Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts is honored to announce the establishment of the Joe Dorison Memorial Bike Fund in partnership with RadSpringfield: Make-It Springfield’s Community Bike Shop. Funds raised and used bikes collected through the Joe Dorison Memorial Bike Fund will be used to distribute bicycles to newly arriving refugees in our New American Program to provide a means of means of transportation to our clients as they get jobs in the local area.

To kick off the launch of this fund, we will be holding an Open House Used Bicycle Drive on Sunday, September 10th, noon – 3 p.m. at our JFS Welcome Center in Springfield. For more information about this drive, or to make a donation to the Joe Dorison Memorial Bike Fund, visit our website at Register here to attend.

James Greene, JFS CEO, shared “Transportation remains one of the biggest challenges in employment. This new partnership with RadSpringfield and JFS is a creative solution to that challenge and will enable us to support more people as they begin successful careers in their new home.”

Joseph S. Dorison (1958-2023) served as JFS Board President from 2001 to 2004 and was a dedicated friend to JFS. He exemplified our values of compassion, healing, integrity, and human dignity in all he did to support not only JFS, but also the broader Springfield Jewish community. In years past, Joe could be found collecting, fixing, and distributing bikes to our refugee clients to provide transportation to their jobs. He welcomed New Americans at airport pick-ups and provided stuffed animals and toys for newly arriving refugee children. He and his wife, Catherine, shared their story of welcoming refugees in a video for our JFS website to encourage others to volunteer and get involved (click here to view the video). Joe leaves a legacy of leadership and selfless service. JFS is proud to pay tribute to his life and all the ways he contributed to make a difference in the lives of others with the establishment of the Joe Dorison Memorial Bike Fund. Joan Lesser, President of the JFS Board, said “JFS is honored to launch the Joe Dorison Memorial Bike Fund, which remembers Joe with gratitude for his compassion, humor, and commitment to tikkun olam in our community.”

RadSpringfield offers a variety of bike services aimed at helping those in need. RadSpringfield volunteers help community members fix their own bikes, learn how to work on bikes, and acquire bikes to be “up-cycled”, which they take in as donations and fix up and distribute for low or no-cost. RadSpringfield has been collaborating with JFS to help provide refugees with transportation to get to work since 2021.

Since 1915, Jewish Family Service has been providing exceptional social services, rooted in Jewish values, to support individuals and families from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.