Fall 2021 Newsletter

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Fall 2021

Coping with COVID While this newsletter finds us in a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact will undoubtedly be felt for some time. We may not know when we’ll feel back to “normal” again, but hopefully knowing JFS is here to help will offer some assurance.

provide Mind Aerobics classes in their areas. In addition, JFS therapists continued providing much needed services, not only to existing clients, but to many new ones as well through telemedicine appointments.

There are many in our community who have lost their livelihoods. There are many who have, sadly, lost their lives. But thanks to the generosity and strength of our community, Jewish Family Service has been able to continue providing much needed services to the thousands of people who have been walking through our virtual doors. Unfortunately, we don’t anticipate this need for help ending any time soon.

Our programming isn’t the only thing we’ve expanded. Both our staff and our budget have increased. Because we know that long after COVID…long after moratoriums on rent are lifted and federal assistance comes to an end…there will still be people in need of help. Fortunately, there will still be Jewish Family Service, helping them get back on their feet.

While the pandemic has created challenges for so many, it has also created opportunities. Thanks to our new best friend, Zoom, and our ability to pivot to virtual programming, we’ve been able to expand our reach beyond metro Detroit. Fourteen hundred people tuned in to enjoy our free monthly brain health workshops and to participate in our Mind Aerobics brain training classes. We’ve even managed to train folks as far away as Alaska and Minnesota so that they could

There are so many ways you can help. Whether it’s exploring volunteer opportunities, making a donation, or helping us spread the word on the important work we do, it is only through the support of our community that we can continue to serve those in need. While COVID-19 is the first pandemic that we have lived through, it’s far from the last crisis we will face. Thankfully, JFS will be here to help, serving as the heart of a stronger community.

Another Successful Spotlight Event Earlier this year we held our first-ever virtual Spotlight Event featuring actress, author and advocate Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Perhaps best known for her role in Father of the Bride, Kimberly once again stepped into the spotlight after her mother was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia. Her book, Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again, details her family’s journey in an effort to help others who are on the same path.

With support from event chairs Nancy and Harvey Solway, our event had over 400 devices (representing even more people) tuned in to hear Kimberly’s moving story. We got an intimate look at her family’s experience, and, thanks to Zoom, a peek into her lovely home as well. We are very excited for next year’s Spotlight Event which will feature comedian Gary Gulman. After being a finalist on the NBC show Last Comic Standing, he is now shining a light on mental health in his first HBO special, The Great Depresh, executive produced by Judd Apatow. Join us as Gulman takes to the stage in an unflinchingly honest stand-up performance and reflects on his struggle with depression.

Save the Date! Thursday, May 12, 2022 More details to come. Sponsored by the Reva Stocker Lecture Series

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The leaves will be changing soon. But one thing that isn’t changing is our need for your help in cleaning up the homes of the older adults we serve. You can help them prepare their homes for the winter months by joining us for our 25th annual Fall Fix Up event. You’ll rake leaves and do other outdoor cleanup tasks. (For your protection, and for the protection of the homeowners, there will be no inside work performed.) You’ll also have some fun.

All Ages Welcome

Sunday, November 7


Congregation Shaarey Zedek 27375 Bell Road, Southfield

Safe, family-friendly volunteer event.

Drive-thru contactless supply pickup by appointment starting at 9am.

To sign up, visit jfsdetroit.org/fallfixup Questions? Contact 248.592.2267 or fallfixup@jfsdetroit.org.

*In our efforts to keep our community safe, there will be no breakfast served this year.

The Holidays Must Go On Last year, your generosity brightened the holidays during a very dark time for 822 individuals. This year, we’re turning to you once again to work a little holiday magic. As we are still dealing with the unpredictability and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with an abundance of caution that we’ve made the decision to brighten the holidays of those we serve through a monetary donation from generous supporters like you. It is our hope that in 2022, our Adopt a Family program will have you back in stores with wish lists in hand, shopping and wrapping gifts.

We appreciate your generosity as we continue to navigate these unusual times and changing circumstances while also striving to make the holidays special for those we serve. To make a donation to the Adopt a Family Fund, visit jfsdetroit.org/adoptafamily or call 248.592.2339. If you wish to make a gift by check, please make it payable to Jewish Family Service and mail to 6555 West Maple Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322.

