News

Amid a longstanding youth mental health crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, JFSNENY is offering a new way to support children and teens with mental health concerns — by providing their parents with the tools to do so.

Individual therapy is widely assumed to be the standard of care for mental health challenges, yet it is often not available to young people due to the constraints of their school schedules and a national shortage of clinicians trained to work with them. To address these challenges, JFSNENY is offering the SPACE intervention model.

What is SPACE?

SPACE is Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions and was developed by Dr. Eli Lebowitz at the Yale Child Study Center. It has been tested and found to be efficacious in randomized controlled clinical trials.

When is SPACE appropriate?

SPACE treatment is appropriate when parents have concerns about:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Fears and phobias
  • Panic
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

When SPACE treatment is successful children feel less anxious and function better following treatment, especially for some of these most common anxiety issues that children face.

What happens in SPACE treatment?

The SPACE program addresses challenges by working directly with parents who want to help their children be less anxious but don’t know how.

Parents will learn skills and tools to help their child overcome anxiety, OCD or related problems by focusing on changes that parents can make to their own behavior.

The two main changes that parents learn to make in SPACE treatment are to:

  1. respond more supportively to their anxious child and
  2. reduce the accommodations they have been making to the child symptoms.

The treatment is an active process with opportunities to practice and role play the skills being taught so parents can feel empowered to make meaningful and lasting changes.

Appointment Information & Scheduling at JFS

The SPACE program lasts approximately 12, 55-minute sessions (weekly or bi-weekly) with the parent(s) of the children and are covered by most major insurances. Click here to see accepted insurance plans.

To participate in this unique program, please request a free consult with any of our JFS clinicians:

Additional Information: Pediatric Anxiety Deserves Effective Treatment

Why do we need more treatment options for pediatric anxiety? Anxiety is the most common mental health concern for children. Approximately 30% of children will suffer from clinical levels of anxiety sometime throughout their childhood and, depending on the study cited, between 5% and 15% of children suffer from anxiety at any given moment. 

Why to be concerned?

4 million children and adolescents in this country suffer from a serious psychiatric issues that causes significant functional impairments at home, at school, and with peers

  • Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Anxiety disorders also often co-occur with other disorders such as depression, eating disorders, and ADHD
  • Anxiety disorders are highlytreatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment
  • Untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse.
  • Untreated Anxiety in the 1stgrade has been shown to predict anxiety and low academic achievement in reading and math in the 5th grade (Ialongo et al, 1995)
  • Anxiety or depression (untreated) in adolescence predicts a 2-3x increase risk of anxiety or depression in adulthood (Pine et al, 1998)
  • There are many different types of anxiety disorders, including separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, selective mutism, OCD, phobias, panic disorder, trichotillomania/dermatillomania, health anxiety, PTSD

Source: NAMI, NIMH, CDC and the ADAA

It’s Back! Our 4th Annual Mensches & Mimosas! 

We are incredibly excited to bring our community together again to honor and celebrate our unsung.

This year’s virtual event will go live on June 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm ET.  

M&M (as we affectionately call it) is JFS’s premiere event to highlight:

  1. the extraordinary work of our community’s most passionate and dedicated lay leaders and professionals; and
  2. the critical role JFS plays as our community’s safety net to be there for those in need.

As part of this celebration, we will present the JFS Anschel Weiss Community Builders Award to an outstanding community member for their commitment to serving humanity with humility – stay tuned for who will receive the award.

We are grateful to the continued partnership of our community organizations and we invite you join us in celebrating the outstanding honorable menschen who embody our mission of compassionate and collaborative service.

Since 2020, we have recognized over 75 honorable menschen. See them all here.

