Aging well and independently is the main priority for older adults so that they can enjoy a high-quality life in the comfort of their home. Albany, NY veterans, Joanne (US Army) and Bob (US Air Force) suffered illnesses later in life, making it difficult to safely navigate inside and around their homes.
Joanne served as a nurse from 1972-1975 in Heidlberg, Germany. She treated soldiers injured in Vietnam. Bob, an honorable US AirForce Veteran, served from 1979-1983 as a unique specialist in the field of aeronautics attach control systems. Both are living in Albany with their families.
Jewish Family Services (JFS) Aging In Place and Occupational Therapy Specialist, Lynda Shrager and an Occupational Therapy intern from Maria College conducted assessments in both veterans’ homes and made modification recommendations so that both Joanne and Bob could reduce their risk of falling and maximize their independence and safety.
The modifications will be implemented on Friday, November 10, 2023 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and include removing bushes near an accessibility ramp, installing a more stable path to an outdoor garden and replacing a deteriorating fence. (Installation of grab bars and repairing an indoor step has already been completed inside Joanne’s home.)
This work is made possible, in part, through a grant from the City of Albany, Albany for All funding program and President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, and The Home Depot Foundation. The actual work will be completed by Team Depot volunteers.
JFS is here, caring for our community, making sure that everyone gets the support they need.
During this time of tragedy and uncertainty, once gain, our community looks to JFS for help in dealing with the emotional impact of yet another trauma.
In the past several weeks JFS:
- Partnered with Bethlehem Chabad to host an online forum to help parents talk to the their children about Israel
- Worked with Congregation Agudat Achim to host a a group for tees to empower them to help their friends cope with the emotional fall out of the Israel-Hamas war
- Fielded calls from older adults who are feeling even more isolated and helpless as they watch countless news stories about Israel
We are here to:
- Help people of all ages with individual counseling
- Make sure people get access to public benefits and services through care management
- Give older adults rides to appointments
- Deliver kosher meals to older adults who no longer cook
- Provide spiritual support to Jewish residents in care facilities
- Fosterer independence for older adults to age well in place
- Conduct home safety assessments for older adults
- Recruit volunteers to extend our reach in the community
JFS scholarships of $1,000-$2,000 are now available to support Jewish students with college-related expenses. Scholarships are made possible by:
- The David and Rose Udelson Bray Scholarship Fund
- The Hessberg Trust
- Axelrod – Lichenstein Scholarship Award
- DeBeer Scholarship Fund
- Levi Fund
- Charles and Anne K. Lieberman Scholarship Fund
- Ludwig Fund
- Harriet I. Nathan and Murray R. Nathan Scholarship Fund
- National Council of Jewish Women Scholarship Fund
- George and Marcia Simon Scholarship Fund
- Eli Werlin Fund
- The JFS Scholarship Fund*
Eligibility requirements vary per scholarship. Students must be residents of Albany, the surrounding area, or attend college or graduate school locally. Applicants must be at least 17 years old and be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university for the 2023-2024 academic year.
To be considered for a 2023-24 JFS scholarship, applicants must complete a brief online form , which includes writing a brief essay on
- Their understanding of Jewish Family Services’ impact on and for the community, and
- Suggest innovative ideas on how college students can support the mission of JFS and serve those in need.
Preference will be given to applicants who express interest in volunteering with JFS.
The deadline is Friday, October 24, 2023.
The recipients will be selected from submissions and will be awarded their scholarship in November. Please note we may choose to use the winning entry in JFS publicity and marketing communications.
* This fund is currently made up of the following funds: Frederick DeBeer Scholarship, Jewish Family Services Scholarship, Beatrice B. Levy Scholarship, George M. Simon Scholarship (restricted to a resident of Albany) and the Eli Werlin Scholarship.
JFS is here, caring for our community, making sure that everyone is able to celebrate the High Holidays.
High Holiday Kosher Home Delivered Meals
JFS delivers meals to older adults who can no longer prepare their own. Weekend holiday meals are above and beyond our county subsidy and we are delivering more than 150 extra meals!
High Holiday Gift Gift Bags
Many we serve are isolated, lack nearby family are alone or live in long-term care facilities. We’re filling and delivering High Holiday bags so that they can celebrate as they have their entire lives.
Supporting our Community Chaplain
JFS Community Chaplain, Rabbi Ami Monson is providing special visits, spiritual guidance and religious services for those living in long-term care throughout the community.
Here are a few examples of where your generosity can help:
$54 provides 3 High Holiday gift bags.
