JF&CS News Fall 2011

Exciting things are happening on the North Shore. Since JF&CS merged with Jewish Family Service of the North Shore in February, and with the guidance and leadership of the North Shore Advisory Committee, the two agencies have worked together closely to centralize program resources and plan for the future.

"We're looking for opportunities for expansion and collaboration within the community to bring new and innovative programming to the North Shore," said Pam Arseneau, LICSW, Director, JF&CS North Shore.

Pam described the first stage of the merger as "logistical." Then the agencies truly came together as JFS programs were integrated with their Waltham counterparts. "We focused on centralizing the programs so it was a seamless process that was invisible to our constituents," she said. "Now it's important to spread the good news about who we are and what we do so that we can open doors to bring in new programming."

JF&CS now seeks to offer programs that weren't previously available on the North Shore. Lauren and Mark Rubin Visiting Moms®, Caring Communities Resource Network, and Parkinson's Family Support are three programs that are laying the groundwork for new services on the North Shore.

Debbie Whitehill, Director of Visiting Moms, and Peggy Kaufman, Director of the Center for Early Relationship Support, are in the exploratory phase of bringing Visiting Moms to the North Shore communities. They have met with staff at the North Shore Federation and the North Shore Jewish Community Center and presented to the North Shore Advisory Committee.

"We are excited to explore bringing our award-winning program to the North Shore," said Peggy.

The Caring Communities Resource Network, with 55 member congregations, supports synagogue efforts to create and sustain caring communities through networking, community-wide trainings, consultations, and conferences.

"With the merger of JF&CS with JFS, I look forward to reaching out to the North Shore synagogues and inviting them to join us," said Marjorie Sokoll, Director of Jewish Life and Healing & Jewish Healing Connections.

In addition to identifying new program opportunities, JF&CS has been busy working on strengthening and enhancing existing programs on the North Shore. The JFS Emergency Assistance Program, which provides financial support for rent, heat, and other basic needs, has been integrated into the Center for Family Assistance (CFA). Recipients of financial assistance who have children under the age of 18 are eligible to receive back to school supplies, summer camp scholarships, and gift cards for the holidays through CFA.

Tamar Moskowitz has joined JF&CS as our Volunteer and Food Coordinator of Family Table, our kosher food pantry. On the North Shore, Family Table operates out of Temple Ner Tamid in Peabody, where every month, 20 to 30 volunteers serve 35 families there. Tamar is working with the community to enhance the nutritional value of the food being offered, giving recipes, and offering more fresh produce.

As we learn about the needs of the North Shore, JF&CS staff continue to reach out to constituents and potential partners alike. We strive to serve our communities with the high-quality services they have come to expect while developing new ways to help them live with independence and dignity.

To get involved in JF&CS programs on the North Shore, please contact Pam Arseneau at 978-741-7878.