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May 28, 2019
Posted by JF&CS 

Elizabeth of CHAI Works-South volunteering at the Avon Council on Aging.

When Elizabeth, Katherine, and Emily walked in the door at the Council on Aging in Avon, MA, the positive energy was palpable. As the three volunteers made their way through the packed room, they were greeted warmly, in some cases by name, by the older adults in attendance. Before they put on their gloves and got to work serving lunch, the volunteers relished the chance to mingle with the seniors and chat like old friends.

Elizabeth, Katherine, and Emily volunteer at the Council on Aging through CHAI Works-South, a community-based day program for adults with disabilities in Canton offered through Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS). For both CHAI Works participants and Council on Aging attendees, the partnership between the two organizations has been a match made in heaven.

A Natural PartnershipCHAI Works-South volunteers chatting with the Volunteer Coordinator at the Avon Council on Aging.

“It was an instant lovefest,” said Heidi Isler, the Manager of CHAI Works-South. “Seniors sometimes feel like they don’t have enough opportunities to socialize with other people. This can also be a concern for adults with disabilities, which is what makes these two populations such a great match.”

Maryann, a guest at the Council on Aging, always enjoys chatting with Emily when she is volunteering. “Emily is very articulate and charming,” she said. “We share a December birthday. [All of the volunteers] are always so eager to help and always smiling.” Jayne Carthas, the Volunteer Coordinator at the Council on Aging, said that the seniors love when the CHAI Works participants serve lunch and regularly ask her when they’ll be visiting next.

The CHAI Works participants also look forward to volunteering. Bri Nichols, a Program Coordinator for CHAI Works who accompanied the volunteers at the Council on Aging, said, “It’s awesome to see their smiles when we’re at a volunteer site. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a frown.”

Emily of CHAI Works-South volunteering at the Avon Council on Aging.Building Skills for Paid Employment

While volunteering is obviously socially rewarding for CHAI Works participants, it also provides valuable community-integrated work experience. In addition to volunteering and participating in recreational activities in the community, participants attend life-long learning groups ranging from social skills, job skills, self-advocacy, academic skills, health, and the arts. All of the participants in CHAI Works are at least 22 years old, the age when students with disabilities age out of the public school system.

In some cases, CHAI Works participants are able to use the skills they mastered while volunteering to find paid employment. Emily works four days a week serving food at a school in Newton, and Elizabeth just got hired for an administrative role at Babson College in Wellesley. Elizabeth feels confident about starting her new position, in part because volunteering has given her good experience “interacting with people and helping them.”

“It’s not easy work,” said Heidi Isler, referring to serving food. “Volunteers are sometimes on their feet for 2 ½ hours. They’re working the whole time.” Developing a strong work ethic and the resolve to keep plugging along while on the job was key for Elizabeth. Before securing a position at Babson, Elizabeth worked with Pathways to Employment, a sister program of CHAI Works at JF&CS, to shape the “soft,” or general, work skills she would need for any part-time employment.

John Wills, the Director of Employment Programs, said, “Elizabeth came to us with a lot of great skills. She has an incredible personality - very friendly, very personable. Pathways worked with her to increase stamina and problem-solving skills she needed to succeed in the workforce.”

At Babson, Elizabeth will harness her outgoing personality in a position where she will regularly interact with students and visitors. Elizabeth is eager to begin her new job, saying “I can’t wait...It’s going to be awesome!”     

Pride and AppreciationCHAI Works-South volunteers and attendees at the Avon Council on Aging.

After the last of the food had been served at the Council on Aging lunch, Jayne, the Volunteer Coordinator, surprised Elizabeth, Katherine, and Emily with bags of candy as special thank you gifts. The CHAI Works volunteers were clearly thrilled to receive the bags, not just because they were filled with treats, but because they were tokens of sincere appreciation from the Council.

“Volunteering gives the participants a sense of pride,” said Bri, the CHAI Works staff member at the Council on Aging lunch. “It’s a way for them to give back. The experience is all about upholding the dignity of the participants.”

Bri’s sentiments were echoed by Maryann, a senior at the lunch. “[The CHAI Works volunteers] are an example of how everyone can help everyone in whatever capacity they’re able. Everyone thinks it has to be big things, but little things are important too.” 

Whether it was pouring a cup of coffee or just chatting for a few minutes, the power of “little things” was certainly on full display at the Council on Aging lunch.

