Each year, Jewish Family Service Agency, in collaboration with Jewish Women International-B.C., operates Project Isaiah – a High Holy Days food drive that assists members of our community in need. A successful response to Project Isaiah is vital to provide 300 people in the community with four months’ worth of provisions from the Jewish Food Bank.
JFSA is grateful for the assistance of local synagogues in distributing bags and collecting items from congregants for this special project. The bags are distributed in September and JFSA asks that people pick one (or more) up, fill it with non-perishable food and return the full bag(s) to their synagogue or wherever they originally collected the bag(s). All donations go directly to the Jewish Food Bank to assist individuals and families.
For more information about Project Isaiah – “… share your bread with the hungry” (Isaiah 58:7) – contact Marnie Greenwald at 604-257-5151, ext. 1-230, or [email protected], or Sara Ciacci at 604-325-4810.
Visit jfsa.ca/donate or call 604-257-5151 to make a direct donation, or buy a Rosh Hashanah tribute card, to support JFSA’s food assistance programs or any of its other funds.
Most of the volunteers have been with the JFSA Seniors Lunch program for up to 15 years. (photo from Jewish Family Service Agency)
The Jewish Family Service Agency Seniors Lunch program held its annual volunteer appreciation event on Aug. 8. The volunteers were treated to lunch catered by Omnitsky and had the chance to share why they are involved in the program.
Most of the volunteers have been with this weekly event for up to 15 years. A close bond has formed among the volunteers and the warmth and camaraderie is what contributes to the success all around. They spoke movingly about how important it is for them to be involved in it, to give their time to it, week in and week out. They said they believe so strongly in what JFSA does and, therefore, want to be involved in some way.
When asked why they are so committed to this program in particular, the volunteers said they loved the seniors, that it felt so good being with them and that their own week went better when they were giving to others. Their longtime involvement is a testament to the importance of the lunch program – they want to help make sure that it continues to flourish.
The JFSA Seniors Lunch is completely volunteer-driven. It is a full-course, sit-down kosher lunch held every Tuesday at noon. It is held twice a month at Temple Sholom, once a month at Beth Israel and, the last Tuesday of the month, a movie is shown in cooperation with the Vancouver Jewish Film Centre at the Peretz Centre.
Seniors enjoy being with old and new friends from the Jewish community. Socialization and good nutrition are two primary determinants in healthy aging and the lunch program addresses both of these issues. For more information and reservations, please call JFSA at 604-558- 5709.
Robin Esrock speaks at the Jewish Family Service Agency’s Seniors Lunch program. (photo from JFSA)
Well-known travel writer Robin Esrock gave an inspirational talk to the Jewish Family Service Agency’s Seniors Lunch program, which took place at Congregation Beth Israel on July 11.
Esrock has written for several publications, has been a TV host and his book The Great Canadian Bucket List was on the bestseller list in Canada and Australia. He told the approximately 40 guests the story of how his adventure-focused career began and how he has been very fortunate in the unorthodox path he has chosen. He also shared his philosophy, which is “you are just where you are supposed to be.”
JFSA’s Seniors Lunch program comprises a kosher meal once a month at Beth Israel and twice a month at Temple Sholom on Tuesdays at noon. All Jewish seniors are welcome. For more information and reservations, call Queenie Hamovich at 604-558-5709.
Jewish Family Service Agency has appointed Richard Fruchter as senior management consultant. He began working in this position on Jan. 7, and will be leading JFSA while the executive director search committee continues its efforts in identifying candidates and hiring of the long-term ED.
“We are pleased to welcome Richard, who not only brings with him tremendous experience and a proven track record in not-for-profit organizations in Jewish communities in North America, but also has a thorough knowledge of our Jewish community, having served as the senior management consultant of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver from 2013-2014,” said board chair Joel Steinberg.
“Richard will support the agency with his extensive knowledge in areas of finance, fundraising, communications, board governance and human resources – initiatives that were identified in our strategic plan. Prior to his tenure in Vancouver, he was the president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and, over the last 30 years, he has been in top executive positions with federations, Talmud Torah [schools] and other general community organizations in Seattle, Wash., Minneapolis, Minn., and Tucson, Ariz.”
“It’s an exciting time at the JFSA as we build for the future,” said Fruchter. “I will be playing a strategic and advisory role with the board and staff to help JFSA continue to transform the lives of individuals and families, through quality services and innovative programming. The last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of our programs, see their impact, and learn more about how we respond to evolving community needs. I found our staff to be dedicated and committed professionals – passionately working day in and day out to care for their clients. Our board and volunteers are talented and willingly share their wisdom and resources to provide for our community’s welfare. During this transition, I look forward to having renewed and fresh conversations with our community members, leaders and donors about how JFSA can even more effectively service our community.”