Shoah Foundation, Bay Area group to partner for fund preservation of Holocaust testimonies by Ryan Torok
In a separate effort to make sure that voices from the Holocaust are not forgotten, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute and the San Francisco Bay Area-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) are partnering to raise money to support an initiative that will help digitize more than 1,400 Holocaust survivor testimonies that were recorded on VHS tapes during the 1970s and 1980s.
Shoah Foundation, JFCS team up to preserve history: Over 100 local survivors expected at tribute event by Dan Pine
San Mateo resident Lenci Farkas sat before the video cameras and told her tale of survival: deportation by cattle car from Czechoslovakia to Auschwitz, a daring escape from the Death March of 1945, a new start in America.
Jews at Christmas - it's a mitzvah thing by Rebecca Rosen Lum
Christmas Day for many Jews is about more than eating Chinese food and going to the movies.
This year like every year, as part of the time-honored American tradition of Jews doing mitzvahs at Christmastime, Jewish volunteers across the Bay Area will be offering gifts of comfort and community — sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry and caring for the vulnerable.
Elderly care and the future of social innovation by Curtis Chang
I recently spent some time with one of the most well-regarded agencies in the Bay Area: Jewish Family and Children Services (JFCS). JFCS is the oldest public charity west of the Mississippi and serves the elderly from the entire community, not just the Jewish one. In the 1980s, it began to struggle financially. Amid this fiscal crisis, Anita Friedman took over as the executive director and vowed to reinvent the agency’s business model or go out of business trying.
Shopping for one of the city's girls by Leah Garchik
All in the San Francisco family:
The Jewish Family and Children's Services has been flooded with offers of support for the Brown twins, Marian and Vivian. Among the letters received by JFCS marketing man Robert Miller was this from Evelyn Miller Adler, which cam along with a contribution:
JFCS lends helping hand to iconic twin sisters by Emma Silvers
When people started hearing that San Francisco iconic 85-year-old twin sisters in need of help, offers of assistance started pouring in - and Jewish Family and Children's Services was among those leading the charge.
Read more here.
Donors step up to Help San Francisco's iconic Brown twins by Susan Kennedy
Donations have poured in to help the iconic Brown twins remain together since the older sister, Vivian, developed Alzheimer’s requiring round the clock care that landed her in the hospital.
Until her stay at Davies Medical Center, Vivian A. Brown was rarely seen apart from her identical sister Marian B. Brown. And the two always wore matching outfits that won them local celebrity and appearances in national advertising campaigns pitching airlines, computers and sneakers.
Read or here more.
SF's iconic Brown twins face a life apart by Sam Whiting
For once, the Brown twins are not in matching outfits. Marian B. is in hers, a leopard-print cowboy hat and car coat, but her sister, Vivian A., older by eight minutes, is in bedclothes at Davies medical center.
"My sister has Alzheimer's, so she has to have 24-hour care, because they're afraid she will go out and get run over or something," says Marian, offering a straight answer to the question everybody who sees her on the streets stops to ask. "Where's your sister?"
SF twins deal with common problem facing seniors by Carolyn Tyler
Two of San Francisco's most well-known personalities are dealing with an enormous challenge. What they are going through highlights a national problem facing seniors. Marian and Vivian Brown are in the San Francisco Hall of Fame. But now they are fighting to stay in the city they love even though the health care they now need is hard to find and very expensive.
Marian and Vivian Brown are identical twins; colorful characters in San Francisco since they arrived from Michigan more than 40 years ago.
Read or hear more.
Brown twins deserve San Francisco's help by Willie Brown
When it comes to San Francisco icons, the Brown twins - Vivian and Marian - with their signature matching outfits, dazzling blond hair and even more dazzling smiles, have been as much a part of the city as Coit Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge.
And they likely have been photographed as often as well.
JFCS swings into action to offset state budget ax by Dan Pine
Contemplating the severe budget cuts fraying California’s social safety net, Anita Friedman thinks the Golden State is starting to resemble Greece. And not because both have great beaches.
“[California] has had multiple years of deficits,” said the executive director of S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services, “and that means we’re now down to making major structural cuts, eliminating critical services.”
Holocaust survivor stands tall despite physical, mental abuse by Erin Allday
Gloria Lyon sat in a quiet office, preparing herself for a speech she was about to give to 50 high school sophomores, when someone asked if she wanted a chair to sit in during her presentation.
Lyon, 82, didn't spare her answer a thought. "It's better if I stand," she said crisply. "I want to stand as long as I can. I'll sit for their questions if I need to."
She didn't need to.
Lawrence Goldberg, tireless booster of many causes, dies at 80 by Dan Pine
Lawrence Goldberg fought hard for the politics and principles he believed in. One of those principles was civility, which explains why he had friends of all persuasions. An attorney, politcal operative and tireless Jewish community activist, Goldberg died of cancer on Jan. 29 in his Tiburon home. He was 80.
