Basic Jewish Value #10: The mission statement of Jewish Family Service of New Mexico reads: “Guided by Jewish values, we offer targeted social services that help preserve and improve the quality of life for New Mexicans.” What are these Jewish values? How do they help guide the day-to-day work that we do at JFS? When new employees join the staff of JFS, they are introduced to eighteen of these basic Jewish values.
For the staff at Jewish Family Service, this value is put into action often, as we reach out to people who were strangers to us until they needed our services; after the connection is made, they are no longer strangers. Instead, they often became collaborators in programming and service delivery. In the Health and Wellness Programs, for example, community residents meet regularly with JFS staff to plan and schedule activities. Some favorite activities, Wii bowling, for example, are actually conducted by residents. Relationships between staff and clients develop over time; people who were once strangers become involved with their own lives, the lives of their neighbors and communities, and even become volunteers for JFS - helping others as they themselves were helped.
Rabbi Min Kantrowitz
Director, Jewish Community Chaplaincy Program