Volunteer Services

18December

Artists Collective – IndependenceWorks

Artists Collective – IndependenceWorks


On Thursday, December 13, 2018, JF&CS held an introductory meeting for the IndependenceWORKS Artists Collective. This new initiative aims to bring the innate love of arts and crafts to clients in the IndependenceWORKS Program. Volunteers ranging from professional art therapists to local hobbyists will lead monthly art projects for the clients.

The mission of IndependenceWORKS aims to help clients, who have a variety of intellectual and developmental disabilities to stay active and integrate in the Atlanta community. The Artists Collective is a new stride with one-hour projects that can vary from painting, to food decorating to tie dying and more. The clients are already excited to get started – with Broadway fans and talkative enthusiasts; the new activity is a bright spot they are looking forward to. Like everyone, they’re ready to express themselves.

The Collective’s first meeting started with short introductions, not only between the volunteers and staff, but an overview of the clients that they would be working with. While IndependenceWORKS clients have a variety of limitations, each art project will have a straightforward baseline – larger tools and nontoxic mediums so everyone, no matter what, can take part in the fun. While one client may work faster than another, or one may have trouble gripping a paintbrush, this criterion means no matter the disability they can all enjoy each art project. Each of them can see their hard work pay off.

The Artists Collective is hoping to fill a calendar with events; click here to learn more.

Posted in Volunteer Services

30October

Mitzvah Day 2018 A Huge Success

13 Community Service Projects with Over 200 Volunteers across the City

Mitzvah Day 2018 A Huge Success
On Sunday, October 28th, Jewish Family & Career Services celebrated Mitzvah Day. Mitzvah Day is one of the largest Jewish Community Service Days in Atlanta. There were 13 community service projects with over 200 volunteers taking place across the city.

Dwell with DignityIn light of the horrible tragedy that happened on Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, it was amazing to see the Jewish community come together and unite to make Atlanta a better city.

We had many great projects on Mitzvah Day. A group of young professionals from our VIA (Volunteers in Action) program volunteered at Dwell with Dignity. They re-painted furniture and sorted donations to help take families from homelessness and poverty to self-sufficiency.
The Phoenix 1
Another group of VIA participants planted 1,000 daffodils here at JF&CS in our Daffodil Garden with Holocaust Survivors, in memory of the 1.5 million children that perished in the Holocaust.

In our Families Inspired to Serve (FITS) program, a group of volunteers played Bingo and schmoozed with the residents of the Breman Jewish Home. A volunteer exclaimed that "my kids had a blast we loved every second. I would like to ask if we can volunteer anytime anywhere."

Mitzvah Day Food SortAt another FITS project, volunteers sorted food from Operation Isaiah to help to fully stock our Kosher food pantry.

Thank you to the Mitzvah Day Co-Chairs, Lauren Olens & Allison Lerer and our Mitzvah Day Committee for helping make the event a huge success!

Posted in Volunteer Services

26August

Helping Others Help Themselves

Helping Others Help Themselves
On August 5th, Volunteers in Action, the Young Professionals Volunteer Group of JF&CS, gathered 15 volunteers to help the Zaban Paradies Center prepare for new residents.

Together, our next generation of mensches decorated rooms and stocked them with supplies – so that the new residents could enter a place not only of safety, but also of care and warmth.

The Zaban Paradies Center assists couples transitioning from homelessness to resettlement and independence by providing shelter, basic necessities and counseling services. While living at Zaban Paradies Center, residents receive the services needed to achieve independence and become contributing members of our Atlanta community.

Posted in Volunteer Services

26August

Shelly Schwartzenfeld: An Angel in Action

Shelly Schwartzenfeld: An Angel in Action

Loyal. Generous. Nurturing. Kind. Patient. An Angel.

Shelly is known as all these things and more – including being a truly devoted volunteer.

For three years (and counting!), Shelly has been creating true bonds of friendship through our important and very successful program, One Good Deed.

During her time volunteering with us, Shelly has also been a phone volunteer (calling and chatting with many who just ‘need an ear,’) and continues to go above and beyond for the families and older adults with whom she works.

Oh, and did we also mention that Shelly has now offered to volunteer her remaining free time to the Kosher Food Pantry of JF&CS?! 

Thank you, Shelly! You are an angel indeed.


Posted in Volunteer Services

26August

Need Help? Give Robin a Call.

Image of Robin Brill
At JF&CS, we say, “… it starts with a call.”  And when someone needs help, and when they take the first hard step of reaching out, one of our intake volunteers is there to answer the call. 
 
One of those intake volunteers is Robin Brill.  And we sincerely thank her for her compassion and dedication.
 
