Judy Nadell

Meet Judy Nadell!

What inspired you to contribute to JFCS? Over the years, I’ve been involved in several Jewish Federation outreach initiatives. One that always speaks to my heart is JFCS’s call for food donations. Sometime last summer, the request included items like soap, shampoo, and toilet paper along with the usual food staples. Pained that a significant number of local families struggled to get through the day without critical personal-care items, I knew I had to do something. So I contacted JFCS to see whether a donation, designed to stock the Betsy & Peter Fischer Food Pantry shelves with common household items, would be welcome. When my query was greeted warmly and enthusiastically, I moved ahead with my plan. And that’s the story behind my donation.

 What goals or hopes do you have for the future of JFCS? As a founding member of BookMates, a children’s literacy initiative housed in the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), I’ve seen how food scarcity and the lack of personal-care items compromise children’s well-being—and their ability to succeed in school. Vulnerable kids like these make up a good portion of the student body at the schools served by BookMates. To provide support for these youngsters’ numerous unmet needs, BookMates at times moves beyond its literacy mission, donating to schools large bags of healthy snacks as well as boxes filled to the brim with coats, hats, gloves, underwear, and socks. This expansion of BookMates’ role makes me wonder if BookMates and JFCS might come together to donate food and other essential items to a particularly needy school. It is perhaps an idea worth exploring.

 Why is the mission of JFCS so vital for our community? JFCS offers a rich menu of engagement opportunities for our Jewish community. Participating in Tikkun Olam adds meaning and purpose to people’s lives and deepens their pride in being Jewish. Plus, with anti-Jewish sentiment tragically on the rise, it’s valuable for the community at large to see JFCS working to better lives, not only within the Jewish community but lives in the broader community too.