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

Summer at JFS!

Summer at JFS means creating opportunities for refugee kids to attend camp! This year, JFS partnered for the second year in a row with Soccer Without Borders, and for the first time with The Performance Project to put on a free, four-day clinic from Saturday, June 25th – Tuesday, June 28th at Springfield College. Over eighty youth from ten countries came together to participate in team-building activities, soccer games, and bucket drumming workshops. It was inspiring to see how quickly youth from different backgrounds overcame language barriers and cultural differences to create new friendships in such a short period of time.

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Kids are also attending summer camp at the Springfield Jewish Community Center J-Camp and Playful Minds, which run for the whole summer. These camps offer important opportunities for children to expand their English language skills and their social circles. After only one week, many campers have already moved from the beginner to the intermediate swimming group, have successfully navigated ropes courses with the help of their fellow campers, and have connected with new friends!

Thank you to the Seven Hills Foundation for their assistance in securing DTA vouchers for 36 children to make camp affordable for the families, and to our volunteers and staff who orchestrated rides to make camp accessible!

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Ukrainian Youth Receive Donated Musical Instruments!

Last month, the parents of two newly arrived Ukrainian families shared their concerns with us about their children’s’ emotional wellbeing and ability to cope with having to move to the US. These families were not able to take anything with them when they fled Ukraine. They showed us pictures of their kids in music competitions, and said they had found YouTube video lessons for their children to continue practicing, but they needed instruments. We immediately put out the call for donations of musical instruments and our community responded! Thank you to everyone who donated. Last week, there were sounds of joy and music in our office as we met with the families and distributed the donated instruments.
We are still looking for more violins, one more cello and one more clarinet! If you can help, please contact Dana Lanoue at d.lanoue@jfswm.org

Update From Our New American Program

Our New American Staff and Volunteers are continuing their work to help our Afghan clients settle into their new lives here, as well as readying for and receiving new refugee arrivals, and stepping up to meet the needs of our new Ukrainian neighbors.
To date, this fiscal year, we have assisted over 200 Afghan evacuees, over 20 Haitian parolees, a Cuban asylee, a Guatemalan asylee, and 45 refugees. In addition, we have also welcomed over 150 Ukrainians who found their way to Western Massachusetts and to JFS for help. We expect that number to go up to 300 in the coming weeks, and are working to provide cash assistance, help with applications for food stamps, support for legal needs and more! We will also be starting three new English classes for Ukrainians, as well as Cultural Orientation classes, and will be distributing Chromebooks to our new Ukrainian students.

Upcoming Events

Outdoor Photography Exhibit to Feature Photographs and Stories of Five Former JFS Clients

Visit the Amherst Town Common on July 23rd, and Pulaski Park in Northampton, MA on August 13th and 14th for an outdoor photography show by Mei Seva, “To Begin Anew.” The exhibition will feature photographs with stories from five former refugees and clients in our Citizenship and Immigration Program, who have resettled in Western Massachusetts and become American citizens. The New Americans featured are originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and Syria.

How You Can Help

Help Welcome New Refugees

  • 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 Dana Lanoue at d.lanoue@jfswm.org, or call (413) 737-2601.
  • 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.

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.