JFCS January Newsletter

Happy new year!

Susan Greenbaum, CEO

Dear Friends,

As we begin 2021 with a mixture of hope and anticipation, we say goodbye to a long and challenging year. For Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey (JFCS), 2020 was about adapting and accelerating all of our services instantaneously. Especially during this pandemic crisis, JFCS is serving a fast-growing segment of our community that is vulnerable, some very suddenly, in innumerable ways. We answer every call.

I am so proud of our staff and leadership who are energized, strong and resilient. I am also exceedingly grateful to all of you who have supported us and continue to do so, enabling us to deliver mental health treatment, senior services, emergency and basic needs assistance and food to all who are in need.

We are also grateful to our community partners who help us ensure that our clients’ needs are always met (see Bob’s Story below).

Please know that we are here to help you or anyone you know meet life’s challenges. Just call.

May we all continue to go from strength to strength.

Best wishes for a happy new year,

Susan Greenbaum, CEO

P.S. Look out for a JFCS Community Connection newsletter every two months! Our next one will hit your inbox in March.

A Year of Giving

This year has been a difficult one for many, but rather than feel deflated our community responded with abundant kindness. Our supporters have brought their synagogues, schools, families and friends together to collect food and toiletries for the hungry, buy toys for children, and donate coats to those in need. These acts of tzedaka enabled JFCS to provide over 738 older adults, 638 clinical clients, 525 food pantry households and 120 Re-Launch participants with additional support during these last several months.


Benjamin and Zachary Kushman of Tenafly Kesher Olam for coordinating a coat and winter accessories drive in honor of their Bar Mitzvahs

JCC of Paramus/Congregation Beth Tikvah for donating over 125 bags of food and $1,400 in checks and gift cards to our food pantry. The synagogue also donated toys to be given to our food pantry clients during the holiday season.

Simon Yung who as part of his Eagle Scout project donated 50 handmade “no-sew” tied blankets to the senior citizen clients of JFCS along with a generous donation from his fundraising efforts.

Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls for collecting and donating a variety of different feminine products to the food pantry.

Jessica Pappas who for her Bat Mitzvah project hand-sewed over 35 fleece pillows to be distributed by JFCS to children and seniors in our area.

To organize a donation drive in your community, please call 201-837-9090 or email LindaP@jfcsnnj.org.


Through a generous donation from the Bergen Toy Drive and Flames of Giving JFCS was able to provide holiday gifts to over 400 kids and over 150 families.

One grateful family sent us this message:

I am writing to say thank you to everyone at JFCS for the generous Chanukah gifts! You are all messengers of such wonderful blessings. My kids were so touched and excited to receive the gift that they requested. My older children said, “Who is so nice? Whom should we thank? They were so touched and very appreciative of such heartwarming kindness and generosity. I wish we could reciprocate somehow, so you would know how grateful we all are. May you all be showered with blessings from above for all the beautiful deeds that you do!!! Thank you again.

Bob’s Story

Bob is a 70-year-old divorced man who lives with his developmentally disabled daughter. Two years ago Bob suffered from a stroke which left him with limited mobility and unable to drive. He was assigned a case manager through JFCS. Among the other services his case manager put in place, he and his daughter started to receive Kosher Meals on Wheels (KMOW). The home-delivered meals and a friendly visitor have been a lifeline for Bob and his daughter since they have no other way of preparing nutritious meals every week.

During one of his Case Manager’s regular check-ins, Bob asked if we could help him repair his refrigerator as it didn’t seem to be cold enough to keep the meals frozen. His care manager called a local appliance store to inquire about the cost of repairing the fridge. You can imagine everyone’s delight when the store offered to donate a brand new fridge to Bob. His care manager arranged for food pantry items to be delivered to Bob in order to ensure he and his daughter had enough food while they were waiting for the new refrigerator to be delivered.

The services provided by JFCS; KMOW, care management and the food pantry, with the help of generous donors, have dramatically improved Bob and his daughter’s quality of life. Knowing that he and his daughter will receive nutritious meals every week and have a friendly volunteer check-in on them has enabled Bob and his daughter to remain safely and independently in their own home with the peace of mind that help is only a phone call away.

Thank you!

We would like to thank our 2020-2021 Annual Fund supporters who are continuously lighting the way forward.

Click here to view the list of Annual Fund donors.

Sam and Nina Wolff Caregiver

“But Who Takes Care of You” Series

Since July 2020, the JFCS Sam and Nina Wolff Caregiver Program has been running a series dedicated to caregivers in our community, “But Who Takes Care of You.” The series had its last 2020 zoom event on December 15th with a Chanukah dance party led by Odelia Shargian. We were so fortunate to have a series of amazing speakers and instructors during the last several months. If you missed any of these programs, feel free to watch each of the zoom events on our Youtube channel.