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FAMILY Matters V O LU M E 30, N O. 1 • S P R I N G 202 0





Serving people of all faiths, ages, incomes, and abilities


From the


Dear Friends,

It has been a busy winter and we have so much to share with you. The lobby and atrium remodel that I wrote about in the fall issue of Family Matters is complete! Clients are now welcomed with plenty of seating, an art gallery wall featuring original art created by clients in the disabilities program at SHALOM Denver, and a fountain donated by Elaine and Max Appel to honor former JFS president and CEO Yana Vishnitsky. In addition to interior updates, we added new outdoor seating for clients to utilize while waiting for rides, and an electric awning dedicated to housing the seasonal “farmers market” outdoor food pantry.

The new atrium provides comfort for clients and a space for staff to collaborate and celebrate.

The Faces of JFS 2019 Winter Soirée was truly a family affair as 300 members of the JFS family joined us to honor Board members and cousins Aaron Hyatt and Scott Stillman. The evening included dinner, an inspiring program, and an energetic paddle raiser. The honorees were then recognized for their outstanding work in the community on behalf of JFS. Thanks to everyone’s hard work and support, this event raised nearly $500,000 to benefit our life-transforming work. A snowstorm closed the agency and turned our two-day Thanksgiving distribution into one day, but with help from our amazing volunteers and staff, we were still able to distribute food to 213 households. 2

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Our Bright Holidays program was busy with 166 families adopted and toys provided to nearly 300 children and teens. Clients enjoyed the addition of gift wrapping, cookie decorating, and Linda P. Foster craft stations in our new atrium. Over the last several years, we have worked tirelessly to maintain the JFS Group Home. We have made the difficult decision to close the JFS Group Home effective May 22, 2020. The decision was made, with approval from the Board of Directors, after researching the trends in residential choices for people with disabilities and examining its financial sustainability. Our goal is to focus our resources on achieving overall sustainability for all JFS programs and service areas, including strengthening the disability programs at SHALOM Denver in the supportive employment services; Jewish Disabilities Advocates program; printing, mailing, and packing business services; and the Arts and Community Exploration (ACE) program. This decision was not made lightly. We care deeply about our Group Home residents and are fully committed to working with the six of them and their families over the next few months towards a seamless as possible transition to an appropriate residential setting that will meet their individual needs. Thanks to an individual donor and The Colorado Health Foundation, we are pleased to announce a new program that launched in March. Abby’s Impact: Realizing Resilience is a comprehensive, integrated program for young adults ages 18-26 that builds skills to facilitate resiliency and foster healthy minds. You can read more about this exciting program on Page 4.

With warm regards,

Linda P. Foster President and CEO

Save the


Join us April 29 for JFS Executive Luncheon Featuring Jack Nicklaus offer training and job placement to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment; and provide food and financial aid to individuals and families in crisis. Because of your support, JFS can offer these vital services to thousands of people each year. To purchase tickets or sponsorships, please visit jewishfamilyservice.org/luncheon. Thank you to event co-chairs Julie and Brent Morse and Jordan and David Feiner and the committee for their hard work to make this event a success. Thank you to our top sponsors for their support: (as of February 25, 2020) Ace Sponsor—$25,000 Julie and Brent Morse and Family

Join us for the 16th annual JFS Executive Luncheon

featuring Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear and golf’s greatest champion, on Wednesday, April 29, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th Street. Top-level sponsor reception begins at 11:00 a.m., doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the program begins promptly at noon. Through a moderated discussion, Jack will reflect on some of his amazing life experiences, highlight his lifelong commitment to family and the future of our children, and through the conversation, perhaps share golden lessons for success and how to live up to your full potential in work, life, and sport. With your sponsorship or ticket purchase you help older adults maintain a high quality of life; provide quality mental health counseling to adults, children, and refugees;

Albatross Sponsor—$15,000 Clarence V. LaGuardia Foundation Charlie Gwirtsman and Nancy Reichman Katzson Brothers Inc. Sidney T. and Bertha Katzson Charitable Foundation Kris Family Fund Mindy Levy Peckar and Steven Peckar Michele and Richard Right Eagle Sponsor—$12,000 Alpert Family Jamie and Leanna Harris Jane E. and Stanton Rosenbaum Westfield Company, Inc.