If you have any questions, please call Monica Tan at 518-516-1104 or email mtan@jfsneny.org.
Robyn Polansky Morrison                                  
Event Chair
Jane B. Ginsburg
JFS President & CEO

Meet Our Event Committee (In formation)
Joy Davidoff
Marcy DeBiccari
Rob Dorkin
Lisa Finkle
Denise Gonick
Eileen Handelman
Elana Kamenir
Kerryn Kent
Eli Rabinowitz
Jane Sanders
Rachael Schertzer
Henry Skoburn
Deborah Sokoler
Monica Tan

Thanks to the generosity of legacy donors, Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York was able to award five scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students to help with college-related expenses. To be considered for a scholarship, applicants were asked to write a brief essay on their understanding of Jewish Family Services’ impact on the community and suggest innovative ways for college-aged people to support JFS’s mission of serving those in need.

The 2022-23 Awardees:

SARAH BEARDEN was awarded $2,000 from the Hessberg Trust. She is a sophomore at Columbia University studying Civil Engineering.

AVITAL DAVDA received $1,000 from the JFS Combined Scholarship Fund*. She is a graduate student at Pace University studying Environmental Science & Policy, and Biology and Health Science.

DAVID BERIN was awarded $1,000 from the David and Rose Udelson Bray Scholarship Fund. Hailing from Bethlehem, he is currently a sophomore at UCLA studying Psychobiology on a pre med track.

DALIA LEVY received $1,000 from the David and Rose Udelson Bray Scholarship Fund. She is a freshman at Northeastern University studying to be a nurse.

ETHAN ROSENBLUM  received $1,000 from the JFS Combined Scholarship Fund*. He is a freshman at the University of Albany majoring in Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity and minoring in Hebrew.

“Leaving a legacy can be done in many ways. It is particularly special to leave a portion of a person’s estate to a charitable organization for the good use of the organization and related uses, said Jane Ginsburg, president & CEO at JFS. “We are honored to steward planned gifts from donors who established scholarships in their Wills for the organization to distribute.”

For more information on establishing a planned gift in your estate to benefit the important services JFS provides, please contact Jane Ginsburg at 518-516-1101 or jginsburg@jfsneny.org.

Since 1854, Jewish Family Services has continuously provided a range of support, services and resources to individuals, families, and seniors throughout the Greater Capital Region. Services include kosher home-delivered meals; groceries and essentials delivery; private transportation for Jewish seniors; telehealth counseling sessions and virtual discussion and support groups for all ages; occupational therapy for life enrichment; aging in place support and programs; and long-term care guidance. The mission of JFS NENY is to enrich the lives of individuals, families, and the community by providing compassionate, collaborative human services, guided by Jewish values.

 

*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 scholarships of $500-$1,000 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 2022-2023 academic year.

To be considered for a 2022-23 JFS scholarship, applicants must complete a brief online form , which includes writing a brief essay on

  1. Their understanding of Jewish Family Services’ impact on and for the community, and
  2. 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 Thursday, October 20, 2022.

The recipients will be selected from submissions and will be awarded their scholarship in late October. 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.

Apply online here.

 

Hugging is back!

Now you can send a holiday hug to your favorite people. Just complete THIS FORM and we will send a handwritten postcard to the people of your choice…from YOU!

JFS hugs our community in so many ways:

  • Delivering kosher meals
  • Providing counseling and support
  • Offering resources to families to help with aging parents
  • Shopping and delivering groceries
  • Drive seniors to medical appointments
  • And so much more.

Sending holiday hugs supports our vital services and spreads joy in the new year.

Want to call in your hugs order instead? Contact Christina Murray at 518-516-1102 and she will take care of it for you!

 

Despite seasonally chilly Northeast weather and a few showers, over 30 dedicated JFS volunteers gathered at the outdoor pavilion at the Albany JCC for the JFS volunteer appreciation lunch.  They were acknowledged for being JFS unsung heroes – shopping and delivering groceries, driving seniors to medical appointments and errands, delivering kosher meals and contributing their expertise on the JFS board and committees.

A banner displayed several quotes from the volunteers who were asked, “What is the best part about volunteering at JFS?” One individual said, “I enjoy providing immediate comfort to someone, while connecting to my local Jewish community.” For many, it’s all about “giving back to the community,” “building friendships” and the “gratification they feel by helping others.”

