Thanks to the generosity of legacy donors, Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York was able to award five scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students scholarships to help with their college-related expenses. To be considered for a scholarship, applicants were asked to write a brief essay on their understanding of Jewish Family Services’ impact on the community and suggest innovative ways for college-aged people to support JFS’s mission to serve those in need.
The 2021-22 Awardees:
SARAH BEARDEN was awarded $2,000 from the Hessberg Trust. She is a freshman at Columbia University studying Civil Engineering.
DAVID BERIN received $1,000 from the JFS Combined Scholarship Fund*. Hailing from Bethlehem, he is currently a freshman at UCLA.
ELIJAH FERET was awarded $1,000 from the David and Rose Udelson Bray Scholarship Fund. A member of Agudat Achim in Schenectady, he is a sophomore at Catholic University of America studying Biomedical Engineering on the premed track.
DANIEL GULKO received $1,000 from the David and Rose Udelson Bray Scholarship Fund. He is in the MD program at Albany Medical College and is interested in studying Neurology.
SHIRLY TSUR-MAGEN received $1,000 from the JFS Combined Scholarship Fund*. She is a former JFS intern and is working towards a Master’s in Social Work at the University at Albany, SUNY.
“Leaving a legacy can be done in many ways. It is particularly special to leave a portion of a person’s estate to a charitable organization for the good use of the organization and related uses, said Jane Ginsburg, president & CEO at JFS. “We are honored to steward planned gifts from donors who established scholarships in their Wills for the organization to distribute.”
JFS scholarships of $1,000-$2,000 are now available to support Jewish students with college-related expenses. Scholarships are made possible by:
- The David and Rose Udelson Bray Scholarship Fund
- The Hessberg Trust
- The JFS Scholarship Fund*
Eligibility requirements vary per scholarship. Students must be residents of Albany, the surrounding area, or attend college or graduate school locally. Applicants must be at least 17 years old and be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university for the 2021-2022 academic year.
To be considered for a 2021-22 JFS scholarship, applicants must complete a brief online form , which includes writing a brief essay on
- Their understanding of Jewish Family Services’ impact on and for the community, and
- Suggest innovative ideas on how college students can support the mission of JFS and serve those in need.
Preference will be given to applicants who express interest in volunteering with JFS.
The deadline is Friday, September 10, 2021.
The recipients will be selected from submissions and will be awarded their scholarship in late September. Please note we may choose to use the winning entry in JFS publicity and marketing communications.
* This fund is currently made up of the following funds: Frederick DeBeer Scholarship, Jewish Family Services Scholarship, Beatrice B. Levy Scholarship, George M. Simon Scholarship (restricted to a resident of Albany) and the Eli Werlin Scholarship.
Thanks to the generosity of a grant from the B’nai B’rith Gideon Lodge Fund, a component of The Jewish Endowment Fund of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, JFS is now providing a $1,000 stipend to a Jewish high school student or college freshman under 18 years old willing to help JFS fulfill its mission to help and support the more vulnerable members of our community.
This is a great opportunity for a student to give back to their community, while gaining valuable volunteer experience.
The hours are flexible, roughly 2-5 hours per week depending on projects. Activities may include driving* for Project 5, shopping and delivering groceries for the homebound, or creating a fundraising program to benefit the more vulnerable in our community (see our latest Two of a Kind Program). Other ideas? We welcome your compassion and creativity.
To apply, please complete this brief application.
Scholarship is for the 2021-22 academic year and will be paid in two disbursements. Student will be paired with a staff person to support their efforts.
Decisions will be made by the end of September with activity to start soon thereafter.
*A New York State driver’s license in good standing and reliable transportation is required.
Parents & Organizations
If you or someone you know has a child that needs new shoes for the school year, please sign up here by Wednesday, August 18, 2021.
Once purchased, we will make arrangements to have the shoes delivered to your home. Please know that children’s names will remain anonymous. Only their shoes size, preferences, etc. will be communicated to donors.
If you would like to purchase shoes or make a donation so that a child in need has new shoes for school, please complete this short form.
