July 12, 2024
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JFS Honors Geoffrey Lewis for Years of Service

Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson celebrated 63 years of service to the community on Sunday, November 15, at The Rockleigh. Honoring Geoffrey Lewis for his dedication and leadership of the organization, JFS was proud to launch a fundraising campaign, spearheaded by Mr. Lewis, for a new Employment Services Initiative.

Jewish Family Service has witnessed tremendous change during the past six decades in Bergen County. One thing that has remained static, however, is that there is significant need. Middle- and upper-income communities are not free from facing debilitating life challenges, leading to financial crisis and even hunger. They are not free from mental health concerns, the needs of aging citizens, spousal abuse or the myriad of issues that JFS deals with so brilliantly every day. These programs, while free or cost-effective for those JFS serves, cost money to provide. One of the programs that had unfortunately been victim to the financial crisis is employment-related services.

The headlines in the newspapers may all be touting that unemployment is now down to near five percent. Good news like that should make us all feel good about the economy. But the truth behind those numbers is somewhat different. Many friends, family members and individuals in our communities have been affected by downsizing, layoffs and shifts in organizational structure. There are people in our synagogues, in our neighborhoods, who intimately understand the devastation of losing employment.

These issues dovetail with the mission of Jewish Family Service, “to strengthen and preserve the well-being of individuals and families; to help them effectively meet the challenges and changes through life.”

Unfortunately, with long-term unemployment and underemployment comes depression, anxiety, feelings of self-worthlessness and despair. The darkness that envelops individuals who have suffered a job loss can be devastating, making finding a new job all the more difficult. Jewish Family Service can assist individuals with a holistic approach. A volunteer group of retired executives is ready and available to offer career mentoring. Core services, already available, will be offered in tandem with resume services, skills workshops, and partnership referrals for specialized training and advanced education. These will be combined with individual and group counseling, providing a comprehensive program of concrete and support services.

JFS is committed to reestablishing its employment-related services. They have begun the seed funding for this new initiative, but are actively pursuing financial support. To contribute to this project, or to find out more information about Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson, please visit jfsbergen.org or call (201) 837-9090.

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