DATES TO REMEMBER April 8: Close at 2:00 p.m. for Passover

April 29: JFS Executive Luncheon featuring Jack Nicklaus

April 9-10: Closed for Passover, Day 1 & 2

May 25: Closed for Memorial Day

April 15-16: Closed for Passover, Day 7 & 8

May 29: Closed for Shavuot FA M I LY M AT T E R S S P R I N G 2020




Abby’s Impact: Realizing Resilience

We’re happy to announce a new program that

has recently been implemented, Abby’s Impact: Realizing Resilience. This client-centered, integrated program for young adults ages 18-26 builds skills to facilitate resiliency and foster healthy minds. The program enables vulnerable young adults to build the coping and problem-solving skills to handle life’s challenges and reduce the likelihood of poor health outcomes such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. Participants work with coaches for in-depth support along with evidence-based group programming that they need to better cope and function despite adversity or trauma. JFS will curate an individual approach for each young adult participant that will result in their individual growth, promote increased resiliency, and enable them to live healthy lives. Program Components 1. A comprehensive intake process which allows case managers and participants to determine the best combination of coaching and programming dosage to build the long-term skills to develop resiliency. This client-centered approach allows for participants to clarify their key values, challenges, and strengths, and set goals for themselves. 2. Individual, intensive coaching to promote health and well-being, increase financial skills, improve social capital (e.g., social connection, family cohesion, knowledge of available resources), and develop employability (e.g., defining career-readiness goals, participating in job-readiness classes, and providing extra supports with the employer).

3. Learning by Doing approach, which includes learning through experience, practicing resilience skills, and receiving feedback. 4. Mental health counseling, limited emergency financial assistance, access to the Weinberg Food Pantry, case management, and job-readiness support as necessary. 5. Evidence-based programs: a. Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by-World: This program enables participants, called “investigators,” to examine their own experiences with poverty and issues in the community that impact poverty, such as banking, housing, jobs, and transportation. Investigators assess their own resources—not only financial, but spiritual, social capital, trustworthiness, motivation, language skills, and more—and learn how to build them as part of their move to self-sufficiency. They also learn how to set goals and strategies for leveraging their unique strengths to improve other areas of their lives. b. Bootstraps: This program assists individuals and families in managing their personal finances and achieving their financial goals. Courses include four, two-hour sessions that help participants learn how to build financial and employment stability, even with limited resources. c. Love and Logic: This program teaches parents the balance of love, mutual respect, limits, and accountability with their children. This happens with allowing their children to make decisions, make affordable mistakes, and experience the natural and logical consequences of their actions. When this is balanced with sincere empathy, children are able to develop strategies to increase the quality of their choices. d. Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) Skills Training: A psychoeducational program that uses a combination of values clarification and mindfulness strategies combined with commitment and behavior change strategies to increase psychological flexibility. e. Career Launchpad: A series of workshops with proven techniques for individuals to search, apply, interview, and land their next career.


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This program will serve 100 individuals in the first year. Each person will work with their coach to determine their goals and their customized individual and group programs, ultimately supporting them in attaining the long-term skills necessary to build cognitive and emotional fitness and strong relationships with others.

To schedule an appointment to enroll in the program, please send an email to centralintake@jewishfamilyservice.org. Thank you to our partner, The Colorado Health Foundation and to Abby’s mom for making this program possible.


