Following a North American call for submissions and an exhaustive selection process, Jewish Family Services (JFS) in Vancouver has been chosen by the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies for participation in Year Two of the NJHSA Jewish Poverty Challenge, an offering of the network’s Centre for Innovation and Research. The goal of the program is to help NJHSA member agencies better analyze the marketplace, launch and manage solutions, and implement sustainable measures for success to address the many dynamics associated with responding to Jewish poverty.
NJHSA has partnered with Start Co., a venture development consultancy firm based in Memphis, Tenn., with an expertise in launching startup, entrepreneurial initiatives and engaging municipalities, corporations and nonprofits in poverty reduction responses. The team at Start Co. will provide expert consultation assistance as JFS rethinks and redesigns products and services, adjusting assumptions and organization models. Throughout, special attention will be paid to the impact of COVID-19 on service delivery methods.
“We are so honoured to have been selected to participate in this challenge,” said Tanja Demajo, JFS chief executive officer, in a press release. “The demand for our services has increased during COVID-19 and we have had to pivot quickly. Although we have adapted, we are experiencing growing pains. This opportunity through the NJHSA and with Start Co. is timely in helping us address our pain points in an innovative way so we can be more efficient and can operate at a pace our clients are demanding during this crisis.”
Reuben Rotman, president and chief executive officer of the network, added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has even further heightened the critical need for innovative solutions to the challenges of Jewish poverty. With newly vulnerable clients reaching out for assistance in unprecedented frequency, the agencies are challenged to identify new ways of working and new efforts to achieve sustainable solutions for those in need.”
For more than 80 years, JFS has delivered a continuum of social services to individuals and families of all ages and in all stages of life in the Greater Vancouver area; its pillars of support include food security, counseling and mental health, care management, financial aid and home support.
The Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies is an international membership association of more than 140 nonprofit human service agencies in the United States, Canada and Israel. Its members provide a full range of human services for the Jewish community and beyond, including healthcare, career, employment and mental health services, as well as programs for youth, families and seniors, Holocaust survivors, immigrants and refugees, persons with disabilities and caregivers.
Dr. Mel Krajden is among those who will be appointed to the Order of British Columbia this year. The announcement of the 13 new appointments was made on BC Day, but the investiture ceremony will be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions and held for recipients and invited guests at Government House in Victoria in 2021.
Krajden is medical director of the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Public Health Laboratory and has made significant contributions to fields of research, including hepatitis, HIV, HPV and, most recently, COVID-19.
With the emergence of COVID-19, British Columbia and Canada needed urgent access to rapid, validated tests for the virus. Under his leadership at BCCDC, and relying heavily on his expertise, Krajden and his team were able to rapidly develop an assay for the province to commence testing in January 2020, weeks before other jurisdictions. Access to this test was an essential element in the management and control of the outbreak and the safety of British Columbians.
Krajden created the world-leading B.C. Hepatitis Testers Cohort, which integrates de-identified data on 2.4 million individuals tested for, or diagnosed with, hepatitis B, C, HIV and TB infections, linked to their corresponding healthcare administrative data since 1990, to create longitudinal medical histories. This cohort has produced influential pieces of evidence that shaped clinical and public health guidelines and policy in Canada and globally. He was instrumental in the development and continued progress of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded Canadian Network on Hepatitis C, a multidisciplinary group committed to developing a national strategy for hepatitis C elimination.
Krajden was one of the key personnel in the STOP HIV initiative in British Columbia. This public health endeavour saw the implementation of acute HIV testing, allowing diagnosis during the most infectious period of the disease, resulting in timely interventions and communication to partners to reduce transmission. This undertaking helped lead to the lowest HIV incidence on a provincial scale in decades.
Krajden also played a pivotal role in global public policy changes in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine dosing regimen and the associated reduction of financial access barriers to care. Similarly, his work with respect to assessing the utility of HPV testing versus traditional Pap smears is expected to contribute to guidelines that will benefit women worldwide.
In his educational capacity, Krajden has the reputation of being a wonderful teacher and valued mentor, training researchers, health professionals and students at all levels. He is known for his willingness to provide input and advice despite numerous other commitments, contributing to the success of others. His dedication further extends into the clinical realm, where he always has patient interests at heart and never hesitates to devote his own time to make a difference in client outcomes.
In appointing Krajden to the Order of British Columbia, it is recognized that, over many decades, he has demonstrated exceptional innovation, leadership and sustained contributions to the province, country and the world. He is a highly respected visionary, scientist and educator who has inspired countless researchers and health professionals with his clinical excellence, dedication and generosity of spirit.
Tamara Micner, Rembrandt Koppelaar, Karen and Jack Micner and Dr. Talie Lewis are extremely proud to announce the ordination of Mimi Micner to the rabbinate. The virtual ceremony took place June 7 from Hebrew College in Boston. Mimi and Talie live in Watertown, a half-hour drive from Mimi’s new position, rab- bi at Temple Beth Torah in Holliston, Mass.
Mimi is the granddaughter of Kela (z’l) and Lito (z’l) Guincher, who are kvelling on the Richter scale above. She is also the granddaughter of Chaim (z’l) and Susie Micner, who are surely enormously proud as well.
Mazel tov, Rabbi Mimi! Bist 120!