For donors who opt to shop for the shoes, we will email you a list of shoe selection options on August 20th so that you can go shoe shopping! We encourage you to Make it FUN and Brighten a Child’s Day! Donors can include a card or note in the shoe box. Maybe add a book, stickers, fun pencils — little things that fit right in the box with the shoes.
Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Northeastern New York, in partnership with Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors, Temple Israel and the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, is delighted to bring Rabbi Amiel Monson (who prefers to go by ‘Rabbi Ami’) to the Capital Region. Rabbi Ami will provide spiritual connection and support for residents in independent and long-term care facilities, and pastoral care and bereavement support for the community at large. Rabbi Ami is stepping into the role that for nearly 25 years was served by Rabbi Beverly Magidson.
“I am excited to join the Capital Region community as the new Community Chaplain, and I am honored to continue the program whose foundation was created by Rabbi Bev. I have deep respect for her mentorship as I become familiar with the role. I thank Jewish Family Services, Daughters of Sarah, the Jewish Federation, and Temple Israel for helping ensure this incredible program continues and that I am able to provide services, support, and pastoral care to residents of the greater Albany Jewish community,” said Rabbi Ami Monson.
Originally from Philadelphia, Rabbi Ami spent the last seven years on the West Coast in a range of positions including spiritual support and counseling for elder residents at Los Angeles Jewish Home and The Nest (Los Angeles, CA) and Youth Director at Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA). His work with older adults was pivotal in his realization of being called to work with the aging population as a rabbi. Rabbi Ami graduated from the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) with a BA in Comparative Religion and a certificate in Jewish Studies. He went on to achieve three master’s degrees from Gratz College (Elkins Park, PA) — in Jewish Education, Jewish Communal Service, and Jewish Studies. He graduated The Academy for Jewish Religion (California) and was recently ordained. He follows generations of family rabbis, including his father, and maternal grandfather, who served at Temple Beth El in Troy in the 1940’s, and great grandfather.
Jane Ginsburg, President & CEO of Jewish Family Services, said, “When I learned that Rabbi Ami Monson was looking for a fulfilling opportunity, I was delighted. Ami and I met in college and connected through Hillel – Ami was the guy that everyone knew and everyone liked, and most importantly, he liked everyone back. Though we were only in touch via Facebook, it was clear that he not only hadn’t changed, but he’d also only expanded his networks and used his special gift of making someone feel seen and heard daily. I’m thrilled he, likewise, saw the value in this role and had the faith in us to move his young family across the country to join us as JFS and at Daughters.”
“For the last 2+ decades, Rabbi Bev has provided essential nurturing and healing pastoral care to our seniors living in nursing and assisted living facilities. She has done so with love and dedication, enhancing the lives of our loved ones. As Jewish Federation hands off this program to Jewish Family Services, we wish Rabbi Bev well in her retirement and warmly welcome Rabbi Ami to our community and wish him every success,” said Rob Kovach, President & CEO of Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York.
Rabbi Bev Magidson, who served as Community Chaplain for 25 years, said, “Jewish residents of independent and long-term care facilities (whether they are skilled nursing or assisted living facilities) may be the only Jewish resident or part of a very small group. They may be isolated by unit or floor. Chaplaincy Services brings Jewish cultural and religious practices to these residents, with familiar foods, music, or prayers. The program also sends regular newsletters to help activities directors infuse Yiddishkeit to the programs and in honor of the Jewish holidays. Through the chaplain’s outreach residents know that their community cares about them!!”
“We are thrilled to have Rabbi Ami join the Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors. Our chaplaincy services form a critical element of our mission to provide to the aged members of our community ‘excellent health care and social service care Jewishly,’ Guided and informed by our exceptional Jewish heritage, we expect that Ami will continue to strengthen that Jewish operational focus — a focus the remains unique to Daughters of Sarah,” said Mark Koblenz Chief Executive Officer for Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors.
“Temple Israel is proud to stand with our community partners to help bring Rabbi Ami to the community. We know that Rabbi Ami will be a true asset for the entire Albany Jewish Community, and we are proud to step up and help ensure our community and region benefit from his experience and pastoral care,” said Gary Ginsburg, President at Temple Israel.