While we understand that writing a check can’t compete with the fun of selecting a Barbie doll off the shelf, please know that you are still making a big difference for so many in our community. Those we serve are so appreciative of the gift cards that allow them to shop for their loved ones.

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Graham Orley: The Loss of a Giant We have lost a pillar of the Jewish community. Graham Orley passed away on July 21, 2021 at the age of 96. He and his beloved wife Sally, along with brother and sister-in-law Joseph and Suzanne Orley, both of blessed memory, were especially fond of Jewish Family Service and have been a part of our mission for as long as we can remember. Graham and his brother Joseph had been partners in many real estate and manufacturing ventures over the years. “They were 50-50 partners in business from the time they were boys, shoveling coal and selling Hibachi grills door to door,” said Graham’s son, Randy Orley, to the Detroit Jewish News. So it came as no surprise when the 50-50 partners worked together to provide JFS with its permanent home. The Sally and Graham Orley & Suzanne and Joseph Orley Building, which JFS moved into in 2005, has been a beautiful and spacious building where we have been able to work, providing critical services to our community. We are so grateful for our home…and to the Orley family for their vision and continued dedication to our mission, which is reflected not only in our physical space, but also in the services offered within. The Orleys’ generosity over the years has ensured that JFS has been able to provide much needed services to the most vulnerable in our community. Their passion for mental health issues has supported our ability to provide counseling for older adults. And their concern for women and children has allowed us to provide Taking part in the Jewish Family Service groundbreaking emergency financial assistance and family support ceremony are major donors Graham and Sally Orley and services to those in need. Joseph and Suzanne Orley, all of Bloomfield Hills. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his widow, Sally Hechtman Orley, his children, JFS board member Randy (and Diane) Orley, Geoff (and Paola) Orley, Pam (and Walter) Feuereisen, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as his nieces and nephews, Melissa (and Larry) Lax, Joy (and Allan) Nachman, Rob (and Marcie) Orley and Gregg (and Harriet) Orley. Mr Orley’s legacy is great and Jewish Family Service can feel proud that it lives on through his name on our building…our home. May the memory of Graham Orley be for a blessing.

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Donald and Esther Simon—Gifts to Our Community Donald Simon felt strongly about family. And not just his. He and his wife Esther (both of blessed memory) had been unassumingly caring for those in need through their generous gifts to JFS since 2013. “Most of Donald and Esther’s gifts were unrestricted dollars,” says Amy Newman, Chief Development Officer. “They were very much aligned with our mission to serve those with the greatest needs and for that we are so appreciative.” The Donald R. and Esther Simon Foundation was founded in 2005. With recognition of the family’s original roots in Michigan, the Simon Foundation supports projects that address Jewish life and identity, cancer research and support services, the cultural arts and social justice issues which make a positive impact in the lives of this generation and the next.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Donald expressed his concern of its impact on community members. In true Donald fashion, he reached out to JFS. “Donald’s thoughts were with those most severely impacted by the pandemic,” says Newman. “He wanted to make sure they had enough to eat during this time of uncertainty.” More recently, the Donald R. and Esther Simon Foundation gifted JFS with $25,000 to go toward Kosher Meals on Wheels and another $50,000 to go toward emergency financial assistance. It was Donald’s final act of generosity before his passing on July 27, 2021. (Esther passed in 2019.) Donald’s gifts demonstrate his commitment to improving the lives of the most vulnerable in our community. And while we and the community at large grieve for his loss, it’s heartening to know his generosity will have a positive impact on generations to come.

ElderCare Solutions of Michigan:

Brand-New Look, Same Great Service The challenges of aging come with a whole host of questions that don’t always have easy answers. And when family members aren’t on the same page, determining the best course of action is made all the more complicated. Fortunately, the geriatric care managers of ElderCare Solutions of Michigan, a fee-based program of Jewish Family Service, can help guide families by providing appropriate options and creating a customized plan of care. “Honestly, I don’t know how we’d get by without ElderCare Solutions,”says Buffy Levy. “My brother and I both live out of town and are unfortunately not in a position to manage our mother’s day-today care needs. Our social worker treats our mom so lovingly, like she is her own.”


