“The true measure of any society is found in how it treats its most vulnerable members”
When I think about the mission and vision of JFCS and the legacy that we want to build for our community, this quote is a guiding force. It is a call to action reminding me that we have a responsibility to care for each other. The reality is that we are stronger together.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Scott*, one of the amazing volunteers in our Senior Services department. He works with our Kosher Meals on Wheels Program (KMOW) , which provides sustenance and support for more than 30 people weekly.
Scott is in his mid-90’s. He comes weekly to work in the kitchen and deliver food in the community. He is a veteran and a former business owner – but above all, he is kind, caring, and vibrant. I was honored that Scott took the time to share his thoughts and feelings with me. He told me how important KMOW is to so many of our clients and complimented the dedication and commitment of our KMOW Coordinator, Renee Nachbar. The most interesting part of the conversation was what Scott valued in her work: the personal connection she had with our clients.
Our staff members care for our clients like they are family. They often know a client’s hopes and dreams as well as their family members, and they build a personal rapport over the years. During her time with JFCS, Renee not only developed personal relationships, but she truly listened to our community members. Renee is retiring this month and we wish her the best of luck!
So many of our clients feel invisible – especially our seniors, those who are food insecure, and those who struggle to maintain their mental health. They want to be heard, and they need social connection and validation to thrive. I often think about this when walking on the street and passing a homeless person. I make sure to look them in the eyes, smile, and greet them if appropriate – validating that they are there, and I see them – even if I can’t take their problems away.
We know all too well that our clients’ problems are too complex to be solved with kind gestures; however, our work must start there. Those small gestures and the validation of each person’s worth lay the foundation of our agency’s service to the community. Everyone deserves hope, healing, and health. Everyone deserves to find happiness. I am so incredibly proud of our staff and volunteers, who truly see our clients and share their compassion, kindness, and love every day.
Wishing you love and peace this Shabbat.
All my best,
*Name has been changed for confidentiality