A graduate of the Kay Family Tools for Leaders program, Robin has been volunteering with JF&CS for over eight years.  She began her work with us by spearheading a new program that allowed volunteers to do the clinical intake process – freeing up clinicians to serve more clients. 
 
Now, Robin knows everything there is to know about our full range of Clinical Services, and she is definitely here to help!
 
Robin says she’s inspired by the work she does because she can help change people’s lives for the better.
 
We’re inspired by Robin.

Posted in Volunteer Services

25May

Volunteer of the Month: Leah Henderson

Brain Health Bootcamp Superhero

Leah Henderson has been volunteering with Brain Health Boot Camp since it began in February of this year.  Brain Health Boot Camp is for individuals who have recently been diagnosed or are recognizing symptoms of early memory loss.  The program emphasizes memory enhancement through cognitive stimulation, physical exercise, education, and socialization.

Leah volunteers with the program because she says her heart is focused on helping families with a loved one living with dementia.  “It is a tough road.  People need support and they need guidance”.  Leah took care of both of her parents for 20 years and feels connected, experienced and educated to offer support to others.  She considers it a privilege to volunteer with the program and says Brain Health Boot Camp is beyond her expectations.  She wishes it had been available for her parents because she says it may have helped delay the progression of their illnesses. 

In addition to volunteering at JF&CS, Leah also volunteers as a speaker for educational programs at the Alzheimer’s Association.

For more information about the Brain Health Boot Camp please email Georgia Gunter at ggunter@jfcsatl.org.

Posted in Aviv Older Adult Services, Volunteer Services

02April

Gwen Weiss - IDD Volunteer with Flair

Gwen Helping IDD client

Food is life. For adults with disabilities, however, eating and preparing healthy, balanced dishes is tough. 

At Independence WORKS the goal is to help individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities engage in activities that promote independence and improved quality of life. One such activity that is very popular among the attendees are cooking classes - but not just ordinary cooking classes - Adaptive Cooking with Gwen Weiss.

Gwenn Weiss is a private chef who volunteers her time every other Thursday morning with the clients at IndependenceWORKS.

Gwenn develops healthy, adapted recipes that she cooks with our clients. She combines a live cooking show with an interactive class that IndependenceWORKS clients look forward to and thoroughly enjoy.


Gwen IDD 2
Gwenn makes sure to involve every client, no matter the ability. Gwenn develops our clients’ independent living skills as well as their leisure skills with her skill-appropriate cooking classes. When recipes are too advanced, Gwenn Weiss adapts the recipes and creates cooking lessons to adapt to the needs of participants.

For example, we have some clients that only have use of one hand, so Gwenn makes sure to set up specific adapted tasks with that client in mind (ie using special chopping tools/techniques, larger spoons for stirring).

Gwenn makes sure to have every recipe be something clients can make at home and also something that is healthy!

Gwen Cooking Demonstration
Healthy eating is especially important for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Gwen is such an amazing volunteer for ensuring that adults with IDD have the same access to food preparation and healthy eating as anyone else. Thanks, Gwen! 

Posted in Developmental Disabilities Services, Volunteer Services

20February

Brunch with Holocaust Survivors Bridges Generations

55 survivors gathered with young adults to break bread and talk.

Holocaust Brunch
Holocaust survivors and young adults in their 20’s and 30’s spent quality time together at a recent intergenerational brunch. The event, a collaboration between JF&CS’ Holocaust Survivor Services, JF&CS’ VIA, and the MJCCA Young Adults division, took place for the second year in a row at the MJCCA. Holocaust survivors and young adults enjoyed good conversation and delicious food as they learned about each other’s lives, and we even celebrated a survivor’s 89th birthday at the event!

The brunch started as a collaborative event between JF&CS Holocaust Survivor Services, MJCCA Young Adults, VIA program. We jointly run it together. Survivors and participants get to bond and forge intergenerational relationships and learn about each other's lives.

Want to get involved? Learn more

Posted in Aviv Older Adult Services, Volunteer Services

14February

Volunteer of the Month - Gary Froug

Gary celebrates 1 year of volunteering with JF&CS

Gary Froug JF&CS Volunteer of the MonthGary Froug began volunteering for the Intelectual and Developmental Disabilities Services department in February of 2017. 

Gary is married with two children, a daughter who has recently graduated from college and a son who is currently in college. 

Gary learned about JF&CS through a chance encounter with Rabbi Beiner in 2015. 

In the summer of 2016, he reached out to our Careers department for assistance in a job search.  He and his daughter both attended several Careers workshops and developed relationships with the staff here.

Later, Gary contacted our Volunteer Coordinator, Meredith Lefkoff, to offer his time to any administrative needs the agency may have.