JF&CS Day Programming and Employment Services create meaningful and fulfilling opportunities for individuals with disabilities to lead productive and integrated lives in their communities and increase their feelings of self-worth and confidence. For more information, visit us online or call 781-647-5327.

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May 23, 2019
Posted by JF&CS

Boston BullPen Project

This article was adapted from the Boston BullPen April Newsletter.

More than a year ago, JF&CS developed a partnership with Boston BullPen Project, a nonprofit that works to identify and fill urgent needs with financial support. Originally planned to be limited to our Schechter Holocaust Services program, it soon became apparent that there were other areas with high client needs where time is often of the essence. So, our partnership with Boston BullPen Project evolved, and BullPen now provides assistance to clients across our programs.

Lora Tarlin, the Director of Schechter Holocaust Services, explained that there are several criteria that JF&CS considers before making a request for help on behalf of a client. It should be a one-time ask and something that allows and empowers the recipient to move on from a difficult situation, to better themselves, to keep their family together, or to ensure that the problem is solved going forward.

BullPen uses much of the same criteria when considering the request and works quickly to make a decision and facilitate a process of payment or other help. Tarlin said BullPen is a unique funder because the requests are usually answered so quickly — which helps to ease our clients’ anxiety.

Filling a Variety of Needs

In the more than year-long partnership with JF&CS, BullPen has fulfilled requests for help with rent, utilities, essential furniture, DACA renewal, driving lessons, and other expenses.

“I think the idea that BullPen will help to give someone a bed or lessons to drive a car or anything that will better their lives is unique,” said Tarlin. “And not many foundations will help within 4 hours’ time!”

One of our clients who received help from BullPen explained the significance of their assistance: 

“My daughter and I have passed through many challenges over the past six years. Every year, our situation improves. Yet, occasionally we encounter a devastating setback. Boston BullPen helped get us get back on track with rent and thereby helped build our landlord's confidence in our ability to pay rent going forward.”

The Chance to Pay it Forward

Every recipient of BullPen’s help also receives a gift card that they can use to “pay it forward” to a friend or family member in need, creating a ripple of philanthropy. Tarlin finds this to be another unique aspect of the partnership.

“The concept of paying it forward is something that empowers our clients,” she said. “It makes them feel good!”

As the partnership between JF&CS and Boston BullPen Project continues to grow, we look forward to facilitating more opportunities for our clients to get the help they need while giving back to others in their community.

Boston BullPen Project recently helped one of our clients after her baby was born prematurely at just 27 weeks. Read Naomi’s story here.

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May 21, 2019
Posted by JF&CS

Lauren E. Rubin, a co-chair for the 2019 Women's Breakfast.

We sat down with Lauren E. Rubin, one of our co-chairs for the 2019 Women’s Breakfast, to learn more about her and her connection to JF&CS.

1. Tell us about your involvement with JF&CS and CERS.

I knew about JF&CS over 30 years ago because my husband was on the Board. At that time, I was working at Gan Yeladim Day Care Center and met Peggy Kaufman and Marion Ross, who started working with one of the families at Gan Yeladim. This was when I learned about a new program Peggy was launching called “Visiting Moms” that would send experienced mothers into the homes of new mothers to offer support. I thought it sounded like an incredible mitzvah and hoped that after I had become a mom I would be able to volunteer as a visiting mom in the community to support others.

2. Tell us about your family.

My husband Mark and I have been married for 30 years. We moved from Boston after 10 years and have lived in Newton ever since. I have two children, Jake, age 26, and Grace, age 23. Jake lives in Somerville and works as a consultant at a health care analytics firm in Boston. Grace lives in Washington D.C. and is a staff assistant for Congressman Brad Sherman of California.

3. What is your favorite JF&CS memory?

So many great memories of JF&CS over the years. Perhaps one of the best was when the office moved from Newton Center to the beautiful building in Waltham. It was a very exciting time for the agency and for all of the volunteers. 

4. What is one piece of parenting advice you’d share with others?

I suppose if I were to choose one piece of parenting advice, it would be to relinquish the idea that you can control things. Often, new parents report feeling like their lives are out of control. They can’t keep up with laundry, work, emails; their baby isn’t napping; their parents are too eager or not available. Trust the unfolding of the experience rather than resist it. Surrender to imperfection. Be a “good enough” parent. Many parents read books, blogs, and advice columns trying to understand and find a sense of control amidst the chaos of raising a child. Learning to let go of the idea that you can control another person or every situation will help ease your mind. You are not alone. Find other parents and share your truth that raising a child is difficult.

