solving problems. uplifting lives.

A community leader empowering people to achieve fulfilling lives.

Help our New American Program resettle refugees in 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.

Latest Updates

JFS Welcomes New Executive Director!

The Board of Directors at JFS is pleased to announce the hiring of our new incoming Chief Executive Officer, Rabbi James Greene. James brings over two decades of expertise in the Jewish nonprofit world from the interdenominational space of Jewish Community Centers and Independent camps.
Our current CEO, Maxine Stein, whose vision and leadership was responsible for our agency’s unprecedented growth and expansion during her tenure, will retire at the end of January, 2023.
James is excited to bring his unique skills in strategic planning and operational excellence to serve our Western Massachusetts community in his new role as CEO of JFSWM, and shared, “One of the important lessons of the last three years is the importance of having a community that reflects our values. Jewish Family Service is an organization that is deeply committed to the most cherished values of the Jewish community and of the greater community in Western Massachusetts. It is an honor to be able to carry forward that work in the years ahead.”
After a yearlong national search, JFS Board President, Joan Lesser shared “On behalf of the Board, I extend a warm welcome to Rabbi James Greene who we look forward to working with to fulfill the mission of JFS.” 
Click here to learn more about James.

Update on Our Work With Ukrainians in Western Massachusetts

We are currently serving over 300 Ukrainian clients, with new walk-ins and calls coming in every week–some even calling for appointments before they leave Ukraine. Alina Dyachenko, our JFS Ukrainian Resettlement Case Manager, was hired in May 2022, and has been working tirelessly to meet the needs of Ukrainians who began arriving in Western Massachusetts after the invasion. Since then we have hired a Family Support Specialist, Ukrainian Case Aide, Ukrainian Youth Case Manager, and will be filling two new additional positions to provide services related to the successful integration of Ukrainian humanitarian parolees and other eligible clients.
JFS provides cash assistance to families and helps families access food assistance, health insurance, additional financial assistance, employment and behavioral health support, and legal counsel. To date, we have submitted over 100 Employment Authorization USCIS applications. Recent good news came on November 21, 2022 with a new law allowing Ukrainians to work without out a work permit for their first 90 days of employment, using only their I-94 form. JFS promptly hired a new Ukrainian arrival, and would encourage anyone looking for new employees to do the same. If you have a job opportunity available, contact Tatyana Abashina, JFS Employment Coordinator, at t.abashina@jfswm.org.

Looking Back at JFS in 2022

Click here to read our 2022 Impact Report and see how much we have accomplished! Highlights include: 2026 individuals strengthened their Jewish connections; 105 immigrants became U.S. Citizens; 545 refugees were welcomed and resettled; 1230 new Americans were assisted through our Citizenship & Immigration Program; 436 individuals were helped through counseling to cope with life’s challenges; 560 older adults maintained their independence; 22 vulnerable elders were protected from abuse; 43 caregivers connected and supported each other; 446 volunteers gave of themselves and provided 3,750 volunteer hours; and so much more!

Refugee Shabbat 2023

Refugee Shabbat, a project of HIAS, which will take place on February 3-4, 2023, is a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals in the United States and around the world to dedicate a Shabbat experience to refugees and asylum seekers. The fastest-growing European refugee crisis since World War II is still ongoing. People seeking asylum are being turned away at borders around the world. And this year, for the first time ever, the total number of displaced persons globally is over 100 million. This is a critical moment for all of us to reaffirm and redouble our support for refugees and asylum seekers.
How to Participate
Whether you sign up to participate on behalf of your congregation or as an individual hosting an event in a home, there are many options for your Refugee Shabbat. When you register on the HIAS website at https://hias.org/how/refugee-shabbat/ you will receive the official Refugee Shabbat Resource Guide, which includes a text study, program suggestions, sermon starters, a Spotify playlist, as well as a Refugee Shabbat video message from Rachel Levitan, HIAS’s Vice President of International Policy and Relations.

Upcoming Events

Jewish Family Jam with Felicia Sloin!

Join us for our new 2023 Winter & Spring sessions. Now at a new time, TUESDAYS 10:45-11:30am in the library at the Lander Grinspoon Academy in Northampton! Explore Jewish holidays, language, culture and values through music, movement and drumming. For ages 0-5 and their caregivers. Classes begin January 24th! Registration is required. Cost: $25 registration fee per Session. Click here to register. Questions? Contact Rosiland Torrey at r.torrey@jfswm.org.

Spread the Word—We Have Openings in Our Caregiver Support Groups

Are you caring for a parent, spouse or loved one? Join one of our Caregiver Support Groups to reduce caregiver isolation, receive support, explore relevant topics, discover resources, share coping strategies and learn from other caregivers. Currently all support groups are being held remotely. Groups are free of charge. Pre-registration is required. Click here for more information, or contact Cathy Chandler at c.chandler@jfswm.org.

Afghan Cultural Orientation Trainings for Providers on YouTube

Are you a Community Provider working with Afghan patients or clients? Visit our JFS Youtube Channel to access recordings from our Afghan Cultural Orientation Series, including sessions for Mental & Behavioral Health, General Physical Health, Maternal & Early Childhood Health, Primary Education, Secondary Education, Social Services & Emergency Response, and Community Engagement providers. Presentations are each an hour long, followed by a Q&A to learn best practices to use with our new Afghan neighbors.

How You Can Help

Help Welcome New Refugees

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, contact Dana Lanoue at d.lanoue@jfswm.org, or 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.
  • Welcome refugees as a Faith-Based Group or Team. Host Organization Support Teams (HOSTs) organize to welcome and support newly arrived refugees. To learn more, click here.
  • We are seeking pro bono legal assistance to help our new clients become asylees.

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.