Meet Our Leaders: Deborah Hoffman, JFCS Board of Directors
  • Meet Our Leaders
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For generations Deborah Hoffman’s family has contributed to the growth of JFCS, and now she is taking her turn. Always energetic and extremely generous with her time, Debbie is making an impact on the JFCS Board of Directors and is also a committed member of the Loans and Grants, Program and Planning, North Peninsula Development, Fammy Gala, and Endowment Committees. With such a strong family legacy of giving coupled with a willingness to dive in to any new project, Debbie says, “I think of philanthropy like breathing; you just do it naturally.” Deborah and Craig Hoffman with their children, Gabe… Read More

Posted by Admin on February 7, 2017
“A Call That Changed My Life” – How to Improve Self-Sufficiency for Persons with Disabilities
  • Financial Assistance
  • People with Disabilites
  • Stories & Testimonials
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A few years ago Beverly* knew she was in trouble but didn’t know where to turn. Surgery left her with excruciating stomach and joint pain, making it difficult to walk. Beverly had to leave her part-time job due to her disability and was behind on her rent. One day she returned home to find a notice in her mail: her rent for her Peninsula apartment was going up $200 a month—an astronomical amount on her small fixed income. Feeling despondent, she talked to a friend who said, “Have you ever thought about calling JFCS?” “I never considered myself the type… Read More

Posted by Admin on February 7, 2017
Leading the Way to a New Jewish Path for Healing After Pregnancy Loss
  • Grief & Bereavement
  • Parenting
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While Judaism offers beautiful lifecycle traditions and rituals for those who are grieving, Jewish customs for pregnancy and infant loss are only now catching up with modern times. Up to one in four women in the U.S. will experience at least one miscarriage, and many others will experience a stillbirth or infertility at some point. The rates are even higher in the Bay Area where many delay starting a family until later in life. When this kind of devastating loss occurs, women—as well as their partners, families, and friends—have historically been left without a clear Jewish path for rituals, support,… Read More

Posted by Admin on January 9, 2017
Meet Our Leaders: Miriam Sparrow, JFCS Board of Directors
  • Meet Our Leaders
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Miriam Sparrow brings the natural charm of a southerner to her many roles at JFCS, along with her commitment and drive. A JFCS Board member for two years, she is also the Sonoma County Co-Chair of JFCS’ Public Issues Committee and a member of the Sonoma County Leadership Team.  She also serves on the JFCS-wide Program and Planning Committee, the Public Issues Committee, and the By-Laws Review Committee. In her relatively short time on the JFCS Board Miriam is already known for her expertise, dedication, and role as an effective and respected ambassador on behalf of JFCS and those who… Read More

Posted by Admin on January 6, 2017
Holocaust program pairs survivors with Palo Alto teens
  • Education
  • Holocaust
  • JFCS in the News
  • Youth

The Mercury News

By Jacqueline Lee

It was her mother’s intuition that spared Denise Elbert from the gas chambers during the Jewish Holocaust in World War II.

Samantha Alvarez and Denise Elbert

Elbert was 9 months old in 1942 when she boarded a train headed for Sobibor with her mom and dad. Young Jewish Slovakian families, like the Elberts, had been told they were needed to help build a major German city, and locals lined the platform to see them off.

When Elbert’s mother spotted a good childhood friend, she decided to ask the friend to care for her daughter until the couple got settled in the new city.

None of the Jewish families knew then that Sobibor was a death camp.

“I think it was pure instinct,” Elbert said, “and that saved me.”

Elbert, 75, of Sunnyvale, knows her story is unique in that she is one of the younger survivors of the Holocaust.

Because of this, she willingly shares her story with young people through the Holocaust Center’s Next Chapter program, which pairs survivors with teens and regularly engages in a speaker series.

Read the full article at The Mercury News >

Posted by Admin on January 5, 2017