S O LU TIO N S of Michigan Your partner in aging well.

ElderCare Solutions has been helping families like Buffy’s for over twenty years. And we realized that it was not just our clients that have been aging— our logo also was in need of a refresh. “We know there are many people who need this service and we wanted to be sure to attract their attention with branding that reflects the level of excellence provided by our care managers,” says Lindsay Leder, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications. “We’re excited to share ElderCare’s new logo. And soon we’ll be sharing new marketing materials as well.” To learn more about how ElderCare Solutions can help you and your family, please contact 248.592.1944 or Beth Seelbach at bseelbach@jfsdetroit.org.

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WHAT’’S NEXT FOR We Need to Talk? There have been many public figures in recent past who have taken a stand on prioritizing their mental health. As part of the mental health community, we at JFS are encouraged to see this, as we too, are prioritizing mental health with the move of the We Need to Talk initiative from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit to JFS. This youth initiative will function as a program of both organizations. “We Need to Talk was developed by Federation in response to a community needs assessment conducted in 2016,” says Dini Peterson, Chief Program Officer, Family and Community Services. “It was created to raise awareness of mental health issues in our community, remove the stigma and increase access to services. Federation recognized the value of having the program integrated into Jewish Family Service, since we are a direct provider of mental health services.” Clinical social worker Julia Cohen, LMSW, has been hired to serve as coordinator of We Need to Talk and her perspective as a clinician will help to guide the initiative through its next stage. “We’re looking to grow and impact more youth in our community by providing engaging programming and events focused on teens,” says Julia. “In November we’ll have a guest speaker talking about her experience with depression, anxiety and body image. She herself is a young adult so I believe she’ll be relatable to teens.” Todd Krieger, Senior Director, Planning and Agency Relations at Federation is excited about the program’s move to JFS. “From its inception, Jewish Family Service has been an integral part of We Need to Talk and a critical community partner providing training, program assistance and formal supports,” said Todd. “As we continue to make our way through COVID, now is an ideal time to transition the program to JFS, which is perfectly positioned to continue the impactful work that was started and even take the program to the next level. While the day-to-day operations of the program will be leaving Federation, we’ll continue to be involved in program strategy and play a

critical role in ensuring the program is properly funded.” JFS CEO Perry Ohren is appreciative to Federation for taking on the issue of teen mental health. “JFS is a proud partner of Federation,” he says. “And we’ll continue to do this critical work to help save lives and help young people in whatever ways we can.”

Save the Date #RealTalk: A Conversation about Mental Health and Body Image with Victoria Garrick November 3, 2021 7pm on Zoom To register, contact Julia Cohen at jcohen@jfsdetroit.org. Victoria Garrick was a four-year starter and Division I volleyball player. She won a PAC-12 Championship and broke records for the most digs in USC’s women’s volleyball program. On the outside, she was at the top of her game. But on the inside, she was taking on a “Hidden Opponent” — her mental health. Victoria shared her struggles with depression, anxiety, eating disorders and body image issues in a 2017 TED Talk that has been viewed over 350,000 times. She’s now sharing her story of how she made her mental health a priority and how you can too.

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teaching older adults how to use iPads and other devices in order to stay connected to friends and family, as well as how to read articles online and play a round of virtual solitaire. He also helps with general tech support for any JFS client who needs it.

Ricky Hansknecht: Helping older adults stay Knecht-ed

“My favorite thing about volunteering is the opportunity to extend some of the blessings I’ve been given to others,” he says. “We all have talents that are not necessarily used in our place of work, so why let those go to waste? Why not use them to help others?”