Gary currently volunteers in our office nine hours a week assisting in a variety of tasks including but not limited to auditing client files, confirming service documentation for Medicaid compliance, and managing our staff certifications records.  He also assists us with various financial documentation, drawing on his background in the financial sector. 

Each of our programs benefits from his time and all of our managers and coordinators enjoy seeing Gary in the office.  He took a small hiatus over the holiday months and we are all very glad he is back with us again on his regular schedule. 

Gary is now semi-retired, but open to freelance contract work.  He enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, running, and helping his daughter care for her new puppy (an exhausting but rewarding job).

Gary shared the following reasons that he enjoys volunteering for JF&CS:

1.     Belief in our organization
2.     Sense of giving back/paying forward
3.     The feeling that he is contributing to and making a difference in our department
4.     The appreciation he receives from the JF&CS staff.

Posted in Developmental Disabilities Services, Volunteer Services

05December

Volunteer of the Month: Marcia Pearl

Why I Volunteer

Why I Volunteer - Marcia Pearl

“Volunteering has given me an opportunity for “Tikkun Olam”; I am helping JFCS to repair the greater Atlanta community.

Marcia Pearl JF&CS Volunteer of the MonthI have the best of two worlds. I am an Intake volunteer, where I have the joy of being part of a team that helps individuals who face significant impacts in their lives such as: loss of a job, mental health crises or indigence.

I am also a Chaplaincy volunteer, where I see to the spiritual needs of individuals in residential facilities or hospitals, and try to bring hope and solace.

According to the London School of Economics in a study of volunteerism, the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Another study in the Journal of Gerontology found that people who volunteer have less risk of dementia, and those that volunteer over 100 hours per year live longer and have better health outcomes.

So, in return for a handful of hours, I gain happiness, brains elasticity, longevity and good health. But, best of all is the chance to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Rabbi Judith Beiner, Community Chaplain, said, “Marcia brings her warmth, compassion and gracious presence to patients and individuals she visits through Bikkur Cholim.  She indeed spreads smiles and sunshine!”

Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

05December

Community Spotlight - Daffodil Project

Am Yisrael Chai Daffodil Project

On November 19, VIA Young Professionals of JF&CS, volunteers from Am Yisrael Chai and JF&CS staff helped members of our Holocaust Survivors Support program, to create a daffodil garden, as part of Am Yisrael Chai's Daffodil Project. The Daffodil Project was created in remembrance of children who were lost in the Holocaust.

Daffodil PlantingWith their help, we planted 850 bulbs and lay two rows of stones, painted with the names of children lost in the Holocaust. Thanks to all the volunteers for all your help!

Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

19October

Volunteers of the Month

Thank you Caryn and Lauren 2017 Mitzvah Day Chairs!

Thank you so much to our VIA Mitzvah Day Chairs Caryn Murillo and Lauren Olens for a highly successful Mitzvah Day! This duo worked hard to set up projects and make sure that everything ran smoothly the day-of. Young Adults and Families participated in 7 Mitzvah Day Projects around Atlanta and made hope and opportunity happen for so many people!

Our Mitzvah Day Chairs wanted to share why they participate in Mitzvah Day:

Caryn -  I participate in mitzvah day because it's a great opportunity to give back to the Atlanta community. It's exciting to know that so many others are volunteering at the same time as me and that together, we're making a big difference for so many people.

Lauren -  I really enjoy getting to see everyone participate in all types of community service projects, because my friends may sign up for completely different ones than I would choose, yet we can learn about all of them at the end of the day. It's a fun day for all the young adults to come together, enjoy themselves, and more importantly, make a larger impact.

Posted in Volunteer Services

19October

Community Spotlight: Mitzvah Day Partners

Thank you to all of our Project Partner Organizations! These groups helped market and recruit for 10 of our Mitzvah Day projects!

Project Partners:

Moishe House Buckhead

The Sixth Point

Congregation Gesher L’Torah

Eternal-Life Hemshech

Holocaust Survivor Support Fund

JF&CS PAL Program

JF&CS FITS (Families Inspired to Serve)

Congregation Etz Chaim Young Adults

Temple Sinai ATID

MJCCA Young Adults

Young Israel of Toco Hills

Our partners have some great things coming up over the next couple of months. Click below for more information

Posted in Volunteer Services

27September

Volunteers of the Month

Three friends gather weekly in the Kosher Food Pantry

Although there are many wonderful volunteers who occasionally serve in the kosher food pantry, there are three consistently dedicated ladies: Merrie Weiss, Karen Schultz, and Fran Keller. For the past year, these ladies have shown up faithfully every Monday to help sort the generous donations in the JF&CS food pantry. All are former teachers and still feed the need to give. 

