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Mitzvah Award Recipients- Al Benarroch ( JCFS Clinical Director on left ) and Emily Shane ( JCFS Executive Director on right ) present Mitzvah Awards to awards to Natalie Ben, Shimon Segal and Dr. Martin Weidman (Scott McWilliams shown accepting on his behalf)

Heather Leonoff receives Lifetime Membership Award from JCFS in coming Board President Bruce Caplan

Einat Paz Keynan- Manager of Volunteer Services ( right) awards long time service award to Orah Kleiman

Einat Paz Keynan- Manager of Volunteer Services ( right) awards long time service award to Melanie Baruch

A Report on JCFS Finances-Annual Meeting-Heather Leonoff Receives Lifetime Membership Award

by Elaine Bigalow, August 18, 2012

 At the Jewish Child and Family Services annual meeting in June, Heather Leonoff, outgoing President received the Lifetime Membership Award from JCFS incoming Board President Bruce Caplan.
Leonoff said that JCFS has had a very successful year, in terms of contributions by volunteers, finances, events and in terms of educating the community about the needs of community members and the work JCFS does in meeting those needs. She spoke of this in terms of three goals – celebration of the past – education and awareness – creating a legacy. One hundred years ago the Jewish community organized and started with an orphanage, then established social services. Thirty years later the community formed JCFS with the goal of looking after each other. JCFS celebrated the sense of community with the Family Fun Fair in February and with the May 24thCentury of Caring Gala. Leonoff said the feeling of caring for each other was actually palpable in that room at the gala [editor was present at the Gala and agrees it was an outstanding event).
At the annual meeting Ivy Kopstein gave a Dvorah Torah on Parashat Naso Numbers 4 chronicling the journey of the Israelites to the promise land. A census was taken and each family was given various tasks associated with the transporting of the Tabernacle and Tent of Meeting, and prescribed necessities for worship. Kopstein noted that everyone lifting their hands at Rosh Hashanah showed everyone was deemed important, whether or not they carried important items for worship on the journey. All of us are called upon in our lives to lift up our hands. Each tribe was brought together to show the importance of their combined prescribed work, yet each tribe had a sense of self, purpose and mission. In the same way The Jewish Child and Family Services agency has volunteers with a common goal but each volunteer is equally important having their own individual mission. By this interdependence and process JCFS contributes to the fabric of the community.
The JCFS financial report for the last fiscal year showed a balanced budget of $2,920.287. Child care of $1,023,893 and staff expenditures of $886,407 accounted for the largest amounts. The next highest were $158,258 for Financial/Passover Assistance and $177, 826 in Programs and Workshops. The Immigrant/ Newcomer Program expended $141,940 and the Mental Health Program $139,411.
JCFS supported and assisted 1745 cases across all program areas. This year 673 individuals and families received short-term emergency financial assistance with $107,630.00 distributed as financial aid. To date the Asper Helping Hand Initiative has advanced over $450,450.00 assisting 130 individuals and families in need with an interest free loan program; these include students, newcomers, families catching up, families celebrating life-cycle events and first-time home buyers. The Eve and Harry Vickar Community Assistance Program to date have distributed over $377,733.58 assisting 114 individuals and families with major financial challenges. Ma’ot Chitim assistance made it possible for 230 individuals and families to meet the extra costs of Passover. 116 Passover food hampers were distributed.
This year JCFS offered field instruction to 2 U of M students who were interested in learning about the multi-faceted approach to social services offered by JCFS.
The Counseling program assisted 302 families and individuals, 28 of those were newcomers. In partnership with Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba, JCFS ran The Taking Steps Bereavement Group and the agency continues to be active on the Winnipeg Suicide Prevention Network. The Communal Mental Health Program assisted 140 individuals and their families, and 60 seniors. “Chaverim” Building Wellness Drop-in Group met on a weekly basis offering social, education, cultural, spiritual and physical recovery programming for clients. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority informed JCFS they will receive new and ongoing funding for mental health initiatives.
JCFS Resettlement staff provided immigration supports to 521 cases and assisted 97 families with pre-migration needs welcoming 100 new families to Winnipeg comprising 273 people. Some of the workshop topics given by integration staff were English as an Additional Language for Russian seniors, conversational English, income tax information, first time homebuyer information, money management seminars, weekly employment seminars, holiday programs, Jewish lifecycle events (bar/bat mitzvah), partnership in Yom Hazikaron commemorations and Yom Ha’Atzmaut, family activities, youth and senior performing arts choirs. The primary goal of weekly employment seminars is integration of newcomers into the labour market by assisting newcomers to become job ready. This includes direct supports, and referral to employment service agencies.
JCFS provided support to 431 elderly individuals and couples with the older adult Services program. The OAS promotes functional independence, safety and access to community services and resources. The “Chevrah” Circle of Friends discussion group is a strong source of support for those who are isolated and experiencing early stage memory loss. This group meets weekly and also serves as a respite for family caregivers.
Support Services to Holocaust Survivors offers support, counseling and information to individuals and families as well as assistance with Holocaust Claims applications. In a more recent home care application for Holocaust Survivor, JCFS provided specialty assistance to 96 individuals and families. It continues to offer a bi weekly social drop in group “Reaching Out” for survivors with 250-30 core attendees who enjoy entertainment and socialization.
Through Volunteer Services JCFS clients are matched with volunteers of all ages and varying backgrounds. 150 volunteers provided support to isolated senior clients as visitors, stepping out for coffee, a ride in the park, grocery shoppers, “Daily-Shalomers” providing social check-ins; others are big brothers and sisters, proctor advocates for clients with mental health issues, tutors and host families for newcomers..
JCFS Partnerships in Caring include Machon Madrichim – a Jewish youth leadership program focusing on developing leaders with a deep sense of commitment to the Winnipeg community, the State of Israel and core Jewish values and traditions. There is a new collaboration with the Salvation Army’s Community venture-developmental day program offering JCFS clients additional support from this outreach initiative.
This year the agency assisted 75 clients with various addiction issues and JCFS continues to support the Winnipeg chapter of JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others) with weekly 12-step meetings at the Asper Campus. Approximately 35-40 partners were assisted through domestic violence supports. The Child Welfare program assisted 130 families and children in areas of protection, voluntary services, foster care, adoption and post adoption. In 2011 JCFS cared for 27 foster children. This year 7 foster children attended Gray Academy and others the Hebrew-Bilingual programs; Jewish day and residential camps assist in the communal responsibility for instilling Jewish identity. The JCFS Adoption program worked with 6 Jewish families at various stages in the adoption process. The agency also provided post adoption services to 5 adult adoptees with information about their birth families and histories as well as access to the Manitoba Post Adoption Registry.
The Chaplaincy services provided 2,086 visits to hospital patients, nursing home residents, residents in correction centres and other residential facilities.
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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