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Highlights From Our Agencies

Generously supported by the Hadassah Foundation, Jewish Family Service of San Diego's Girls Give Back engages teen girls in fun, positive leadership and team-building activities and gives girls the opportunity to explore the community through hands-on service learning and advocacy projects.

Girls Give Back promotes Jewish values and the importance of Tikkun Olam while developing social-mindedness, critical thinking, healthy self-esteem, and empathy in high school girls.

In the past year, Girls Give Back teens:

- Volunteered more than 1,800 hours, earning the President's Gold Volunteer Service Award.
   
- Organized a middle-school girls empowerment program, Girls Unite!, for Jewish tweens in grades 6-8.
   
- Created a 50-foot mural for the San Diego Airport on the historic and contemporary struggles facing women and girls.
 
- Designed an advocacy campaign around the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and successfully secured three co-sponsors, including Susan Davis.
   
- Participated in a week-long experiential learning about homelessness and poverty in San Diego.

- Teens volunteered with eight different service providers to distribute food, work in shelters, and empower vulnerable teens.
   
- Hosted two community screenings of the award-winning documentary Girl Rising. More than 150 attendees learned about the importance of girls' education across the globe.

The Hadassah Foundation, which invests in social change to empower girls and women in Israel and the United States, has given $150,000 in grants to five American organizations that strengthen the leadership develop skills and capabilities of Jewish girls and young women. Jewish Family Service of San Diego was awarded $35,200 to strengthen leadership development opportunities for young Jewish women.
 
Learn more about Girls Give Back here. Read about the Hadassah Foundation's new grants for leadership development for Jewish teens and young women here.

 

Tracing the 120-plus years of Seattle's Jewish Family Service to the current day, Carolee Danz shows its uninterrupted history of giving and sharing in the book Shards of Light.

From its beginning as the Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society in 1892 to the current day, Seattle's JFS has taken the lead in helping those less fortunate. Pushing the definition of community beyond the close and familiar, JFS has served many outside its religious borders-immigrants from around the world struggling to understand their new home in the United States, people dealing with gender issues, Puget Sound residents seeking the expert counseling services of JFS staff, and more.     

 

Thirty-six personal accounts of experiences during the Holocaust have been captured in To Tell Our Stories: Holocaust Survivors of Southern Arizona, a new book edited by Raisa Moroz and Richard Fenwick. Proceeds from book sales support the Holocaust Survivors Program (HSP) at Jewish Family & Children's Services of Southern Arizona.

"In 2009, I began asking my Russian-speaking clients to write stories about their lives, but I quickly realized that their stories would not be widely appreciated because of language barriers," says Moroz, who is a Russian immigrant and the manager of the Holocaust Survivors Program, which offers case management, home care, financial assistance and social opportunities.

In 2010, Fenwick, a poet and a retired United States Air Force Russian linguist, volunteered to curate this collection of stories and visit with Russian-speaking survivors. He translated stories written in Russian, transcribed verbally recorded stories as the project expanded, and reviewed stories written in English by Survivors from other parts of Europe.

Moroz and Fenwick's partnership continues with an open invitation to other Survivors in Southern Arizona to tell their stories. To date, 10 more Survivors have asked to be included in a second volume.