Addressing Trauma in Children and Adolescents By Louis Curto, MSW Intern, KidSuccess Therapist Intern

Childhood trauma is a social problem that is

present in every community. It is a problem surrounded by so much stigma that it is often left undiscussed. Many therapists on the KidSuccess team have worked with children who have experienced trauma. Two-thirds of American children and adolescents report at least one trauma. With the devastating outcomes that stem from childhood trauma, a successful treatment model needed to be developed, studied, and implemented. Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based approach designed to help children, adolescents, and families after experiences of trauma or maltreatment. TF-CBT is broken up into three phases. Phase one includes stabilization skills including components such as education about trauma, relaxation techniques, and affective skills. Phase two is known for its use of trauma narration and processing. Components of phase three include in vivo mastery and conjoint child-parent sessions. Recent studies show that TF-CBT is the most effective approach to decreasing PTSD symptoms when compared to other methods of psychotherapy. Techniques used to implement TF-CBT include in vivo mastery, narration formation, and relaxation techniques. In vivo mastery involves direct exposure to a feared situation. The first step is to rank feared situations on a ladder so that the client can slowly work up to the most feared situation. While this technique has proven to be helpful, it is not appropriate for all clients. In vivo mastery should only be used when the situations that the child is avoiding are necessary to resume normal functional behavior.

KidSuccess is an innovative program in which trained therapists work in Aurora and Denver Public Schools, providing children and adolescents access to quality counseling services.

Along with in vivo mastery, narration formation is a technique that allows clients to experience success in TF-CBT. Narration formation, like much of the work surrounding patients with difficult trauma, is not an easy process for the client or the therapist. Narration formation involves the client describing increasingly detailed reports of the trauma they have experienced. While this process can be thought of as “speaking the unspeakable,” the aim of this exercise is to enable the child to learn a mastery rather than avoiding these painful memories. Lastly, relaxation techniques have been proven to be an important technique in TF-CBT. Progressive muscle relaxation and visualization can help traumatized children cope. These relaxation skills and techniques can change according to the client’s developmental stage and interest. These skills are taught and practiced during therapy sessions, and the client should utilize them outside of therapy. If relaxation is utilized properly, the client will begin to develop the ability to manage symptoms of stress. Once several preferred techniques are identified, the therapist should model these relaxation techniques to the parents or caregivers and discuss how to utilize the relaxation techniques when the client appears distressed.

FA M I LY M AT T E R S S P R I N G 2020


CLIENT Spotlight

Jewish Family Service in a Class by Itself By John Hinzmann, JFS client

Case Management Program Coordinator Dicia Kemp, John Hinzmann, and Employment Program Coordinator Heather Seiden

We pride ourselves on providing professionally

delivered integrated services that empower individuals to overcome difficult challenges. We love to hear from clients who have been impacted by the care they have received. One of those clients is John, who shares his experience and gratitude. I was referred to Jewish Family Service (JFS) after calling 2-1-1 and after having received aid from other agencies to help me through a difficult time in my life. My first impression is best described as an astonishing relief. Other institutions have helped me, but not to the level provided by JFS. I have been given so much more than just financial assistance. I got a team! The JFS team has provided me with case management, employment skills, techniques, and assistance, as well as therapy, to help me get through trying, troubling, and often discouraging times. My team has supported me when all seemed hopeless. They buoyed my spirit when it was lower than low. They have encouraged me to be positive about the things I have achieved while acknowledging and praising my efforts. My team has helped me recognize that I am succeeding, even though, at times, I could not see that success. They have been patient with me when I was frustrated and ever so kind to me throughout my experience. My therapist is better than I have ever experienced and like none other, and my case manager has surprised and surpassed my expectations. My employment specialist has 6

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gone far above and beyond “JFS and the what I thought was possible. team they have My JFS team has no equals because they are setting the provided me bar that others wish they could have made reach. JFS and the team they me feel like a have provided me have made human being, me feel like a human being, not not just a series just a series of checkboxes on of checkboxes a form. I am joyously humbled, and I find myself struggling to on a form” find adequate words to express —John Hinzmann my gratitude, sense of relief, and the hope that they give me every day. Jewish Family Service is truly in a class all by itself and deserves accolades by the bucketful. Every person with whom I have interacted at JFS has been kind, gentle, and amazingly understanding. I have pondered what magnitude of thanks I could express for my team’s efforts, but I get the impression that nothing more than a simple “thank you so very much” will ever be required. So, Jewish Family Service, you have polished up my awfully tarnished view of humanity, left me with an indelible, positive impression, and, frankly, changed my life. Keep up the stellar work and thank you so very much!



