Issue 89 | October 2021
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 JF&CS Welcomes Helen Goldlist as New Board President

We would like to take the opportunity to welcome Helen Goldlist as JF&CS’ new Board President. Helen graduated from the University of Toronto in Physical and Occupational Therapy and worked as an O.T. for many years and then in architectural design. She has sat on several boards including the Leo Baeck Day School and Temple Emanu-El and is a past Chair of JVS Toronto.

Helen began volunteering with JF&CS in 2010 and joined the Board in 2013. She has served on the Executive and chaired both the Nominating and Governance Committees. She loves needlework and some of her favorite activities in this area are sewing for her synagogue and teaching kids to design and sew their own creations. Helen and her husband Barry have three children and are thrilled to have four wonderful grandchildren.

Helen is excited to be part of the leadership of our vibrant agency. We are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside her and to learn from her incredible wisdom. We look forward to this new chapter for both Helen and JF&CS. 

 Ministry Children in Extended Society Care Review 

Each year, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services conducts an audit of our files and services for children who are in our Extended Care. The purpose of this review is to determine if the placement, services, educational, social, emotional, medical and permanency needs of these children are being identified and appropriately addressed. In any area where we have not achieved full compliance, the Ministry issues a directive. 

This year, we are proud to share that we received only two directives, and that we reached 100% compliance in 94.7% of the categories reviewed. This is an unbelievable result and most importantly, demonstrates the stellar service we provide to our children and youth who are in our Extended Care.

We would like to extend our gratitude, respect and appreciation to the entire JF&CS Resource Team for this achievement. This incredible work is a reflection of the level of dedication, commitment and care that our staff have for their children and youth, as well as the exceptional service that we provide to our clients and community.

Rosh Hashanah in Review

The New Year is an opportunity for new beginnings and good health. As we reflect on the past year and a half, adapting to constant changes and continuing to transition our way of life, we are reminded that through every hardship, we have come out stronger together.

The High Holidays, while a time of joy for many, can also be a time of heightened loneliness, isolation and scarcity for others. With your help, JF&CS has sought to mitigate these challenges by continuously offering essential, life-sustaining support to those in need. This year we raised over $30,000 by way of our Rosh Hashanah Tribute Card campaign. This money ensured that 229 vulnerable community members received adequate food and supplies needed for a holiday filled with dignity and celebration. 

Thank you to all who contributed. In doing so, you have given so many the opportunity to experience the holidays with food, holiday essentials and the knowledge that they are cared for.

For more information on holiday tribute cards and e-cards, please click here.

Annual General Meeting Highlights

Thank you to all board members, donors, staff and community members who joined us at our Annual General Meeting on Thursday September 23. It was an informative evening highlighting the extraordinary work of the agency during this past pandemic year. In addition, we had the honour of hearing from our keynote speaker, Dr. Sandy Buchman, and recognizing the tremendous efforts of our outgoing President, Sharon List. 

As a palliative care physician, Dr. Buchman shared the struggles that patients often face with end of life care as well as the benefits of palliative care. People have been facing heightened challenges in these realms during the pandemic where some of the challenges facing palliative care have been the need to manage hostile environments, extreme pressure on services, and constant disruptions to the family unit. The unique approach to palliative care that Dr. Buchman spoke about includes the family unit as an integral part of patient care, which has proven to be highly impactful. His personal mandate to ensure that the person is seen as more than the sum of their situation is a value echoed by JF&CS. Programs such as JF&CS’ Jewish Hospice Program and bereavement workshops work in tandem with this innovative approach to palliative care.

Dr. Buchman spoke about an exciting initiative currently under development to build a Residential Hospice, Neshama, that will be grounded in Jewish values. JF&CS is extremely excited to be a partner in this initiative and we look forward to a long and fortuitous partnership together. 

We thank Dr. Buchman for sharing his invaluable knowledge, wisdom and insights with us.

At the end of the evening, we welcomed Helen Goldlist as the incoming President of the Board of Directors for Jewish Family and Child Service.  As a long time volunteer and board member, Helen’s dedication to the agency has been steadfast and we are honoured to have her in this new role.

Click here to view our Annual Report.

Rhythm of Reading

This summer, the Family Resource Centre (FRC) offered the workshop series ‘Rhythm of Reading’ which explores the question: why do we read to children? Most adults assume that reading to children is causally related to pre-literacy skills. However, studies reveal that very little attention is being paid to the printed word, with attention to illustrations predominating by at least a 10:1 ratio. 