5. What is your favorite children’s book?

I loved reading the book Ferdinand with my kids when they were little. He was a calm, peace-loving, unperturbable bull, making him unique among the other bulls. I also loved reading anything by P.D. Eastman and Dr. Seuss because they were pure silliness.

6. What are you most looking forward to about this year’s Women’s Breakfast?

I am looking forward, alongside my wonderful co-chair, Lori Shaer, to celebrating Peggy for her unwavering and innovative support of families and children. It is exciting to have the opportunity to showcase the outstanding work of CERS to our friends in the community.

Join Lauren and many others at this year’s Women’s Breakfast on Thursday, May 30 at the Boston Marriot Newton. Visit our Women’s Breakfast page to learn more.

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May 16, 2019
Posted by JF&CS

A premature baby in the NICU.

One of the greatest strengths of JF&CS as a human services agency is our network of interconnected programs. People often come to us for help with one issue and find that we can assist them in a number of far-reaching ways. The client story below is a great example of how our various programs work together to change lives.

Naomi* and her husband were both working full-time to make ends meet. Baby Anna’s early arrival upended their plans.

Born prematurely at just 27 weeks, Anna spent months in the NICU and then remained on oxygen after being discharged. Naomi was unable to return to work, as Anna could not go to daycare because of her medical needs. With the family relying on just one income, they were struggling to pay their modest mortgage. 

As part of the JF&CS Oliver, Ian, and Serenity Wolk Fragile Beginnings program, Naomi was already receiving emotional support and parental guidance. The JF&CS staff soon saw the family needed additional lifelines as well.

Keeping Their Home

As an initial step, the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support® family resource coordinator did a complete assessment of the family’s situation. The primary need was to find resources to help pay the mortgage until Anna was well enough to go to daycare and Naomi could return to work.

As part of a larger plan to provide a bridge during this challenging time, CERS staff referred the family to JF&CS Emergency Financial Assistance, the Boston Bullpen Project, and Catholic Charities. All three provided financial assistance, which allowed Naomi and her husband to make three months of mortgage payments and prevent foreclosure.

Back on Their Feet

CERS staff also referred the family to JF&CS Bet Tzedek Legal Services, to assist with an issue that had come up with SSI disability benefits for Baby Anna. In addition, JF&CS staff helped to ensure that the family was getting their full SNAP (food stamps) benefits. With the generous support of community donors, Naomi’s clinician was able to bring diapers and gently used clothing for the baby, which freed up money that could go toward the mortgage.

We are happy to report that Baby Anna’s health continues to improve, and Naomi looks forward to returning to work in the near future.     

For an overview of all the programs JF&CS offers, visit our website.                                   

*Client names have been changed to protect their privacy.

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May 14, 2019
Posted by JF&CS

Guests at the 2019 Yom HaShoah lunch organized by Cafe Hakalah.

One might expect a Yom HaShoah event attended by seventy Holocaust survivors to be a somber gathering. Of course, no one understands the significance of Holocaust Remembrance Day more than the people who lived through the horrors of 1933 - 1945. However, the tone of the Yom HaShoah luncheon, a program of Schechter Holocaust Service's Café Hakalah, earlier this month was far from melancholy. While there were moments of serious reflection and sadness, the overarching spirit of the event was one of resilience and optimism.

Held in a beautiful function room in Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline, MA, the Yom HaShoah luncheon was a lively affair. The room buzzed with energy as guests chatted with each other in English, Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and even Spanish. As the guests trickled in, they were greeted with hugs and kisses on the cheek by staff members of JF&CS Schechter Holocaust Services, including Café Hakalah Brookline Manager, Sue Spielman, who organized the event. Café Hakalah hosts monthly gatherings for survivors, so recurring guests get to know one another and the event organizers.

“We love to see our friends,” said Elizbeth Sosman, one of the guests at the Yom HaShoah luncheon. Her sentiments were echoed by Bert and Helen Katz, who said, “being with Jews and being with others,” were their favorite parts of attending Café Hakalah events.

“A Prayer, a Promise, a Vow”

Two guests at the 2019 YomHaShoah event organized by Cafe Hakalah.Once all the guests had arrived, Lora Tarlin, the Director of Schechter Holocaust Services, welcomed everyone to the event and delivered thoughtful remarks about Holocaust Remembrance Day. “The observance of Yom HaShoah,” said Tarlin, “reminds us of the importance of Jewish Peoplehood.”