“Volunteers are a vital part of service delivery at JFS,” said president and CEO Jane Ginsburg. “They are out and about directly serving members of our community.” It’s not uncommon for a volunteer to report back to us that someone they see each week might need more help. “We can refer clients to other JFS services like counseling, case management or to our Senior Resource Network,” said Ginsburg.

If you someone you know would like to volunteer with JFS, please contact us at 518-482-8856 or info@jfsneny.org.

Here are some photo highlights...
We are delighted to once again partner with our Jewish community institutions for our
3rd Annual Mensches & Mimosas, adding 30 more honorees to our group of unsung heroes!

Over the past two years, the annual JFS Mensches & Mimosas has recognized 49 honorable menschen from organizations throughout our region for selflessly giving their time, their passions, and their hard work to our community. 

As part of this celebration, we will present Alan Iselin with the JFS Anschel Weiss Community Builders Award for his commitment to serving humanity with humility and being a role model for future generations.

Here’s where you can watch this year’s celebration:
June 2, 2022
7:00 p.m. Mensches & Mimosas
6:55 p.m. Preshow
Watch on the JFS YouTube Channel
Watch on the JFS Facebook Page
OR
Click this Screen

Many Thanks to Our “M&M” Supporters! View them here!

You can still support our honorable menschen and JFS.  Proceeds from this event help support and grow the free services we provide to our community.
  1. Click here to use our online form,
  2. Click here to print a pdf form, or
  3. Call JFS to process your credit card via phone: 518-482-8856
If you have any questions, please call Monica Tan at 518-516-1104 or email mtan@jfsneny.org.
 
 See a list of past Honorable Menschen here.

Thanks to the generosity of legacy donors, Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York was able to award five scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students scholarships to help with their college-related expenses. To be considered for a scholarship, applicants were asked to write a brief essay on their understanding of Jewish Family Services’ impact on the community and suggest innovative ways for college-aged people to support JFS’s mission to serve those in need.

The 2021-22 Awardees:

 

SARAH BEARDEN was awarded $2,000 from the Hessberg Trust. She is a freshman at Columbia University studying Civil Engineering.

DAVID BERIN received $1,000 from the JFS Combined Scholarship Fund*. Hailing from Bethlehem, he is currently a freshman at UCLA.

ELIJAH FERET was awarded $1,000 from the David and Rose Udelson Bray Scholarship Fund. A member of Agudat Achim in Schenectady, he is a sophomore at Catholic University of America studying Biomedical Engineering on the premed track.

DANIEL GULKO received $1,000 from the David and Rose Udelson Bray Scholarship Fund. He is in the MD program at Albany Medical College and is interested in studying Neurology.

SHIRLY TSUR-MAGEN received $1,000 from the JFS Combined Scholarship Fund*. She is a former JFS intern and is working towards a Master’s in Social Work at the University at Albany, SUNY.

 

“Leaving a legacy can be done in many ways. It is particularly special to leave a portion of a person’s estate to a charitable organization for the good use of the organization and related uses, said Jane Ginsburg, president & CEO at JFS. “We are honored to steward planned gifts from donors who established scholarships in their Wills for the organization to distribute.”

 

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
  • 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 2021-2022 academic year.

To be considered for a 2021-22 JFS scholarship, applicants must complete a brief online form , which includes writing a brief essay on

  1. Their understanding of Jewish Family Services’ impact on and for the community, and
  2. 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, September 10, 2021.

The recipients will be selected from submissions and will be awarded their scholarship in late September. 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.

Apply online here.

Thanks to the generosity of a grant from the B’nai B’rith Gideon Lodge Fund, a component of The Jewish Endowment Fund of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, JFS is now providing a $1,000 stipend to a Jewish high school student or college freshman under 18 years old willing to help JFS fulfill its mission to help and support the more vulnerable members of our community.

This is a great opportunity for a student to give back to their community, while gaining valuable volunteer experience.

The hours are flexible, roughly 2-5 hours per week depending on projects. Activities may include driving* for Project 5, shopping and delivering groceries for the homebound, or creating a fundraising program to benefit the more vulnerable in our community (see our latest Two of a Kind Program). Other ideas? We welcome your compassion and creativity. 

To apply, please complete this brief application.

