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Press Release

Jewish Family & Children’s Service Celebrates 150 Years of Strengthening Families and Changing Lives in Massachusetts
Waltham-Based Organization Provides a Network of Community Care to People in Need Across more than 200 Communities in the Commonwealth

WALTHAM, MA (February 12, 2014) — With the theme of “150 Years of Human Connection,” Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) today kicks off a year of celebration in honor of the organization’s sesquicentennial. JF&CS’ services strengthen families, enhance the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities, and provide a safety net to thousands of people in need.

“This is an exciting time for Jewish Family & Children’s Service as we commemorate this remarkable milestone, and look ahead to the future,” said Rimma Zelfand, Chief Executive Officer. “Serving a community for 150 years means we have been able to successfully respond to the changing needs of the people we serve. Thanks to the countless volunteers and dedicated staff who have come before us, JF&CS has been helping people improve their lives, providing them with the tools and resources to create for themselves a better, more meaningful life.”

Since its humble beginning in 1864 as the United Hebrew Benevolent Association, JF&CS has played an important role in positively affecting the lives of countless people in more than 200 communities in and around Boston. Reflecting its values of social responsibility and concern for all members of the community, JF&CS’ hallmark is to support individuals and families while also providing a sense of hope and dignity. This was never more evident than in the years following World War II, when JF&CS created homes and provided a safe haven for almost 50 adolescent Holocaust survivors so they could rebuild their shattered lives.

Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s mission, based on the Jewish traditions of Tzedakah – or charity – is largely unchanged from its origins. Today, through programs such as Family Table (food pantry), the organization focuses on providing lifelines to help vulnerable people meet their basic needs: feeding their families, heating their homes, keeping roofs over their heads, providing legal support, and much more. In addition, JF&CS also offers an array of programs to support seniors, people with disabilities and their families, and new and high-risk mothers.

“JF&CS is the agency that we depend on to assure that we are indeed a caring community that does not turn away from any who are seeking help,” said Barry Shrage, President of Combined Jewish Philanthropies. “We are so proud to be associated with JF&CS and the great work that it does for the Jewish community and for our neighbors. Boston’s Jewish community is a community with a heart and a primary responsibility to help those most in need and JF&CS is central to this sacred mission.”

JF&CS helps the whole person. This holistic approach allows JF&CS to be creative in its offerings, ensuring a personal level of support for its clients. For example, JF&CS not only provides day programming to people with disabilities, but also offers skills training and employment opportunities. “Through the great generosity of our donors, we are able to reach so many people in Greater Boston,” Zelfand added. “Our hope in this historic year of JF&CS is to expand the compassionate and respectful care we provide for so many in need.”

To learn more about Jewish Family & Children’s Service and its myriad programs, please call 781-647-JFCS, or folow @jfcsboston.

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