KFP volunteersWhen asked why she volunteered, Merrie said, “This is what makes us feel good. It is so nice to give people in-need something they can use.”

Karen agreed. “I enjoy knowing I am making a difference. I have also made new friends. It gives me a bit of a schedule, to know I need to be here each week,” she said.

The Kosher Food Pantry is an invaluable resource of healthy kosher food items for people in need. Instead of spending money on food, clients can use limited funds to pay utilities or other household needs. Donations for the food pantry come from several wonderful organizations and in-kind donations. The pantry relies on volunteers who work hard sorting and inspecting the donations to make sure that they are suitable to be eaten according to a healthy and Kosher diet. Fresh produce is donated to the Kosher Food Pantry from David Skoke and his team at Helping Feed Atlanta. In addition, vegetables grown in the giving garden are also available to Kosher Food Pantry recipients. 

“We are careful to make sure the dates are current and that all food has the right kosher symbol. I like to organize the shelves and make sure everything is space-efficient,” said Fran.

The volunteers make sure the Kosher Food Pantry is in tip-top shape and make it easier to find necessary items.

"We have a lot of clients with low-sodium diets,” said Geriatric Care Manager, Debbi Dooley. Dooley helps clients fill their baskets with healthy, nutrition food. She delights when finding certain foods in the panty. 

"We need non-sweetened cereal, canned salmon, quinoa, ready-cooked rice. Extra sources of protein are very important to these clients’ diets. These wonderful ladies help us to make the Kosher Food Pantry a comfortable place to get assistance” she said.

While the pantry stocks only Kosher certified foods, anyone who needs help is welcome. 

To find out more about the Kosher Food Pantry, including a list of needed items, visit www.jfcsatl.org/kfp

Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

25September

Tritt Leadership Program Reunion a Success!

Tritt 3

On Sunday, August 13th VIA held its annual reunion for alumni of the Ramie A. Tritt Family Foundation Volunteers In Action Leadership Program. Graduates and their guests along with JF&CS staff spent a fun afternoon at Lake Lanier playing human bingo, swimming, exploring the lake and more. Thank you to Joyce and Ramie Tritt for opening their home and hosting! We look forward to many more years of the program, future reunions and continuing education and leadership events.

Tritt 2The Ramie A. Tritt Family Foundation Volunteers In Action Leadership Program is community service-based volunteer leadership program that provides participants with hands-on experiences and connects them with prominent leaders in Atlanta. It focuses on being active in the community and exploring how community service and philanthropy can help participants develop as a leader. The program runs annually from January to May.  Applications will be available November 2017.

This program is made possible by Joyce and Ramie Tritt and their extended families. Thank you for all your support! 

Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

15September

Community Spotlight: Helping Feed Atlanta

Helping Feed Atlanta Spreads Love and Food Across Atlanta

Have you ever wondered what happens to all of the produce at Whole Foods at the end of the day? Does it get thrown out, used for compost, or do employees throw elaborate dinner parties after hours? In February 2012, David Skoke helped answer that question by reaching out to his local Whole Foods Market. What started out as a request for 40 pounds of potatoes, has now grown into an operation that feeds thousands of the homeless and Atlantans in-need.

In just five years, the project has grown from one market to five different Whole Foods markets and three Costco locations. Helping Feed Atlanta collects over 30,000 pounds of food every month with the help of a few dedicated volunteers. 

In addition, Helping Feed Atlanta has also created jobs for capable adults like Todd Besmernick, a young man in our supported employment program. David and Todd have become great friends, and they share videos of their weekly runs to collect healthy produce on their  “van show.” They then distribute the produce to the JF&CS kosher food pantry, and other organizations that help those in-need including Malachi's Storehouse, City of Refuge and The Atlanta Mission.

“We could not do our work without the help of David Skoke and Helping Feed Atlanta for many reasons. Thank you from all of us at JFCS,” said Engagement Coordinator, Sheri Schwartz.

Amy Maslia, intake manager agreed. “We Love to see David's smiling face on Mondays and am thrilled to offer fresh produce to our clients! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!”

Helping Feed Atlanta was recently profiled on 11 Alive. You can view the video here: http://www.wsbtv.com/video?videoId=596527236&videoVersion=1.0 

Here is a video of David and Todd doing their mobile mitzvahs: https://www.facebook.com/Helping-Feed-Atlanta-1438955989707442/?fref=mentions

Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Developmental Disabilities Services, Volunteer Services

10July

VIA Joins ORT and Federation Under 40 to Beautify APS School

Volunteers improved the social and emotional learning suite at Forrest Hill Academy.

VIA Joins ORT and Federation Under 40 to Beautify APS School
On Sunday, June 11, VIA participated in ORT My School, a school beautification project, with ORT Atlanta and Federation Under 40 Division. This was the second year the groups collaborated to improve an Atlanta public school. 