Scholarship is for the 2021-22 academic year and will be paid in two disbursements. Student will be paired with a staff person to support their efforts.

Decisions will be made by the end of September with activity to start soon thereafter.

*A New York State driver’s license in good standing and reliable transportation is required.

The TWO OF A KIND program helps children in need start the school year on the right foot!

Parents & Organizations

If you or someone you know has a child that needs new shoes for the school year, please sign up here by Wednesday, August 18, 2021.
Once purchased, we will make arrangements to have the shoes delivered to your home. Please know that children’s names will remain anonymous. Only their shoes size, preferences, etc. will be communicated to donors.

Donors
If you would like to purchase shoes or make a donation so that a child in need has new shoes for school, please complete this short form.
For donors who opt to shop for the shoes, we will email you a list of shoe selection options on August 20th so that you can go shoe shopping! We encourage you to Make it FUN and Brighten a Child’s Day! Donors can include a card or note in the shoe box. Maybe add a book, stickers, fun pencils — little things that fit right in the box with the shoes.

You’ll be asked to wrap the box and include the child’s information on the box so we can match your gift to the correct child. 
Shoe drop off will be required by September 1.Drop off location is JFS, 184 Washington Ave Extension, Albany NY 12203.
If you are unable to do the shopping but want to help, we welcome donations on behalf of this project and will use the funds to purchase shoes, on your behalf, for our community youth.
Thank You Helping Provide a Little Soul, Sole for Children in Your Community!

 

Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Northeastern New York, in partnership with Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors, Temple Israel and the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, is delighted to bring Rabbi Amiel Monson (who prefers to go by ‘Rabbi Ami’) to the Capital Region. Rabbi Ami will provide spiritual connection and support for residents in independent and long-term care facilities, and pastoral care and bereavement support for the community at large. Rabbi Ami is stepping into the role that for nearly 25 years was served by Rabbi Beverly Magidson.

“I am excited to join the Capital Region community as the new Community Chaplain, and I am honored to continue the program whose foundation was created by Rabbi Bev. I have deep respect for her mentorship as I become familiar with the role. I thank Jewish Family Services, Daughters of Sarah, the Jewish Federation, and Temple Israel for helping ensure this incredible program continues and that I am able to provide services, support, and pastoral care to residents of the greater Albany Jewish community,” said Rabbi Ami Monson.

Originally from Philadelphia, Rabbi Ami spent the last seven years on the West Coast in a range of positions including spiritual support and counseling for elder residents at Los Angeles Jewish Home and The Nest (Los Angeles, CA) and Youth Director at Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA). His work with older adults was pivotal in his realization of being called to work with the aging population as a rabbi. Rabbi Ami graduated from the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) with a BA in Comparative Religion and a certificate in Jewish Studies. He went on to achieve three master’s degrees from Gratz College (Elkins Park, PA) — in Jewish Education, Jewish Communal Service, and Jewish Studies. He graduated The Academy for Jewish Religion (California) and was recently ordained. He follows generations of family rabbis, including his father, and maternal grandfather, who served at Temple Beth El in Troy in the 1940’s, and great grandfather. 

Jane Ginsburg, President & CEO of Jewish Family Services, said, “When I learned that Rabbi Ami Monson was looking for a fulfilling opportunity, I was delighted. Ami and I met in college and connected through Hillel – Ami was the guy that everyone knew and everyone liked, and most importantly, he liked everyone back. Though we were only in touch via Facebook, it was clear that he not only hadn’t changed, but he’d also only expanded his networks and used his special gift of making someone feel seen and heard daily. I’m thrilled he, likewise, saw the value in this role and had the faith in us to move his young family across the country to join us as JFS and at Daughters.”

“For the last 2+ decades, Rabbi Bev has provided essential nurturing and healing pastoral care to our seniors living in nursing and assisted living facilities. She has done so with love and dedication, enhancing the lives of our loved ones. As Jewish Federation hands off this program to Jewish Family Services, we wish Rabbi Bev well in her retirement and warmly welcome Rabbi Ami to our community and wish him every success,” said Rob Kovach, President & CEO of Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York.

