From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: February 2022
Do we look another year older? It’s not too late to wish Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis a belated happy birthday! Our official birthday is Feb. 10 when the organization was established in 1910. That means we’ve just turned 112 years old! We couldn’t be prouder of the fact that we are well over 100 years old and still vibrant in our mission to strengthen our community one person at a time.
Back in the early 20th century, when JFCS was just getting started, our chief purpose was resettlement of the hundreds of Jewish refugees and immigrants who were arriving from all parts of Europe. Resettling families meant helping these newly arrived folks learn English, find work, establish homes, and build community while meeting the needs of the elderly and the young. JFCS provided this help after World War ll and again with two waves of immigrants who arrived from the former Soviet Union during the latter part of the 20th century.
Today, we still provide assistance to immigrants and refugees, though the homes they’ve left are in many other parts of the world. JFCS and Jewish Family Services of St. Paul are supporting refugee resettlement efforts through a supply drive March 4-5 to help make Minnesota home for the more than 1,000 Afghan refugees that have arrived in our state since September. Click here for more information on this event.
Birthdays are a great time to take stock, and we think it’s important to review JFCS’ roots from time to time. It’s truly amazing to regard our impact from those early days. Over a century or so, we’ve helped families with adoption; elevated awareness of individuals with disabilities and special needs; financially assisted families to afford summer camp for their children; celebrated citizenship for those who chose to become American; removed stigmatization for those living with mental illness and its challenges; and so much more.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis is as needed and relevant today as it was in 1910. We live by the teaching of Tikkun Olam, which states that the world was intentionally left unfinished and imperfect, and therefore it is up to all of us to do what we can to achieve wholeness and completion. We are committed to this service, and as we always say, we are Here For All. Always.