This year, the groups painted the new social & emotional learning suite at Forrest Hill Academy· All together, 22 young adults participated. The group had a great time with the community service project, knowing they were making a difference for kids at the school. Young adults can get involved at www.jfcsatl.org/VIA

Posted in Volunteer Services

10July

Aviv Celebrations Thanks Volunteers at Pete the Cat Show

Aviv Celebrations Thanks Volunteers at Pete the Cat Show
On May 21, we thanked agency volunteers who generously give of themselves, with an outing to see Pete the Cat at the Center for the Puppetry Arts.

Fifty parents and children attended the event with smiles and giggles while watching Pete the Cat and then a special puppet show about Aviv Celebrations with characters Silly Puppet and Mel Footmeyer. Aviv Celebrations of Aviv Older Adult Services of JF&CS hosted the event, which was followed by time for making unique and beautiful cards for Aviv Celebrations.

Aviv Celebrations, founded by Cherie Aviv, works with children, teens and adults to make and give handmade birthday cards for older adults and get well cards for people who are ill. Making and giving a handmade card is a simple, yet meaningful way to connect with anyone, but in particular with older adults. A birthday card may be the only recognition they receive on their birthday. And for those who are ill, a get-well card will certainly brighten their day. The cards reassure those in our community they have not been forgotten.

Learn more about Aviv Celebrations or join in the fun and make cards for older adults and those who are ill! www.jfcsatl.org/cards 

Posted in Volunteer Services

19June

Friendly Visitor Program Works to Reduce Senior Isolation

Program matches seniors with volunteers

Friendly Visitor Program Works to Reduce Senior Isolation
With social isolation impacting many older adults, meaningful interactions and warm conversations with others grow increasingly rare and simultaneously more important to those who may have limited access to a social network. JF&CS’ One Good Deed program aims to address this by matching older adults with volunteers in order to create newfound friendships and invaluable connections across generations. Spearheaded by Sharon Spiegelman, One Good Deed Manager, and Vivienne Kurland, One Good Deed Coordinator, the program has already matched 65 older adults with community volunteers.

Among the matches, Sheva Vapne, a Holocaust survivor, and Ellen Gebel have been matched together for over a year, and enjoy meeting every other week at Sheva’s home for a friendly visit.

Posted in Aviv Older Adult Services, Volunteer Services

08December

A Volunteer Program That FITS Your Family

A Volunteer Program That FITS Your Family

If you are a community-minded parent looking for ways your children can “give back,” you might have noticed a scarcity of such activities, especially if they are under the age of 12. You also wouldn’t be alone in your quest. JF&CS has received a lot of inquiries from parents of youngsters over the past few years. And now, we have the answer.

Written by Sheri Panovka, Posted in Volunteer Services

03June

Volunteering with Kids

Volunteering with Kids

No matter what your age, volunteering in your community has untold benefits. A commitment to giving back is one of the most precious gifts you can give the next generation. When you start volunteering at a young age, there’s even more time for the benefits to accumulate.

Posted in Volunteer Services

02June

Q & A on Volunteering, with Ann Kay

Q & A on Volunteering, with Ann Kay

When it comes to volunteering, Ann Kay is a shining star. She and her family have a well-known reputation for selflessly giving all they can to help better the lives of others. JF&CS is thankful to have such a jewel as an active volunteer. Ann recently sat down with our marketing team to chat about her volunteer work and what it means to her.

Posted in Volunteer Services

15January

Why Mentor?

A first-hand account from a JF&CS volunteer - a Big PAL

Why Mentor?

In the United States, “local” is in. Think about it – we’re dining at restaurants serving ingredients from local farms and purveyors, we’re creating coworking communities for budding entrepreneurs to launch businesses in our cities, and, in the global sense of “local,” we are supporting a resurgence in manufacturing of goods that are produced in the United States.

Written by Jason Sosnovsky, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services, Volunteer Services

29October

Volunteer of the Month: Abby Rosenthal

Volunteer of the Month: Abby Rosenthal

Abby Rosenthal’s career has taken her to many places. The native New Yorker has lived in various cities across the country and worked for prestigious organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, City of Detroit Health Department and the University of Michigan. Before beginning a career in public health, Abby was a physical therapist and had the opportunity to work closely with older adults. She also was a caregiver for both of her parents as they were aging and used her professional knowledge to provide them with the best possible care. When she decided to retire two and a half years ago, she knew she wanted to make sure her expertise would be put to good use. Once she heard about Aviv Older Adult Services – Tools for Aging, she gave JF&CS a call to find out how she could become involved.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in Volunteer Services