Reflecting on the recent attack on the synagogue in Poway, California, Tarlin noted that the difference between today and 1940s Europe is “this time we have a close partnership with the local and federal law enforcement...they stand behind us and protect us.” Tarlin’s words were repeated in Russian by a translator, Stella Pasternak, to ensure that the guests, many of whom hail from the former Soviet Union, could follow along.

Quoting the late Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Tarlin said, “Never again becomes more than a slogan: It’s a prayer, a promise, a vow.” Many survivors nodded and repeated, “Never again,” as Sue Spielman lit a memorial candle in honor of the six million Jewish people who perished during the Holocaust.

Wonderful Volunteers

After the ceremony, the guests looked from the past to the future as preschoolers from Kehillath Israel arrived to sing songs in Hebrew and English. The faces of the guests lit up as the children sang, “Turn to your neighbor and say shalom!”

The luncheon food was served by a group of outgoing volunteers, many of whom belonged to the Harvard Hillel and the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishing company.

Matt, a sophomore at Harvard University, explained that he runs the Tikkun Olam programming at Hillel, and he came across the Café Hakalah luncheon online. “This seemed like a cool opportunity to get involved,” said Matt. “Helping survivors is something that is important to Jewish people of all denominations.”

Jackie, a volunteer with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, was also excited to help out at the luncheon. “This is a really unique experience; something we typically don’t get to do,” she said. “We have a partnership with JF&CS, and this is our third consecutive year volunteering.”

Preserving Memories, Enjoying Today 

A table of guests at the 2019 Yom HaShoah luncheon organized by Cafe Hakalah.This year, Café Hakalah offered guests at the Yom HaShoah luncheon a special treat - the opportunity to get a free portrait taken by a professional photographer. Nicole O’Connor of Shanachie Studios graciously volunteered her services, recreating a studio setting in a corner of the room.

The portraits were a big hit with the guests, who flocked to the photo station in droves. In a few weeks, everyone who sat for a portrait will receive a complimentary, framed picture from the event. “We are so thrilled to be able to offer portraits to our guests,” said Sue Spielman. “It just makes people feel special to have their picture taken, and Nicole has such a great rapport with everyone.”

The portraits were a natural fit for the Yom HaShoah lunch because they perfectly encapsulated the theme of the event - remembering the past while living in the present. Seventy survivors gathered at Temple Kehillath Israel to commemorate the tragedy of the Holocaust, but also to enjoy being with each other, being with their community, in the here and now.

Tania Lefman, one of the guests at the Yom HaShoah luncheon, said it best, “I love bonding with my people. I am still alive, and it makes me feel good to come here.” 

To learn more about our monthly gatherings for Holocaust survivors in Marblehead, Brookline, and Worcester, visit our Café Hakalah page. For questions about Café Hakalah Brookline, please contact Sue Spielman at 781-693-5659 or

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May 10, 2019

Posted by JF&CS

Lori Shaer, 2019 Women's Breakfast Co-Chair

We sat down with Lori Shaer, one of our co-chairs for the 2019 Women’s Breakfast, to learn more about her and her connection to JF&CS. 

1. Tell us about your involvement with JF&CS and CERS.

My family and I have been involved with JF&CS for years. It started with volunteering at Family Table when our children were very young, as my husband and I greatly appreciated the “hands-on” work our children could do to pack and deliver groceries.

As for CERS, I have served as a committee member for a number of years with the Women’s Breakfast, and I am honored to be co-chairing the breakfast this year with Lauren E. Rubin.

2. Tell us about your family.

I have a wonderful husband, Jon, and we have a 16-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter. We also have a dog, Lucy.

3. What is your favorite JF&CS memory?

One favorite JF&CS memory is the first time my family volunteered with Family Table and we witnessed what a well-oiled process it was. Also, volunteering at this past year’s Friendly Visitor Chanukkah Celebration was very special.

4. What is one piece of parenting advice you would share with others?

Celebrate each stage and each age when raising children, as they all come with different challenges and rewards.

5. What is your favorite children’s book?

My favorite children’s book is The Little Engine That Could.

6. What are you most looking forward to about this year’s Women’s Breakfast?

I am most looking forward to honoring [CERS Director] Peggy Kaufman and celebrating the visionary she is and the heart that she gives to everything she does.

Join Lori and many others at this year’s Women’s Breakfast on Thursday, May 30 at the Boston Marriot Newton. Visit our Women’s Breakfast page to learn more. 

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April 30, 2019
Posted by JF&CS

Someone doing accounting work on a calculator and a laptop.

