From the desk of CEO Judy Halper: February 2017

From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper

Happy Birthday to Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis! On Feb. 10, JFCS celebrated its 107th birthday, and we couldn’t be more proud!


As the story goes, on the evening of Feb. 10, 1910, a group of committed community members met to plan how to help the hundreds of refugees anticipated to arrive in Minneapolis in the coming weeks. The refugees were fleeing persecution and anti-Semitism in Europe. In their new homes in the United States, they would need to learn English, find employment, settle family members, care for their sick and acclimate to new customs and situations. This was the beginning of JFCS, where we proudly continue this important tradition today serving the needs of immigrants, refugees and community members who have lived in the Twin Cities for generations.


Judy HalperMinnesota has long been a state where refugees and immigrants have landed in an effort to re-start their lives. Following the Vietnam War, Minnesota resettled more people from Southeast Asia than any state with the exception of California. From the late 80s through the 90s, the Jewish communities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, through the JFCS and JFS, resettled well over 1,000 families from the former Soviet Union. Currently, Minnesota is resettling one of the largest groups of new Americans from African countries, specifically Somalia. We were once strangers in a new land, and we know first-hand that with the support and help of professional organizations and caring communities, we can all succeed and become contributing citizens.


With that perspective and devotion to helping one individual/one family at a time, JFCS will continue to welcome the stranger, as our tradition informs us to do. Our comprehensive services provide both short-term and long-term support, leading people to greater independence and self-sufficiency. As our mission statement reads, we serve people of all ages and backgrounds to sustain healthy relationships, ease suffering, and offer support in times of need.


Whether you are new to the community, have lived here all your life, or something in between, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis is the kind of caring, compassionate and professional resource you can count on for help when you need it. We are privileged to serve all those who seek our help, and inspired by the caring community that supports our work.


> Read Judy’s statement in Spanish, Somali, or Russian