Personal Reflections from the President & CEO

Danielle N. Hartman, MNM
President & CEO

Words from week #1 in the Trenches.  

We have just completed our first week of living our new normal.  The concerns over the spread of the coronavirus has been a wakeup call to everyone and has caused us to find alternate ways to work and meet, and each day has been different with a new challenge presented.  Last Friday we announced that our main offices in Boca Raton would be partially closed with all non-essential staff relocating to other JFS buildings located off the Federation campus.   Unfortunately, we had to close our Weisman Center to non-staff and temporarily cancel all programs and activities there.  We also have ceased face to face meetings and workshops of our Career and Employment Services and have added extra precautions to keep our staff and volunteers safe and healthy while still maintaining critical services in the community.  Thankfully, our Jacobson Family Food Pantry is still up and operating with minor modifications to services delivery, and working with our partner JARC, we have been able to keep our Adele Loeb and Les Nackman Meals on Wheels Program running.  

Our dedicated volunteers are incredible and continue to volunteer with several of our programs and we truly couldn’t do it without you.  I want to thank everyone who has volunteered to help us deliver Passover meals and packages to our homebound senior clients!  Within 24 hours of posting our plea for help, we had 85 people ready to assist us.  

Safety is a high priority for JFS and we have gone out of our way to minimize face to face contact with clients whenever possible, as well as implement safety precautions, such as wearing gloves, when needed.  Several of our services are performed in the field and therefore working remotely or from home has not impeded service delivery one bit.  We also are continuing with most clinical services making accommodation for safety such as allowing phone sessions or HIPPA compliant video chat when possible.  Our intake department is working and available to assist the community in whatever needs you may have.  We are working with our outreach team to provide support groups to our community via Zoom at both the synagogue and community level. 

Please check our facebook page and website for helpful videos and schedules for virtual support groups.  One of our biggest priorities this week was checking in our several thousands of clients, Weisman Members and regular volunteers, ensuring them that we are here, we care, ready to help.   I’m sure as the weeks progress, and things continue to change rapidly, JFS will be here to help those at their time of greatest need.  We are bracing for a sudden surge in requests for food and financial assistance as work remains disrupted and savings are depleted.  If you or someone you know needs help, please call us at 561-852-3333.  

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me to check in, see what they can do to help or just send a reassuring note.  We are so blessed to live and work in this amazing community!!!

 

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