When it comes to all things technical, Ricky Hansknecht is your man. The recent U of M grad holds degrees in mechanical and bioengineering. He works as a program manager at MAHLE Powertrain in Plymouth. And he runs the startup, The 11th Floor, which provides free photography, graphics and web design services to the black community. Still, Ricky wanted to do more. So he sought out a volunteer opportunity that would allow him to share his tech skills. When he learned about JFS and the iPad program, he felt as though he was “being called” to help others. Finding this opportunity that allowed him to put his tech skills to work for others was, according to Ricky, “God at work.” Ricky started as a JFS volunteer in June of 2019,

Ricky has made the best use of his talents, even when the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from going to people’s homes. He worked virtually, relying on video calls and screen sharing when possible, to assist the predominantly older adult clients stay connected to loved ones during an especially isolating time. He has a gift for helping people stay connected, which perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise given that “connect” is in his name…Hansknecht. “Volunteering is a gift,” he says. “It gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction. The most rewarding thing about my experience volunteering with JFS is the bond that I form with the people I work with. We learn about each other. We feel comfortable. And they are always so thankful for what I bring them…and so am I, for the joy they give me through the opportunity to help them.”

We could use a hand. Are you looking for a meaningful way to give back? Jewish Family Service has multiple opportunities for you to spend your time making a difference in the lives of those we serve. Whether you’re looking to volunteer once or once a week, in-person or virtually, we would love to hear from you.

Bilingual Russian speakers are especially needed. If you are interested in learning about volunteer opportunities with JFS, please contact Melissa Pletcher at 248.592.3986 or mpletcher@jfsdetroit.org.

Visit us: jfsdetroit.org

Mosko Makes a Difference It’s funny how a single conversation can change a life. In the case of Ellie Mosko, it changed many.

volunteering with JFS.”

The immigration attorney met Kelly Goldberg at a HELP (Help End Legal Problems) meeting. The coalition is comprised of local legal aid and social service agencies and Goldberg was there representing JFS’s Legal Referral Service, a fourteen-year-old program created to help those served by JFS obtain legal consultation and possible representation.

The principal of Mosko Law is also the cofounder and current president of the Jewish Bar Association of Michigan (JBAM). (JBAM co-founder Andrew Cohen also generously volunteers his time and expertise with Legal Referral Service.) “It’s an affinity bar group for those working in the legal community,” she says. “We provide social and educational opportunities. Right now, we’re working with the JFS Legal Referral Service to create mentoring and pro bono opportunities.”

Turns out Kelly did have a need. Several. And Ellie has spent the past seven years consulting with JFS clients who had concerns about their immigration status.

In addition to attracting talented attorneys such as Mosko, Legal Referral Service also works to provide educational programming for the community at large. Its most recent event, held in May, featured Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Programs such as these are made possible thanks to the Oakland County Bar Foundation which regularly provides generous grants to support the work of Legal Referral Service.

“I’ve worked with several women in abusive relationships whose abusers were holding their immigration status over their heads and threatening deportation,” she says. “Being able to advise and empower these women of their rights has been the most satisfying part of my

“Volunteering with JFS has been great,” says Mosko. “There’s a support system in place to help with logistics and it’s rewarding to help those who don’t have the resources to obtain legal counsel. Knowledge is power and we’re in a position to empower people.”

“I told Kelly that if she ever had a need for someone with immigration experience to let me know,” says Mosko. “I had previously worked for the non-profit Justice for Our Neighbors, which provides pro bono legal services to low-income immigrants living in Michigan.”

The JFS Legal Referral Service is looking for lawyers who are willing to accept at least one pro bono client per year to help with their legal issues including family and elder law, debt resolution/bankruptcy, probate and landlord/tenant issues. To learn more, please contact Kelly Goldberg at 248.592.1907 or kgoldberg@jfsdetroit.org.

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Janetzke Joins as COO

Jim Janetzke has joined JFS as its new Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for the agency’s finance, information technology, facilities and quality improvement departments. Jim was previously Chief Financial Officer at HighScope Educational Research Foundation and had been there since 2019. Prior to that, he served as Chief Financial Officer for Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan. In the past, Jim held several positions at Cranbrook Educational Community. Jim holds an MBA in Finance from Oakland University and a BBA in Accounting from Eastern Michigan University.

Passing the Baton After serving as co-chair of the Cancer Thrivers Network for three years, Barb LaRue is stepping down. Stepping into her shoes is Sharon Rocklin who will lead the group along with co-chair Judith Kovach. “It has been an honor and a privilege to have served as co-chair for the last three years,” says Barb. “I was so lucky to have been paired with Judie Blumeno and Judith Kovach, two remarkable women. Together we faced the pandemic and were able to provide creative ways for our group to keep thriving. Perhaps the most meaningful for me were the new friendships I made and the deepening of others. I feel so lucky to have found this group and will continue to be a supportive participant.”

