Placing Our Hearts

Placing Our Hearts

We are living in an era when attention spans are assumed to be 140 characters or less — two bits as my dad would say. That’s how much we are willing to “pay” for our attention. In Hebrew, “pay attention” is literally translated as, “place your heart.” Placing our hearts requires effort. It requires us…

Awareness Into Action

Awareness Into Action

The convergence in September of the High Holidays and Hunger Action Month is one reason JFS holds its  Community-Wide Food Drive in the fall. The response to the annual Food Drive is wonderful, and the donations help us address food insecurity in our community. But many people don’t realize the tons of food collected each…

Planting Seeds of Justice, Peace for DV Survivors This Sukkot

Planting Seeds of Justice, Peace for DV Survivors This Sukkot

This October, Sukkot once again coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As many in the Jewish community celebrate in temporary sukkah structures, we ask you to remember those who do not feel safe in their own homes because of domestic violence. Domestic violence (DV) is a pattern of behavior used by one partner in a…

Learning How to Support a Loved One With a Mental Illness

Learning How to Support a Loved One With a Mental Illness

Years ago, a boyfriend was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at nearly 18, and the last thing he was ready to do was acknowledge his diagnosis and need for treatment. While I wanted to be loving and supportive, I had little education on how to do this for someone with a mental illness. I felt alone…

TAKE ACTION: Support the U.S. Accepting at Least 75,000 Refugees

TAKE ACTION: Support the U.S. Accepting at Least 75,000 Refugees

As the world faces a global refugee crisis, it is vital the U.S. support, protect and welcome refugees. Resettlement is a life-saving option available to less than one percent of the displaced population who are unable to return home or stay in the country to which they fled. Our government will soon determine the maximum…

A Refugee Returns to His Professional Path

A Refugee Returns to His Professional Path

A poster of blue skies above Kent lay across Meqdam “Mike” Almaroof’s desk on his first day of work with the city. He can recall the exact date — Aug. 15, 2016 — from memory and still has the poster that welcomed him to the team and exclaimed, “We’re happy you are here!” Almaroof was…

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