30September

Volunteer of the Month: Lauren Harris

Volunteer of the Month: Lauren Harris

Born and raised in Houston, Lauren Harris moved to Atlanta in 1997 to attend Emory University. Shortly after graduation she began her doctorate studies at UGA in industrial/organizational psychology, and during that time she also got married. At this point, she knew a little about JF&CS because she had attended Havinagala. But, it was after her husband came home from the Community of Caring luncheon in 2006 and learning about a number of her friends’ involvement that Lauren started to become involved with the organization.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in Volunteer Services

26August

Volunteers of the Month: Bob Bachrach and Jonathan Ginburg

Volunteers of the Month: Bob Bachrach and Jonathan Ginburg

Coming from every stage in life, volunteers are undoubtedly the heart and soul of our organization. They can bring a variety of ideas to JF&CS, regardless of their personal volunteer experience. Board members Bob Bachrach and Jonathan Ginburg couldn’t be more perfect examples. While they both bring invaluable knowledge to JF&CS, they are at different points in their lives while sharing the same passion for volunteering and giving back to their community.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in Volunteer Services

31July

Volunteer of the Month: Dan Appelrouth

Volunteer of the Month: Dan Appelrouth

When one begins a career, he or she may expect to eventually become an expert in his or her given field. But what that person might not expect is how an expertise can lead to the discovery of philanthropic causes that become passions. For Dr. Dan Appelrouth, a native of Key West who has been living in Atlanta since 1977, this is exactly what happened. He moved here to begin his career as a rheumatologist. After practicing for many years, he found he had a passion: feeding the hungry and caring for those in need.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in Volunteer Services

27June

Volunteers of the Month: Debbie Derby & Ted Taylor

Volunteers of the Month: Debbie Derby & Ted Taylor

When people come to JF&CS seeking volunteer opportunities, they often have in mind a specific cause or interest in which they want to focus their volunteerism. Sometimes it is a program or division of JF&CS and sometimes not. For some it is supporting and “growing” the agency as a whole. Debbie Derby and Ted Taylor both have found that their professions have provided them with the expertise they feel enables them to best help “build” JF&CS—literally.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

31May

Volunteers of the Month: Beth Arogeti & Ellen Chalef

Volunteers of the Month: Beth Arogeti & Ellen Chalef

Each year JF&CS conducts the Annual Campaign, which raises unrestricted funds to help those in need right here in our own community. Donors who generously contribute to the campaign are a very large reason the work JF&CS does is a reality. This year, it is truly an honor to have the campaign chaired by two very active supporters: Beth Arogeti and Ellen Chalef. Both of these remarkable women have already dedicated countless hours to the organization, and for this we are exceedingly proud to highlight them as our volunteers of the month.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

30April

Volunteer of the Month: M. Queen Bailey-Brooks, LCSW

Volunteer of the Month: M. Queen Bailey-Brooks, LCSW

M. Queen Bailey-Brooks, LCSW, describes herself as a “born social worker.” Originally from Baltimore, she has been living and volunteering in Atlanta since 1995. To Queen, volunteering is not just something she enjoys doing on the side, it is her way of living. And while she has lent a hand to numerous organizations that serve various causes, older adults, or as Queen likes to say “my elders,” are her passion.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

25March

Volunteer of the Month: Jackie Naggar

Volunteer of the Month: Jackie Naggar

When it comes to being an all-around kindhearted and dedicated volunteer, Jackie Naggar is truly one of a kind. Originally from Birmingham, Ala., Jackie has been living and giving back in Atlanta for more than 10 years. Professionally, she is an attorney/legal recruiter. While she enjoys spending some of her free time with family and friends, traveling, and hosting her own networking events, volunteering is her absolute passion and joy.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

05March

Simple Ways You can Help Fight Hunger

Simple Ways You can Help Fight Hunger

It’s March, and Passover is coming up at the end of the month. When we think of this wonderful holiday, what usually comes to mind? FOOD! So it’s apropos to highlight some volunteer opportunities related to hunger.

On March 10, the Atlanta Community Food Bank holds its annual Hunger Walk at Turner Field. As we do every year, JF&CS and many of our partnering synagogues will be forming teams to walk en masse with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. Federation was one of the founding partners and a leading fundraiser for the walk. For the past five years, those walking with Federation made up the largest faith-based fundraising group at the event.

Written by Sheri Panovka, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

04March

An Inside Look at Tools for Leaders: Part 2

An Inside Look at Tools for Leaders: Part 2

I have lived in Dunwoody since 2005 and have driven by JF&CS around 3,500 times not knowing what it did until earlier this year, when I joined the Tools for Leaders Program. Boy am I glad I did. Not only have I met a tremendous group of individuals, but I have been able to learn about an organization that does so much for the local community. I can honestly say that the more I learn about JF&CS, the more excited I get to participate in this and other programs. JF&CS is the Gold Standard when it comes to nonprofit organizations that make an impact on thousands of individuals’ daily lives.