A Brand-New Name, Same Great Service By Chandra Matthews, Jay and Rose Phillips Aging Care & Connections Director

A couple of months

ago, after careful thought and consideration, JFS officially changed the name of the Jay and Rose Phillips Senior Solutions Center to Jay and Rose Phillips Aging Care & Connections (ACC). Why the change, you may ask? Well, there’s been a shift in the world of older adult services, Chandra Matthews and the words we use matter. Terms such as “senior” or “elderly” are considered outdated and, according to recent research, are shown to carry a negative stereotype. As the demographics of older adults shift and Baby Boomers begin aging into the programs and services JFS offers for older adults, we want to be at the forefront of the change – both in our language and in the services we offer. Our goal is to be more inclusive and understand that many older adults do not consider themselves “seniors” (just ask my mom!). We also want to be innovative in our service options—focusing more on prevention, education, and connection to the community. Despite the name change and our desire to expand services over time, it is important to note that ACC is still providing the same great services for older adults that we always have. These services include the following: Care Management: Skilled gerontology experts conduct a comprehensive assessment to establish an individualized care plan designed to meet the needs of the older adult served. The goal is to make connections to appropriate services, providers, and volunteers.  Information and Assistance (I&A): Offered to older adults, adult children of aging parents, and others who may have questions about long-term services and need further assistance making the connection to those services. Homemaker: In-home homemaker assistance includes light housekeeping, laundry assistance, linen changing, grocery shopping, and light meal preparation for two hours every other week or weekly, if available and appropriate. 

As the demographics of older adults shift and Baby Boomers begin aging into the programs and services JFS offers for older adults, we want to be at the forefront of the change – both in our language and in the services we offer.

Kosher Meals: JFS delivers hot and/or frozen kosher meals to homebound older adults five days a week and coordinates a congregate kosher lunch four days a week at the Jewish Community Center. Counseling: Licensed therapists provide specialized mental health counseling to older adults who find themselves in need of support coping with losses, adjusting to physical disability, and/or conducting an overall life review that can provide a positive perspective on all that has been achieved and/or overcome. ACC can serve clients wherever it is most comfortable and convenient to them (private residence, retirement community, assisted living or skilled nursing facility, or in the JFS office). For more information about the overall effort to reframe aging, please visit geron.org/programs-services/reframingaging-initiative as well as changingthenarrativeco.org/.  For more information about the services offered by the Aging Care & Connections program, call 303.597.5000 or visit jewishfamilyservice.org/acc. FA M I LY M AT T E R S S P R I N G 2020




Bonnie Erdheim List: Giving Back as a Family What three words describe your JFS volunteer experience? Incredible, rewarding, and fulfilling. Can you share a memorable volunteer moment? There are so many memorable volunteer moments. Volunteering with both of my kids for the Lunchbox Express program where I am the liaison for Boys Team Charity is where I see the biggest impact we make in the community.

“I love seeing the smiles on their faces.” —Bonnie Erdheim List

Handing out food to children so that they get a balanced meal, which might be their only meal for the day, and giving them a book to keep as their own so that they may read is memorable to me. I love seeing the smiles on their faces.

JFS Volunteer Bonnie Erdheim List with her daughter, Lindsay

Bonnie Erdheim List is a valuable volunteer partner coordinating youth to participate in various JFS Safety Net programs. What inspired you to start volunteering at JFS?  I have always wanted to give back and I think it is important that both my children, Dylan and Lindsay, realize how fortunate we are. I have always known about Jewish Family Service growing up. My kids were both exposed to Jewish Family Service from their temple as well. When the opportunity arose for my son to join an organization, Boys Team Charity, whose mission is to donate their time and services and to give back to the community, I saw an additional opportunity for our family not only to support other organizations, but to give more of our time to JFS. Also, it was a great way to expose several new families to an organization they never heard of and didn’t know about what it did in the community.


