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- JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE AGENCY
Help • Hope • Support
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702-732-0304
4794 S. Eastern Ave, Suite C
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Fax: 702-794-2033
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Gobble Tov!

menurkey
Jewish Family Service Agency wishes a very happy Thanksgivukkah to all of our family and friends. We send our warmest gratitude to all those who have helped us to make a difference in our community.

(Menurkey by Justin Reisman)

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Table of Contents

Happy Thanksgiving

Executive Director's Message

Menorah Lighting

Open Arms Adoption

Thanksgiving Donations

Holocaust Survivor Luncheon

Project Homeless Connect

Hanukkah Gift Drive

Senior Services

Counseling in the Schools

Volunteer of the Month

Donations

Holocaust Survivor Services

Counseling Corner

Quick Links

Opportunity Village

Magical Forrest

Open Arms Adoption

National Adoption Month Website

AdoptUSKids

Adelson Educational Campus

Solomon Schechter Day School

Yeshiva Day School

Atria Sutton

Project Homeless Connect

Midbar Kodesh

Raising Canes

Whole Foods

Clean the World

Sysco Guest Supply

InterContinental Hotel Group

Jewish Federation of Las Vegas

Claims Conference

United Way

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Office Hours and Location  

JFSA is located at 4794 South Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89119. We are on Eastern at the intersection of Tropicana in front of Burlington Coat Factory.

The offices are open:

Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Friday 9:00am - 4:00pm

 

JFSA will be closed on Thursday, November 28 and Friday November 29, 2013 in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

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Candle Lighting Times 

Friday, November 29, 2013 - 26th of Kislev, 5774

Candle lighting: 4:09pm

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 3rd of Tevet, 5774

Candle lighting: 4:09pm

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    Menorah 

4th Annual Light of Life Menorah lighting at the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village - Sunday, December 1, 2013 5:30pm - 7:00pm.

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Become A Member of JFSA today!

Click here for more information.

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volunteer logo revised

JFSA is always looking for friends to add to our family of Volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about our Volunteer Department, click here or call (702)732-0304 and ask to speak to our Volunteer Coordinator.

Executive Director's Message

 

We have so many things to be thankful for at JFSA, and couldn't do it without your support.

This year, we had a shortage of turkey's to give to our families in need.  Thanks to our community appeal, we are happy to report that we received dozens of turkey donations and had plenty to give to our families, including all of the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

While sitting around your dinner table tonight for Thanksgivikah, know that many families in our community are thanking you for your continued support. 

We are looking forward to seeing you Sunday night, December 1, at Opportunity Village's Magical Forest for our official Menorah lighting, 5:30pm. 

Chag Samech,

Christina Primack

Executive Director

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Menorah Lighting

Jewish Family Service Agency invites you to share in our celebration as we kindle the Light of Life Menorah inside the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village. We proudly recognize the Jewish Federation for their ongoing support of JFSA by given the honor of lighting our menorah to Elliot Karp, Executive Director, JFLV.

Menorah 2013 photo

Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 5:30pm

Magical Forest at Opportunity Village

6300 W. Oakey Blvd (Between Rainbow and Jones)

Parking is behind the Magical Forest in the CSN parking lot.

Avoid the lines, purchase your tickets in advance.

Click here for more information about the Magical Forest.

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Open Arms Adoption

November is National Adoption Month!

adoptuskidsJFSA is assisting our local foster care system by asking our community to consider if fostering would be right for your family. We are currently looking for Jewish homes (Kosher and non-Kosher) for immediate emergency placements, future emergency placements, and temporary placements of babies, children and sibling groups. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact Open Arms Adoption at JFSA 702-732-0307.Open Arms Adoption

There are over 104,000 children and youth waiting for permanent families in the U.S. foster care system. November is National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness about the urgent need for adoptive families for children and youth in foster care.

The 2013 National Adoption Month website, created in partnership with AdoptUSKids, is designed to help States harness the power of social media to recruit and retain foster and adoptive parents. The site provides resources for professionals, prospective adoptive parents, and youth, including:

  • Information on adding social media to your communications strategy and campaigns
  • How to help your agency get started using social media
  • Sample messages to help spread the word
  • Examples of how State child welfare agencies are using social media
  • Firsthand stories of children and youth waiting for adoption

Bookmark the National Adoption Month website today: http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam/?utm_source=Professionals&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nam-email-nov-1

For more information and other adoption resources, contact Child Welfare Information Gateway at 800.394.3366 or info@childwelfare.gov.

