May 19, 2024
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JFS MetroWest Hears From Holocaust Survivors

JFSMW Holocaust Survivor Day, July 18, featuring survivors receiving Bombas Socks from Masha Penson, LSW, Russian-speaking social worker at JFSMW.

(Courtesy of JFS MetroWest) Jewish Family Service of MetroWest (JFSMW) Holocaust survivors and second-generation caregivers were celebrated last week during the inaugural Holocaust Survivor Days at special Café Europa and Chai Café Events.

The first event on Sunday, July 16 was graciously hosted by Jewish Family Service of Central NJ (JFSCNJ) in Springfield. Holocaust survivors and second-generation caregivers were treated to a day of magic and community at this special JFSMW Café Europa event.

On Tuesday, July 18, JFSMW hosted its second event for Russian-speaking Holocaust survivors. Guests enjoyed music by Ivan Polskiy, at Oheb Shalom in South Orange. Volunteers from Jewish Parent Academy (JPA) attended to build community across generations. Survivors were gifted with socks, generously donated by Bombas, through the Mark Schonwetter Holocaust Education Foundation. JFSMW staff included Diane Squadron, PsyD, CEO; Stephanie Grove, LCSW, senior director of volunteer services; Liz Levy, LCSW, coordinator of Holocaust services; and Masha Penson, LSW, Russian-speaking social worker.

JFSMW Holocaust Survivor Day, July 18, featuring survivors receiving Bombas Socks from Liz Levy, LCSW, coordinator of Holocaust Services at JFSMW.

Bombas is a comfort-focused, basic apparel brand with a mission to help those in need. The company was originally founded in 2013 because socks are the #1 most-requested clothing item at homeless shelters. Underwear and T-shirts are #2 and #3, respectively. While the brand started with and is known for its extremely comfortable socks, Bombas used its expertise in comfort to launch into apparel with T-shirts in 2019 and, most recently, underwear in 2021. For every item purchased, a specially designed item is donated to someone at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness. To date, Bombas has donated more than 100 million items.

Café Europa, a program of JFSMW, is made possible by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, along with other generous funders and donors. The Chai Café, also part of JFSMW, is supported by a grant from The JFNA Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma.

Donated Bombas socks.

For more information about Holocaust Survivor Services in Essex, Morris and Sussex counties, please call JFS MetroWest (973) 637-1704 (English) or (973) 637-1716 (Russian).

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