack Fast, Betsy Fiske, Cindy Papish Gerber, Steve Jacobs, Ivan M. Katz, Beverly Levy*, Moses M. Malkin*, Frederick S. Moss*, Herbert S. Newman, David Ottenstein, Hilda Podoloff*, Linda Randell, Carol Robbins, Rosalyn Sperling, Marvin Teplitzky*, Mary Lou Winnick, and Peter Zackin.

(*Of Blessed Memory).

As an individual’s physical strength and mental acuity decline, this complex part of life requires constant attention to well being.  “As an adult with an aging parent, I am acutely aware of the demands of caring for a parent and other aging family members. Grief from loss, managing chronic health issues, social isolation, depression and anxiety are very real issues that can be difficult to navigate alone,” notes Peter Zackin, Past President.  Often, family members must provide assistance to their loved ones. However, this level of care is not always feasible or affordable. Many times, families are unaware of and overwhelmed by the myriad of services available to help their loved ones. This increased need for comprehensive case management is the impetus behind the agency’s expanded initiative and is critical in assisting families in managing these transitions.

Aside from case management services, individuals may need emotional support.  “When I lost my husband of 52 years, I didn’t know where to turn.  Thanks to the professionals at JFS, I’ve learned to cope with my grief and I am starting to enjoy the things I used to do again,” recalls a woman who continues to utilize the Agency’s services.  JFS believes everyone should receive this type of care and emotional support so that individuals can live happily and comfortably. JFS licensed clinicians and case managers work diligently to develop individualized care plans and coordinate the essential services.

The need in the community is high, and in order to provide services to all who require them, JFS must grow its aging adult services. JFS social worker Liz Davenport, LMSW states We do try to help everyone that seeks our services; however, sometimes we are forced to prioritize those individuals with the greatest needs. The demand from the community for elderly services is growing, and we want to ensure that everyone receives quality care in a timely manner.”

In order to achieve the agency’s objective of developing its Aging Adult Program, it requires expanding the current social work program.  Chief Executive Officer, Amy G. Rashba, LCSW, articulates that the agency’s goal is to hire a full time licensed clinical social worker who is solely focused on the aging adult population.  As the baby boomers age, the need for case management will only continue to increase, and we want to make sure JFS is fully prepared to meet and exceed the community’s needs.”

For more information about the event, you can visit  We hope you can join us for the Spring Celebration to support our efforts to provide care for our aging adult community. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rachel Scolnic-Dobin at (203) 389-5599 ext. 109. In addition, if you or a loved one needs support or assistance, please call Aging Adult Case Manager Liz Davenport, LMSW, at (203) 389-5599 ext. 117.

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:



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   For additional information please contact Sandy Hagan at (203) 389-5599, ext. 121 or

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)