$118 Covers 6 home delivered High Holiday meals for older adults*
$250 Helps JFS with holiday gift bag fulfillment and administrative coordination
$360 Support High Holiday gift bag deliveries to long-term care facilities by our community chaplain
$500 Provides 25 visits and check-ins with socially isolated older adults
$1000 Offers 10 High Holiday services and programming for Jewish residents in long-term care communities
Can we count on you this High Holiday season?
All donors to the JFS 2023 High Holiday campaign will be acknowledged in our distributions. Thank you for your thoughtful generosity.
Gifts can be made online, by mail or phone
Job Type: Part-time
Location: Albany, NY, primarily remote
Pay: $20-$25 per hour, depending on experience
Jewish Family Services is seeking a highly motivated, self-starting marketing and development associate. Working remotely, but located in the Capital Region, this position offers a unique opportunity to be a part of a team of human services professionals who provide a range of supportive and essential services throughout the community.
- Develop relevant content for social media (2-3 posts weekly) including messaging and visuals for social media (using Adobe, Canva or similar programs)
- Collaborate with internal staff to create weekly Constant Contact emails for donors, older adults and JFS constituents
- Conduct media research for JFS publicity opportunities including newspapers, synagogue and partner agency newsletters, e-news, websites and social media.
- Update JFS website content weekly
- Attend JFS events and capture photo/video for social media and JFS website
- Coordinate special projects, including fundraising mailings, communique and events
- Report to with Director of Marketing, in coordination with President & CEO, to conceptualize projects and develop monthly strategies.
- Undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in graphic design, marketing, business administration, liberal arts, journalism, public relations, or related.
- Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills
- Familiarity with the Capital Region Jewish community a plus
- Understanding of non-profit industry
- Experience with fundraising and development
- Software experience with Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Express or Canva
- Comfortable working in social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Linked In)
- Familiarity with email (Constant Contact, Mail Chimp) and website (WordPress) platforms a plus
- Able to work in a collaborative team relationship
- Able to work flexible hours and complete assigned tasks within identified time frames
Since 1854, Jewish Family Services has continuously provided a range of support, services and resources throughout the greater Capital Region for children, adults and families across the lifespan. Services include care management, counseling, support groups, grocery shopping and meal delivery, private transportation, support for aging in place, home modification recommendations, long-term care referrals and resource planning, specialized occupational therapy and chaplaincy services.
For consideration, please submit a resume and cover letter with relevant work sample to:
JFS has received a NYSOFA (New York State Office for the Aging) Legislative Initiative to help provide health care-related services for Holocaust survivors in the Greater Capital Region. These funds can help address immediate medical needs, food insecurity, aging well at home, social programs, and end-of-life support.
We can help Russian speaking friends from the Former Soviet Union and other victims of Nazi persecution with:
- Paying for hearing aids, dentures, glasses or other needs not covered by your health plan
- Receiving grocery gift cards to help with holiday costs
- Receiving compassionate guidance, support and Chaplaincy services before, during and after the end of life.
- Participating in social and cultural programs
- Accessing needed information and referrals
Download the flyer in English and Russian here.
GET INVOLVED! Join the team to reach Survivors and help identify needs. Details are here.
To see if you or someone you know is eligible, please contact Clara Simon:
JFS is seeking a Clinical Director and a clinician. A career at JFS is more than just a job; it’s an opportunity to enrich the live of individuals and families in our community.
Read more here about the available positions. Both allow for flexible hours as well as in-person and telehealth counseling. Clinician have the opportunity to be a mentor graduate students doing internships in social work, counseling and psychology for area universities.
It's Here! Our 4th Annual Mensches & Mimosas
Let’s get together to honor our community champions! Wherever you watch, be sure to add comments to cheer on you mensch(es).
Here's how to watch:
On Thursday, June 1 at 7 pm, simply click the YouTube or Facebook icon.
- We encourage you to host a watch party! Invite your friends, order take out, pop some popcorn, pour a mimosa a or a mocktail and tune in.
- We also suggest that you get help from a “techy” in your life so you can “cast” from your smart phone, tablet or computer to your TV.
- The celebration video will be available on both of these platforms forever! Feel free to watch when you can.
What is Mensches & Mimosas?
Out 4th annual virtual event recognizes community volunteers and professionals – Mensches – and their selfless work for JFS and our fabulous partner agencies. Kicking off the virtual celebration, Marvin A. Freedman will be presented with the Anschel Weiss Community Builders Award for his lifetime of serving humanity with humility.
The Mensches & Mimosas celebration is the pinnacle moment for JFS as it is the opportunity to showcase our critical work throughout the community and raise the necessary funds to sustain our free programs and services.
