2016 Internship & Scholarship Opportunities

JFCS is pleased to announce an internship and 3 scholarship opportunites for 2016:

JFCS announces the Rose & Louis H. Linowitz Mensch Award.  This is a merit-based award for a deserving High School senior who exemplifies what it means to be a mensch – a person of integrity and honor, a doer of good deeds, and an all-around good person.  Students must be nominated by a member of the community such as a Rabbi, educator, youth group advisor, secular school guidance counselor, teacher, parent, etc.  This $1,000 award is available to Jewish graduating High School seniors in Greater Mercer County.  This is not a need-based scholarship. Click here for an application!
Applications are due by April 30.

JFCS Internship Program AVODAH is an opportunity for currently enrolled college students to work in the Jewish Community obtaining skills and expertise in a dedicated field. Internships are available at local Jewish agencies in the Greater Mercer and Bucks Counties for the summer months and will typically be 20-25 hours a week. Acceptance into the internship program is based upon academic achievements, interests, experience, related skills, motivation, and availability. All applicants must submit a completed internship application and transcript. Click here for an application! For more information, contact Lara Wellerstein at 609-987-8100 or laraw@jfcsonline.org.
Application Deadline: May 1

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer is offering book awards to college bound Jewish students who reside in the Princeton Mercer Bucks community.   Facilitated by Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) of Greater Mercer County, the scholarships are awarded based on financial need and students must be accepted and enrolled in a college or university for the fall semester.  Click here for an application!
Application Deadline: June 1

JFCS announces the availability of the Dr. Esther Wollin Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Monies from Dr. Wollin’s estate were designated to grant a scholarship to a full-time student who will be, or is already, attending Rutgers University.  Eligibility is limited to Jewish female students raised by their Jewish mother in a single-parent household in the Princeton Mercer Bucks Community.  Eligibility is based on financial need.  Interested applicants may obtain an application by contacting Lara Wellerstein at (609) 987-8100 ext. 104 or LaraW@jfcsonline.org.
Submission Deadline: June 1

For more information or to nominate a student, contact Lara Wellerstein at 609-987-8100 or LaraW@jfcsonline.org.

JCYF Bar Mitzvah Celebration!

Over 650 people joined the Jewish Community Youth Foundation’s (JCYF) annual Philanthropy Fair and Check Presentation Ceremony, held February 21 at Robbinsville High School. Over $61,000 was distributed to 27 programs by 170 area teens representing 18 Synagogues, 11 Middle Schools and 21 High Schools.

Highlights from the evening included a Bar Mitzvah celebration honoring those that have contributed to the success of JCYF during a special candle lighting ceremony.  Greenwood House: Robert and Natalie Marcus Home for the Jewish Aged was the recipient of the No Small Change grant, an initiative where spare change is collected at each meeting and the pooled money goes to an organization selected by senior class representatives.

Stephanie Blitzer of East Windsor, a junior at American University and a 2013 JCYF graduate, won the sixth annual JCYF Distinguished Alumni Award for her participation in many philanthropic and community service activities. She received a $360 award which she will donate toward HIAS, an organization that protects and advocates for the most vulnerable refugees, helping them build new lives and reuniting them with their families in safety and freedom.  Stephanie told the current JCYF participants: “Don’t wait until you graduate from JCYF to fully understand and appreciate the skills you developed.  It is a privilege to participate in such an amazing organization.”

To see a special Bar Mitzvah video highlighting 13 years of JCYF, and message from alumni award winner Stephanie Blitzer, visit our Stories page.

For more information, visit the Jewish Community Youth Foundation page!

An Enchanted Evening – 2016 Gala!

Join us for dinner, dancing, and more on March 5, 2016 at the Westin Princeton Forrestal Village for our 2016 Gala – An Enchanted Evening! We will be honoring our 14-year partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Executive Director Linda Meisel for her 18 years of exceptional service.

All the details can be found on our gala website, where you can buy your tickets, peruse the silent auction, and read all about our amazing honorees.

Jewish Bereavement Group starting 3/3/2016

This is a weekly group in which members converse openly and support one another through the grief process. Open to any Jewish adult, regardless of affiliation, who has lost a loved one within the past 18 months. Facilitated by Beverly Rubman, Chaplain.

The group will meeting on Thursday mornings from 10:30am – 12:00pm, March 3rd through April 14th (excluding 3/24), at the JFCS office at 707 Alexander Road, Suite 102, Princeton. $36 for 6 sessions.

Pre-Registration required.
To register, contact Beverly Rubman at (609) 987-8100 x151 or beverlyr@jfcsonline.org.

Click here for program flyer with full details.

