News

We are delighted to once again partner with our Jewish community organizations for our 5th Annual Mensches & Mimosas, but with a twist. This year, we’re featuring our 31 more honorees throughout April (National Volunteer Month) on our website and socials (Facebook and Instagram). Come and watch videos about what inspired them to volunteer.
 

We encourage you to make a tribute gift to JFS in honor of your favorite mensch(en). Donate online here or call 518-516-1102.

Proceeds help support and grow the free services we provide to our community.

2024 HONORALE MENSCHEN 

This slideshow includes short blurbs as to why community organizations nominated their mensch(en).

Nancy Allen
DAUGHTERS OF SARAH COMMUNITY FOR SENIORS

Zakhar Berkovich
HILLEL AT UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY

Kenneth H. Carpenter
CONGREGATION AGUDAT ACHIM

Karen Davda
TEMPLE ISRAEL

Annette Farkas
CHEVRA KADISHA OF THE CAPITAL DISTRICT

Bob & Lauren Finkle
SHALOM FOOD PANTRY

Linda Gellman
CONGREGATION BETH SHALOM

Sally Goldberg
B’YACHAD COLLABORATIVE RELIGIOUS SCHOOL

Michelle Gomez
Bess Wadler
HEBREW ACADEMY OF THE CAPITAL DISTRICT

Scott Hollander
ALBANY JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER

Daniel & Tammie Kaufman
CLIFTON PARK CHABAD

Shayna Kudan
B’NOS ISRAEL MIKVAH

Susan Kushner (z”l)
CONGREGATION BETH EMETH

Daniella Steinberg Lans
MAIMONIDES HEBREW DAY SCHOOL

Linda & Dana Mandel
CONGREGATION OHAV SHALOM

Neal Packer
SCHENECTADY JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER

Larry & Clara Sanders
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES OF NORTHEASTERN NEW YORK

Alex J. Shoenbart
COLONIE CHABAD CHAI LIFE CENTER

Howie & Bettina Stoller
B’NAI SHOLOM REFORM CONGREGATION

Ellen & Stan Strauss
CONGREGATION GATES OF HEAVEN

Phyllis A. Wang
JEWISH FEDERATION OF NORTHEASTERN NEW YORK

Karl Yesse
CONGREGATION BERITH SHOLOM

Here is a list of previous Mensches & Mimosas honorees.

What happened in 1854?

When Franklin Pierce was the U.S. President, before the Civil War and 22 years before the telephone was invented…
JFS began serving our community.
In 1854, a group of like-minded, compassionate individuals saw a great need among newly arriving immigrants — housing, food, and support — to settle and adjust to their new life in the Albany area.
170 years later, JFS still embraces this legacy of adapting and responding to the changing needs in the community.
We are just as committed today as our founders were in 1854.
This year, we will celebrate our 170th community-wide. Throughout the year, we will tell stories of serving generations of individuals and families. And we’ll continue to honor our present-day heroes.
Join us in celebrating 170 years in our community!

 

As the details of the shooting in front of Temple Israel in Albany unfold, we at Jewish Family Services of NENY applaud the Albany Police, Mayor Sheehan and Governor Hochul for their swift response and leadership.
There is no place for hate of any kind in the NNORC, the Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, the City of Albany, or anywhere in the United States. JFS is actively working to combat anti-Semitism, racism, and hatred of any kind, and envisions a safe, supportive, resilient community — for our older adults, and all of our neighbors.
JFS is here to support people of all backgrounds in our community.
Please call 518-482-8856 or email info@jfsneny.org.

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:
JFS continues to be the community’s source for healing. As you make your plans for year-end giving, please help JFS achieve our mission to help enrich the lives of individuals, families and our community.

Thank you!

 

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

  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, 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.

Apply online here.

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 

518-482-8856 • info@jfsneny.org • jfsneny.org

 

 

Exciting News!

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:

518-516-1115 or csimon@jfsneny.org

 

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.

MENSCH HONOREES

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.
Support your mensch at JFS online HERE or print the sponsorship form HERE

 

We are delighted to once again partner with our Jewish community institutions for our 4th Annual Mensches & Mimosas, adding 30 more honorees to our group of community champions!
Click HERE to see why our community organizations nominated their mensch.

As part of this celebration, we will present the JFS Anschel Weiss Community Builders Award to Marvin A. Freedman for his lifetime commitment to serving humanity with humility.

We encourage you to 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 download a printable form
  3. Call JFS to process your credit card via phone: 518-516-1102
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.

 

 

 

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

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.

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. 

 

 

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. 

Responsibilities include:  

  • 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. 

Requirements include: 

  • 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 

Background 

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:
mtan@jfsneny.org
jginsburg@jfsneny.org

PROVIDING SUPPORT, SERVICES & RESOURCES FOR OUR COMMUNITY