JF&CS Employment Services helps match job seekers with disabilities with community employers that align with their personal interests and skill set. Read on to learn about a recent match we made between one of our participants and a Boston accounting firm.

In June 2018, a representative from Matson, Driscoll & Damico Forensic Accountants attended the JF&CS Business Advisory Committee Employer Engagement Breakfast. The representative from the firm left the event feeling inspired and brought information from the breakfast back to his team. They expressed similar enthusiasm toward the idea of partnering with JF&CS and employing one of our participants.

The team at MDD then had multiple discussions and meetings with the Director of Employment Services to go over their employment needs, provide a sense of their office environment, and develop a job description based on these initial conversations. The Director of Employment Services and Employment Specialists then utilized the information gathered during these discussions to identify a candidate that matched the needs of the firm.

Making the Match

At the same time, we were working with a participant who had a strong skill set and interest in math, computers, and working in an office environment in downtown Boston, so we were quick to share basic information about the job with this participant, and he was very enthusiastic about the opportunity. Once we had an interested candidate that we felt would be a good fit, our team assisted in setting up an interview and supported both our participant and the staff at the firm throughout this process. The interview took place in early November, and our participant was offered a job on the spot.

Before the job began, we provided some training to the team working with our participant to give them some background, tools for effectively working with/teaching our participant, basic disability etiquette information, and opportunities to ask questions. We also worked with our participant and his family to prepare for the new schedule, train for traveling to and from work, and train for the family's need to report earnings to Social Security.

A Great Fit

When the job started, our participant was provided with intensive job coaching to support his training, solidify his role, and help to develop relationships and natural supports within the firm. Since intentional and systematic effort was put into developing the role and making sure that our participant was a good fit, the intensive supports were able to fade quickly and our participant was offered the opportunity to work an additional shift each week after just two months.

This employer/employee match continues to be a great success, with satisfaction being consistently reported by both. The participant's mother even wrote the Employment Services team to thank them for finding her son “the job of his dreams.” The office manager at the firm also shared her experience with another business located in downtown Boston, and JF&CS has started the process of partnering with this new business as well.

JF&CS Employment Services provides person-centered support so people with disabilities can succeed in independent competitive employment. For more information, visit our Employment Services page.

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April 19, 2019
Posted by Kim Creem

The Creem family with bags for Family Table.

JF&CS Board member Kim Creem, who sits on the Center for Basic Needs Assistance Advisory Council, shares the story of her family’s longstanding connection to Family Table.

When our kids, Jacob (now 17) and Lily (now 15), were in Temple Emanuel Preschool, we vividly remember being given a brown grocery bag with a stapled sheet of paper on it. Each month, the sheet would ask for a different type of food: raisins, crackers, pasta, canned vegetables, etc.

The kids filled the bags from our pantry each month with the specific food requested. If we did not have those items, we would shop for them together at the store, making sure always to fill our bags to bring back to school. These bags would then be taken to Family Table, the kosher food pantry offered through JF&CS.

In addition to donating items through Temple Emanuel Preschool, we also took our children to deliver groceries for Family Table as volunteers, a tradition we have maintained for more than 12 years. We have always delivered food to one specific apartment building in Brookline - housing mostly immigrants, elderly people, and Holocaust survivors – all of whom can’t get out on their own to shop.

When we deliver groceries for Family Table, we are sometimes providing these recipients with their only access to nutritious food, along with Jewish ritual items such as challah and Shabbat candles. However, one of the aspects of Family Table that we appreciate the most is that this program does not only serve Jewish clients. Family Table provides healthy food on a monthly and emergency basis to individuals and families in need, regardless of color, race, background, or religion.

We have found delivering to Family Table clients to be the purest form of actively making a difference in someone’s life and providing a lifeline to people in need. When elderly clients open the door to their homes and welcome us in with groceries, the look on their faces is one of gratitude. There is one couple that we have been delivering to for years who have given the kids a small bag of candy each time we visit. It is the smallest token of appreciation from them, but it shows the profound gratefulness that they feel.  

We have always taught our children the importance of tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of doing acts of kindness to repair the world. Family Table has shown us the true meaning of giving back through hands-on community engagement. The act of bringing food - the nutrients that sustain us - to someone’s table is so simple, yet so profound.  

