“Money makes the world go ‘round,” sang Joel Gray in the award-winning movie, Cabaret,” depicting life in pre-World War II Germany. Indeed, the allocations Jewish Family Service of Rhode Island receives each year from the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island are integral to JFS’ operations – they help pay the salaries of our professional staff who deliver invaluable resources, food for our Kosher Nutrition Program and subsidize counseling services JFS provides to members of the Jewish community who are underinsured or cannot otherwise afford program fees. Each year, Jewish nonprofit organizations, including JFS, submit grant requests for funding, which Alliance staff members and volunteer community leaders carefully scrutinize and evaluate. Because the community’s demands always exceed the Alliance’s available funds, very few, if any, agencies receive all the funds requested.
“We are so grateful to the Alliance staff and volunteers who diligently review the dozens of requests for funding each year,” said JFS President Erin Minior. “Our programs are often positively life-changing for many of our clients, and the Alliance funds go a long way to helping us meet our budget and our objectives.”
For this fiscal year – July 1 through June 30, 2017 – JFS requested $160,800 and received $165,000; additional funds are to reimburse JFS for its rental fees for the Kosher Meal sites that it must incur while the Alliance, the site of many Kosher Meal sites, is undergoing renovations. The Alliance granted JFS $165,000 ($150,000 from the Alliance’s normal allocation funding sources and $15,000 from its Living on the Edge initiative, a program to help those members of our Jewish community living in poverty) for the Kosher Nutrition Program. Kosher Meals on Wheels and the Kosher Meal sites, all part of the Kosher Nutrition Program, provide elderly, homebound and frail seniors – many of whom would go hungry without these supports – and prepared meals and, at the Kosher Meal sites, opportunities for socialization and education.
Through the Kesher Program, a JFS social worker works at several synagogues a few hours every week and is available to the synagogues’ congregants and professional staff. The social worker might counsel a congregant who needs support – due to the death of a family member, a medical crisis or a job loss, for example – and, as appropriate, organize a workshop or congregation-wide forum on an issue of broad interest. Currently, congregants at Congregation Agudas Achim, Temple Emanu-El, and Temple Torat Yisrael actively engage with our Kesher social workers. JFS sought $96,044 from the Alliance, which awarded the agency $75,000, of which $15,000 is from the Living on the Edge initiative.
Wraparound services – Home Counseling, Case Management and Counseling – represent the core of our work with clients. In general, these wraparound services programs , help clients with their psychosocial, financial, daily living and other needs. Clients access help from the appropriate JFS staff members either in the JFS office or in their homes, depending on their individual situation. JFS requested $102,016 and received $80,000 from the Alliance.