Peninsula Jewish Community Golf Classic Raises $23,000 to Support JFCS Peninsula Food Banks
  • JFCS News
  • Nutrition Program
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On October 29, 2023, local synagogue members and men’s clubs teed off at Crystal Springs Golf Course for the 2023 Peninsula Jewish Community Golf Classic (PCJGC), raising over $23,000 to support JFCS’ Food Bank and nutrition programs on the Peninsula. The Peninsula Jewish Community Golf Classic has been held for the past 13 years. In 2021, the PJCGC Committee saw a chance to leverage the tournament’s success into a fundraising opportunity. Since then, the committee and its collaborators have generously supported Jewish Family and Children’s Services programs.  When asked why the tournament selected JFCS as its beneficiary, committee cofounder David… Read More

Posted by Admin on January 11, 2024
Dementia Care & Autonomy: JFCS Visits Amsterdam to Unlock the Secrets of Hogeweyk Village 
  • People with Disabilities
  • Seniors
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Staying on the cutting edge of treatments for people with memory loss and their families is vital for the industry-leading team behind JFCS’ Center for Dementia Care. That’s why, recently, we embarked on a transformative journey to explore what could be the future of Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Joined by colleagues from Rhoda Goldman Plaza—JFCS’ premier assisted living community—our team traveled to Amsterdam for an exclusive and immersive training experience at Hogeweyk’s Dementia Village.  Immersive Training with Hogeweyk Hogeweyk (pronounced HOH-guh-vaik), established in 2009, is a world-famous memory care community that shares JFCS’ specialized, person-centered philosophy of treatment. The… Read More

Posted by Admin on January 10, 2024
Bridging Our Differences: How To Talk to Our Loved Ones About Difficult Topics
  • Counseling & Mental Health
  • Israel Response
  • Holidays
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By Robyn Bloom, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at JFCS As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have recently been asked for advice from folks who are worried about spending time with family members with different perspectives on current events, politics and—most recently—the war in Israel. With all the conflict in the world, peace in the home, Shalom Bayit, should be the goal—which can make it tempting to shy away from difficult topics. But there are ways to communicate that can bring us closer together and deepen our understanding of one another. When done carefully, with a willingness to listen… Read More

Posted by Admin on November 16, 2023
How Holocaust Education Will Change Hearts and Minds in California’s Schools
  • JFCS News
  • Education
  • Holocaust Center
By Dr. Anita Friedman, JFCS Executive Director and co-chair of the Governor’s Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education As we all can see, hate is surging at unprecedented levels throughout our society. Antisemitism is at an all-time high in California, and every week the JFCS Holocaust Center receives calls from local schools seeking guidance on how to handle hateful incidents. Now more than ever, education is critically and urgently needed to combat this frightening trend. The Case for Fighting Antisemitism and Hate Through Education Holocaust education was legally required in the California state education code as of 1985. Only now,… Read More

Posted by Admin on November 3, 2023
Talking to Children About the Violence in Israel
  • Counseling & Mental Health
  • Israel Response
  • Center for Children and Youth
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Over the weekend, Hamas—the Iranian-backed terror group controlling Gaza—launched an unprovoked and vicious surprise attack on Israel and its families. Hundreds of Israeli children, families, and elderly have been murdered or kidnapped to be used as human shields. We are heartbroken for the families who are experiencing this horrifying violence. And we know that this may be a painful and personally difficult situation for families in our community. JFCS’ Center for Children and Youth is here for you and your family with expert counseling, guidance for parents, and emotional support. If you or your child need support, please contact us… Read More

Posted by Admin on October 10, 2023
JFCS’ Immigration Experts Help Reunite Loved Ones
  • Legal Services
  • Stories & Testimonials
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Marcelo and Doreen's

Marcelo and Doreen

Marcelo and Doreen met in Buenos Aires in 2008. Marcelo was a journalist and human rights activist who had been wrongfully imprisoned by the military junta as a youth. Doreen was an author and poet from Marin. Both lovers of tango, the pair became enamored with each other on the dance floor of the beautiful tango ballroom at The Confiteria Ideal—but their relationship would become complicated by Marcelo’s path to emigration.

As a young student protesting the Argentinian government’s authoritarian closure of universities, Marcelo had been unjustly detained and tortured by the junta. And, since there were no legal divorces in Argentina when Marcelo’s first marriage dissolved 35 years before meeting Doreen, his divorce would need to be formalized. Between his arrest history and unresolved earlier marriage, it was not going to be easy to obtain a fiancé visa from the United States.

Marcelo and Doreen were determined to be together, however, so they embarked on the arduous journey through the immigration process. They faced a series of painful setbacks and delays, but they were eventually able to overcome the challenges with the help of JFCS’ immigration experts.

Marcelo with immigration card

Marcelo with his green card.

Brett Snider, an immigration attorney and the Director of Legal Services at JFCS, played a pivotal role in Marcelo and Doreen’s journey. Brett and his team helped Marcelo resolve the issue of his student arrest. JFCS’ Legal Services department also recommended that Marcelo and Doreen contact their congressperson’s office when the Covid-19 pandemic forced embassies around the world to close. An industrious aide was able to put them in direct contact with a closed embassy and schedule Marcelo’s required physical examination.

JFCS’ fierce advocacy and refusal to accept defeat were what Doreen and Marcelo needed to finally cut through the red tape. In July of 2021, Marcelo was granted entry to the U.S. on a fiancé visa. They were married three weeks later in a beautiful ceremony at Rodef Shalom Synagogue in San Rafael, California.

In July of 2023, nearly ten years after beginning his journey, Marcelo worked with JFCS’ Legal Services again to finally obtain his permanent residency card. Now, the JFCS team is eagerly on standby, waiting for the date when Marcelo is eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.

Marcelo and Doreen

Marcelo and Doreen celebrate their marriage at Rodef Shalom Synagogue in San Rafael

When asked if there was anything they would have done differently throughout this entire process, Doreen said, “We would have reached out to JFCS right from the beginning. That would have cut two years off at least. Brett and his team really know the law around it. It’s not just immigration!”

Marcelo and Doreen’s story is a poignant reminder that love and resilience can triumph over even the most formidable—and bureaucratic—challenges. With the support of one another and the guiding hand of JFCS, Marcelo and Doreen are forging ahead with open hearts and an unwavering sense of possibility.

About JFCS Immigration Services

JFCS’s Citizenship Services help individuals and families navigate the complex immigration system. We provide legal assistance, case management, and financial support to help people achieve their immigration goals.

If you are facing immigration challenges, we encourage you to contact JFCS for help. We can help you understand your options and develop a plan to achieve your goals.

To learn more about JFCS Citizenship Services, visit our website or call us at 415-449-2906.

To donate to help more families like Marcelo and Doreen’s, visit jfcs.org/donate.


Posted by Admin on September 27, 2023
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