JFCS educational funds turning dreams into reality by Patricia Corrigan
Yolanda Anyon, determined to be an agent for change, wanted to be a social worker. Ben Botts hoped to become a public service lawyer, so he could help people in practical ways. Both had educational dreams that carried steep tuition prices, and both turned to a loan and grant program offered through the S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children's Services.
In tough times, relying on the Jewish community for help by Penny Schwartz
In August, in the heat of the summer, a Boston-area mother of three began to worry about how she would pay for Chanukah gifts. Across the country in San Francisco, a 33-year-old Russian-born mother of six said that thinking about this Chanukah made her cry.
Both women -- Lauren of Boston and Lilya of San Francisco (they asked that their last names not be used) -- are struggling in a down economy to provide for their families. Still, they are hopeful that with support of Jewish organizations, they will find meaningful ways to celebrate the eight-day Festival of Lights.
L'Chaim, senior care centers get temporary reprieve by Dan Pine
Anita Friedman is waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The good news is that on Nov. 17 the state announced a reprieve for 275 Adult Day Health Care centers, which were slated to endure severe budget cuts – and possible closure – on Dec. 1. The cuts would have taken a huge toll on the L'Chaim Adult Day Health Center, run by S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children's Services, for which Friedman servces as executive director.
Going to bat for seniors: JFCS health care advocates are a resource who are "there at each crossroad" by Patricia Corrigan
Larry Goldberg speaks with gratitude about the people who help him navigate the medical system and cope with his illness – his wife, Nancy, his children, his friends, his nurses and his doctors.
He also has high praise for Redwing Keyssar, his health care advocate from the S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children's Services.
S.F. mayor promises L'Chaim funding at City Hall rally by Dan Pine
For Gayle Zahler, draconian state budget cuts that go into effect Dec. 1 mean one thing: potential disaster for scores of elderly Jews under her charge at the S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children's Services.
Increase in cyber-bullying of students (Letter to the Editor) by Holly Pedersen and Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet
We appreciated your article about the study linking bullying to students' desire to gain popularity ("Popular youths seen as more likely to bully as tool for social climbing," Feb. 9).
Our work with Bay Area students, teachers and parents corroborate this finding.
Calif. budget cuts could force seniors from their homes, JFCS warns by Andy Altman-Ohr
In their mid-80s and beset by Alzheimer's disease and two types of cancer, respectively, Jewish Russian immigrants Dina and Isaak Freylikhman of San Francisco consider themselves blessed that the L'Chaim Adult Day Health Center exists.
However, the Freylikhmans and thousands of other Californians like them are in danger of losing the ability to live on their own. If the state Legislature approves Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to cut $1.7 billion from Medi-Cal, some $486 million for more than 300 Adult Day Health Care programs in the state would be eliminated.
What's old is new: Holocaust Center now part of JFCS by Amanda Pazornik
The Holocaust Center of Northern California started exploring the idea of a partnership with Jewish Family and Children's Services in 2009 as a way to help close its budget gap. Now that vision has become a reality.
Home-care program also under fire by Richard Halstead
A program that provides social workers and nurses to monitor the care of fragile Marin seniors who want to continue living in their homes would also be eliminated by proposed cuts in the state budget.
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget would eliminate Medi-Cal funding for the Multi-Purpose Senior Services Program, which serves a caseload of 85 seniors in Marin. The nonprofit Jewish Family and Children's Services has contracted with the Department of Aging to provide the program in Marin County for the past 12 years.
National Adoption Month includes LGBTs by Seth Hemmelgarn
This summer, John Tighe and Ngu Phan adopted a baby.
Tighe, 46, said he's always loved children, but he'd spent years telling himself, "I can't be a parent. Gay mean can't parent. It's not gonig to work."
But having Phan, 41, in his life helped.
Food drive urgent as middle class becomes 'temporary poor,' by Sean Maher
There is a flood of people in dire need of help for the first time in their lives, dubbed by some as the "new poor," and they are swamping Bay Area food banks.
New clients at Jewish Family and Children's Services, a nonprofit serving five Bay Area counties, have increased demand for its food services fourfold since the recession started.
Ramping up its efforts in turn, JFCS has enlisted about 1,000 volunteers -- double that of previous years -- to get word out about this year's High Holiday Food Drive, a monthlong September effort to stock the nonprofit's five food pantries, including an expanded one in San Mateo.
'Tsunami' of need: With savings gone, out-of-work Jews turn to JFCS food pantries, by Sue Fishkoff, correspondent
Robert worked for a Bay Area news organization until September 2008. That month the company laid off 15 percent of its nationwide workforce, including 58-year-old Robert.
He estimated he had eight months of savings. It ran out in six months.
In December 2009, 14 months after losing his job, Robert turned to S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children's Services for help with rent, utilities and, hardest of all, food.
Émigrés celebrate Victory Day – 65 times over, by Amanda Pazornik
Russian émigré Semion Melamud doesn't know much English. But the three words the decorated World War II veteran can recite with clarity – "God Bless America" – bring a smile to his weathered face.
"I am thankful for the United States and the opportunity to live here," Melamud, 89, said through a translator. "It's because of America that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can live, work and study here."