Sharon Rocklin

Judith Kovach

Barb LaRue

Sharon has been an active participant in the Cancer Thrivers Network and she’s excited to take on a leadership role. “The Thrivers have been an important part of my life for the past several years and I have great admiration for the women who have served before me in this position,” says Sharon. “I hope I can live up to their legacy. I look forward to working with Judith to nurture and foster our mission goals and to enhance our presence in the greater community. And I hope we all have a good time while we’re at it.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Cancer Thrivers Network, please contact Sarah Strasberger at 248.592.2267 or sstrasberger@jfsdetroit.org.

Visit us: jfsdetroit.org

Annual Meeting Our Annual Meeting and Community Recognition Event, held this past June, may have been virtual, but the appreciation for our honorees and board members was very real. We could not have done our critical work, especially in such a challenging year, without the involvement of the people and

organizations that helped us further our mission. We also welcomed incoming members of our Board of Directors and gave our appreciation to those rolling off: Michael Baum, Gail Danto, Beth Davidson, Mara Moss, Mark Picklo and Verne Royal.

Award Winners

Micki Grossmanz”l

Amy Hoffman Haimann

Norman R. Keane

Patti Nemer

Lifetime Achievement Award

Employee of the Year

Kosher Meals on Wheels Volunteers ®

Barbara & Irving Nusbaum

United Way for Southeastern Michigan

Community Partner of the Year

Volunteer of the Year New Board Members






Join Us on Giving Tuesday We will once again be participating in Giving Tuesday, a global movement of generosity, on November 30th. You can help support JFS by making a donation on this day of giving at jfsdetroit.org/donate. November also kicks off our Friends of the Family campaign. Be on the lookout for our appeal in your mailbox and on social media.

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The Senior & Caregiver Resource Network Presents

Bringing the Soul to Life

with medium Lori Lipten October 28, 2021 $38 Proceeds raised will help provide 7:00-8:15pm emergency assistance for older adults

Zoom fundraising event

served by Jewish Family Service.

For sponsorship information or to purchase event tickets visit SACRN.org/event or call 888.458.0667. To purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win $3,000 contact Paula at 513.317.5088. 513.317.5088 .

2021-2022 OFFICERS and EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Executive Committee Julie Teicher – Chair Marc Bakst – Treasurer Shelly Rubenfire – Secretary Suzan F. Curhan – Immediate Past Chair Dorothy Barak Danielle DePriest Karen Goldberg Driggs Helen Katz Jason Page Amy Singer Perry Ohren – CEO

Board Karen Freedland Berger Anita Blender Rhonda Brown Emily Camiener Rabbi Levi Dubov Jeri Fishman Michelle Freeman Jerry Frohlich David Gach Allan Gale Bill Goldstein Sue Hersh Rabbi Marla Hornsten Melissa Orley Lax

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Randy Orley Julie Rothstein Avi Rubin Sandy Schwartz Becca Steinman-DeGroot Ellen Tabak Renee Unger Sara Voight Jordon Wertheimer David Witten Andi Wolfe Margie Yaker Sarah Roberts–NEXTGen Liaison

Non Profit Org. US Postage


Permit #618 Southfield, MI

6555 West Maple Rd. West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Our Services OLDER ADULTS Assistive Technology Chronic Disease Management ElderCare Solutions of Michigan Friendly Visitors Geriatric Care Management Holocaust Survivor Assistance Home Care Kosher Meals on Wheels Mind University Transportation

SAFETY NET Domestic Abuse Intervention Family Support Services Health Care Navigation Legal Referral Service ORTHODOX COMMUNITY* Lev Detroit Resource Center Passover Assistance Safety Kid School-Based Services Uniform Assistance

MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS RUSSIAN-SPEAKING COMMUNITY* A Single Soul Suicide Prevention Cancer Thrivers Network for Jewish Women Mental Health Translation and Interpretation Community Education *Members of these communities have Counseling access to all JFS resources as well as Jewish Addiction Resource Alliance these specialized services. We Need to Talk Youth and School-Based Services

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