Our Strong Commitment to Tikkun Olam
OpinionsRosh Hashanah 5779

Our Strong Commitment to Tikkun Olam

Michael Levy is president of the board of Jewish Family & Career Services.

Michael Levy
Michael Levy

On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate and reflect on last year’s challenges and accomplishments. Our tradition tells us our fate for the coming year is written in the Book of Life, and on Yom Kippur, it is sealed. We reflect and commit to improving the course of our own lives and how will we dedicate ourselves to repairing the world by helping people in need. It is a good time to reflect and ask: What else can I do? Can I spend a few hours volunteering each month to help others? Or maybe, I need to ask for help for myself in dealing with life’s challenges. As president of JF&CS, I am proud to see us help both the needy and those in need – in need of a friend, a support or a resource.

Many of our clients come to JF&CS with little hope. Each year, we help more than 14,000 of our community members take their journey from hope to opportunity, to greater self-sufficiency and a better quality of life. We are rooted in traditional Jewish values of repairing the world and acts of loving-kindness. We commit our values into action to build a better world and care for those in need, for the Jewish and broader communities. We help people from all walks of life, from a young student struggling with school, to an anxious teenager needing someone to talk to, to a middle-aged man suddenly thrust in the position of job-seeker after years at the same job, to a mother in the sandwich generation trying to take care of her aging father while balancing the needs of her family. We are here to help.

Working with our community partners, we have amplified our impact for older adults through the AgeWell Atlanta initiative and our growing geriatric care management program; created connections between young professionals and Holocaust survivors; and worked with strategic partners to better respond to the needs of the ongoing opioid crisis with the HAMSA program. Our best-in-class therapists help the community navigate life’s challenges with individual, family and group counseling.

Each year, our 150 volunteer dentists dedicate themselves to putting smiles on our patients’ faces at the Ben Massell Dental Clinic. It continues to be the only resource for comprehensive, quality dental care available at no cost to Atlanta’s population in greatest need.

It is also truly inspiring to see the smiles and hear the laughter at IndependenceWORKS, our program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We celebrated our first full year in our beautiful new building, complete with sensory room, teaching kitchen, laundry facilities and art and music rooms. Our supported employment program continues to build confidence and skills for clients who wish to work, and our wonderful staff take our participants on new adventures every week.

We could not have achieved these results without the hard work and deep commitment of our 200+ staff, 500+ volunteers and the greatly valued generosity of our community. We are proud of who we are and what we do, and we thank you for making it all possible.

JF&CS is and always will be here for our Atlanta community. On behalf of the board of directors and our dedicated employees and volunteers, I wish you and your family Shanah tovah umetukah – a good and sweet year.

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