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JFS Perspectives

News, stories, events, and ideas from Jewish Family Service of Colorado.

Let’s Go Fly and Make a Kite: Grandparents Must Be Supervised

Friday, March 27, 2015


This week was spring break in Wheat Ridge and we know many grandparents are charged with figuring out how to entertain their grandkids during their break. A “Grandparents Must Be Supervised” program is our solution. In this program, we create fun, interactive activities for grandparents and grandkids to enjoy together over extended holidays. It is an opportunity for seniors to connect and kids to play.

This spring break we partnered with the Wheat Ridge Kite Flite Festival. They approached Colorado Senior Connections to ask how they could get more seniors to their event on April 25. Of course the answer is simple — with their grandkids! Kite Flite sponsored a kite making workshop this week and provided a kite expert to teach the kids and grandparents how to build and fly their beautiful, colorful, homemade kites. Everyone left with a kite and string ready to hit the park and continue the fun.

Colorado Senior Connections knows that fun, lifelong learning, and access to information are some of the secrets to healthy aging. We feel lucky that we can help create intergenerational opportunities, fostering fun memory-making experiences, and support seniors wherever they are in their own aging process.

-Alison Joucovsky, MA, LPC, Colorado Senior Connections program coordinator

Contribute to Easter/Passover Denver Community Food Drive!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hunger Stops Here 

Did you know that donations to the Weinberg Food Pantry decrease significantly in the spring? Many people contribute during the High Holy Days through their synagogues and donate during the winter months, but not in the spring.

Since hunger is a year-round crisis, Jewish Family Service has teamed up with Calvary Baptist Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mile High United Way, and Rose Medical Center for the 2nd annual Easter/Passover Denver Community Food Drive. Dozens of synagogues, churches, businesses, and other community organizations have joined this interfaith food drive that takes place March 21 – 29.

Please check out the list of drop-off locations and plan to help us meet our goal of collecting 10,000 pounds of food!

Thank you in advance for your support!

-Alaina Green, JFS Marketing Department

JFS Interns Are Awesome!

Friday, March 06, 2015
Guest Blog Post By Audrey Friedman Marcus

Every August, like migrating birds, a new group of interns is accepted by Jewish Family Service (JFS) to work with and learn from staff, serve clients, and grow and develop their skills. This year, a total of 17 interns are working at the agency. They come from various educational institutions in the area, including the University of Denver, University of Colorado Denver, Denver Seminary, Metropolitan State University, Colorado State University, Naropa University, and Newman University in Colorado Springs.

At JFS, interns engage in the same valuable work as the agency’s staff. They gain academic credit and hands-on experience while receiving supervision and coaching from experienced staff members. Treated as valued employees, they are integrated into the workings of JFS, and serve clients in important ways.

Department heads who supervise interns extol their abilities, willingness, contributions, and accomplishments. Jennie Creasey, JFS professional senior services coordinator, a former JFS intern herself, relates that her department has hosted 45 student interns over the past 15 years. These budding professionals complement the hardworking staff in Jennie’s department by helping to meet the needs of clients.

Shelly Hines, Family Safety Net director, was also an intern at JFS before joining the staff. Interns in her department work one-on-one with clients who are all living in poverty. Through the food pantry and its diverse clientele, they also learn about cultural issues. One of the many benefits of interning at JFS, states Shelly, is the wealth of experience they can get in a safe, supportive learning environment at a well-established nonprofit organization. They also benefit from the opportunity to attend staff meetings, community meetings, and trainings. What’s more, interns keep the staff on their toes by bringing their education to the agency and sharing new things happening in the field with staff.

Coordinator of the JFS KidSuccess program Melissa LaLonde supervises the school-based counseling department. Currently, seven students are interning in her department, two of whom Melissa supervises. Because of the interns, KidSuccess can reach many more children and families.