Mental Health Problems in our Community: Prevention and Decreasing Stigma

Join Andrea LoPresti, LCSW, Clinical Director of  JFCS of GMC  for an interactive, educational discussion on Monday December 21st at 6:45 PM at Beth El Synagogue, entitled “Mental Health Problems in our Community: Prevention and Decreasing Stigma.

As JFCS’ Director of Clinical Services, I am all too familiar with the negative consequences of ignoring mental health problems until they become a crisis.  One in five Americans will be diagnosed with a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime; half of the time symptoms will begin by early adolescence.

Please join us in understanding some key red flags, symptoms and strategies that will enhance our understanding of behavioral health problems. Learn about strategies and resources focused on increasing wellness while decreasing shame and denial.

JFCS thanks Beth El Synagogue for co-hosting this important community event with JFCS.

All adults from the Mercer County Community are welcome! Please call Andrea LoPresti at 609-987-8100 x 119 for more information.

Light refreshments will be served.

Barnes & Noble Bookfair

Shop at Barnes & Noble in Market Fair Mall in Princeton on Sunday, November 22! Bookfair sales will benefit JFCS. If you can’t make it, please consider supporting us by purchasing online at bn.com/bookfairs from 11/22/15 through 11/27/15 and using Bookfair ID 1165572 at checkout.

For full details, see the program flyer!

Domestic Violence Awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and JFCS would like to provide domestic violence prevention tips to the community. Learn ways you can help to end domestic violence!

  1. Speak Out
    Domestic violence thrives when we are silent. Inform the individual about your concerns for their safety. Don’t get discouraged if they refuse or ignore your concerns. Voicing your concerns may help them recognize the unhealthy relationship signs and patterns.
  2. Listen
    It is difficult for victims to find the strength to acknowledge and verbalize their reality. Be supportive and empathic while listening to their concerns and fears. It is important for them to know you are available to help whenever they may need it. They will need to talk to someone who they can trust and make them feel safe.

Click here for the full article and more resources.

Millennial Madness

JFCS is starting a new group: “Millennial Madness” Move Out and Move On. The group will cover tips, resources and strategies on navigating work, dating and independence while living with your parents.

The group will meet Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm at the JFCS office at 707 Alexander Road, Suite 102. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information about cost and if the group is a good fit for you, please contact Andrea LoPresti at andreal@jfcsonline.org or 609-987-8100.

Back to School Transition Tips

The start of a new school year can cause anxiety for children, adolescents, and parents.  Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County would like to share a few tips to ease the transition of summer vacation to returning back to school. The following tips are meant to assist children with alleviating symptoms of school anxiety.

  • Address Back to School Jitters. Parents and caregivers should not assume they understand the reason behind their child’s back to school jitters. An open discussion with children and adolescents allows them an opportunity to explore their feelings and concerns with a trusted individual. Parents are then able to better direct support where it is needed. For example, a child may be having concerns about not being able to make new friends during the school year. Parents can provide a supportive environment by reminding children of past successes in order to ease their anxiety. According to Tara Gleeson, pediatric nurse practitioner at Goryeb Children’s Hospital, parents may wish to encourage their child to think about what are the things they are most looking forward to about starting school and what they are not looking forward to once they go back to school.
  • Restart Routines. Prepare approximately two weeks in advance in order to allow kids adequate time to adjust to a new schedule. Follow regular bedtimes and breakfast mealtimes, and maintain the same sleep schedule on the weekends. Kids generally have more flexibility during the summer months and will need extra time to adjust to going to bed earlier and waking up earlier in the mornings. Penn State Extension recommends making a few practice runs of the morning routine to ensure you and the children have plenty of time built into your schedule for getting to school on time.
  • Go Over Ground Rules. Establishing guidelines prior to the beginning of the school year will ensure you and your children are on the same page once school is in session. The Scholastic website recommends going over tricky topics including: Can your child watch television after finishing homework? How late can friends visit on school nights? When and where should homework be completed? Discussing the rules beforehand will help children understand what is expected of them once they return back to school.
  • Engage in Extracurricular Activities. Recreational activities outside of school are a great way for children to cope with stress and anxiety. Whether its sports, dance, theater, or science, extracurricular activities gives kids another arena to demonstrate mastery and competence, which is important to their self-esteem and identity development. According to the Child Mind Institute, older kids especially benefit from after school activities because it provides a form of protection against dangerous behaviors including substance abuse.
  • Manage Your Own Anxiety. It’s important to maintain a positive attitude about summer ending and school starting, advises child psychologist Edward Christopherson, “If you are nervous about school starting, then your child is certainly going to be nervous about returning back to school.” Parents and caregivers also benefit from following the back to school tips because it provides structure and alleviates stress and confusion about what to expect once school begins.

Anxiety is a normal response to life stressors, however, if your symptoms are difficult to manage and interfering with your life, it is important to seek professional help. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, we are here to help.