This Chaplaincy program under Jewish Family Services is provided in partnership with Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors, Temple Israel, Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, B’nai B’rith Gideon Foundation and the Theodore Strauss Fund (A restricted fund of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York). In addition to working in long-term care facilities, Rabbi Ami will provide grief and loss support as needed and as appropriate throughout the community, and will be a key asset to the JFS team to ground the agency’s activities in the Jewish values of its foundation.
Spearheaded by Jewish Family Services, we have a team of volunteers and professionals ready to help you get your COVID-19 vaccine. While we are not a point of distribution for the vaccine, we can register with you or for you. There is already a waiting list, as we all learn how to navigate the system, and information pushed out by the state and counties is updated daily.
Whether you need help registering or getting to your appointment, we want to help. Call JFS’ main number at (518) 482-8856*. If you live in the NNORC, feel free to call that number directly, 518-514-2023*.
HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW
Individuals 65 and older who live in Albany County can call the Sheriff’s office to be placed on a waitlist for a vaccination appointment.
Call 518-720-8036, Monday-Friday from8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When the vaccine becomes available, they will be offering drive-through appointments at:
Albany County Sheriff’s Department
Public Safety Building
58 Verda Avenue
They will also schedule appointments in the home for those who are homebound due to medical needs and require ambulance service.
This is a two step process:
- You call the Sheriff’s office and give them your name, phone number, and age.
- When they get their allotment of vaccines, they will call you to schedule an appointment time.
Schenectady County Public Health Services (SCPHS) is registering individuals to receive the vaccine. At this time, SCPHS vaccination is only available to individuals in Schenectady County who qualify according to the State’s eligibility criteria. (Please note, while the state will vaccinate those 65 and older, Schenectady County’s age limit is 75 and older.) Here is the link to their online pre-registration form. Once your form has been submitted, County staff will contact you when appointments are available.
Schoharie county is also registering individuals to receive the vaccine. Here is a link to their online form. They will contact you once they receive their allotment and will schedule a vaccination appointment with you.
At this time, Rensselaer County is using the NYS vaccine system.
There are two ways to schedule an appointment through the NYS system: online registration and telephone.
This link will take you to the NYS online form.
NOTE: You must have an active email address OR a mobile phone that accepts text messages to use this online form. The state requires this so that they are able to contact you. If you do not have email or the ability to receive text messages, please plan to schedule your appointment via telephone. JFS volunteers are available to help you with the email requirement and we can print your vaccine authorization once you are scheduled.
Call the vaccination hotline: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
NOTE: The hotline is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.
Albany County forged a partnership with Mohawk Ambulance to ensure senior citizens unable to travel from their homes for the vaccine will have the vaccine brought to them. Individual stops to senior living communities and senior residents of single-family homes will be available if they sign up for the vaccine.
PATIENCE IS KEY
Please be patient when trying to schedule an appointment as only a limited number of vaccines and appointments are available at this time.
Please see this important message from the Capital Region Hub – Regional Vaccine Network. Most importantly is to visit capitalregionvax.org for the most up-to-date vaccine information.
The Albany Times Union published a detailed article on vaccination for individuals over 65 years of age. Read it here:
Read some frequently asked questions about the vaccine.
*Please note that JFS is closed on the weekends. All calls will be return in the order they are received and as quickly as possible.
Jane Ginsburg, President and CEO of JFS NENY, is hosting a discussion on Sunday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the JCC of Schenectady’s annual film festival. The featured film is the 2018 French romantic comedy “My Polish Honeymoon” about a newlywed Jewish couple who visit Poland to attempt to connect with their ancestral roots. The film will be available for virtual viewing June 11-13 with the purchase of a ticket ($6 per person for JCC members, $11 for nonmembers). Please visit http://www.schenectadyjcc.org/events/jewish-film-festival/ to purchase tickets.
As reported in this week’s Jewish World, we are honored and excited to have WNYT’s own Benita Zahn as the host and emcee of our 2nd Annual Mensches and Mimosas virtual event on May 23rd! Here, we will honor and celebrate 23 different Mensches from organizations all across the Capital Region. We hope you will join us in recognizing the selfless work and dedication of these volunteers, workers, and friends- and have some fun in the process!
To learn more about our celebration, become a sponsor, and support the services of JFS, please visit our event informational page.