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Thanksgiving Donations

Thankgivikkah will certainly be much more festive for so many of our clients due to the amazing outpouring of support from our community. Our plea last week for turkeys resulted in a quantity of frozen turkeys from many donors with huge hearts. We cannot express our gratitude enough. JFSA is extremely proud to announce that each client on our Turkey Wish-List will receive a turkey!

donations nov 2013

Additionally, the Adelson Educational Campus donated 2,182 lbs. of food and Solomon Schechter Day School donated 476 lbs. of food, both donations included all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings.

Thank you to our entire community for helping to make the holidays happy for so many people!

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Holocaust Survivor Luncheon

Thank you to Rabbi Paris and Mrs. O’Brian (2nd and 3rd Grade teachers) at Yeshiva Day School for your participation in or Hanukkah/Thanksgiving Luncheon for Holocaust Survivors. The children’s singing brought a smile to all in attendance.

luncheon

Thank you to Atria Sutton Assisted Living for sponsoring our Hanukah/Thanksgiving Luncheon. A special thanks goes out to Barbi Meinel, Director of Culinary Services for putting together a superb Menu. Our group of Holocaust Survivors enjoyed Brisket, Tzimmes, Cranberry Pear Desert and much more.

Atria

Thank you to Alexa Difiore and Janet Bloom for volunteering their time to assist with our Luncheon.

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Project Homeless Connect

The Jewish Family Service participated in the annual Project Homeless Connect at Cashman Center.

Which is an event that is coordinated by the Nevada Homeless Alliance in partnership with the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition’s Committee on Homelessness. Free services, including haircuts, meals, medical services, job training, housing assistance, mental health counseling and veteran services were provided.

homeless connect revised 2013

Renea Parr, Emergency Services Coordinator, and Nora Kraidman, Director of Senior Services, were able to provide referrals and resources to many of those who are homeless or at risk of living on the street.

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Hanukkah Gift Drive

Thank you to all who participated in donating toys, gift cards, games and so much more to child clients of JFSA to ensure that they are provided a very happy Hanukkah. Our largest donation for the children came in from a very kind-hearted group of ladies who donated $600 in Walmart Gift Cards from funds collected through their Pan group: Edye, Lynn, Linda, Marcy, Norma, Sharlene, Charlene, Barbara, Judy, Diane, and Bernice.

Thank you to Midbar Kodesh for their generous donation towards our Hanukkah Baskets for Holocaust Survivors in need. Midbar Kodesh donated all the necessary holiday items for our baskets: grape juice, gift cards, latke boxes, dreidels, menorahs, Hanukkah candles and Hanukkah Cards. Thank you for making their holiday special.

Thank you to this wonderful group of women who volunteered to assemble our Hanukkah baskets for Holocaust Survivors in need: Janet Bloom, Anna Mirochnik, Jane Kusel, Karen Zimmerman, Marilyn Galin, and Marcia Sackstein.

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Senior Services

By Nora Kraidman, Director of Senior Services

The Mission of the Jewish Family Service Agency is inspired by the Jewish principle of “Tikkun Olam,” repairing the world one life at a time. In my two years of working at Jewish Family Service Agency I have had many opportunities to fulfill this mission. Many of the calls I receive are from family members, daughters and sons, nieces and nephews, uncles and aunts calling about a senior relative living in Las Vegas who needs assistance. The ultimate outcome following these calls is providing services for the senior. As a result we have just repaired “one life.” However, looking at the bigger picture we really repaired many lives at the same time. That son or daughter no longer needs to spend sleepless nights worrying about their mother or father on the other side of the country not eating or bathing. Grandchildren no longer need to worry about their grandparent falling again. So, when we spend time repairing one person’s world, we are actually repairing the lives of all those who are far away. They now know they have someone they can trust to keep an eye on their loved one.

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Counseling in the Schools

Every parent’s prayer for their child is to be happy, and successful. When a child faces academic challenges, these simple dreams of happiness and success seem to slowly and painfully shatter. I was recently sitting around a table with two classroom teachers, a school administrator, and a distraught parent. As the teacher described the difficulties this one student was facing on a daily basis in the classroom, tears began to well up in the parent’s eyes. I had worked with this student for over a year, and I shared this mother’s pain as she faced the reality of her child’s hardships. She listened and nodded her head, as she understood the difficulties, and expressed her fear of “what else can I do”. It was then that Educate Las Vegas was explained. With the help of JFSA’s newest program, her child can be evaluated in a cost effective way, to help identify specific academic difficulties. An evaluation is like a blueprint, a guide for the educators and parents to follow. Educate Las Vegas will not end there, I explained. We will hold your hand through the evaluation process, and then continue to hold tight as we implement suggestions and interventions based on the professional recommendations. Slowly, the tears began to dry, and a renewed sense of “this is hard, but doable” attitude could be felt in the room. We then planned the next steps, and dates for a follow up meeting. As we got up to leave, the mother gave me a hug. She thanked me for all the work JFSA has done and continues to do for her child and her child’s school. Thanks to a very generous grant from Federation of Las Vegas, we continue to service the Jewish day Schools of Las Vegas; One child at a time!