Jessica Shouse is program manager of vocational programs at SHALOM Denver. Besides the eight vocational specialists she supervises, her department has two interns. “Interns are an integral part of the team, just as staff is,” Jessica reports. “We’d be lost without their extra support.” Among their many responsibilities, interns interview clients for various assessments and employment plans, file and compile reviews, and conduct annual reviews to be sure all information is current and accurate. Interns also help clients on the work floorand offer counseling as needed. All of these tasks represent skills necessary for success in a competitive job market.

But let’s hear what two current interns have to say about the program:

Matt Edwards is a second-year graduate student who will earn his Master’s of Social Work degree (MSW) in June from the University of Denver (DU). On Mondays and Tuesdays he attends classes at DU, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays he works with students at Samuels Elementary School as part of his internship. At Samuels, Matt puts his classroom learning into practice with a regular caseload of young students who are struggling emotionally. Every Friday, he’s in the office where he does paperwork and meets with his supervisor, Melissa LaLonde, whom Matt has found to be very supportive and always available to him. He loves learning from her, and appreciates knowing that he is not alone. “I don’t feel like an intern,” he declares. “I am treated on a par with staff.”

Melissa LaLonde has a supervision meeting with Matt Edwards.

As an undergraduate, Annie Zarlengo chose aerospace science as her major, but a seven-year stint as a volunteer at a hospice pointed her instead toward social work. She is now in the first year of the MSW program at Metro State University. The integration of course work with practical experience working with seniors in her internship has been invaluable for Annie, and she finds the four hours a week of supervision by Jennie Creasey and care manager Laura Harter, as well as the group supervision she receives, helpful and supportive.

According to Annie, Jay and Rose Phillips Senior Solutions Center staff is both encouraging and welcoming. She spends a minimum of 16 hours a week seeing six clients on a regular basis, one of whom is a Holocaust survivor. Isolated and needing socialization, each client faces challenges, such as mental or physical illness, and it is up to Annie to find the resources to help them.

Annie Zarlengo meets with care manager Laura Harter for supervision.

As part of their responsibilities, Annie and the other two interns in the department organize a “Lunch ‘n’ Learn” event each semester, inviting a guest speaker or panel of experts to talk about a relevant topic for social work professionals in the community. In every way, she concludes, her internship is phenomenal. “I won the lottery with JFS,” says Annie.

It’s easy to see the enormous benefits of the internship program at JFS. Interns receive practical experience while being mentored by seasoned staff. At the same time, students also learn about the important work of JFS, a vital agency that serves the entire population. Clients receive the dedicated attention of young people who care. And JFS accomplishes more due to the work of these bright, talented, and enthusiastic students. It’s definitely a win-win situation.

Audrey Friedman Marcus is a volunteer writer for JFS. She was cofounder and executive vice president of A.R.E. Publishing, Inc., for 30 years before retiring in 2001. She also founded the annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture and authored the book Survival in Shanghai: The Journals of Fred Marcus 1939 to 1949 (Pacific View Press).

JFS Para-chaplain Program is Changing and Needs You!

Friday, February 27, 2015

“They may not remember what you said, they may not remember what you did, but they WILL remember how you made them feel.”

Many Jewish seniors in the Denver Metro area are living in non-Jewish assisted living facilities and seek connections to the Jewish community. Many of the residents are younger seniors who may want to participate in a discussion group facilitated by a para-chaplain, focusing on current events, Jewish holidays, or the situation in Israel. They may also want to share the Sabbath informally with a small group of other Jewish residents.

That’s where you come in! We need adults—of all ages—to join our para-chaplain training program. Because the senior population and types of residences are changing, we are reinvigorating this program to fully meet the community’s needs.

Following in the footsteps of our current para-chaplains, you will visit senior Jewish adults in non-Jewish facilities or in their own homes. You may have the opportunity to facilitate discussion groups, lead Shabbat and holiday services, or simply sit and visit with a Jewish resident who wants companionship. As a trained para-chaplain, you can participate in this meaningful volunteer opportunity by engaging Jewish residents in a spiritual way, as well as sharing stories, ideas, and bits of wisdom.

