From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: May 2018

From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper

Judy HalperJust like the other famous Minnesota Judy (okay, there’s only one—Judy Garland!), I clicked my heels together three times on May 8 and uttered the well-known words “There’s no place like home!”– we cut the ribbon and made it official! Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis is officially open for service in our “forever home!”


We are grateful to the 400 dear friends, family, current and former staff, lay leaders, and stakeholders who attended the grand event. What a wonderful gathering and beautiful tribute to the Stillman Family Foundation, our building benefactor, and to everyone who brought this dream-come-true together!


The month of May is certainly long enough at a full 31 days, but when you consider all that gets jam-packed into one month, it seems not long enough! Aside from all the graduations and school-ending events, there is a plethora of community celebrations and programs to attend as well. In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, which takes place annually in May, JFCS co-hosted an interfaith mini-conference to discuss how to de-escalate individuals with active mental health needs who we encounter in our spaces. It was wonderful to share knowledge and expertise among many faith leaders and communities.


JFCS volunteers also participated in Good Deeds Day this month. Among many activities intended to benefit people in our community, an especially notable one was the assembly of emergency kits filled with essential items like toothpaste and toothbrushes for people experiencing homelessness or impermanent housing. This act of such simple kindness is certainly fulfilling for our volunteers and meaningful to recipients.


Aging Services Director Annette Sandler provided a session on Caregiver Coaching at the Wisdom on Wednesday (WOW) program at the Sabes JCC. She’ll be doing another training for our NextGen participants, addressing the issue of becoming “Dementia Friends.” She and her team are also forging forward with all kinds of updates and changes intended to make accessing our services for seniors easier.


As always, there are many more things to comment on, but I’m aware that it’s May and everyone is BUSY!! When you have a minute to spare, check out the new button on our website that says “Just Call JFCS.” This new feature is intended to facilitate quick and complete answers to all your questions. Let us know how you like it!