Melamud was one of more than 200 guests – mostly elderly Russian émigrés – at a May 7 luncheon commemorating the 65th anniversary of Victory Day, which celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries of the former Soviet Union.
Ruff Love: Canine Corps brings healing spirit of dogs home to seniors, by Dan Pine
Kobe, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, doesn't merely sit on Curtis Shore's lap. The dog melts into it, splayed blissfully across his belly.
Leaning back in his Barcalounger, Shore knows Kobe's favorite scratch spots. The two look so contented, it's hard to believe they commune only an hour or two each week at the Sunset District home Shore bought soon after moving to San Francisco in 1957.
"Who does not love a dog?" asks Shore in a clipped German accent.
As his burgundy-colored vest signifies, Kobe is a certified therapy dog with Canine Corps, a program for homebound seniors currently offered in San Francisco and Marin counties by the S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children's Services.
Nonprofit turns 160, by Carolyn Livengood
Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma counties raised about $1 million at its 160th anniversary gala at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco.
The gala, held March 20, benefits the agency's Emergency Family Assistance Program, which helps people in crisis with essential needs...
Helping hands needed in Marin as the holidays approach, by Jim Staats
As another holiday season approaches in a downtrodden economy, Marin social service agencies are bracing for a much higher demand for food, toys and supplies to make it to the new year.
County organizations dealing with the double-whammy of a greater need and fewer resources to work with are having to rely on more community involvement to fill the gaps.
Emigre exuberance: Group of 18 celebrates a joyous b'nai mitzvah in Marin, by Steven Friedman
Yelena Mozeson couldn't help thinking of her late grandfather as she stood, overlooking the audience, on the day she became a bat mitzvah.
"All my Jewish memories are from him," said the 55-year-old native of Riga, Latvia, whose grandfather died when she was a teen.
"My parents weren't religious or observant, but I started to wonder a few years ago what Judaism was all about. I really wanted to know more about what was my grandfather's world.
Experts to discuss special ed in hard $$ times, by Chris Kenrick
Providing for special needs children in lean times -- such as facing state budget cuts -- will be the topic at a gathering of experts in Palo Alto Thursday.
"Crisis and Opportunity: A Policy Forum about Early Intervention Services for Children with Special Needs," will begin at 6 p.m. at the Koret Family Resource Center of Jewish Family and Children's Services, 200 Channing Ave.
Repairing Families: The Child Trauma Training Institute of San Francisco, by Karen Vanuska
A child's white-knuckled clutch of a teddy bear. Uncontrollable crying at the sound of a rage-filled voice. Bed-wetting at the sound of a siren. A fierce kick to a playmate's shin on the playground. These are all symptoms that an infant, toddler, or young child may be suffering from emotional or physical stress. Untreated, these children are likely to grow up with behavioral problems, become dropouts from school, or suffer from depression or problems with substance abuse. Why? Because, according to Lesley Sternin, Director of the Child Trauma Training Institute in San Francisco, if infants and very young children do not feel safe, either in the hands of their primary caregiver or in their home environment, their emotional and brain development may be negatively affected. Such damage has long-lasting effects.
Teachings of a Holocaust survivor, by Carolyn Tyler
There are about 4,000 Northern Californians who are survivors of the Holocaust. It is an experience they say the world should never forget. A look at how one woman is teaching the younger generation.
State budget cuts threaten to eliminate key social services, by Dan Pine
As California'budget impasse drags on, Jewish social service agencies warn of cuts that may devastate the clients they serve.
Pushing back against the cuts are organizations such as Jewish Family and Children's Services and the Jewish Community Relations Council.
"We are trying to help the legislature cut with a scalpel and not an ax," said JFCS executive director Anita Friedman.
JCF to dole out $1M for safety net, by Sarah Duxbury
The Jewish Community Federation has joined the ranks of foundations injecting serious capital to keep the social safety net intact.
On June 11, the federation announced that it is distributing $1 million to five agencies, including Jewish Family and Children's Services, Jewish Vocational Services, and the Hebrew Free Loan Association.
Unemployed put skills to use to beat the out-of-work blues, by Amanda Pazornik
Since the recession began in December 2007, roughly 5 million jobs have been lost, with nearly 3 million of those vanishing in the last five months, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
As a result, many out-of-work individuals have taken up volunteering as a way to stay connected, maintain a routine, and feel needed.
And for three Bay Area residents helping Jewish institutions, it's working.
Big Thinkers: S.F. nonprofit CEO prepared for downturn, by Justin Berton
At a time when CEOs of nonprofits are bracing for severe funding cuts, Anita Friedman, executive director of the Jewish Family and Children's Services, managed to collect $600,000 in private donations at an annual fund-raiser last weekend.
"We've been preparing for this moment for 30 years," said Friedman inside her San Francisco office before the event. "A social service agency in the 21st century needs to be more entrepreneurial. It needs to operate in a more business-like way, and it needs to generate earned income, in order to support its social goals and to survive."
Robert Nagler Miller, Publicist; 415-449-1294; RobertM@jfcs.org