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Jewish Family Service Recognizes Older Americans Month

Agency offers Village by the Shore and volunteer programs.

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Jack Greenberg, a Jewish Family Service volunteer, stocks the shelves in the agency’s Food Pantry. A vital part of JFS, volunteers help sort donated non-perishable food, deliver groceries, and make friendly check-in phone calls to older adults in the region. (Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties)

For the past 45 years, the month of May has been designated as Older Americans Month.

The theme for this year’s nationwide program is ‘Communities of Strength’ – a mantra that Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) takes pride in developing every day.

“As an agency, JFS was founded on caring for the elderly, which continues today as we strive to help older adults age gracefully and independently,” said Andrea Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Family Service. “This is achieved through JFS’ dedicated staff and volunteers who firmly believe in ‘Strength in Community.’”

At JFS, one of the concepts is Village by the Shore, an innovative model that provides services, programs and socialization for adults 50+.

From assessments to care management to unique events, the Village works to enhance the quality of life for more than 200 members, including 33 Holocaust Survivors, in our region.

Each month, Village members socialize by participating in a multitude of virtual programs including Coffee Klatch, Memoir Writing, Bingo, Trivia Game Day and more all from the comfort and safety of their own home.

Jewish Family Service volunteer Jordan Kleinman gets ready to deliver groceries to a community resident. Through volunteering, Jordan gets to socially distance meet and spend a few minutes with the client when he delivers food from JFS’ pantry. (Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties)

In addition, the JFS’ staff relies on dedicated volunteers who are committed to the concept of neighbors helping neighbors. From delivering meals to weekly check-in phone calls and even stocking food pantry shelves, volunteers are vital to the agency’s success.

The benefits are two-fold – valuable assistance for JFS and safely engaging community members while providing positive health and mental benefits by keeping volunteers active.

JFS received a grant from AmeriCorps to support the agency’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). The funds assure JFS staff and volunteers (age 55+) can continue to seamlessly provide essential services and programs for the region’s older adults. As JFS volunteer Gigi Marino shared, “The feeling you get inside yourself from helping someone, and the good vibes, come back ten-fold.”

For more information on Village by the Shore, contact Tina Serota at tserota@jfsatlantic.org or 609.822.1108 x105.

For more information on Volunteer opportunities, contact Vanessa Smith at vsmith@jfsatlantic.org or 609.822.1108 x249 or Mary DeMarco at mdemarco@jfsatlantic.org or 609.822.1108 x512.

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) encourages strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energized seniors and vital communities.

With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, vocational services, adult and older adult services and also hosts an on-site food pantry.

The agency impacts 8,000 lives throughout Atlantic and Cape May Counties each year.

JFS’ mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life.

In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background.

For more information or to keep up-to-date with JFS events and programs, visit www.jfsatlantic.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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