A community leader empowering people to achieve fulfilling lives.

We urgently need your help now to support Afghan Evacuees coming to Western Massachusetts!

Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts provides exceptional social services, grounded in Jewish values, to support individuals and families from diverse religious, 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.

Jewish Life

Enriching the quality of life for individuals in the Jewish community of Western Massachusetts.

Older Adults

Serving the unique needs of older adults, their families, and/or caregivers. 

Behavioral Health

Supporting individual and family resilience.

New Americans

Helping refugees resettle and thrive in our community.  

Citizenship & Immigration

Assisting immigrants and refugees to become US Citizens. 

Volunteer

Engaging community members, offering internships, and placement for AmeriCorps staff, to help our newest neighbors succeed.

Please help us welcome Afghan Evacuees by making a generous donation to JFS to our New American Program!

Click here to donate to JFS, and add a note that you want your donation to go directly to help resettle incoming Afghan evacuees.

Latest Updates

Afghan Evacuees Begin to Arrive in Western Mass!

JFS staff and volunteers are enthusiastically welcoming Afghan families and individuals. JFS has helped to resettle 30 people so far to the Springfield area – most with family and friends bringing them to our towns, as well as 17 additional Afghans to Framingham in partnership with JFS of Metrowest. We are excited to start resettlement in the Berkshires shortly – we have strong HOST groups ready to go, are hiring a Coordinator and a Case Manager and hope to have families in the area before the end of the year.
Housing remains the number one challenge across Massachusetts. The JFS team has received many leads and we are grateful – many have come through from our community already. Thank you! Volunteer housing hosts who have private spaces in their homes have also stepped forward, adding to the team’s capacity to temporarily house families while apartment searches continue. We have been successful in placing many of our Afghan evacuees in permanent housing.
 
To furnish apartments and continue to welcome families:
  1. If you are in the Springfield area and can volunteer in person to help our case managers for a full day at least once a week, we need your help! Volunteers will drive families to medical appointments, grocery stores, laundromats, and help with other assigned tasks that can add capacity to our team. Please email Sara Bedford if you are able to help in Springfield once per week for a minimum of 8 weeks. Flexibility, good humor, and willingness to learn in a fast paced environment are a must for volunteers in this role.
  2. Please continue to donate items from our Amazon Wishlist. You are making a huge impact through donating these items! It is updated every few days with the latest needs from the team – both general items for new families, and specific items needed by particular individuals and families.
  3. We are low on dressers and kitchen chairs. If you have new or gently used furniture to donate, please write to Massara Almafrachi with a picture of the items to be donated and she will connect you with our in-kind donation team. We prefer items either to be dropped to us in Springfield or items close by that we can pick up. Some community members have come together with neighbors to rent a truck to drive items to us after getting the green light. Thank you for your creative thinking!
  4. Come join us to sort donations on Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning. We are also adding a day on Friday for in kind donation sorting! Join us by applying to volunteer on our website, or reach out to Massara Almafrachi.
  5. Join our apartment set up crew to help clean apartments, move furniture, and set up items in apartments for refugees and Afghans. We need a hard workers that will be up for joining us when opportunities arise to come and chip in for a day or half day. Fill out our online application or contact Massara Almafrachi to be added to the list.

Thank You to Our Local Area HOST Groups!

They come from all over Western Massachusetts, synagogues, churches, schools, and even book clubs! These wonderful volunteer HOST teams each support one evacuee family.
 
Host Organization Support Teams (HOSTs) coordinate and support the resettlement of our new friends, providing a warm welcome and introduction to the community. Each HOST comprises a volunteer leader in five key areas including housing, education, community, medical, and employment. Each leader organizes additional volunteers to assist in the effort. JFS provides case managers for each family and works closely with the HOST to ensure a successful transition.
 
Says volunteer HOST coordinator, Susan Madon, “It has been delightful getting to know organizations throughout Western Massachusetts, all excited to help in the cause. I’ve received calls from small congregations who partner with other churches, large groups willing to HOST more than one family, and individuals who want to help with ESL teaching, driving, and providing in-kind donations.”
 
JFS has been overwhelmed by the community support and thanks to all our Host Organization Support Teams, and donors to this important initiative. To learn more about creating a HOST team, contact Susan Madon at susan.madon@gmail.com.

Are You Caring for a Parent, Spouse or Loved One? Join One of our Caregiver Support Groups!

Are you feeling overwhelmed as you try to balance your needs along with the needs of your loved ones? The JFS Caregiver Support Group provides a place to reduce caregiver isolation, receive support, explore relevant topics, discover resources, and share coping strategies.
Join us to network, support and learn from other caregivers! Currently all Caregiver Support Groups are being held remotely. Groups are free of charge. Pre-registration is required. Click here for our flyer.
To register and for more information, contact Cathy Chandler, LICSW, at c.chandler@jfswm.org or call (413) 737-2601.

How You Can Help

Help Welcome Afghan Evacuees

  • Help us fill our storerooms 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, contact Evan Bixby at e.bixby@jfswm.org, or call (413) 737-2601.
  • Housing is a primary focus. We are looking for affordable apartments, Airbnb or vacation homes, accessory dwelling units, and are even considering hosts that are willing to cohost a family in their homes.
  • Volunteer to help evacuees and SIVs successfully acclimate to their new community. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out an application here.
  • Welcome Afghans as a Faith-Based Group or Team. Host Organization Support Teams (HOSTs) organize to welcome and support newly arrived Afghan evacuees. To learn more, click here.
  • We are seeking pro bono legal assistance to help our new clients become asylees.
  • Help us expand our outreach to potential donors. Direct your neighbors and friends  looking for ways to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan to our website, and share our Facebook posts.

See how a family like yours is welcoming refugees.

Volunteer

Volunteer support is crucial to our work and the long-term success and wellness of our community.

About Us

We provide exceptional social services, grounded in Jewish values, to support individuals and families from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.

Donate

Your donation can change someone’s life and strengthen our community.

In response to COVID-19, our offices are closed to the public. You can reach our staff by phone at 413-737-2601 or email info@jfswm.org.