Who is being recognized?
We will honor 31 of our region’s most selfless and dedicated volunteers. HERE is a link to the list in our invitation.
Why is the event virtual?
Great question! The past few years have inspired and challenged us. We have seen increasing needs throughout our community and are responding with critical human and mental health services. The true cost of our work is expensive and rapidly rising. We are keeping the event virtual to prioritize our focus on community needs to direct money raised to underwrite free services offered by JFS.
HERE is a link to a snapshot of our services, along with information on the JFS planned giving program.
Can I still make a contribution to support an honoree and JFS services?
A resounding YES!
- Donate online HERE
- Call 518-516-1102
- Mail a check to JFS, 184 Washington Ave Extension, Albany, NY 12203
Want to see our online tribute wall?
Donors have been writing Mazel Tov messages to our honorees and JFS. Read them HERE
Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York (JFS) will honor 31 outstanding community members at its 4th Annual Mensches & Mimosas Celebration on Thursday, June 1st, at 7 p.m. The virtual event recognizes community volunteers and professionals – Mensches – and their selfless work for JFS and its partner agencies. The program will also highlight the critical responsibilities and work JFS is responsible for in the community. Kicking off the virtual celebration, Marvin A. Freedman will be presented with the Anschel Weiss Community Builders Award for his lifetime of serving humanity with humility.
“A native Albanian, Freedman is the epitome of a community builder, supporter and champion. JFS is proud to honor Marvin for his lifetime of service and dedication,” said JFS President & CEO Jane Ginsburg.
Freedman has enjoyed a long and rewarding professional career in the insurance industry. He received his undergraduate degree from Siena College in 1952, and after attending Albany Law School for a year, his father passed away and he took over his father’s insurance business. In 1960, along with three other partners, Freedman created Anchor Agency, building the business into a preeminent regional insurance brokerage. Eventually, Freedman’s son David joined the firm and became a partner until his untimely passing at age 32. Over time, the partners retired, with Freedman retaining ownership. In 2016, Anchor Agency was sold to Pioneer Bank (now Pioneer). After the sale, he remained as a consultant for four years until his retirement.
Freedman has been active in both the Albany Jewish, national and greater local communities. He was president of Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY; became the first person from the Capital District to serve on the National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds as well as the first to serve on the National Young Leadership Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal. He was Chairman of the Board of the Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors and served on the board of St. Peter’s Hospital where he was also Board Chairman for three years. Freedman was the founding board member of Capital Bank & Trust Company; President of the Board of Congregation Beth Emeth. He served on the national board of the Union for Reform Judaism and he was the founding member & chairman of the Community Foundation for the Capital Region.
Robyn Polansky Morrison, Chair of the 2023 Mensches & Mimosas celebration noted, “I am inspired by Marvin and honored to bestow this very deserving award to him and highlight the 30 Mensches who, like Marvin, are dedicated to ensuring the continuity of our community, as well as helping to raise money needed to operate JFS’ critical community programs.”
Marvin and Sherry have been married for 43 years. He is the father of Lisa & David (of blessed memory), Carol, Lynne & Marcy. Grandfather to Alejandro, Daniela, Anna, David, Mya, Jeffrey, and Leo.
Past recipients of the Anschel Weiss Community Builders award include Alan Iselin (z”l), Herman Ungerman, David Alan Miller, Jean Becker, Amy Klein, Fred Erlich, Mara Ginsberg, Chanie Simon, Rabbi Beverly Magidson, The Golub Family, Jerry and Ilene Sykes, Michael Castellana, Steve Lobel, Morris (z”l) and Esther (z”l) Massry, Dr. Mark Sullivan and Representative Michael McNulty.
From Maimonides Hebrew Day School is Moshe Kudan, who assists with PR, marketing and fundraising for the school. He is a dear Maimonides alumni and friend to so many in the community.
The Colonie Chabad Chai Jewish Center recognizes Marilyn Tanner as a true inspiration for all, going out of her way to help others in the community and at its organization and always with a smile.
Layne Zagorski is the honorable mensch from Clifton Park Chabad, recognized for being the ambassador of light — sharing positivity and doing acts of kindness at every opportunity.
The Hebrew Academy of the Capital District sings the praises of Carolyn Robbins Levine for her energy, wisdom, and kindness that is evident in everything she does. She can inspire others to take action, always looks optimistically to the future, and is a role model of derech eretz.