Written by Justin Milrad, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

28February

Volunteer of the Month: Robin Feldman

Volunteer of the Month: Robin Feldman

When Robin Feldman moved to Atlanta 11 years ago, she knew immediately she wanted to get involved with Shalom Bayit, a program of JF&CS’ Counseling Services – Tools for Life division. Shalom Bayit translates from Hebrew to “peace in the home” and provides short - and long-term assistance to those facing physical violence, or emotional or sexual abuse in their families or intimate relationships. Robin had a personal reason for showing interest in this particular division: she herself is a survivor of domestic violence.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

19February

An inside look at JF&CS’s Tools for Leaders

An inside look at JF&CS’s Tools for Leaders

JF&CS’s Tools for Leaders is an interactive six-session program that brings high potential leaders together in a hands-on learning environment. The goal of the program is to engage volunteers so they can learn about the agency’s programs, network with other like-minded individuals who value the importance of volunteerism, build leadership skills and explore a future path within the agency.

Written by Robyn Singer, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

04February

Volunteers of the Month: Bruce Lindemann & Weda Zoller

Volunteers of the Month: Bruce Lindemann & Weda Zoller

When an individual volunteers for a cause, his or her goal usually is to help effect change in some way. One of the many wonderful things about volunteers is the different ways they can support the same cause.

This month, we’re pleased to highlight two hardworking volunteers – Weda Zoller and Bruce Lindemann, the current and past chairs respectively of the Developmental Disabilities Services - Tools for Independence (TFI) Family Advisory Committee. Both also volunteer at the annual Larry Bregman, M.D., Educational Conference in addition to supporting TFI in other ways. Weda and Bruce got involved because they both have children served by TFI. While that may have been the mutual catalyst for their involvement, they each feel a personal connection and a need to be a part of TFI.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

01November

Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Tzoref

Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Tzoref

Linda Tzoref knew she wanted to give back to the community and had a very distinct idea of how she wanted to do it. So when she called JF&CS more than a year ago to see what potential volunteer opportunities were available, she was very clear about what she sought to do. She enjoys working with senior citizens, and Café Europa was the right place for her to start.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

03October

Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Stephen Bankston

Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Stephen Bankston

The Ben Massell Dental Clinic (BMDC) and JF&CS proudly welcomed Dr. Stephen Bankston to the JF&CS Board of Directors this year. A volunteer at the clinic since April 2004, Dr. Bankston also sits on BMDC’s executive committee.

“Dr. (David) Zelby introduced me to the Clinic, and I have been committed ever since,” he says. “My motivation for this commitment is two-fold. The gratitude of the patients and the impact I see and feel from their response is truly inspiring. And this is my personal opportunity to give back to my community.”

Written by Sheri Panovka, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Ben Massell Dental Clinic, Volunteer Services

04September

Volunteer Spotlight: Bradley Erbesfield

Volunteer Spotlight: Bradley Erbesfield

One year ago, Bradley Erbesfield began volunteering with Career Services – Tools for Employment. He liked volunteering so much that he decided to help out five days a week. Hearing the client success stories gave Bradley the extra motivation.

“It is nice to know that my efforts are helping people,” Bradley said.

Written by Anna Wishneff, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Career Services, Volunteer Services

01August

Volunteer Spotlight: Emily Wipper

Volunteer Spotlight: Emily Wipper

She began as an intern at JF&CS in August 2011, and for two more months Emily Wipper stayed at JF&CS as a volunteer. Why did she stay? Because she felt there was more to be done.

“JF&CS is a top organization and I knew that this place would be a great opportunity,” she said.

Written by Jennifer Fine, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Counseling Services, Volunteer Services

28June

Volunteer Spotlight: Howard Wexler

Volunteer Spotlight: Howard Wexler

He has been volunteering for only a few months, but Howard Wexler already has been making an impact on people who really need help – new refugees moving to the United States. Since March, Howard has been helping an Iraqi family make a new life here, through the Refugee Resettlement program of JF&CS’ International Services - Tools for New Americans division. The program consists of volunteers and professionals helping refugees transition to a new culture while maintaining their own.

Written by Jennifer Fine, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, International Services, Volunteer Services

01June

Volunteer Spotlight: Ann Kay & Richard DeRossett

Volunteer Spotlight: Ann Kay & Richard DeRossett

Sometime in the early 1980s, right after she moved to Atlanta from her native New York, Ann Kay started volunteering at her children’s school. From there, she moved on to the William Breman Jewish Home and then to Hillel. Finally, she found her way to JF&CS through her husband Michael, a past president of the agency. The Kays started collecting Passover supplies for JF&CS’ Maos program.

