Helping for the Holidays

Basket_CloseUpJFS works year round to help vulnerable individuals and families in the Puget Sound region achieve well-being, health and stability. During the holiday season, our services and staff go the extra mile to help people in need feel connected and remembered in the community.

Here are four programs that JFS supports this time of year to connect our volunteers, staff, clients and our community at large:

1. Chanukah Tzedakah Program : Each year, Jewish community groups and individual donors participate in the Chanukah Tzedakah Program. Some are matched with a particular family or individual and provide gifts specifically identified by their “match” recipients. Others donate gifts and gift cards that are distributed at the discretion of the Emergency Services team.

"It gives me another opportunity to feel connected, in a more 'hands on' and personal way, to the JFS community." – long time donor Donna Benaroya

“It gives me another opportunity to feel connected, in a more ‘hands on’ and personal way, to the JFS community,” says long time donor Donna Benaroya. “Looking at the huge success of the program I’m guessing that many people have similar feelings about it. Selecting gifts for a particular individual or family is meaningful in a different way than most other giving opportunities.”

2. Holiday Baskets : Individuals and groups participate in bringing joy to seniors, single parent families and people with disabilities each year at Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, Purim and Passover. Help by donating items; collecting food at a grocery store; or filling, decorating and/or delivering the baskets. Sign up for just one portion of the project…or pick a holiday with your group and see it through from beginning to end.

3. Friendly Visitors : Dozens of elderly individuals throughout the Greater Seattle area keep in contact with the Jewish community through the loving attention of our Friendly Visitors. JFS clients thrive on personal visits and regular telephone calls; caring and meaningful relationships reduce the risk of depression and enhance quality of life. Those who volunteer for this activity find the reward is definitely mutual!

4. Sha’arei Tikvah Celebrations for All Chanukah Celebration : A community-wide gathering for people of all abilities and ages. Led by Rabbi David Lipper, Cantor David Serkin-Poole, Rabbi Aaron Meyer and special guests. Participants will spin dreidels, sing and eat latkes!

To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Director of Volunteer Services Jane Deer-Hileman at or (206) 861-3155.

IMG_8896-2By Leslie Sugiura
Savvy cook, extreme clam digger, urban gardener and mom to Stella the dog are just a few of the titles Leslie Sugiura keeps in rotation. She’s also the Director of Special Events for JFS where she spearheads the annual Community of Caring Luncheon.

Leave a Reply

JFS is a 501(c)(3)

(206) 461-3240