Jewish Family Service continues to serve the community

By Reporter staff

Jewish Family Service continues to serve the community through its current programs and by formulating new initiatives. “We are grateful for the community’s support that helps us continue our successful programs,” said Rose Shea, director of Jewish Family Service. “At the same time, we are always looking for new ways to help community members.”

Shea noted, “One successful program is We Remember You. We have 16 persons who are in need of financial assistance and spiritual support during the holidays. That means not just supplying them with funds to purchase food for holiday meals. We recognize that people may have other difficulties, for example, needing help in order to attend services. We contact the people on our list and help them find transportation to their synagogue if they need it. We also check to see if they face other challenges that might prevent them from celebrating the holiday. Listening to them and understanding their needs is an important part of our work, as is helping them to resolve their challenges. Everyone we help always responds with gratefulness and appreciation that they are not forgotten by the community.”

JFS continues to help people with housing, utilities, grocery and other personalized needs. “We also network with community agencies to make and enhance community connections so we can help people find resources,” Shea said. “These relationships help our clients receive services and support from other community agencies.” 

Because of the changing air quality due to Canadian wildfires, JFS has received an increase in requests for N95 masks. “N95 masks are available at the JFS/Federation office and at the Broome County Health Department,” Shea said.

Shea noted that JFS begins a new program once she learns of additional ways to help community members. A recent example occurred after JFS learned of Jewish community members who are lonely or homebound and would benefit from home visitors. “JFS is partnering with the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton to establish a list of home visitation volunteers for Jewish community persons who would benefit from visitors,” Shea said. “We hope to have a group of people in place so these community members will know they are not forgotten.”

Shea expressed her thanks for the support JFS receives from the community. “JFS could not do its work without the generous support of community members,” she said. “On behalf of JFS clients, I’d like to thank the community for all it does to help.” 

Anyone looking to donate to JFS can write a check and mail it to Jewish Family Service, 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal, NY 13850 or make an online donation at the JFS page on the federation's website. To contact Shea, call 607-724-2332 or e-mail