We have worked hard over the last year to create our new Jewish Family Service Strategic Plan: a roadmap for our organization’s future. We are extremely grateful to the many wonderful community members including Board members, donors, and community partners, as well as JFS staff, who provided valuable input and guidance throughout the development of this plan. The process has allowed us to clarify and build a vision for how JFS can best align and balance our limited resources to support the needs of our community—to provide the best and most effective programs and services to the people we serve and to sustain a healthy and strong organization. We will roll out our new strategic plan later in the year and look forward to sharing more with you all.
After careful review of the research that was conducted over the last ten months, JFS leadership made the difficult decision to close our Counseling & Addiction Services program. A host of factors led us to this decision: the small size of the program makes it challenging to meet the demand for services; the current model is expensive, and our research showed us that the staffing to sufficiently meet the broad range of community mental health needs would be extremely challenging; and there are other providers with similar Jewish cultural competence. There are also systemic barriers that contribute to the challenges facing community mental health providers like JFS and to providing accessible, affordable mental health services in our region.
JFS is deeply committed to addressing the mental health crisis in our community. What we learned is that we are best positioned to do that through mental health education. We believe this is the right decision for the future even though we know how painful this decision is. We are currently examining what that will look like and what the timeline will be for unveiling this updated work. We will share more with you as we know more.
Our counseling team will provide counseling to current clients through the end of November. We would not have been able to offer culturally competent, compassionate, and high-quality mental health care to our community over the years without the expertise and commitment of our extraordinary team of counselors.
As a 131-year-old Jewish community organization, we rest on the foundation of thousands of years of Jewish history, our organizational history, our Jewish values, and our strong community of which you are an important part. Please look for more about our entire strategic plan in the near future, as we begin to unveil in more detail where JFS is growing and pivoting and deepening our work. Your support is critically important to us and we look forward to sharing our vision for our next 131 years.