What We’re Doing, What’s in the Works, and How to Help

It is impossible to look around you – even from within your own home – and not be inundated with information about the COVID-19 outbreak. These are uncharted waters for our local, national and global communities, but, there is an oddly comforting unity to know that this outbreak has an impact of everyone in our community, we are in this together.

We do not know how long our lives will be upended by restrictions and quarantines, but we do know the impact will last even longer. Right now and through the uncertain future, JFCS will be here ensuring help, hope and healing. In this phase of social distancing and disconnection, we intend to keep you, our community, well informed on JFCS actions.

What are we doing right now?

We are utilizing all available resources to ensure the most vulnerable and most in need have food:

  • We provided 50 families at Better Beginnings with packaged groceries
  • We plan to maintain our Mobile Food Pantry distribution schedule, including a stop at for 50 Redding Circle residents this week
  • April pantry hours for our on-site Yvette Sarah Clayman Kosher Food Pantry will be kept for our scheduled clients. For the health & safety of all, clients will be provided prepacked bags of grocery items, delivered to them in their cars, limiting outside access to our site.
  • Kosher Meals on Wheels continue to be delivered to homebound seniors. Meals are delivered by staff at the door with no direct contact with the recipient.
  • We are packing to-go boxes for Kosher Café seniors and have seen an increased attendance given the limited resources available for this low-income population. Last week we also provided the Kosher Café guests with a supplemental bag of grocery items to help them during this time.
  • We have frozen prepared meals available to supplement any of our seniors existing deliveries on an as-needed basis.
  • We are exploring all possible resources for packaged, pantry items and prepared meals to keep in stock as we anticipate growing need for food among our seniors and the food-insecure.
  • We are ordering Kosher for Passover meals to be distributed to our homebound senior clients.

Counseling is being provided by phone to our existing clients. Our team of counselors is available to take new calls for anyone who needs immediate assistance to cope with the heightened stress, anxiety or fear and for those with ongoing mental health concerns.

JFCS Geriatric Care Managers are making regular check-in calls and providing support by phone to our Secure@Home members, low-income seniors, Holocaust Survivors and support group members.

Volunteers have stepped up to provide check-in calls to our Kosher Meals on Wheels clients as well as seniors who were enrolled in Cooking Companions and Friendly Visitor programs.

We have launched a comprehensive resource page on our website as a one-stop source of agency information, helpful blogs from our staff on topical issues, and links to outside resources.

What is in the works?

  • Our staff is working with all community partners to make connections and ensure any available food is reaching those who need it most.
  • We are planning to launch teen engagement programs over Zoom (video conferencing) to keep our youth connected and supported during this challenging time.
  • We are creating plans to host Community Calls with one of our counselors to provide topical information on the challenges being faced by many.
  • We are working to offer free “call-in” hours during the week where callers can be connected to one of our counselors for coping skills and support.
  • We are exploring the capabilities of Zoom and other conference-calling programs to deliver supportive workshops to our constituents.

What can you do?

  • If you know of any counseling needs in the community, recommend JFCS.
  • If you know of families or seniors in need of food, recommend JFCS.
  • If you know of resources that will help us continue to deliver our programs whether it is through food, funding, or technology, we welcome your help and support.
  • LAST BUT NOT LEAST… check in on your children, your parents, your elderly neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, and yourself.

Administrative staff will be available by phone to answer any questions Monday – Thursday 9 AM – 5 PM and Friday 9 AM – 4 PM. Please note effective March 23, the restrictions noted in our original posting remain in place indefinitely in accordance with local, state and national health and safety guidelines. 

JFCS is stretching our resources as far as possible at this time to ensure our current clients have the support they need, be it counseling, senior resources and food. We know this is just the beginning of a rise in need for our services. Help us be equipped to provide for as many as possible here in our community.

Consider a contribution today.

NOTICE ON PROGRAMS DURING COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

 

UPDATED MONDAY MARCH 16, 2020

JFCS is here for the health of our community. In line with directives from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as local leadership for the state of New Jersey and County of Mercer, we are moving our programs and staff to remote schedules effective March 16 – 27. We understand this situation is evolving day by day and will continue to assess our remote service delivery during these two weeks and beyond as prudent and safe for our staff, our clients, and all constituents. 

