December 15, 2023

Dear JFCS Family,

“Light the Way.” Last night, we lit all eight candles and celebrated the last night of Chanukah.  I was overwhelmed with the brightness of our candles and what they symbolize for our people. For me, the light represents the impact that we all have on the world around us. It signifies that while it may be easy to be enveloped in the darkness and negativity of life, it is our charge to not only find the light, but to be the light in our community. We must help others find their way, as we inevitably walk down the road of kindness and connection together.  Just as our Chanukah candles light the way for us, they will light the way for others and our community will be a better place for everyone.

This week, we received a beautiful thank you note from one of our Project SARAH clients, Kathleen.* Her letter brightened my entire week. It gave me the strength to face any darkness that came my way and reminded me of all the blessings in my life, especially our staff. I am so very grateful for the work of all our staff and the trust and hard work of our clients.  A survivor of domestic abuse, Kathleen attends our SARAH Supports Group regularly.  She works with Hilary Platt, Marci Rosenstein, and Cheryl Herzfeld.  In addition to case management, financial assistance, support groups, information, and referrals, many of our SARAH clients receive gift cards this time of year.  We received this note from Kathleen just this week:

“I am so thankful for how your program helped me this holiday! Thank you immensely! You have been critical in keeping my sanity and helping me grow as a human and keep myself safe and get away from abuse…. thank you so much for all your kindness, support, and collective case management skills. Marci and you have been amazing case managers and all three of you as group leaders really changed my world and perspective! Thank you again! And the help for the holidays made me cry in the best way! I did treat myself to a $40 comforter and some silly lights for my bedroom, so I listened to Marci about getting myself something!  I feel so blessed by your organization! I hope you all know how much you are changing lives, and the ripple effects it will have on our children. You are very much a part of making this a beautiful world!  We stand with you and realize the amazing impact you have on this world!  Have a wonderful Holiday month and New Year’s!”

Each one of you is a bright light for JFCS. You support and stand by us every day, and you make miracles happen. You change the lives of those in need in our community. And I thank you for lighting the way.

With immense gratitude and love, I wish you all peace and love this Shabbat and always. 

All my best,

Raechel Hammer


* Names have been changed to protect confidentiality