The year 2021 continued to bring many challenges to the local community due to COVID-19, according to Jewish Family Service Director Rose Shea. She noted that many in the community lost their employment, were living in isolation and could not visit their families, all while trying to find new ways to maintain social connections. Throughout the year, JFS became a source for community referrals for those in need. Shea noted, “We saw the community come together to help their neighbors with things such as grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, and creating and distributing masks.”
The community continued to support the We Remember You program, which delivers grocery gift cards during the Jewish holidays. Shea said, “We have over 15 families that participate in the We Remember You program. The generosity of the community was very much appreciated and welcomed by all.”
Working alongside local rabbis, JFS worked to support Jewish individuals in their time of need throughout the year. It also supported local projects, such as the Chabad Sedar in a Box, the Binghamton University Food Bank, CHOW, the Temple Concord food pantry and the Temple Concord Afghan resettlement fund. Grocery gift cards were also provided to families in need throughout the year. Two camp scholarships were given to children so they could attend Jewish sleepaway camp. JFS also played “an integral role in financially supporting a family with a parent living with cancer,” Shea noted.
She added, “Looking toward the year to come, Jewish Family Service is prepared to meet the needs of our community once again. We thank everyone for their generous support throughout the year.”