Sharyn Feldman, Supervisor of the Family Resource Centre, sees first hand the importance of reading as a shared experience between adults and children. ‘Rhythm of Reading’ focusses on children’s interactions during those reading experiences. A large component of that is being aware of the sensory elements involved with children and books. One of the group participants shared how ‘Rhythm of Reading’ gave them insights they hadn’t considered before, “This workshop taught me to think about things like sound and even the texture of the paper. I never thought about texture being part of the reading experience.”

'Rhythm of Reading’ enlightened adults with practical information for positive reading experiences. One participant reflected: “I can’t believe I never thought to sit where I could look at their faces while I read to them. It was eye opening.” Seemingly simple, but these differences make a huge impact in the reading experience for children. Being more aware of children’s surroundings “and being more attuned to the little kids that are being read to”, make huge positive impacts on literacy experiences.

The program was a tremendous success and would not have been possible without the generosity of Bradley and Hilary Hennick who graciously funded this workshop.

For more information on the amazing programs offered at the FRC, please follow us on Facebook or visit our website for registration opportunities. 

A Summer Re-Imagined

Camp provides an opportunity for building friendships and creating memories. What starts out as two months in the sun often evolves into lifelong friendships. Among the many impacts COVID-19 has had, has been the loss that many children experienced as a result of not being able to attend summer camp in the same way that they used to.  

This year, despite the challenges of COVID-19, JF&CS helped send over 180 children to various day camps and overnight camps. Working together with over 24 Jewish camps enabled us to provide children with lasting summer camp experiences. The agency was also able to offer alternative opportunities for families choosing to keep their children at home by providing financial support to purchase items such as bikes, sport equipment and crafts.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown* are parents and derive their income from a small business which was profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Without income from their business, they have been relying on COVID-19 government supports to get by financially. With the help of the camp subsidy program, this family was able to send two children to overnight camp. The family was also given funds for summer camp supplies purchases. The clients reported that these funds were very helpful with the preparations needed to send their children to camp. The clients expressed their thanks to the agency and this worker for the support offered to ensure their children has a fun and enjoyable summer.

To learn more about support for camp, please click here.

*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Experiencing Grief in a Time of Isolation

As a community, we can help to support those who are experiencing and working through grief and bereavement. By providing JF&CS Care Kits for clients grieving a loved one, our community is able to demonstrate their support to those going through difficult times.  

Each item has been thoughtfully selected to aid in relaxation, bring comfort, and demonstrate to our clients that we are there for them despite not being able to be physically present. Paired with grief resources from JF&CS social workers, the kits aid individuals who are grieving by providing them with the opportunity to write, reflect and relax during an already difficult time.  

“I received my grief kit, and I just want to let you know how much I appreciate the thoughtfulness and kindness that went into the whole idea of creating such a kit. I love photo frame included – it is very meaningful for me. The materials discussing what is ‘normal’ during this process were so helpful to read and I am going to share them with my family. It is so appreciated!!” – Grateful Client

Click here to view our wishlist.

Congratulations JF&CS!

The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent non-profit organization that accredits human and social service providers. The standards established by COA encourage continuous quality improvement and create an organizational climate that fosters sustainability and growth.

JF&CS is thrilled to announce that in July of this year, we received full accreditation from COA. This was the agency’s first virtual interim visit and it proved to be a resounding success. This is a significant accomplishment at the best of times, but we are made even prouder by the fact that these results were achieved  in the midst of a global pandemic, which serves to reinforce and validate the dedication that our incredible staff and volunteers have for our clients and their well being.

This achievement recognizes JF&CS as a provider that continues to successfully implement high performance standards and deliver the highest quality services to all of its stakeholders. We extend our thanks and appreciation to all of our board and staff who have worked so hard over the past several months to achieve this accreditation. 


COVID-19 Resources

Click here

Join the Monthly Mitzvah Makers! 
JF&CS' monthly giving program.
Click here for more information. 

Leave a Legacy 
Click here to learn about planned giving through the Gordon S. Wolfe Legacy Society at JF&CS.

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Jewish Family and Child Service | 4600 Bathurst St, 1st Floor, Toronto, ON   M2R 3V3
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