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Bonnie Erdheim List’s son, Dylan with Lunchbox Express driver, Ryan Gallagher

We also make sure we donate our own books for the kids. As we drive home from our time volunteering, we all talk about how fortunate we are to have the material things and food that people can take for granted. When you’re not volunteering, what’s your favorite way to spend a few hours? Spending time with my husband, Steve, and my children, Dylan and Lindsay, and just doing something fun together.


National Volunteer Week is April 19-25 and we want to thank our devoted group of volunteers for their dedication and commitment and for all they do to support our community. Our work is not possible without them.

27,547 HOURS

$771,859 VALUE

LUNCHBOX EXPRESS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! During the summer, many low-income children do not have access to the free and reducedprice lunches provided during the school year. Ride our JFS Lunchbox Express school buses and vans and distribute free lunches to children throughout the Denver metro area. Volunteer for one or more four-hour shift each week, Monday through Friday. This is a great opportunity for individual volunteers, corporate groups, and for families with children 10 years of age and older. Learn more by contacting our volunteer department at volunteer@jewishfamilyservice.org.

FA M I LY M AT T E R S S P R I N G 2020


LEGACY Society

Join the JFS Legacy Society

When you make a legacy gift to JFS, you’re

leaving your mark on our community. It’s a personal gift that will continue to deliver the values that are important to you, long after you’re gone. It’s your legacy. As a planned giving donor, you can help ensure that the life-transforming work of Jewish Family Service will endure for generations to come. There will always be a need for vulnerable members of our community, and your gift will provide a safety net of hope.

Anonymous Gloria Abrams z”l Sanford Alpert z”l Judy Altenberg Joy Anderson-Jones z”l Elaine and Max Appel Dr. Hilary and Rabbi Eliot Baskin Michael Baum z”l Samantha and Robert Baumgarten Jennifer and Bruce Bendell Sandy and Steve Berkowitz Jack Bernstone z”l Mel Brody William Bromberg z”l Janice and Abe Burnstein z”l Bobbie and Jerry z”l Carr Barbara and Jay Chapman Allan Cohen Alissa and James Cohen Larry Cohn The Winters Creasey Family Sheryl and Ken Feiler Gloria Fine z”l Terry Fisher z”l Senator Joyce and Rabbi Steven Foster Linda and Bill Foster Max Frankel z”l Laurie and Brad Friedman Nicolette Gagliano Lynn and Bill Geller Annie Sarah Gilbert z”l Richard Gilbert z”l Lillian and Benjamin Ginsburg z”l Melvin Goldberg z”l Lewis J. Goldsmith z”l Richard C. Goldstein z”l


Sheryl and Jon Goodman Ann and Sidney Grazi z”l Cindy Gross Melanie and Rabbi Salomon Gruenwald Louise F. Guggenheim z”l Zelda and Jerry Gutman z”l Sharon and Jeffrey Haber Betty Ann Halperin z”l Leanna and Jamie Harris Isaac Heller z”l Dr. Linda Heller Peggy Hermann Lisa Herschli Gareth Heyman Jacquie and Irwin Hoffman Alan Hurst Leland Huttner z”l Gale and Ron Kahn Ruth and Sterling Kahn z”l Melinda Kassen Margit Katz z”l John Kayser John Keith Nathan Khodadad Lottie and Rafael Klebe z”l Lawrence Kopf Elizabeth S. Krash z”l Elizabeth and Steven Kris Shelley and Buzz Krovitz Alan Laff z”l Marilyn and Harold z”l Lande Mary Latanik z”l Blanca and Howard Lerman Rona and Guscile Levin z”l Myra B. and J. Leonard Levy z”l Edith Lewitt z”l