A trainer of para-chaplains once said, “They may not remember what you said, they may not remember what you did, but they WILL remember how you made them feel.” Our current para-chaplains have expressed similar sentiments. One dedicated volunteer says, “I am so blessed to be a part of these people’s lives. If you are looking for a great way to connect with people who really want you to be a part of their lives, then I encourage you to train for the para-chaplain program. It will truly change your life.”

And it’s not just about what you’re doing for others; you will get a lot out of this experience, too. A longtime para-chaplain relates, “I meet the most marvelous people. They share their lives with me, inform me about things I know little about, and give me a perspective on life that I haven’t come across before. What an honor to be a part of this!”

The next training will be held at JFS on April 29, May 6, and May 13 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. We encourage you to join us! To be a para-chaplain, you must be Jewish, but do not need an extensive Jewish education. Apply for the training by March 20. The application process includes an interview. If you have further questions, please contact Beth Lippa at 720.248.4599.

-Alaina Green, JFS Marketing Department

Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month Programs Throughout Denver in February

Friday, January 30, 2015


February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month and organizations throughout the community have a full lineup of programming to celebrate! Jewish Disabilities Advocates, a program of Jewish Family Service formerly known as Jewish Disabilities Network, is supporting the following Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month activities:

Magical Mitzvah Tour
Sunday, February 1, 2015, 9:00 a.m.
Congregation B'nai Havurah, 6445 E. Ohio Ave., Denver

Here's your chance to make a difference in the lives of others by participating in projects that were created for people of all abilities. During the Magical Mitzvah Tour, Jewish Disabilities Advocates will be teaming up with the agency Toys for God’s Kids assembling wooden toy cars that will be distributed to children here and abroad.

Chesed Without Boundaries"Chesed Without Boundaries"—An Inclusive Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Friday, February 6, 2015, 4:30 p.m.
BMH-BJ-The Denver Synagogue, 560 S. Monaco Parkway, Denver

The community is invited to come together to share a warm and meaningful musical Kabbalat Shabbat service that includes singing and spirit. Led by Cantor Joel Lichterman, we’ll begin before Shabbat comes in with musical instruments and songs. We will then greet the Shabbat bride with the L'cha Dodi prayer and officially welcome the Shabbat by lighting and blessing the Shabbat candles. After the service, we will all bless the wine (grape juice) and challah together. Our goal is to share this special service in different synagogues/temples throughout the year.

Tu B'Shvat Seder

Sunday, February 8, 2015, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Congregation Rodef Shalom, 450 S. Kearney Street, Denver

Cost: $8 at the door
Similar to Arbor Day, this holiday is an important part of our Jewish calendar that is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Sh'vat. All are welcome to attend this special seder ceremony that has been created to enhance the celebration. It is a custom to plant parsley seeds that will grow and be part of the upcoming Passover table. Jewish Disabilities Advocates will facilitate the planting activity.

Rick RechtAn Evening with Rick Recht
Saturday, February 21, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
Temple Micah, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver

Tickets: $5 per person/$10 per family for Micah members; $10 per person/$15 per family for nonmembers. Available at www.micahdenver.org
Rick Recht is one of the most celebrated Jewish artists of our time playing family concerts throughout the United States and abroad. Recht is widely recognized as a pioneer of the Jewish rock music genre, elevating the medium of Jewish music as a powerful and effective tool for developing Jewish pride and identity. Rick has 10 top selling albums, including his latest hit album, Halleluyah, released in 2013.

