Major Depression Among Teens Is on the Rise—You Can Help
  • Emergency Assistance
  • Youth
Dear Friend, Julie’s mom came home from waiting tables one evening and found her daughter unconscious. Lying next to her was an empty bottle of sleeping pills. Amazingly, Julie’s life was saved at the emergency room, but it was a very close call. Her cry for help needs to be addressed with ongoing care. Julie isn’t alone in her worries. Reports of major depression have increased by 37 percent nationwide. Experts blame everything from academic pressure to online bullying—and now, sadly, the very real fear of gun violence—as the reasons so many young people seriously contemplate suicide or resort to… Read More

Posted by Admin on June 4, 2018
Weathering the Storms of Adolescence: To Hold on or Let Go?
  • Parenting
  • Youth
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During the storms of adolescence it’s a tricky balance for parents to know when to offer support and when to let go. We all want our young adults to be prepared for life, and not be stifled by a “failure to launch” into adulthood.So what’s the best way to foster independence and responsibility? And how is JFCS’ Parents Place Child and Family Clinical program and Parent Coaching program helping families get set up for success? We recently sat down with Havi Wolfson Hall, LCSW, child and adolescent therapist at JFCS’ Parents Place in Palo Alto, to find out. What… Read More

Posted by Admin on May 9, 2018
The JFCS Holiday Toy Drive Was a Big Success!
  • Donors
  • Emergency Assistance
  • Holidays
  • Volunteers
  • Youth
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Our Holiday Toy Drive was an incredible success and we couldn’t have done it without the many generous donations by our community members! You made the holiday so much brighter for children impacted by the North Bay fires and low-income families throughout the Bay Area.The numbers:700 toys were collected and distributed, including dolls, Legos, art supplies, over a dozen youth bicycles, 20 scooters, gift certificates, puzzles, athletic equipment, and more! 178 children and youth throughout the Bay Area received gifts. 500 rolls of wrapping paper were donated to make each gift special.Thank you again to everyone who… Read More

Posted by Admin on January 9, 2018
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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