Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Opening A Doorway

After JFSNM:  As Abq Jew first reported in late January (JFSNM Closes Its Doors), the Jewish Family Service of New Mexico ceased operations as of Friday, February 1, 2013.

But things are starting to look up, if just a bit. The Jewish Federation of New Mexico - on its website and in The New Mexico Jewish Link - has announced
New Programs Created to Meet Our Community’s Social Service Needs

Following the closure of Jewish Family Service of New Mexico, the Jewish Federation of New Mexico has been working with its partner agencies to meet the social services needs of our most vulnerable Jewish community members.

"What guides our Federation is 'Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh', meaning that all Jews are responsible for one another," says JFNM President Linda Friedman. "We take this mandate seriously, and direct our efforts toward it."
As a result, two new initiatives have been created:
The Holocaust Survivors Support Program 
To provide Holocaust survivors in the Albuquerque metropolitan area with a caring support system, on March 25th the Holocaust Survivors Support Program was launched under the auspices of The Holocaust & Intolerance Museum of New Mexico, with funding provided by the Jewish Federation of New Mexico.

The purpose of the Holocaust Survivors Support Program is to provide a dedicated case worker for the estimated thirty Holocaust survivors in the Albuquerque metropolitan area in order to enhance their quality of life.

As part of the Holocaust Survivor's Support Program, caseworker Susan Minkus, who has extensive experience with the survivor population, will meet ongoing clients needs by providing emotional support; conducting needs assessments including ensuring that client medical, prescription and nutritional needs are being met; coordinating housekeeping services and staffing a quarterly socialization event.

Minkus is contracted to work ten hours a week, housed at the Jewish Federation of New Mexico offices. A  Survivors Support Program Task Force comprised of community representatives will be convened in April to help guide the program.

"We are enormously grateful to the Holocaust & Intolerance Museum of New Mexico leadership for having the vision and deep commitment to our survivors to administer this important program," says JFNM executive Director Sam Sokolove.

Holocaust survivors in need of Support Program assistance may contact Susan Minkus at (505) 217-4212.
The Jewish Care Program of Albuquerque

To provide Jewish community members at all stages of life, in crisis, transition or in physical/emotional distress with one-on-one counseling and advocacy, the Jewish Care Program of Albuquerque, a program administered by the Jewish Community Center of Albuquerque, with funding provided by the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, will be launched May 1st.

The Jewish Care Program caseworker, an employee of the Jewish Community Center, will be hired to provide ongoing case management services to clients; provide advocacy services, including interceding on behalf of clients to gain access to needed services and supports; refer clients to additional services and consult with Jewish clergy and congregational staff for client referrals. The caseworker will work twenty hours a week, and will also be housed at the Jewish Federation of New Mexico offices.

Says Dave Simon, the JCC's Executive Director, "The JCC is committed to doing our part to help community members in times of need. We're confident that the Jewish Care Program will offer a service that will enrich our mission, and promote the healthfulness of mind, body and spirit that's at the core of all JCC offerings."

In Santa Fe, the JFNM Board approved funding to allow Miryam Levy to perform her Jewish Chaplaincy duties under the auspices of CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical.

"I am so pleased that, between the Jewish Federation and CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, we will be able to offer these most critical chaplaincy services to our patients and families," says Dr. Dennis P. Gonzales, Christus Vice President, Mission & Spirituality.

In the coming weeks, the JFNM will assess the progress of these initiatives with their partnering agencies, and make modifications as needed.

Community members interested in supporting these initiatives may contact the Jewish Federation of New Mexico office at (505) 821-3214.

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