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Volunteer of the Month

JFSA held our monthly Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Friday, October 25, 2013. Thank you to Raising Canes on Flamingo Road and Maryland Parkway for their generous donation of their fantastic chicken fingers with all of the trimmings for this event. We do our best to try and show our appreciation for our volunteers who give so much of themselves to help us provide the best services possible to our community.

Leon 

This month’s volunteer of the Month is Leon Balsam. Leon volunteers twice a week in our food pantry and is very dedicated. He not only volunteers his time here at JFSA but also on his own time, goes out into the community to gather resources such as CAT bus maps and route books so that we can have them on hand to distribute to our clients. Thank you Leon for all of your hard work and dedication!

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Donations

Food Pantry Items

JFSA extends our appreciation to Whole Foods on Las Vegas Blvd. Whole Foods recently donated 500lbs of delicious healthy food for our food pantry. This came at a time of great need and we are so grateful for the ongoing support.

Hygiene Supplies

Clean The World has donated 50 gift baskets of personal hygiene supplies that they collected from Sysco Guest Supply and InterContinental Hotel Group that contain soap bars, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and other hygiene related materials. These baskets are being distributed to those most in need.

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Holocaust Survivor Services

JFSA provides a wide variety of services to our local Holocaust Survivors. Nothing is more humbling than to receive a letter of appreciation such as this recent one:

“Thanks to the wonderful people at JFSA, my 90+ year old parents are provided wonderful services which include care giving, house cleaning and food items.

While nothing can take away a life if painful memories of the Holocaust, it is nice to know that the JFSA is there to make their life easier and more comfortable!”

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Counseling Corner

Expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better.

The Thanksgiving holiday began, as the name implies, when the colonists gave thanks for their survival and for a good harvest. So perhaps November is a good time to review the mental health benefits of gratitude — and to consider some advice about how to cultivate this state of mind.

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone's gratitude, it's a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.

Research on gratitude

Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.

One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Another leading researcher in this field, Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, tested the impact of various positive psychology interventions on 411 people, each compared with a control assignment of writing about early memories. When their week's assignment was to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness, participants immediately exhibitedahuge increase in happiness scores. This impact was greater than that from any other intervention, with benefits lasting for a month.

Of course, studies such as this one cannot prove cause and effect. But most of the studies published on this topic support an association between gratitude and an individual's well-being.

Other studies have looked at how gratitude can improve relationships. For example, a study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.

Managers who remember to say "thank you" to people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder. Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group — assigned to work on a different day — received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.

There are some notable exceptions to the generally positive results in research on gratitude. One study found that middle-aged divorced women who kept gratitude journals were no more satisfied with their lives than those who did not. Another study found that children and adolescents who wrote and delivered a thank-you letter to someone who made a difference in their lives may have made the other person happier — but did not improve their ownwell-being.This finding suggests that gratitude is an attainment associated with emotional maturity.

Ways to cultivate gratitude

Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can't feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis.

Write a thank-you note.You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person's impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally.No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

Keep a gratitude journal.Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you've received each day.

Count your blessings.Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.

  1. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.
  2. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as "peace"), it is also possible to focus on what you're grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).

Emmons RA, et al. "Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Feb. 2003): Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 377–89.

Grant AM, et al. "A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way: Explaining Why Gratitude Expressions Motivate Prosocial Behavior," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (June 2010): Vol. 98, No. 6, pp. 946–55.

Lambert NM, et al. "Expressing Gratitude to a Partner Leads to More Relationship Maintenance Behavior," Emotion (Feb. 2011): Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 52–60.

Sansone RA, et al. "Gratitude and Well Being: The Benefits of Appreciation," Psychiatry (Nov. 2010): Vol. 7, No. 11, pp. 18–22.

Seligman MEP, et al. "Empirical Validation of Interventions," American Psychologist (July–Aug. 2005): Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 410–21.

For more references, please see www.health.harvard.edu/mentalextra.

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