Congress must listen—a majority of Americans say DACA recipients should stay
  • JFCS in the News

San Francisco Chronicle

By Jilma L. Meneses and Anita Friedman

While there are many issues plaguing our immigration system, there is one inequality that we as a nation must resolve with urgency. Passing the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act will create a long overdue pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth who were brought to our country as children and know no other home.

Photo: Jose Luis Magana, Associated Press

Time is running out. There are approximately 700,000 young people who are facing the loss of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections. Of those, about 200,000 DACA recipients are in California alone, and more than 70,000 are enrolled in our state’s universities and community colleges. These brave young people are going to school, caring for their families, building our communities and making incredible contributions to our society.

Read the full story here >


Posted by Admin on December 19, 2017
Rekindling with Fire
  • Education
  • Emergency Assistance
  • Holidays
  • JFCS in the News

The Press Democrat

By Meg McConahey


It’s the season of soft light, when candles are flickering and hearth fires roaring. But in the aftermath of October’s firestorms, which destroyed thousands of homes in Sonoma County and shrouded the air with heavy smoke for days, many people may find themselves looking warily at those flames that used to symbolize cozy comfort and peace.

“Fire has been one of those things that keeps us warm and has always had positive memories,” said Diana Klein, director of the Sonoma County Regional service for Jewish Family Childrens Services. “But as the holiday season of fire-lit nights at home swings into high gear, people may have a new relationship around fire.”

Read the full story here >

Posted by Admin on December 16, 2017
Santa Rosa synagogue becomes hub for Jewish aid, shelter for bereft evacuees
  • JFCS in the News

J Weekly

By Dan Pine

The devastating wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties this week have caused death, injuries and destruction for miles around — but they have also brought out the best in people wanting to lend a hand. Synagogues, Jewish agencies and scores of individual volunteers have lined up to assist families evacuated from the danger zones, some of whom have lost their homes to the flames.

woman comforting mother child at synagogue

Santa Rosa’s Congregation Shomrei Torah has emerged as a hub for that Jewish aid. Since Oct. 9 the Reform synagogue has served as a command post, trauma center, soup kitchen, overnight shelter and kids’ day camp for displaced community members. Safely distant from the fire lines, the synagogue has welcomed Jewish community professionals, therapists and volunteers eager to help their affected North Bay neighbors, including those whose homes are gone.

“Monday night we had 20 people sleeping in the synagogue,” said Shomrei Torah Associate Rabbi Stephanie Kramer. “A lot of people still don’t know if their homes are standing or not. Twenty-five [congregants] have lost their homes already. Our town’s on fire and it’s absolutely devastating.”

Among the agencies responding to the crisis are Jewish Family and Children’s Services, the Jewish Federations in San Francisco and the East Bay, and IsraAid, the Israeli international aid organization that just opened a Bay Area office last fall.

Read the full story here >


Posted by Admin on October 11, 2017
Can you please talk, not text? Parenting the Instagram generation
  • JFCS in the News
  • Parenting
  • Youth

The Christian Science Monitor

by Michael B. Farrell and Jessica Mendoza

Can kids be encouraged to let go of the virtual world – occasionally – and engage in the real one? Can they stop posting selfies long enough to think of someone else? The answer is yes. But there are bound to be some anxious moments for parents along the way.

Havi Wolfson Hall

Havi Wolfson Hall, LCSW, JFCS’ Child and Adolescent Therapist, discusses parenting in The Christian Science Monitor

Jake Lee, a tanned California teenager in baggy shorts and a T-shirt, is lounging on the floor of his parents’ midcentury home. They live in a suburban Silicon Valley enclave of tech workers, cyber-savvy kids, and the occasional Google self-driving car that whirs past along pristine, eucalyptus-lined streets. He flicks through his iPhone, his fingers moving with the speed and dexterity of a jazz pianist, as he answers the sporadic text message.

“I’m on social media every waking moment of my life,” he says, with no particular pride. “I could be, like, Snapchatting and Instagram messaging the same person at the same time.”

Read the full story here >

Posted by Admin on August 13, 2017
Dr. Anita Friedman Reclaims History in Father’s Shtetl
  • Education
  • Holocaust
  • JFCS in the News
  • Youth

Twelve years ago, JFCS Executive Director, Dr. Anita Friedman, visited her father’s ancestral village in the Polish countryside. Since then she has returned to Gniewoszow multiple times and joins thousands of Jews who have traveled to Poland since the fall of communism. Friedman has built relationships with the local community and helped rededicate its Jewish cemetery as she grapples with her family’s lost homeland. She is also teaching teens in the Bay Area about this important history.

Anita addressing youths

JFCS Executive Director, Dr. Anita Friedman, teaching teens from JFCS’ summer internship program about her family’s lost homeland in Poland.

JFCS is the leader in Holocaust education in Northern California, and thousands of students each year learn about the Holocaust and other genocides through the JFCS Holocaust Center.

Additionally, teens who participate in JFCS’ YouthFirst program also receive Holocaust education. Friedman recently taught teens participating in the YouthFirst summer internships about her family’s history in Gniewoszow, Poland.

The summer interns first had the chance to think about how their families’ traditions have shaped who they are as people, and then Friedman shared her family’s experiences during the Holocaust and her powerful story about returning to Gniewoszow. The students were able to see very clearly that her family history has directly informed her core values.

Read the full J Weekly story about Dr. Friedman reclaiming her history in Poland >

Anita Friedman with youth

Friedman answering students’ questions about her return to her family’s village in Poland after the Holocaust.


Posted by Admin on August 9, 2017
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