Holocaust survivors are dwindling, but their children are just getting started
  • Holocaust
  • JFCS in the News

J Weekly

By Karen Galatz

The generation of Holocaust survivors may be passing, but thanks to a just-launched initiative in San Francisco, their testimonies will live on through their children and grandchildren.

grandmother and grandchild

Called the Next Generation Speakers Bureau, the initiative is the brainchild of Morgan Blum Schneider, director of Jewish Family and Children Services’ Holocaust Center. The bureau is designed to address the challenge of Holocaust education when the last of the survivors are gone.

“We want to ensure that the Holocaust remains a story of faces, not just a history of numbers,” said Alexis Herr, the Holocaust Center’s new associate director, who was hired with the specific task of leading the NGSB effort.

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Posted by Admin on April 12, 2018
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.

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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.”

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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.

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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
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