Personal Reflections from the President & CEO

Danielle N. Hartman, MNM
President & CEO

The summer is flying by. Before you know it, it will be time for our children to go back to school. As August approaches, children finishing up camp and school is front and center on their parent's minds. We are so proud to say that our Center for Families & Children has made a tremendous impact in the lives of our families by providing summer camp scholarships. A record total of $84,600 enabled over 130 children to attend camp! That includes 12 special needs families were provided assistance they so desperately needed.

And now it's time to turn our focus to the school year. JFS has begun fulfilling requests for assistance with the purchase of school uniforms, books, school supplies, tutoring and SAT/ACT preparation. Additionally, this year we have been able to expand our existing funding for special needs children whose families need assistance in paying for adaptive equipment and therapy to help their children excel.

As part of our Counseling & Mental Health Services, we are providing psychological testing for those needing to test for gifted or learning disabilities. Testing is supervised by Dr. Aaryn Gottesfeld and is performed by our staff psychologists and doctorate level graduate students. This helps immensely with placement.

Our Center for Families & Children’s Domestic Education & Action Program is adding a new program. We are pleased to announce the launch of “TARA” (Teens Against Relationship Abuse), a much-needed program that will educate teens about what relationship violence is, how to recognize it, and how to intervene appropriately when they witness it. This will create a peer-to-peer referral source and immediate response to a violent act or threat. Selected student representatives will serve as JFS’ domestic violence advocates in the schools. The program begins in September with a group of 15 teens who will be nominated and go through a formal interview process.

Dating violence often goes unaddressed. Did you know that one in three girls in the U.S. is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner? Teen dating violence causes severe trauma. Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, and thoughts of suicide.

If you know of a teen that you think would make for a teen advocate, please contact Aliza Schulman, LCSW, Domestic Abuse Program Coordinator at 561.852.3333 or alizas@ralesjfs.org.

Have an enjoyable and safe remainder of the summer.

B'Shalom

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