Michael ApplebaumYachad Disability Sensitivity Training
Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

Sunday, February 22, 2015, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Hebrew Educational Alliance (HEA), 3600 S. Ivanhoe Street, Denver

Facilitator: Michael Applebaum, Yachad
Members of YACHAD (The National Jewish Council for Disabilities) will facilitate this workshop that sensitizes participants to the needs of peers with disabilities. This workshop is open to teachers, camp staff, parents, and high school students who are working with or hope to work in programs that include people with disabilities.

For more information about any of these events, please contact Lynn Rubenstein, 303.623.0251, ext. 204.

Handling Heartbreak

Friday, January 23, 2015
By Marcia Jo Vaziri, MA, LPC, Jewish Family Service Mental Health Specialists therapist

The ending of a love relationship can be devastating. You feel blindsided, rejected, and abandoned. “I’ve been dumped.” “How could they do this to me?” “I don't deserve this.” Your emotions are all over the place. You can’t drive without crying or having a panic attack. You fear you might be having a mental breakdown. How can this be so painful?

Heartbreak is universal. The response is visceral. We physically feel pain in our chest and our heart actually hurts. It can be hard to breathe or even remain standing. We can’t eat or sleep. Our body is going into a grief response.

As humans, we are meant to attach from the moment we are born. When we find someone to love, we attach to them. We connect with a strong bond. When someone breaks that bond, we’re lost. Our world is off its axis for a while. We’re not even sure what to do first. Some immediately begin to reach out to friends and family for support, as they have a sense that they can't go it alone. Others are embarrassed, ashamed, and don’t want to tell anyone what’s happened for fear they’ll be judged. These people sit alone with their pain and sadness, often leading to depression. Though not always, men often have a harder time seeking support during this time and they are more likely to experience depression.

Often you can only talk about this for so long to friends before they lose compassion and patience. They advise you to get over it and start saying things like “At least you weren’t married” or “You broke up, big deal. People break up. Get over it and move on.” “Lucky you found out now what kind of person he/she was.” Or “There’s plenty of fish in the sea.” You’re thinking, but I want that fish, my fish. You can’t let go.

How do you let go? Here are some things you can do:
  • Remember that you cannot control another person. Resist the urge to idealize and perseverate on the past.
  • Get those endorphins going; it’s the body’s natural painkiller. Exercise, volunteer, or find a passion.
  • Lean on your support system.
  • Examine your own part in the relationship and identify lessons learned. Write about the experience in a journal, poem, or book.
If you feel stuck and unable to move forward with your life, you may want to join a support group or begin individual therapy with a JFS therapist who can help you navigate those deep, resistant waters of letting go.

I work with many people who’ve experienced the loss of a love relationship, and I can say that there is hope. Your heart will indeed heal and ideally you will muster enough strength to take the risk of opening your heart again.

Marcia Jo VaziriMarcia Jo Vaziri, a licensed professional therapist with 30 years of psychological experience providing therapy to adults and couples, has worked with JFS since 1995. Her specialty areas include anxiety disorders and depression, trauma, grief counseling, marital therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Marcia also facilitates Strength Through Sharing, a support and educational group for those dealing with a mentally ill family member.

Nearly 500 People Receive Gifts Through Bright Holidays!

Friday, January 09, 2015
Last month, many generous individuals, organizations, and corporations collected holiday gifts for JFS clients. Through our Bright Holidays program, more than 300 individuals received hand-picked gifts such as clothing, toys, electronics, sports equipment, and other items on their wish lists. The SHALOM Denver TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program received toys for 32 children and an additional 145 children picked out toys when they visited the Weinberg Food Pantry. Altogether, nearly 500 people received Bright Holidays gifts!

The gifts came from numerous individuals and family groups plus businesses and organizations including:
  • Amstar
  • Holland & Hart Foundation
  • Lockheed Martin’s Operation Santa Claus
  • MassMutual Colorado
  • SolveIT
  • Temple Emanuel Sisterhood 
  • Walgreens
  • Westin Tabor Center

There are so many special stories that come out of the Bright Holidays program and we wish we could share them all! Below are a few highlights/people we want to be sure to thank this year:

Every year, Cedra Goldman pulls her community and friends together to adopt at least five families of all sizes. This year, her group adopted five families consisting of 22 individuals and she brought all the gifts to JFS herself. In addition, she always donates 10-25 turkeys every year for Thanksgiving, which is always needed and greatly appreciated.