Written by Sheri Panovka, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Developmental Disabilities Services, Volunteer Services

01May

Volunteer Spotlight: Elissa Fladell

Volunteer Spotlight: Elissa Fladell

This year the Ben Massell Dental Clinic celebrates its 100th year of service to the Atlanta community. The dedicated corps of clinic staff and volunteer dentists have provided dental care to thousands of individuals in need at no cost. The clinic is state-of-the-art, providing the most advanced technology available so that clients are able to receive the very best care possible. In addition to all of these wonderful things, the Ben Massell Dental Clinic is yet another great place for our JF&CS volunteers to make an impact.

Written by Matt Waldman, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Ben Massell Dental Clinic, Volunteer Services

16April

Blog Series: Tools For Leaders - Session 4

Blog Series: Tools For Leaders - Session 4

The fourth “Tools for Leaders” class began with the question “I’ve never_____ before, but I’d like to”.  The answers were interesting and most included traveling to all four corners of the earth or some type of high risk adventure activity like skydiving, heliskiing or going to outer space.  Others want to write a book, meet a famous person or retire and become a full-time volunteer!

Written by Amy Rosen, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

04April

Volunteer Spotlight: Intake Team

Volunteer Spotlight: Intake Team

We at JF&CS are proud of volunteers and appreciate that we could not do what we do without them. It is especially wonderful when our volunteers provide critical services not only to our clients, but also to the organization itself. This is precisely what our group of dedicated intake volunteers does for us each week. Day in and day out, these volunteers are the first voices heard by hundreds of potential JF&CS clients looking to access our many services. Fielding dozens of calls each day, the intake volunteers have made a phenomenal impact on our staff, on our clients and on JF&CS as a whole.

Written by Matt Waldman, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

27March

Blog Series: Tools For Leaders - Session 3

Blog Series: Tools For Leaders - Session 3

“Why do people volunteer?” This was the opener for session 3 of Tools for Leaders. There was a common theme throughout everyone’s answers - “because we were raised in a family of volunteers and we want to carry on the tradition”, “the love of giving back”, “helping make the world a better place”. We volunteer because that’s what we do. It’s who we are – we do it without it thinking about it.

Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

01March

Volunteer Spotlight: Allan Tanenbaum

Volunteer Spotlight: Allan Tanenbaum

The Jewish Community is deeply rooted in traditions, customs and values – one of the most important of which is giving to those in need. As Passover approaches, we are reminded of one such practice that reflects this value: Maos Chitim. Literally meaning “money for wheat,” Maos Chitim dates back thousands of years. It exists to provide food for Passover to those in need. Tradition dictates that Maos Chitim is different from Tzedakah in that it is not merely a mitzvah, but rather an obligation of the community to help all Jewish families celebrate Passover.

Written by Matt Waldman, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Volunteer Services

29February

My Day of Smiles… Why I Volunteer at the Larry Bregman M.D. Educational Conference

My Day of Smiles… Why I Volunteer at the Larry Bregman M.D. Educational Conference

The Larry Bregman, M.D., Educational Conference is a two-day conference for adults with developmental disabilities, their families and caregivers. It is one of the many events planned in February as a part of Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month. The first evening features a dance for the participants, followed by the second day filled with workshops. The workshops emphasize topics such as being part of the community, being a self-advocate and living a healthy lifestyle. This year’s conference, themed “Avenues of Change,” took place February 25-26 at the Selig Center. More than 250 people attended with the help of 50+ volunteers.

Written by Marla Shainberg, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Developmental Disabilities Services, Volunteer Services

21February

Blog Series: Tools For Leaders - Session 2

Blog Series: Tools For Leaders - Session 2

“What would we like to change in our community if we could”? This thought-provoking question was how we began our second session. The answers that followed included some of the following remarks: more of a sense of community, more involvement by younger generations, environmentally friendly, collaboration and civic advocacy. I am hopeful that each of us will continue to strive to make our community a better place.

Written by Sheri Kornblum, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Aviv Older Adult Services, Volunteer Services

31January

Volunteer Spotlight: Marla Shainberg

Volunteer Spotlight: Marla Shainberg

JF&CS volunteers have been instrumental to the success of so many of our programs. Each year, they dedicate hours upon hours of their time to meetings, projects, programs and events. This comes from a drive and desire to make a positive impact on the community and to help provide a range of services to those who need them. Marla Shainberg is a shining example of this commitment to JF&CS and the community.

Written by Matt Waldman, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Developmental Disabilities Services, Volunteer Services

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