2020 Annual Report
Message From The Board Chair and The President & CEO
Dear Board Members, Supporters, Volunteers, and Friends,
We are pleased to present you with the 2019-2020 Annual Report on the activities of Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS). Our fiscal year runs from September 1, 2019 through August 31, 2020.
The first half of our fiscal year began relatively quietly with our focus on developing a revised Strategic Plan for the agency. In March of 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything, from the way we work and provide services, to a surge of new needs for COVID related financial assistance and food requests. Thankfully, JFS was able to pivot so that we never had to stop services to the community, making the necessary changes required for the safety of our staff, clients and volunteers. Unfortunately, we did have to shut down our offices for in-person visits for the majority of the second half of the year. This included shutting down our beloved Weisman Delray Community Center, which continues to provide programming via online platforms.
We did see a decrease in the number of individuals accessing counseling services via tele-health, but as the pandemic lingered on and people realized that this was a long-term problem, more and more accepted the reality of receiving services via tele-health. We know the long-term effects of staying isolated at home will reverberate through the community for the next several years, but JFS is here, ready to answer the call when needed..
Conversely, our community support through donations and special event income has been incredible and truly has been the glue that has enabled us to provide so many services to the community throughout the pandemic. During fiscal year 2019-2020, with the support of the community behind us, JFS distributed over $225,000 in COVID related financial assistance – all of which was unbudgeted but thankfully supported through the generosity of you, our donors.
At the end of 2020 we formally launched our partnership with the FAU Schmidt College of Medicine Psychiatry Residency program, welcoming four Psychiatry Residents to our staff, with supervision provided by FAU faculty. This partnership, unique to our community, has enabled JFS for the first time in our agency’s history to provide psychiatry services to children, in addition to adults and seniors. We are now the only non-profit social service agency to provide psychiatry services on a sliding scale – ensuring that anyone in need of help can access it without regard to the ability to pay. We also benefited from our consultancy agreement with the Johns Hopkins University Psychiatry Program and Dr. Susan Lehmann. This partnership was 100% supported by a grant from the Rales Foundation.
One of the many silver linings from the pandemic has been the number of families and children accessing support groups, workshops and career and employment assistance through our Center for Families and Children. Some of our programs have seen record participation via online platforms and we are forever grateful to the Rales Foundation for providing the majority of support for these vital programs.
None of these accomplishments could be achieved without the efforts of our dedicated staff, Board of Directors, volunteers and YOU, our generous supporters. Thank you for your generosity in support of our work.