Rabbi Bev Magidson, who served as Community Chaplain for 25 years, said, “Jewish residents of independent and long-term care facilities (whether they are skilled nursing or assisted living facilities) may be the only Jewish resident or part of a very small group.  They may be isolated by unit or floor. Chaplaincy Services brings Jewish cultural and religious practices to these residents, with familiar foods, music, or prayers.  The program also sends regular newsletters to help activities directors infuse Yiddishkeit to the programs and in honor of the Jewish holidays. Through the chaplain’s outreach residents know that their community cares about them!!”

“We are thrilled to have Rabbi Ami join the Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors. Our chaplaincy services form a critical element of our mission to provide to the aged members of our community ‘excellent health care and social service care Jewishly,’  Guided and informed by our exceptional Jewish heritage, we expect that Ami will continue to strengthen that Jewish operational focus — a focus the remains unique to Daughters of Sarah,” said Mark Koblenz Chief Executive Officer for Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors. 

“Temple Israel is proud to stand with our community partners to help bring Rabbi Ami to the community. We know that Rabbi Ami will be a true asset for the entire Albany Jewish Community, and we are proud to step up and help ensure our community and region benefit from his experience and pastoral care,” said Gary Ginsburg, President at Temple Israel.

This Chaplaincy program under Jewish Family Services is provided in partnership with Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors, Temple Israel, Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, B’nai B’rith Gideon Foundation and the Theodore Strauss Fund (A restricted fund of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York). In addition to working in long-term care facilities, Rabbi Ami will provide grief and loss support as needed and as appropriate throughout the community, and will be a key asset to the JFS team to ground the agency’s activities in the Jewish values of its foundation.

Spearheaded by Jewish Family Services, we have a team of volunteers and professionals ready to help you get your COVID-19 vaccine. While we are not a point of distribution for the vaccine, we can register with you or for you. There is already a waiting list, as we all learn how to navigate the system, and information pushed out by the state and counties is updated daily.

Whether you need help registering or getting to your appointment, we want to help. Call JFS’ main number at (518) 482-8856*. If you live in the NNORC, feel free to call that number directly, 518-514-2023*.

 

HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW

Albany County
Individuals 65 and older who live in Albany County can call the Sheriff’s office to be placed on a waitlist for a vaccination appointment. 
Call 518-720-8036, Monday-Friday from8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When the vaccine becomes available, they will be offering drive-through appointments at:
Albany County Sheriff’s Department
Public Safety Building
58 Verda Avenue
Clarksville, NY

They will also schedule appointments in the home for those who are homebound due to medical needs and require ambulance service. 

This is a two step process:

  1. You call the Sheriff’s office and give them your name, phone number, and age.
  2. When they get their allotment of vaccines, they will call you to schedule an appointment time.

Schenectady County
Schenectady County Public Health Services (SCPHS) is registering individuals to receive the vaccine. At this time, SCPHS vaccination is only available to individuals in Schenectady County who qualify according to the State’s eligibility criteria. (Please note, while the state will vaccinate those 65 and older, Schenectady County’s age limit is 75 and older.) Here is the link to their online pre-registration form. Once your form has been submitted, County staff will contact you when appointments are available.

Schoharie County
Schoharie county is also registering individuals to receive the vaccine. Here is a link to their online form. They will contact you once they receive their allotment and will schedule a vaccination appointment with you.

Rensselaer County
At this time, Rensselaer County is using the NYS vaccine system.

There are two ways to schedule an appointment through the NYS system: online registration and telephone.

ONLINE REGISTRATION
This link will take you to the NYS online form.
NOTE: You must have an active email address OR a mobile phone that accepts text messages to use this online form. The state requires this so that they are able to contact you. If you do not have email or the ability to receive text messages, please plan to schedule your appointment via telephone. JFS volunteers are available to help you with the email requirement and we can print your vaccine authorization once you are scheduled.

TELEPHONE REGISTRATION
Call the vaccination hotline: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
NOTE: The hotline is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Albany County forged a partnership with Mohawk Ambulance to ensure senior citizens unable to travel from their homes for the vaccine will have the vaccine brought to them. Individual stops to senior living communities and senior residents of single-family homes will be available if they sign up for the vaccine.

