A community leader partnering with people to achieve fulfilling lives.
Help our New American Program resettle refugees in Western Massachusetts!
Rooted in Jewish values, Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts provides exceptional social services to support individuals and families from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.
Our programs strengthen our community by strengthening the individual–from resettling refugee families, to supporting New Americans to become self-sufficient, counseling young adults through life’s transitions, equipping older adults to age well, protecting elders from abuse, leading caregiver support groups, and helping individuals enhance their Jewish connections.
Enriching the quality of life for individuals in the Jewish community of Western Massachusetts.
Serving the unique needs of older adults, their families, and/or caregivers.
Supporting individual and family resilience.
Helping refugees resettle and thrive in our community.
Citizenship & Immigration
Assisting immigrants and refugees to become US Citizens.
Engaging community members, offering internships, and placement for AmeriCorps staff, to help our newest neighbors succeed.
Shelter State of Emergency - Community Asks:
We are reaching out to you, our Western MA community, with an emergency request related to the latest news that shelters are at capacity and families will be on waiting lists and truly unhoused until shelter space is available. Every small effort counts and your contribution can impact these families directly during an unprecedented housing challenge in the Commonwealth.
We are looking for help to support these families in five critical ways:
- Provide urgent and temporary shelter for 3-7 days
- Provide 2-3 weeks of shelter to one family
- Secure emergency food
- Coordinate clothing and essentials
- Purchase items on our Amazon wish list
To learn more about how you can help click here.
JFS Receives $450,000 Citizenship Grant
JFS has been awarded a competitive two-year $450,000 Citizenship and Integration Grant from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This grant enables us to both continue and to expand our work helping legal permanent residents become citizens of the United States.
“We’re excited to have received this grant and look forward to our continued partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,” said Robert Radin, JFS Citizenship and Immigration Program Director. “We began this program 12 years ago with seed money from the department, and the demand for our services has grown exponentially ever since. This funding will allow us to expand educational and legal services for all immigrants and refugees in Hampden County. And this work is integral to our mission as a Jewish organization, embodying each of our core values: to promote human dignity, to treat everyone with compassion, to approve the conditions of our communities, and to act, always, with integrity.”
JFS Soccer Program Students Attend Hartford Athletic Game!
Volunteers Gather Supplies to Outfits Kitchens for Newly Arriving Refugees
An ambitious group of six volunteers, spearheaded by Sarah Fuller, joined together over a year ago, and took it upon themselves to collect pots and pans, flatware, and other kitchen necessities to outfit apartments for newly arriving refugees. The group attends tag sales, seeks out free give away items, and conducts weekly visits to local thrift shops to source the many items needed to create a functional kitchen. They then store the items in Ellen Tobiassen’s garage and meet to box up items to deliver to JFS. The group has become known at JFS as the “Kitchen Kit Crew,” and we’ve come to depend on their generous and timely donations. We are so grateful for their ingenious and enterprising efforts on behalf of JFS!
If you or someone you know is interested in VOLUNTEERING with JFS, we URGENTLY need help sorting donated items in our storage space at our Springfield office. We also need help setting up apartments for newly arriving New Americans. Click here to learn about our volunteer opportunities, and to fill out a volunteer application.
JFS Clients Learn Fire Safety with the Springfield Fire Department
On October 4th we welcomed two representatives, Eric Rosa and Anthony Almodavar, from the Springfield Fire Department (SFD) to present a class on fire safety to a group of Arabic speaking clients from Syria and South Sudan. Participants had the opportunity to share about their previous experiences with fire safety and fire fighters in their home countries and learn about the role of the fire department in their new community.
The SFD representatives taught clients all about the “dos” and “don’ts” of fire safety, including how to prevent cooking and electrical fires, and how to respond in the event of a fire. Participants were able to interact with props, including burnt cookware, and one client, Mahamatnour Mahamat (pictured here) had the chance to try on a firefighter uniform, and even went head-to-head in a push-up competition with firefighter Eric Rosa!
We are looking forward to offering and expanding this training to other communities in the future. Thank you to the Springfield Fire Department, especially Eric Rosa and Anthony Almodavar, for their time and assistance in helping to facilitate this event.
JFS Sends Staff Soccer Team to Boston!
On Saturday, Oct. 14th, JFS staff participated in Soccer Without Borders‘ (SWB) Small Goals Big Change fundraising soccer tournament in Boston. The theme of the tournament was welcoming the Afghan Women’s National Team in Boston. The Afghan Women’s National Team had their own team participating and won the tournament! The JFS team had a great time spending the day with staff, volunteers, and other community members involved with SWB, and playing lots of soccer!
Funds raised at the tournament support providing newcomer, refugee, asylee, and immigrant youth in East Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville and Springfield with access to SWB programming. SWB creates opportunities for youth to play soccer, build community, practice English, and develop life skills.
Check Out Our New Office Furniture and Our New Box Truck!
Did you know that our JFS Staff has doubled in size? Our staff now numbers over 90, and desk space has been a significant challenge since we returned to the office post-pandemic. Working with Conklin Furniture, we were able to furnish our offices with work space for 20 employees. We love our new “desk farm”!
We also love our shinny new box truck! Our new truck will allow us to pick up donations and distribute them to our current clients in a more timely manner, and to set up apartments for newly arriving refugees. Until now, we’ve been dependent on the availability of U-Haul truck rentals. Our new truck will allow us to better support the needs of our clients, and will also add a much needed capacity for our Reception and Placement team for many years to come!
If you have household items to donate to JFS, please visit the Donate Goods page on our website at https://www.jfswm.org/donate-goods/. There you’ll find a form to fill out and we will contact you as soon as possible to facilitate your donation.
Building Resilience from Within: A 6-week self-care series for caregivers and anyone experiencing stress in their lives!
Jewish Family Jam with Felicia Sloin!
How You Can Help
Everyday brings new Ukrainians and Haitians to JFS, in addition to our ongoing resettlement work welcoming refugees from other countries including Eritrea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala and Syria. While we aim to keep our storeroom supplies stocked, with the urgent influx of need, we are continually working to replenish our inventory.
- Help us replenish our supplies by purchasing items from our WISHLIST. Please designate delivery to JFS, 15 Lenox Street, Springfield, MA 01108, and add a gift receipt so that we can thank you! If you have any questions, call (413) 737-2601.
- Sign up to Volunteer! As we expand our programming, more support from the community is needed to help newly arriving refugee families! Click here to find a volunteer opportunity to fit your interests and schedule.
Rooted in Jewish values, we provide exceptional social services to support individuals and families from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.