Holland & Hart Bronx gift

The Holland & Hart Foundation has participated for many years and adopted 50 individuals this year. They always go above and beyond in providing very thoughtful and generous gifts. One example this year was an attorney who adopted a senior with Alzheimer's disease who is from the Bronx, NY. The client asked for something to help him remember his days in New York and rather than simply purchasing a poster or book, the attorney made a beautiful picture book and framed poster of pictures from the Bronx!

Through its Operation Santa Claus program, Lockheed Martin provided boxes of food and toys for 59 individuals.

Gifts collected at Temple Emanuel

Temple Emanuel Sisterhood
adopted 20 individuals. As part of its annual tradition, the congregation also collected toys from the religious school students. This year's toy drive resulted in at least three big bins of toys that went to clients in various JFS programs such as the Weinberg Food Pantry and SHALOM Denver.

Thank you to our partners at Walgreens for holding a toy drive at five stores in our community. The stores donated more than 10 boxes of toys, most of which were distributed in the food pantry.

A big thank you to Shelley Tait, Family Safety Net administrative assistant, for all her hard work and dedication organizing the collection and distribution of the gifts again this year. Rather than randomly pairing clients with donors, she takes great care to make the best matches possible to create a meaningful experience for all. Shelley reads all of the client information provided by our case managers and therapists. As she learns about the various situations of refugee families, seniors, and others whom we help, she is inevitably brought to tears. She says, "I really enjoy working with the donors. They are always so eager to help and I love hearing and seeing how much thought and consideration goes into the gifts. It's really amazing. It's also then wonderful hearing stories from the employees who deliver the gifts."

Andrea Stillman and Shelley Tait

Thank you to Andrea Stillman for volunteering for Bright Holidays the last four years! Shelley says, "Andrea is an awesome volunteer to have. Without her I would never be able to get the gifts delivered to the caseworkers in time. A lot of times donors want to adopt, but don't have time to shop, so Andrea will buy the gifts on their behalf. She usually ends up shopping for $1,000 to $2,000 worth of gifts."

Thank you to everyone who adopted a family and helped make their holidays brighter! Happy New Year from all of us at JFS.

-Alaina Green, JFS Marketing Department

2014 Year in Review

Friday, December 26, 2014
Happy New Year 2015

As we approach a new year, we would like to reflect on 2014. Enjoy this look back on some of our blog posts from the past year:

January: Make the Super Bowl a Super Mitzvah
When the Denver Broncos were in the Super Bowl, Rabbi Joe Black, senior rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Denver, and his colleague in Seattle, Rabbi Danny Weiner of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, each bet $100 that their team will win the Super Bowl on Sunday. They extended the challenge so that Broncos and Seahawks fans could help turn the Super Bowl into a Super Mitzvah. Whichever team won, that city's JFS would receive all the money raised. Unfortunately, Seattle won, but the community still helped raise money for a good cause and Seattle JFS made a donation to us!

February: Happy 35th Anniversary, Arnie Kover!
JFS Disability and Employment Services director Arnie Kover celebrated his 35th anniversary with the agency! Arnie is retiring December 31, 2014 - just shy of his 36th anniversary. Look for an upcoming blog post about his retirement. In his role, Arnie oversaw the operations of SHALOM Denver, the JFS Group Home, Jewish Disabilities Network, and other programs in the disability and employment services division.

March: Friendly Visitor Volunteers Gain Insight and Advice 
JFS hosted its third annual Lunch ‘n’ Learn program for about 20 Friendly Visitor volunteers and Senior Solutions Center care managers. While everyone enjoyed a catered lunch, Beth Lippa and Nancy Benyamin from the JFS volunteer department thanked the volunteers for their important work visiting isolated seniors in the community.

