Issue 100 | September 2023
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100 Issues of Electronic Family Matters!

Welcome to the 100th issue of our electronic version of Family Matters! For nearly 40 years, we have been sharing JF&CS-related news and updates with our community through our Family Matters newsletter. 

In the 1980s, Family Matters was a printed newsletter for the Jewish community in the GTA. In 2015, we made the switch to digital distribution, making news and information much more accessible. Not only was Family Matters sent directly to our community’s inboxes, but our distribution increased, offering over 5 issues per year via email and on our website

With this issue, we are delighted to celebrate 100 issues of Family Matters in its current electronic format. 

JF&CS is proud of its history. Over the years we have shared so many exciting, heartwarming, and informative stories, making it difficult to pick just a few stand-outs. The following are some stories that resonate with us and demonstrate the valuable role that JF&CS plays in our community:
•    “It Began Like a Fairytale...” – A first-person story from a client in our Woman Abuse program (January 2015) 
•    “Giving Back by Mark Biderman” – A moving first-person story, this time from a Big Brother volunteer (February 2017)
•    “Planting Roots in Our Community” – Including 2 testimonial videos from the Planting Roots event about youth in the foster care system (April 2017)   
•    “Helping Clients Find Affordable Homes” – Closing story from our Fall 2020 issue, announcing the partnership with Kehilla Residential Program and sharing some of its early impact (October 2020)

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our many editions of Family Matters, for supporting JF&CS’ work and for staying informed. With your help, we can continue to create a resilient community where hope, dignity, diversity and humanity thrive. To view the other issues of our electronic Family Matters newsletter, click here.

Our Very First Back-to-School Shop

Following the outstanding success of our summer camp shop, JF&CS decided to host a back-to-school shop. On August 30 and 31, children, youth, and their families stopped by our central office to stock up on notebooks, pens, markers, glue, backpacks, and so much more!

Thanks to donors such as UJA Genesis and Na’amat Canada who graciously provided backpacks full of school supplies, and to the Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation for supporting the purchase of 250 $100 Walmart Gift Cards (specifically for Woman Abuse clients). Because of your generosity, students were able to kick start the new school year well prepared.  

Both days were filled with smiles and excitement as children and youth picked out their favourite backpacks and other back-to-school items. One JF&CS Social Worker shared, “Volunteering at the Back to School shop gave me the pleasure to watch my clients’ children, whom I have watched growing up over the years, get to choose their own backpacks. Each backpack chosen had the child’s own special and unique style and expression of themselves. Some distinctly wanted softer neutral colours, and some wanted wild and bold prints! I am glad we were able to please the kids!”

Thank you to all our generous donors and committed staff for making yet another shop a tremendous success!

Comedic Storytelling For a Good Cause at Cringe Worthy 2023

An event that brings together young professionals looking to laugh while giving back to the community? Count us in! JF&CS’ Emerging Leaders committee hosted another awesome Cringe Worthy event at The Opera House on Queen Street East after a four-year hiatus. Over 100 guests, including staff, alumni committee members, board members and clients were in the audience on August 24.

We had a variety of fabulous performers come out to share some of their most embarrassing stories live on stage. From being the only Jew in school to getting shoes thrown at your head, becoming famous in Albania, and wearing accidentally see-through pants, our attendees laughed all night long. Thank you to our host, Dave Keystone, and all our incredibly talented performers.

The $23,000 in proceeds raised from the event will provide support for JF&CS’ Jewish Camp Subsidies program. By helping a child attend summer camp, you are helping them develop lifelong friendships, a strong sense of independence, and a deep and meaningful connection to the community. Thank you to our sponsors Saand Inc., Crowe Soberman, LLP, Grant Thornton LLP Canada and more!

We are always looking for young professionals to join the Emerging Leaders committee and host events in support of Jewish Family and Child Service. If you are interested in getting involved or joining our committee, please click here to visit the Emerging Leaders website or email

SupportAbility is Growing

One of the best parts about our work is being able to collaborate with our partner organizations to deliver service to our clients. A perfect example of this is the JF&CS SupportAbility program which provides support for caregivers supporting children with diverse needs. We work with many other agencies, including DANI and Reena, to ensure service excellence for our clients. 

At the end of July, we hosted our second annual SupportAbility Café meet-up at the DANI Café in Thornhill. The first meet-up occurred last year as a celebration of the group's ability to resume in-person meetings. Last year’s gathering was such a valuable experience for clients that we decided to make it a yearly event, and an extension of our bi-weekly parent group. The meet-ups occur in a less formal setting where participants are able to be themselves and connect in a way that extends beyond their identity as a parent. 

The group sat in the outdoor DANI Café, surrounded by beautiful greenery, eating pastries and drinking coffee served by one of the DANI participants. “What is special about choosing DANI as the location,” shares Sabrina Propper, the Social Worker who coordinates our SupportAbility program, “is that they are a non profit which supports adults with disabilities and run multiple social enterprises (including the café). Therefore, in addition to a beautiful space, we were supporting another community organization AND parents were also able to get a peek into possible opportunities for their child’s future.” 

Sabrina and the staff from Reena are also working together to offer inclusion and empathy workshops throughout the community. They have already hosted two workshops, one for a shul youth group and one at Centre Camp for the CITs (Counselors in Training), with plans for another in October for the staff at the Prosserman JCC. Thank you to all of our partners for working with us to meet the growing and evolving needs in our community. To read more about our SupportAbility program, click here.

Annual General Meeting 2023

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In-Person Appointment Resources

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Join the Monthly Mitzvah Makers! 
JF&CS' monthly giving program.
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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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