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Coronavirus Update: A Letter from our Executive Director

Dear Community Member:

Our staff and board at Jewish Family Service are thinking of the community’s emergent needs at this very difficult time. We have been urged to remain in our homes. This recommendation challenges us to think creatively and to prioritize.

JFS staff have been calling all of our current clients to check in on them and see if they have any needs. Our therapists are continuing to provide therapy on the telephone. We have pre-packed bags of food in our pantry for emergency needs. Clients can call staff and arrange for the bags to be left outside the back of our office at a specific time. It may look different than in the past, but we are taking care of our individuals and families who rely on us for Passover foods. If you know of someone who needs help on Passover, please have the person call JFS. We will be dropping off matzah at the facilities that will allow it.

We encourage you to reach out to your own community -- whether you are a member of a synagogue or the JCC, a JDS family, and remember those individuals you know who may not have family or friends close by. If you’re talking with someone who needs assistance, please tell them to contact Rebecca Axelrod-Cooper, our community impact and intake coordinator, at 610-821-8722 ext. 105 or Rebecca checks her phone messages twice a day, and she will refer their call to the appropriate staff person. When someone calls directly, it is easier for us to respond directly. JFS will respond to you in a confidential, professional manner.

At this time, our staff are responding to the limited needs of our clients. As this is a very fluid situation with daily changes, we appreciate those of you who have come forth to volunteer. Currently, we are using a select group of experienced volunteers who are doing targeted activities such as dropping off deliveries. More volunteers will be needed in the near future, and we are looking forward to engaging you as we ramp up our operations.

I can remember many times when I have said that no individual or family knows when they may need to call on JFS. I certainly never anticipated that this crisis might be the catalyst for persons coming forward. JFS is small, but mighty. We have a strong professional team committed to helping problem solve and decrease your anxiety.

We will get through this as a community, and JFS is here to support you in meaningful ways with your participation.


Debbie Zoller, MSW, LCSW
Executive Director