 Please note the following changes to programs & services:  

  • No clients or visitors will be allowed inside JFCS offices through March 27. 

  • Counseling services will be provided through tele-therapy. We are continuing to take new calls for clients interested in services. If interested in counseling services, call us at 609-987-8100 Ext 102.

  • Seniors enrolled in our programs will receive regular check-ins and phone support to connect them with needed resources. There will be no in-home visits and/or geriatric assessments provided by Senior Services. 

  • Food delivery programs will continue to the extent our resources are available.

  • Gesher LeKesher and Jewish Community Youth Foundation (JCYF) recruitment and programmatic gatherings are canceled through April 1.

  • J-Serve, International Day of Jewish Youth Service is canceled.
  • All community events and days of service are canceled through April 1.
  • All volunteer activities are canceled through April including Shop & Stocks, Chore Corps, Cooking Companions, Friendly Visitors and all individual and group opportunities
  • All on and off-site support and therapeutic groups are canceled through April 1 including Bereavement groups, Caregiver Support group, and Youth Mindfulness group.

Administrative staff will be available by phone to answer any questions Monday – Thursday 9 AM – 5 PM and Friday 9 AM – 4 PM.  

Roll the Dice with JFCS! Casino Night is back!

JFCS Casino Night

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Hyatt Regency Princeton, 102 Carnegie Center Princeton NJ 08540

Join us for an exciting evening of casino gaming, derby races with live betting, raffle prizes, hors d’oeuvres and open bar all night!


2020 Honorees:

Helping Hand…Lois Miller

Partner in Healing ….Berkshire Bank

Beacon of Hope … JFCS Mobile Food Pantry


Dietary Laws Observed – Catering Provided by Classical Caterers

Below are the links to sponsor forms:

Click here for individual purchasing options.

Interested in Sponsorship packages? Click here!

Unable to join us? Make a donation in honor of the agency or one of our honorees!

OR download our event form to see all options to support Casino Night.

An Evening with Rachel Levy Lesser

Description: Local Author Rachel Levy Lesser discusses her newly released book and reflects on the significance and sentimentality of accessories she acquired throughout her life.

Date: Thursday, December 5th at 7:00PM

Location: Shir Ami (101 Richboro Rd, Newtown)

Wine and dessert reception $36 per person – Register here: https://app.mobilecause.com/form/aAIj-g?vid=1yo36

**Registration includes free copy of the book!**

More Info: Eden Aaronson at 609-987-8100 ext. 113 or EdenA@jfcsonline.org

Nosh & Knowledge: Free Will

Description: Free will in Judaism is the capacity to choose between different courses of actions, words or thoughts—not due to outside influence, internal nature or any sort of personal preference. Just a balanced choice between right and wrong. This notion that human beings can exercise their own free will when making moral decisions is axiomatic to Judaism. And the conflict between human free will and the omnipotence of the Creator is a pervasive theme in the Jewish narrative of history. Cantor Stuart Binder will examine this paradox that Jewish thinkers have wrestled with for thousands of year – how can God endow human beings with free will and remain God?  A kosher lunch will be provided by Greenwood House and there is a requested donation of $5.00 per person. You may also bring your own kosher-style lunch. 

Date: Thursday November 21st at 12:30PM

Location: Congregation Beth Chaim (329 Village Road East, West Windsor)

RSVP: is required by 11/15 to Beth Englezos at bethe@jfcsonline.org or 609-987-8100, ext. 126.

This program is sponsored by Congregation Beth Chaim, Greenwood House & JFCS.

JFCS & Beth El Seniors Present: Fanciful Creatures of Judaism

Description: All civilizations create imaginary creatures to explain away various happenings for which they have no logical explanations.  The number of beings may depend on the religious or naturalistic belief structures that have been developed throughout time.  Along with Laurie Dinerstein-Kurs, the question we will answer is: Has Judaism succumbed to this occurrence, and how? 

