Issue 96 | January 2023
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 Spreading Chanukah Cheer

Thanks to our generous donors, JF&CS was able to support our vulnerable community members in celebrating the holiday season. From toy drives to Chanukah meals, we were able to brighten the holidays for hundreds of clients this year. 

Through tribute card orders and donations to Drive for Dreidels, we raised over $7,000 to go towards holiday meals and gifts for families in the community. Our offices were overflowing with toys, puzzles, games, craft supplies, and more, all of which were donated by individuals, community groups and schools. Children and families across the GTA dropped off toys in support of Drive for Dreidels, providing JF&CS workers with the opportunity to pick out the perfect Chanukah gift for each of their clients. Thanks to your donations, over 250 children and youth received holiday gifts. 

Special holiday gift boxes were put together with help from Chabad of Midtown and Beth Chabad Israeli Community and were delivered to JF&CS clients by volunteers. Clients received meal boxes full of items to help them celebrate the holiday meaningfully. The boxes included:
•    Chocolate Chanukah gelt
•    A menorah and candles
•    Sufganiyot
•    Latkas
•    A dreidel 
•    And more!

Thank you to everyone who donated to our 2022 Chanukah initiatives. Your generosity helped ensure JF&CS clients could enjoy the festival of lights this winter!

The Pearl Project Creates a Sense of Community and Belonging

As a government-mandated Jewish Children's Aid Society, JF&CS supports between 25 and 35 Jewish children in our care at any given time. Many of our programs and services are designed to create safe and welcoming spaces for children of all ages. One program that is unique to JF&CS is The Pearl Project.

The initiative was created to assist our older youth in care (referred to as 'Pearls') as they transition out of the Child Welfare System and begin navigating their adult lives on their own. The Pearl Project consists of many different types of support; JF&CS Social Workers work with Pearls to help them achieve their goals, which often include attending post-secondary programs, finding mentors in their particular fields of interest, securing safe housing options, offering community connections and consistent support systems, and more.

Now that we can safely host in-person events once again, The Pearl Project gets together once a month. With about 20 Pearls currently in the program, the group works together to help one another achieve a variety of life goals. From setting the Pearls up with private therapies, recreational activities, and tutoring, The Pearl Project provides the Pearls with an opportunity to remain connected to the agency and the community at large. Many of the Pearls have known each other for years through other JF&CS initiatives, so the program offers them a unique sense of belonging.

One of our Pearls is currently pursuing a specialized program outside of Ontario. It is a program they have dreamt of for many years, and JF&CS has helped them fulfill this dream. With the support of the agency, this Pearl has moved to a new province, is studying in a field they are incredibly passionate about, and shares that "this opportunity wouldn't have been possible without the support and the help of the Pearl Project."

If you want to offer career mentorship, safe and affordable housing options or are looking for other volunteer opportunities with The Pearl Project, please click here. If you want to hear more about The Pearl Project directly from one of our Social Workers, Jodi Rishikof, please click here to watch the video

 Thank You for Your Support on Giving Tuesday 2022

In November, donations made on Giving Tuesday supported the expansion of our food security programming. Such expansions include a food cupboard,  a community garden (Dawne's Garden), a student cooking program at the JDD, and delivery of fresh produce, Jewish holiday meals, and food vouchers to individuals and families in need. Together, we reached our goal of $40,000!

In honour of his Bar Mitzvah, Nate Pearl generously matched the first $10,000 donated to JF&CS' 2022 Giving Tuesday campaign. Thank you to Nate for leading the way and inspiring others to give generously.

With the help of our donors, JF&CS works to reduce the effects of poverty within the community by providing clients access to food security programs. Thank you for helping us meet the needs of so many isolated and vulnerable people in the GTA by sharing our social media content, spreading the word, and giving to this year's campaign.

Chanukah Party for Resource, Kinship & Adoption Families Back In Person!

Family is an integral part of the holidays, which is why it is important for us to host a Chanukah party to celebrate our Resource families each year. This year, on Wednesday, December 14, our party was extra special because we were once again able to celebrate in person! 

Our celebration was held at The Bubble, an indoor inflatable park where our Resource families and youth in care enjoyed an evening of jumping around on bouncy surfaces, having fun with other families, and eating lots of delicious holiday food. In addition, our Manager of Chaplaincy, Rabbi Mordechai Chemel, led our families in a communal menorah lighting ceremony and had lots of toys and prizes to give out. 

JF&CS is glad to be able to celebrate with everyone in person again and to commemorate this magical holiday with the warmth of our community. Thank you to those who came out to celebrate with us!

For more information about fostering, kinship and adoption programs at JF&CS, please visit

 Begin the Year as Part of the JF&CS Team

It's a brand new year, and there are many exciting job opportunities at JF&CS. In-person client meetings have resumed at the Central Branch, we will be reopening our Downtown Branch in the next few weeks, the Family Resource Centre programming is in full swing, and the agency continues to grow and evolve in order to meet the community's needs. 

As a multi-service agency, we provide over 30 different programs and services that help to increase safety and security, reduce the effects of poverty, and improve our clients' mental health and wellness. We are always looking for dedicated and skilled Social Workers to join our team to provide counselling to children, adolescents, seniors, and families. For more information on these positions, as well as several others, please take a look at our jobs page

We are currently seeking administrative support for various departments, Family Drop-In facilitators, a Manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and more. At JF&CS, our staff receive competitive compensation and a benefits package that includes dental, vision, and health coverage, a Healthcare Spending Account, and a defined benefit pension plan. We also offer ample vacation and sick days and are closed on most Jewish and all Statutory holidays.

Start 2023 off by joining the JF&CS team. Apply today at Want to know what life is like at JF&CS? Click here to watch videos featuring our staff in various departments!


COVID-19 Resources

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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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