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No gift is too big or too small. To learn more or become a member of the JFS Legacy Society, please visit jewishfamilyservice.org/features/leave-legacy or contact Melanie Foster at 720.248.4630. Thank you to the following JFS Legacy Society members who had the vision to include JFS as a beneficiary in their estate plans. The individuals with bolded names have made the legal provision to formalize their planned gift and notified the agency of this action. As of January 31, 2020. Sylvia and Leonard z”l Litvak Robyn and Bob z”l Loup Rima Manas Irene Mayer z”l Barbara Altenberg McDonald Bonnie Merenstein Estelle R. Meskin Sally Steele Metzger Edith Schwartz Meyer z”l Walter Mielziner z”l Lois and Jay Miller Ruth Milzer z”l Betsy Mordecai Susie and Perry Moss Lois and Stephen Nadler Gail Nussbaum Mindy Levy Peckar and Steve Peckar Gail Pennington Essie and Jordon z”l Perlmutter Shirley Politzer The Pollock Family Dean Prina, M.D. Gerald Quiat z”l Renee and Andy Raabe Irene Rantz z”l Henry Rasof Alexander Rezmovits z”l Dawn Richard Jane E. and Stanton Rosenbaum Lore and John Roth z”l Minnie Rothchild z”l Corinne Rottman z”l Robert Rottman Ruth and Merle z”l Sachnoff Evelyn and Richard Saliman z”l Joanne and Dr. Richard Sanders

Jamie and Jon Sarché Louise and Chet Schwartz Jean B. Seeman z”l Marian and Dan Seff Pearl Shames z”l Evelyn Shamon Amy Shapiro Helen Shapiro z”l Melanie and Lee Siegel Debbie and Donald Silversmith Regina and Barry Silvestain Teena and Bud Slatkin Adele Sollender z”l Lillian Stein z”l Samuel H. Sterling z”l Susie Strait z”l Cathy Summer and Steve Ellis Lisa and Lynn Taussig Jay Taussig Martin Tobin Francine and Jorge Topelson Barbara and Thomas Trager Marvin Tyor z”l Walter Vasen z”l Ann and Dan Veenstra Yana Vishnitsky and Jim Wolfe Alan Irwin Wandel z”l Lori and Lary Weintraub Sandor Weisz z”l Elle and Phil z”l Winn Joyce and Kal Zeff z”l Debbie Zimmerman and Charles Van Gundy Tara and Royce Zimmerman Shira and Marty Zimmerman z”l May their memory be a blessing.

MAKE A Difference

Ways to Give Do You Shop


It’s now even easier to support Jewish Family Service when you shop! Simply link your SooperCard to Jewish Family Service of Colorado and 5% of all your purchases will be donated to JFS. Register for a loyalty card or connect your existing one, then link your account to “Jewish Family Service of Colorado” or RP395. Any transactions moving forward using the SooperCard number associated with your account will be applied to the program.

Making a VEHICLE DONATION IS EASY! Have an old car taking up space in your driveway? Donate it to Jewish Family Service of Colorado! We accept all types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, trailers, boats, and more. We have partnered with CARS, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by Jewish Family Service of San Diego, to seamlessly process your vehicle donation. Learn more at jewishfamilyservice.org/features/vehicle-donations.

Turn Matzah

INTO MITZVAH! Help us turn matzah into mitzvah to help 100 families in our community get what they need to prepare a meaningful Passover Seder. The cost to purchase food to make a complete Seder for a family of four is $90. Please donate to the Sally Steele Metzger Passover Fund online at jewishfamilyservice.org/passover or drop off nonperishable kosher-for-Passover food items to JFS by Monday, March 23.

FA M I LY M AT T E R S S P R I N G 2020



JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE OF COLORADO Joyce and Kal Zeff Building 3201 South Tamarac Drive Denver CO 80231-4360


RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED tel: 303.597.5000 fax: 303.597.7700 jewishfamilyservice.org

Beneficiary Agency of JEWISHcolorado

Social services for Jewish victims of the Holocaust have been supported by a grant from The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.



SPONSORSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE at jewishfamilyservice.org or by calling 720.248.4633. TICKETS ON SALE MARCH 18.

Profile for Jewish Family Service of Colorado

Spring 2020 Family Matters  

Learn about the JFS Executive Luncheon featuring Jack Nicklaus and a new program to help young adults build resiliency, read about how our K...

Spring 2020 Family Matters  

Learn about the JFS Executive Luncheon featuring Jack Nicklaus and a new program to help young adults build resiliency, read about how our K...