PATIENCE IS KEY
Please be patient when trying to schedule an appointment as only a limited number of vaccines and appointments are available at this time.

Please see this important message from the Capital Region Hub – Regional Vaccine Network. Most importantly is to visit capitalregionvax.org for the most up-to-date vaccine information.

BE INFORMED
The Albany Times Union published a detailed article on vaccination for individuals over 65 years of age. Read it here:

Read some frequently asked questions about the vaccine.

*Please note that JFS is closed on the weekends. All calls will be return in the order they are received and as quickly as possible.

Every Tuesday in November, JFS will host one-hour virtual workshops to help participants prepare for the phase of life when they are aging and inevitably aging solo. Preparation Age: Prepare for the Expected and Unexpected will feature guest speakers with expertise in aging, estate law, occupational therapy, gerontology, palliative and hospice  care, funeral services and more.
The idea to host this series came from the community. “We are getting more and more calls from individuals and families, particularly as they face tough aging decisions or even crisis, asking, “What happens now?,” said Jane Ginsburg, JFS president and CEO. As the program manager of the JFS Senior Resource Network, Lynda Shrager knows all too well about helping families through a crisis. “So many people are dealing with aging-related issues and many are trying to navigate alone said Shrager. “There are many obstacles but these workshops will teach people how to plan, thus alleviating some of the stress.  The topics were chosen to impart information from living safely at home through preparing for end of life.

HERE is the series flyer.

Prepare to Age Smart & Live Safely in Your Home – Nov. 1, 2022 – 7-8 p.m.
The introduction to the series begins with a  personal account of someone thrust intro solo aging through  the sudden death of a spouse.  Then discover the best home modifications including organizing to live safely at home. Facilitated by Carol Bloom and Lynda Shrager, OTR, MSW, CAPS, JFS Senior Resource Network, Program Manager. Author of: Age in Place: A Guide to Modifying, Organizing and Decluttering Mom and Dad’s Home.

Prepare to Stay Connected – Nov. 8, 2022 – 7-8 p.m.
Learn resources for driving assessments and alternative sources for getting around. Hear about age-friendly communities — utilizing community agencies and resources and building connections. Facilitated by Peggy Osborne, Town of Bethlehem, Seniors Services Coordinator and Jennifer Plouffe, LMSW, JFS NNORC, Program Director.

Prepare for Financial & Legal Matters – Nov. 15, 2022 – 7-8 p.m.
A discussion about the fundamentals of estate planning, powers of attorney and advance directives. Get guidance on important documents and where to store them.
Facilitated by Myles Fischer, Esq., Harris Beach, PLLC, Partner

Prepare to Maintain Health & Wellness – Nov. 22, 2022 – 7-8 p.m.
Learn about age-related health concerns including managing a chronic illness, basic exercise, diet and wellness. Understand various health offerings for 65+ including Medicare and insurance sign-up assistance. Facilitated by Michael L. Wolff, MD, FACP, Community Care Physicians, Internist/ Geriatrician and Jane Sanders, LMSW, Bethlehem Senior Services, Former Executive Director.

Prepare for End of Life – Nov. 29, 2022 – 7-8 p.m.
Hear about palliative care and hospice services offerings.. Get a checklist for what needs to be in place when someone dies, as well as advance funeral preparation and paperwork. Facilitated by Caitlin St. George, The Community Hospice, St. Peter’s Health Partners, Provider Relations Supervisor and Mark Levine, Levine Memorial Chapel, Inc., Owner/Director.

Preparation Age takes place virtually, via Zoom, though people can call in. The series is free, but JFS requests a suggested donation of $10 per session here.

There are three ways to register:

We are grateful to our program sponsors: 

Volunteer Application Part 1

Name(Required)
Nickname
Please indicate your preferred pronouns:(Required)
Address(Required)
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Preferred Method of Communication
Best time(s) to contact:

When is your availability to volunteer? (Please check timeslots that apply.)