If you would like to volunteer at a Family Table food distribution, please fill out one of our application forms: Waltham Application, North Shore Application, South Area Application. A schedule of upcoming distribution days can be found here

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April 12, 2019
Posted by JF&CS

Attendees of the Parkinson’s Awareness Day event at the Massachusetts State House.
Attendees of the Parkinson’s Awareness Day event at the Massachusetts State House, sponsored for the fifth year by the Honorable Diana DiZoglio, State Senator representing the 1st Essex District.

We are excited to announce that Ken Bernstein, a longtime member of the JF&CS Tremble Clefs choral group, has been honored with the 2019 Cindy Lyn Moir Outstanding Achievement Award. This annual award is given by the Massachusetts Parkinson's Disease Advocates, an offspring of the Michael J. Fox Foundation's Public Policy arm, to recognize an individual for dedication to the Parkinson’s community. The award was officially presented on April 11, 2019, World Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Day, at the Massachusetts State House. 

Ken Bernstein, who lives in the Boston area with his supportive wife Gail, has spent decades as a pioneering advocate for those with Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s as a young man, Ken founded the first support group in New England for those with young onset PD and started a Parkinson’s newsletter playfully titled “Young and Restless.” In addition to working in New England to build a stronger affiliation among people dealing with the challenges of young onset PD, Ken also reached out to groups in other countries facing the same problems. 

In 1985, Ken made history when he launched The Parkinson’s Web, the first web-based comprehensive information resource for people living with Parkinson’s disease. With support from Dr. Anne Young, Chief of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and IT technical assistance from John Lester, Ken helped provide valuable information about Parkinson’s to people all around the world. Other key contributors to The Parkinson’s Web included Boston University professor Terri Ellis, Harvard Medical School professor Peter T. Lansbury, Boston Medical Center nurse Cathi Thomas, Dr. Marie Saint-Hilaire, and Dr. Robert Feldman.

Ken served on the board of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, which awarded him the Community Service Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 in recognition of his many contributions to supporting individuals with Parkinson’s, their families, healthcare providers, and scientists.

Along with his advocacy work, Ken said that he has been able to keep a positive attitude by singing with the JF&CS Tremble Clefs, a weekly choral group in Newton for those living with Parkinson’s disease. Ken said that joining the Tremble Clefs allowed him to feel that he could be “more accepting and comfortable [with PD]…I thought, ‘these are my brothers and sisters,’ and so it went from being a negative to a positive.” Marilyn Neault, a fellow Tremble Clefs singer, said that Ken is well known in the group “for his creativity and his mischievous wit.” 

Marilyn Okonow, the volunteer conductor of the Tremble Clefs, agrees that Ken has been a tremendous asset to the group, saying, “Not only does Ken share with us his incredible sense of humor and brilliant mind; the fact that he has been living with Parkinson’s for so long and retains his positive outlook on life despite his health challenges is an inspiration to us all. He is a beloved member of our Tremble Clefs family.”

Everyone at JF&CS joins Marilyn Okonow and the Tremble Clefs in extending a heartfelt congratulations to Ken for receiving the Cindy Lyn Moir Award and for his remarkable work in the Parkinson’s community.
The Tremble Clefs choral group is part of the Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson’s Family Support program of JF&CS. Specializing in helping those with Parkinson’s live full lives, our program provides arts-based therapeutic activities, education, resources, and a supportive community.

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April 4, 2019
Carl Zack, Governor Baker, Lauren Baker, and the Creem and Simes families at the JF&CS Benefit 2019.

On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, Jewish Family & Children's Service gathered for an evening of celebration and support at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. JF&CS raised more than $700,000 to sustain the critical work of our programs. 

The Honorable Charlie Baker and Lauren Baker joined us again this year. The Governor's heartfelt remarks included his thoughts on JF&CS's impact on the Commonwealth. "The strength and the power of the JF&CS commitment are truly special -- the compassion and empathy that this community brings to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are incredibly powerful. We really appreciate all of the work that you do, and all of the effort that you make to create a better Commonwealth. You are truly a great treasure," he said.

Guests enjoyed a spirited reception-style evening featuring a memorable and inspiring program that underscored the myriad ways we are all part of the JF&CS community. As volunteers, program participants, clients, donors, and event guests, we are all treasured members of the JF&CS family.

Our programs have continued to strengthen, and we collaborate both internally and with our partner agencies to make a difference in the lives of the families we serve. 

Event support is just a portion of the resources needed to propel our mission forward. We thank you for all you have done to help us make a significant difference in the lives of those we serve.

Below, you can watch a moving video featuring our clients, staff members, and collaborators that premiered at the Benefit:   

To see photos from the event, check out our Facebook album

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