Repairing the World: Judy and Joe Schockens’ Transformational Gift to Jewish Family Service

We are thrilled to share that Jewish Family Service has received a multimillion-dollar donation from long-time supporters Judy and Joe Schocken. For 132 years, JFS has partnered with our community to improve the well-being, health, and stability of those who need our support. This extraordinary gift, the largest to our endowment fund to date, will help ensure JFS is here for future generations.

Schocken Family CEO Rabbi Will Berkovitz with Judy and Joe Schocken

In recognition of the Schockens’ generosity, the official title of the Chief Executive Officer has been designated as Schocken Family CEO, honoring the impact of their support and commitment to the mission and work of JFS.

From the outset of their involvement, the Schockens’ have felt a personal resonance with the mission of JFS. As children of Holocaust survivors and immigrants, Judy and Joe have consistently demonstrated a keen sensitivity to the needs of those less fortunate in our community. They have also been long-time dedicated political activists. Joe initiated federal legislation to combat antisemitism and lobbied extensively to successfully get it passed.

Through their steadfast support over three decades, they have demonstrated a profound commitment to the health, well-being, and stability of our community, as well as to the ways in which JFS works to address and confront antisemitism.

When asked what led Judy and Joe to make such a significant investment in JFS, they remarked, “This is a searing and defining moment for the Jewish community. We view the deeply respected and recognized community-wide work of JFS – addressing poverty, food insecurity, housing, immigration, and social welfare – as one of the few tools we have to fight antisemitism. By doing these two things: investing in helping people in need and combating antisemitism, we hope to inspire others to do the same.”

Their gift will leave an enduring legacy, deeply impacting the lives of countless individuals who seek assistance from JFS. Looking ahead, the Schockens express optimism about the future of JFS, stating, “JFS leadership has acknowledged the imperative of forging connections with other leading social service agencies, a critical endeavor amidst current challenges to safeguard our constituents and community. We aspire to witness JFS flourish and emerge as a testament to Jewish values within the broader community we inhabit.”

“The Schockens are a model of true moral leadership in our community and what it looks like to step up in a time of profound complexity and challenge for the Jewish community,” reflects Rabbi Will Berkovitz, JFS Schocken Family CEO. “I am humbled by their belief in my leadership. We are grateful to Judy and Joe Schocken for this extraordinary gift, not only on behalf of the people JFS serves today but on behalf of future generations who will benefit from their generosity.”

JFS is a beacon of hope and compassion for the Jewish community, refugees and immigrants, and our broader community. Our programs address food insecurity in the Puget Sound, support refugees and immigrants, offer connection and support to older adults, caregivers, and Holocaust survivors, bring hope and an improved quality of life to adults with cognitive disabilities; provide financial aid for unexpected crises; advocate for survivors of domestic violence; and help the Jewish community live their values through volunteer and educational opportunities.

Judy and Joe have exemplified their Jewish values and truly embody tikkun olam – repairing the world. Amidst these uncertain times, we are deeply grateful for the support of Judy and Joe Schocken, and of our entire community who have made the work of Jewish Family Service possible.


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