Please note: we typically do not ask for volunteer services on Federal and Jewish Holidays.
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
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Which volunteer opportunities interest you?(Required)

Thank you for taking the time to time complete this application. We are committed to provide training, resources, and support to ensure your experience is fulfilling and we value your commitment.

Please Note: All Program Volunteers are required to authorize Jewish Family Services to complete a criminal background check. If there is anything you’d like to discuss privately, please contact Rachel Gershon Rourke.

Volunteers who will be driving clients are required to submit copies of these documents: a valid driver’s license, current automobile registration, declaration page(s) from your automobile insurance, and Department of Motor Vehicle Records Research Authorization. A background check will be obtained of your driving record. You will need to include a witness signature for the permission for the Department of Motor Vehicle check.

Release and Waiver

Consent
Name
MM slash DD slash YYYY

Our Community Volunteer Coordinator will review your application and contact you within one week of your submission.

Please complete this initial registration to be a JFS volunteer. We are so excited to meet you!

Feel free to reach out to our Community Volunteer Coordinator, Rachel Gershon Rourke:
518-722-4980, Ext. 1003 or email Rachel.

Your Name(Required)
Best time(s) to contact you:
Address(Required)

 

This year’s JFS Mensches & Mimosas virtual celebration honored 30 unsung heroes from the Capital Region, who were nominated by partner organizations from the Jewish community for their selfless dedication and leadership. As part of the celebration, Alan Iselin received the JFS Anschel Weiss Community Builders Award for serving humanity with humility.

The virtual celebration included pre-recorded videos of the Honorable Menschen who answered, “What inspires you to be a mensch?” Honorees shared inspiring tales of their organization’s members, leadership and of their volunteerism being passed down from their parents, “It was the Jewish values instilled in me as a child,” said Melanie Hecker from Congregation Ohav Shalom in Albany. Mark Koblenz from Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors spoke about their mensch nominee Neil Manasse who embraces the organization’s core values: honoring your mother and father and performing acts of loving kindness. Ruth Facher Mendel (Congregation Beth Emeth) was interviewed by her daughter Lisa Finkle to whom Ruth passed down the tradition of serving.

Rabbi Scott Shpeen (Congregation Beth Emeth, Albany) presented Alan Iselin the JFS Anschel Weiss Community Builders Award commenting on Alan’s years of leadership in the Albany Jewish community, greater Capital Region and nationally. In accepting the award, Alan Iselin, a JFS board chair in 1966, said he is “dazzled” by the services at JFS and the breadth of their coverage. “This organization has grown, it has added services, and continues to be a wonderful [resource] for the community,” said Iselin.

Several JFS service recipients shared their gratitude to JFS. Rosyln Foote commended JFS Project 5 for giving for helping her maintain her independence by giving her private rides to appointments. Steve Lobel recounted how the JFS Senior Resource Network provided critical resources and support so that he and his sister could move their mother from Florida to Albany after some serious health issues. Lenore Kesten expressed her appreciation for receiving kosher home delivered meals, particularly because she can no longer prepare her own meals.

“Monies raised from Mensches & Mimosas help support and grow JFS services that are provided regardless of an individual’s ability to pay,” said JFS president & CEO Jane Ginsburg. “It is through the generous philanthropic support from our community that helps our programs, and in turn our community, thrive.” JFS support groups, grocery and meal delivery, and senior adult services are just some examples of programs that are provided at little or no cost to recipients.

Here’s where you can watch this year’s celebration:
Watch on the JFS YouTube Channel
Click this Screen

Many Thanks to Our “M&M” Supporters! View them here!

You can still support our honorable menschen and JFS.  Proceeds from this event help support and grow the free services we provide to our community.
  1. Click here to use our online form,
  2. Click here to print a pdf form, or
  3. Call JFS to process your credit card via phone: 518-482-8856
If you have any questions, please call Monica Tan at 518-516-1104 or email mtan@jfsneny.org.
 
 See a list of past Honorable Menschen here.

PROVIDING SUPPORT, SERVICES & RESOURCES FOR OUR COMMUNITY