From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: April 2018

I cannot avoid the temptation to be cliché in my column this month. Living in Minnesota is, to say the least, a roller coaster ride where weather is concerned. Not only is it mid-April as I write this column with snow still falling, and the Twins game postponed due to snow (not rain), and it’s long past Easter, Passover and Spring Break, so what the heck is going on??? Let’s just say that, taking no chances, we’ve ordered a really BIG tent for our ribbon cutting on May 8! You just never know…..


Judy HalperBut like all dyed-in-the-wool locals, I really wouldn’t live anywhere else. Winter may not be our strong-suit, but living where there are four seasons is priceless. I believe you’d be hard-pressed to find another community where fundraising walks and runs take place year-round. This weekend I encountered two such events, one at a city lake and another at the Mississippi River (despite the snow and cold). If it’s flowers you crave and the ground is still frozen, just head to the local mall, where thanks to our hometown green-thumbed Bachman family, you could enjoy magnificent flower arrangements as if you were strolling in any famous outdoor garden. One of the most comprehensive film festivals is underway right here throughout the month, so if cinema is your thing, we’ve got it!


At Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS), we offer a large menu of activities, programs and services, year-round, too. April is National Volunteer Month, and as we do every year, we thank our volunteers for all they do to help us fulfill our mission! More than 200 Passover gift bags were assembled and delivered in large part due to our hard-working volunteers who made the holiday very special for families in need of this assistance. In partnership with the Jewish Recovery Network, JFCS participated in the annual Sober Seder, making a meaningful Freedom Seder for all who joined in this event. One of our largest seders for adults with disabilities and their caregivers and family members took place, bringing joy and connection to all. We’ve brought back the highly popular Puppy Parade to bring joy to Sholom Home residents. Dogs and dog lovers alike enjoyed an afternoon of furry companionship.


Though it may not seem like it, summer is right around the corner. (That’s right, we may be skipping right over spring this year!) JFCS will take great pleasure, thanks to the generosity of our donors, in providing many thousands of dollars in camp scholarships that enable many children to take part in summer camp. We’ll also continue to provide fun programming to young families through our PJ Library program, connecting them with both identity-building activities, and helping to create community. Activities for our Caring Connections participants will also be planned, ensuring that everyone has opportunity to enjoy our great outdoors.


So, come rain or snow, we’ll be celebrating big time on May 8 at our ribbon cutting, and I hope to see you all there! We’re planning on food, fun, and maybe, who knows, sunshine and warmth too! Celebrating as a community, no matter the climate, will be heartwarming…of that, I am sure!