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

Update on Our Work With Haitians in Western Massachusetts

At the end of this past summer JFS began seeing a wave of Haitians arriving to this area. The majority of those arriving are in dire need of housing and other forms of socio-economic and legal support. Many are already facing deportation.
In September, JFS was fortunate enough to find and hire Marie Ange Laroche as a full time case manager. Among her many responsibilities, Marie Ange helps these clients to secure the services that they are eligible for, such as healthcare, housing, food assistance and legal consultation. Her initial case load began with 17 families and has now grown to more than 150 people. This month we hired an additional case manager, Jean Rejouis, to help address the increasing need.
Photo caption: Marie Ange Laroche, JFS Haitian immigrant and case manager spoke at an outdoor rally for immigration justice at the Connecticut River Greenway State Park on Damon Road in Northampton on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. 

JFS Partners with VITA to Offer Free Income Tax Preparation to Refugees

JFS is thrilled to offer free Income Tax preparation to our JFS refugee clients through the IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program with the help of JFS community member volunteers. The program will cover Federal (IRS) and MA taxes for 2022, as well as 2020 and 2021 if needed. For non-English speakers, the tax preparer will use an IRS provided over the phone interpreter service. Appointments will be scheduled in-person at our office in Springfield.

100% Employment Rate for our Afghan Clients!

Tatyana Abashina, our dedicated JFS Employment Coordinator, reported at our November staff meeting that 100% of our Afghan clients seeking work are now employed! In addition, Tatyana continues to have great success in securing employment for our other refugee clients, and is pictured here with a group of new immigrants who will start working at Conklin Office Furniture this week.

JFS Pilots New Afterschool Soccer Program!

JFS will run an afterschool soccer program at Emergence Academy Middle School in Springfield from January to June, 2023. Emergence Academy provides students with limited or interrupted education with a strong foundational educational experience. Many JFS clients attend the school, making it a perfect fit for the program.
The program will be based on the Soccer Without Borders model of using soccer as a vehicle for positive change for newcomer youth by eliminating barriers to participation, providing language and academic support, and building a close community. JFS will continue to grow its partnership with SWB Boston to receive assistance with training materials and program oversight. 
 
We are looking for 4-5 volunteers to help with this program. The commitment would be every Friday the Springfield Public Schools are open (January – June) from 1:30 – 3:30pm. Experience coaching or playing soccer, and working with newcomer youth is preferred. To volunteer, please fill out our volunteer application form on our JFS website at https://www.jfswm.org/volunteer/. For more information contact Evan Bixby at e.bixby@jfswm.org

JFS Volunteer Legal Team Goes Above and Beyond!

Our JFS Volunteer Team of 16 attorneys is astonishing. We truly cannot thank them enough for their legal support for JFS Afghan evacuees. The estimated donated time for our legal team volunteers this 2022 Fiscal Year (Oct. 1, 2021 – Sept. 30, 2022) totals 5,465 hours, with their volunteer time valued at close to $1 million! We are immensely grateful to this team for their dedication and hard work.

    Upcoming Events

    Are you experiencing heightened stress in your life? Join us for Building Resilience from Within: A 6-week self-care series!

    Thursdays, beginning 10/27, 10am to 10:45am on Zoom. Learn simple techniques to balance the nervous system and deepen a healthy connection to your body. The program is free and open to the public. No experience is required. Drop-ins welcome. Click here to learn more. Registration is required.

    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.