March 8, 2024

To my JFCS Family,

This week marks the start of Social Work Month. On Wednesday, we gathered as a JFCS family as we do once a month! Even though it was a business meeting, it was filled with laughter, levity, and comradery. It was a packed agenda, but we started with a celebratory breakfast recognizing the dedication and commitment of our staff – those who make miracles happen for our clients and of course, our broader community. We launched our discussion with a conversation about the history of social work in this country and the many achievements and successes of our profession. We came to understand that the values of social work is truly etched in the very foundation of our democracy and in the essence of our great nation.

Our Director of Senior Services, Cara Galob, read us a beautiful poem written by Monique Smith, and I would like to share it with you.

Why Be A Social Worker?

Why be a social worker? people often ask of me.

The pay isn’t high, and the paperwork is beyond belief.

The stress you must have, dealing with people’s problems all day.

So, I look at them, and I try, my best, to explain.

“The pay won’t make me rich, you are right about that.

The paperwork’s insane, and we always need more staff.

Yes, people come to me with a lot to explain.

From broken homes, trauma, and unimaginable pain.”

But you asked, “Why be a social worker?” so let me share with you.

Why I continue, to do what I do.

It’s the light in people’s eyes – when they first find that hope.

When they empower themselves, and finally learn to cope.

It’s watching them find a new life, one they actually-want to live.

It’s the joy of the families, as they reunite and forgive.

It’s that one day you wonder, “Am I really making a difference in what I do?”

Then your email reads, “I am happy and well, and I want to thank you.”

“That’s when you know…” I say with a tear…

“There could not be a more rewarding career.”

This month’s Shabbat Inspirations will be dedicated to all of our staff who – regardless of their educational background – are my social work heroes. They are truly changing lives, one person at a time.

Wishing you peace and love on this Shabbat and every day.

All my best,