Date: Thursday November 14th at 1:00PM

Location: Beth El Synagogue (50 Maple Stream Road)

RSVP: is required by 11/8 to Beth Englezos at bethe@jfcsonline.org or 609-987-8100, ext. 126. Or call Beth El Synagogue at 609-443-4454. 

This program is sponsored by Beth El Seniors & JFCS.

Freedom Song

DESCRIPTION: Freedom Song is a trans formative musical created by Beit T’Shuvah that interweaves the story of Passover and personal stories of addiction.

The cast is made up of addicts in recovery from drugs, alcohol, gambling and other destructive behaviors.

This performance will dispel the myth that Jews are immune to addiction and the message will resonate with all.

Through songs, dance, tears, laughter and post-show discussion with the cast, Freedom Song will open your eyes to the real life struggle against the “bondage of self” that we all fight every day.

LOCATION: NJHA Confrence & Event Center (760 Alexander Road, Princeton)

DATE: Sunday November 3 from 2-4PM *Doors open at 1:30pm*

Free and open to the community but RSVP requested by Oct 29th
Text FREEDOMSONG to 51555 to RSVP

RSVP Online Here: https://app.mobilecause.com/form/AULfBg?vid=1jn6j

Questions? Contact Helaine Isaacs at 609-987-8100 ext. 104

Sponsored By: The Jewish Federation – Ariel Eden Malberg Memorial Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation – Adath Israel Congregation – Beth El East Windsor – Congregation Beth Chaim – Congregation Beth El – ICARE of East Windsor Hightstown – Congregation Kehilat Shalom – Congregation Kol Emet – The Fishbane Family – JCC Princeton Mercer Bucks – The Jewish Center – Penn Medicine of Princeton House – Temple Micah – Shir Ami

JFCS to Hold Pop-Up Food Pantry

DATE:  Wednesday, July 10, 2019

TIME: 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Christ Congregation, 50 Walnut Lane, Princeton

DESCRIPTION: Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS) will be taking its Community Food Pantry on the road and hosting a Pop-Up Food Pantry at Christ Congregation in Princeton where fresh fruits, vegetables, snack foods, and non-perishable items will be available.  Food pantry distribution is first-come, first-served until food runs out.  Open to the community.  No proof of income is necessary, but you must self-attest to need.  Also, a vegetarian dinner will be prepared by congregants and served at 6:00 p.m. 

JFCS has been operating the Yvette Sarah Clayman Community Food Pantry since 1999.  The Pantry is choice-based and allows clients to shop for their food instead of picking up a prepared bag.  This follows our philosophy of empowering clients to care effectively for themselves and others.  It is open to people of all denominations in Mercer County.

RSVP: If you plan to attend the dinner to Beth Englezos at bethe@jfcsonline.org or 609-987-8100, ext. 126.

JFCS Mobile Food Truck

What is The Mobile Food Truck Project?

The JFCS Mobile Food Truck will bring the resources of our pantry on the road to locations across Mercer County. At each location, we will park our fully-stocked truck and distribute groceries to those in need. The truck will be FREE, CHOICE FOOD PANTRY that aligns with our mission of empowering individuals to make informed choices and care for themselves.


Why are We Taking Our Pantry on the Road?

  • In Mercer County, almost 40,000 individuals face food insecurity, lacking consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life
  • 33% of food insecure individuals in Mercer County fall above the SNAP benefit line, but still lack sufficient resources & access to fresh, healthy food options
  • The number of older residents in NJ facing food insecurity is growing. Due to limitations in physical mobility and financial resources, they often are not able to access nutritious choices available in supermarkets
  • Public transportation options are not convenient for existing pantries outside of the Trenton city-center
  • Low-cost food options available at convenience stores, most accessible to populations in need, often lack fresh fruits & vegetables and varied, nutrient-rich options.

How Can You Help Get the Truck Rolling?

Over the next several months, our goal is to raise the funds to purchase our fully outfitted pantry truck and establish partners throughout the community as future truck sites. Founding sponsorship options are available and include recognition opportunities on the truck, on our website, pinned materials, social media, and more.


Looking for a way to contribute as a founder at a level not listed? Contact Helaine Isaacs at 609-987-8100 Ext. 104.