Easter/Passover Denver Community Food Drive
Jewish Family Service partnered with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on an Easter/Passover Denver Community Food Drive to benefit the JFS Weinberg Food Pantry. Many area churches, synagogues, and businesses collected food for this cause. We are planning another food drive this spring—stay tuned for details!

April: JFS Celebrates Volunteers in April—and Every Day
This post was the first of many by guest blogger Audrey Friedman Marcus who wrote about her own volunteer experiences, interviewed some of our other volunteers, and thanked the agency's 836 dedicated volunteers.

May: JFS Executive Luncheon Raises $422,000!
Legend in life Archie Manning entertained and inspired a sold-out crowd of 810 business and professional leaders attending Jewish Family Service’s 10th annual JFS Executive Luncheon held on April 30 at the Seawell Grand Ballroom. In total, the event raised more than $422,000 to support the programs of Jewish Family Service, which exceeded fundraising goals.

Lunchbox Express Feeds Colorado Children Throughout the Summer
Volunteers jumped in little yellow school buses to deliver free lunches to children at six locations in Aurora through Lunchbox Express, a newly incorporated program of the JFS Family Safety Net program. In our first four days, we served 766 meals! Allen and Hannah Levy started Lunchbox Express in 2011 as a community volunteer-driven organization dedicated to feeding hungry Colorado kids when school is out and children don’t have access to free or reduced-fee lunches in their schools. JFS acquired the program this spring.

June: Celebrate JFS Event Celebrates Another Successful Year!
More than 200 people gathered at Palazzo Verdi near Fiddler’s Green for Celebrate JFS, our annual meeting and celebration of volunteers, staff, board, and supporters. Guests sampled sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and cocktails catered by Mangia Bevi while mingling and enjoying the art in the adjacent Madden Museum before the program.

July: Bikur Cholim Para-Chaplains: Performing a Mitzvah Every Week
In another guest blog post by Audrey Friedman Marcus, she explains the Bikur Cholim Para-chaplain program to help us recruit new volunteers for the para-chaplain training in August. There are great examples of the important roles these volunteers play in the lives of isolated seniors in non-Jewish nursing homes, assisted living facilities, personal residences, hospitals, and prisons.

August: our blog took a summer vacation this month!

September: What Is a Crop Drop?
Alison Joucovsky, Colorado Senior Connections program coordinator wrote about the Colorado Senior Connections Wheat Ridge program's first ever Crop Drop event. Local gardeners were invited to “drop” their surplus of garden veggies and senior citizens were invited to pick up the gorgeous home-grown produce. Wheat Ridge residents taught classes during the event, including Seed Starting and a cooking class.

October: Former JFS Staff Member on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss!
While this post about our former payroll specialist, Jackie Rodriguez, participating in the ABC show Extreme Weight Loss has nothing to do with the work we do in the community, it got a lot of attention and shares on social media. We are all so excited for Jackie as she goes through this journey and can't wait to see her transformation when her episode airs in summer 2015!

Beyond the Lemonade Stand: Raising Charitable Kids
This was another popular post by Audrey Friedman Marcus that also appeared in our print newsletter and on several other blogs. The article outlines many ways parents can raise charitable children with tangible ideas for different ages. It inspired a lot of families—including my own—to do holiday mitzvah projects for JFS.

November: Families Geared Up for Winter at JFS Resource Fair
49 households came to Jewish Family Service (JFS) for our second annual “Gear up for Winter” resource fair on November 14. There were many expressions of thanks from people who were grateful to sign up for several programs at once! Some people came specifically for one service or another, but then accessed other resources as well. The entire Family Safety Net staff worked to help people navigate through all of the services and to keep things running smoothly.