The students and staff of the Hillel at University at Albany appreciate the wisdom, growth, and humor that Benjamin Michaels brings to their organization and recognizes his devotion to building a vibrant Jewish community on campus.
Congregation Berith Sholom is proud to recognize Amy Lovett, who brings her menschlickeit to the operations and very soul of the congregation. Amy’s uncanny savvy, insight, diligence, and compassion drives her leadership roles as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees and synagogue communications chair.
Jewish Family Services treasures Margo Singer and the pride she takes in volunteering to deliver kosher meals, as well as how she cares for fellow volunteers and meal recipients who adore seeing her and catching up each week.
Arnon Adler has been a prime faculty member with Mifgash Jewish Community High School Program since its inception, encouraging the students to share their thoughts, be respectful while debating ideas, and learn critical thinking as they delve deep into discussion on sensitive, important and difficult subjects.
From the B’yachad Collaborative Religious School, Fred Rheingold is revered as a Jewish educator for over a decade, whose lessons are always creative, informative and relevant and who works to support students with special learning needs.
Amarit Rosin & Seth Rosenblum have been long steadfast supporters and leaders of Congregation Beth Abraham Jacob, dedicating so much of their time and energy to its congregation and who have given so much to the community.
The Congregation Ohav Shalom family has a stalwart leader and supporter in Deborah Sturm Rausch whose thoughtfulness and good common sense make a huge difference in how members of the congregation work together to achieve common goals.
Rabbis Linda Motzkin & Jonathan Rubenstein are revered community figureheads at Temple Sinai and in the Saratoga Springs community for over 36 years, leading countless community programs and working at or volunteering at Skidmore College, Four Winds and Saratoga Hospital.
Congregation Beth Emeth honors Cynthia Frommer Freedman & Carol Gingold Rosenthal, both lifelong congregants who combine their love of Beth Emeth to preserve its past as archivists. Together, they share congregation traditions in a beautiful lobby display case — Cynthia holding the tape and directing with Carol arranging.
Temple Israel feels fortunate to have Sharon Mosden as part of its community, calling her a “volunteer extraordinaire,” as she enthusiastically goes above and beyond helping with Mitzvah projects, kiddushes, youth programming and more.
Congregation Agudat Achim is grateful to Hillary Fink for working tirelessly to connect with congregants, to run various committees and to support the functioning of the synagogue. Her love of honoring other members of the congregation makes it fitting that she receives this honor.
Through their involvement in services, social and cultural events, serving on the board, hosting Rosh Hashanah luncheons and much more, Martie & Phil Teumim stand out as unsung heroes, volunteers and leaders at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation.
The mensch from Congregation Gates of Heaven is Gay Griffith, a constant presence at the synagogue for over 20 years, who is a volunteer, teacher, greeter and leader, as well as a strong advocate for Israel and building a better community locally.
For decades, Ann Zonderman has been a continuously active member of Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY and the Jewish community and is noted for her passionate desire to make our community better.
Chevra Kadisha of the Capital District describes their Senior Mataher, Yehoshua Maddali as the quintessential “Gomlei Chasadim,” a loving and caring person who has the capacity to go above and beyond to help another person.
President of B’nos Israel Mikvah Sarah Maddali is appreciated for being a caregiver to many in the Albany community, a teacher at Maimonides Hebrew Day School, a mentor to youth and a member of the community Bikkur Cholim.
Vadd Hakashruth of the Capital District value BJ & Peter Rosenfeld for their commitment to community and JFS. BJ is an officer and invested member of the Vaad for 25 years, representing Congregation Beth Shalom, and Peter has been a great community partner, visionary and leader.
The embodiment of the values of Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors (DOS) is found in Barbara Wachs, president of their Auxiliary, who was moved to volunteer after witnessing the expertise and compassionate care her aunt received at DOS.
Sandy Rubin, a “warm and delightful person” is Congregation Beth Shalom’s Sisterhood & Men’s Club co-president and assumes this roll and any synagogue responsibility cheerfully and willingly.
The Shalom Food Pantry relies on the reassuring presence of volunteers like Caryn Halle who goes above and beyond connecting with the recipients to whom she delivers groceries and essentials.
The Albany Jewish Community Center sees Jeffrey A. Cohen as an indispensable leader, serving on the board for eight years and lending expertise particularly in the finance and audit committees.
Finally, the Schenectady Jewish Community Center is grateful for the thoughtful analysis and sound counsel that Richard Toll brings to the building and grounds and finance and endowment committees, along with being the board treasurer.
Keeping our event virtual helps ensure that the funds raised go to the many critical and free services provided to the community as we focus on the growing community needs.