December: Giving Thanks for You
Thanks to the generosity of many organizations and individual donors, 672 individuals from 294 households who otherwise would not have had a Thanksgiving meal, received a complete feast consisting of a turkey and all of the holiday fixings from the Jewish Family Service of Colorado Weinberg Food Pantry last week! We also received more than $10,000 to the Dorinda Levy Thanksgiving Fund which financed the fixings!

JFS Raised Record Amount at Real Hope 2014
More than 550 people hit the red carpet at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to pay tribute to Sheila Bugdanowitz and Sheryl Goodman at our fundraising event, Real Hope. The 19th annual gala was the highest-grossing Real Hope fundraiser in JFS history, raising a record $566,000!

Thank you for being part of another great year at JFS. We wish you a very healthy, happy New Year!

-Alaina Green, JFS Marketing Department

JFS Raised Record Amount at Real Hope 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014
Honorees Sheryl Goodman and Sheila Bugdanowitz

More than 550 people hit the red carpet at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to pay tribute to Sheila Bugdanowitz and Sheryl Goodman at Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Colorado's fundraising event, Real Hope. The 19th annual gala was the highest-grossing Real Hope fundraiser in JFS history, raising a record $566,000!

One of the Epicurean food stations

Everyone enjoyed the fabulous party, complete with cocktails, decadent food stations, and passed hors d’oeuvres catered by Epicurean. A surprise highlight during the cocktail reception by Frequent Flyer Productions included stilt walk dancers, silk rope aerialists, and an object manipulator.

Aerialist from Frequent Flyer Productions

The honorees, Sheila and Sheryl, shared their personal, heartfelt connections to JFS after receiving their awards. Both women received standing ovations from the packed room. JFS Senior Solutions client and Holocaust survivor Eddie Fiss told his touching story of how JFS helped him in the 1950s when he moved to this country and continues to help him today.

MIX a capella group performs

At the end of the evening, guests were treated to an amazing live performance by state champion a capella group MIX, from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Co-chairs Barry Curtiss-Lusher, Debra Herz, Irit Waldbaum, and Carol Sobel

Thanks to the hard work of our Real Hope co-chairs Barry Curtiss-Lusher, Debra Herz, Arlene Hirschfeld, Don Kortz, Dean Prina, M.D., Carol Sobel, and Irit Waldbaum, the Real Hope committee, and our honorees for helping us exceed our fundraising goals! Thank you to Elaine and Max Appel for providing the matching gift opportunity. A special thank-you to all the wonderful community-minded individuals, organizations, and corporations that supported the agency through this event. Check out the event sponsors!

View more photos...

Giving Thanks for You

Friday, December 05, 2014

Volunteer from Mile Chai Y at the HEA distributes turkeys

Thanks to the generosity of many organizations and individual donors, 672 individuals from 294 households who otherwise would not have had a Thanksgiving meal, received a complete feast consisting of a turkey and all of the holiday fixings from the Jewish Family Service of Colorado Weinberg Food Pantry last week! We also received more than $10,000 to the Dorinda Levy Thanksgiving Fund which financed the fixings!

Picking up a large donation from the Grand Hyatt Denver

Special thanks to The Denver Rescue Mission, Albertsons (Lowry and Smoky Hill), the Grand Hyatt, and Temple Sinai Preschool for providing large food donations.

Cari and Justin Levy

Thank you to dedicated volunteers who helped us pack boxes and distribute food: Justin and Cari Levy (who established the Dorinda Levy Thanksgiving Fund) and several of their friends and family members, Jill Miller (with her group), Rabbi Steven Kaye, Mindy Miller, and groups from Argosy University and Mile Chai Y from the Hebrew Educational Alliance (HEA).

Volunteers from Argosy University distributing Thanksgiving food

It is so wonderful that so many people think of others who need some extra help at this time of year—we are so thankful for you!

-Alaina Green, JFS Marketing Department

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