Barbash Family Vital Support Center...

3113 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220   513-766-3370


Jewish Family Service offers a unique holistic approach to promote wellness and stability to families experiencing poverty, hunger and mental illness by combining a food pantry, case management, and peer-based socialization activities under one roof at its Barbash Family Vital Support Center.

Enroll America logo for health insurance

Get Free In-Person Help with Health Insurance Enrollment

WED. FEB 11, 2015 4-8 pm

Will you be covered by health insurance by the February 15, 2015 deadline? 


You can get free in-person help with health insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), 4pm – 8pm Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center, 3113 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220 (on the campus of Hebrew Union College)


Learn about the benefits you may be eligible for and to find a health insurance plan that fits your needs and budget. You will receive free, unbiased one-on-one assistance from an expert and learn if you qualify for financial assistance to cut your premium costs. There is no fine print—you can compare plans and find the best option for you. 


And you no longer have to worry about pre-existing conditions because you can’t be turned down or charged more.


“Jewish Family Service is working with specialists in the service of enrolling individuals in health insurance plans,” says Fran Gafvert, Jewish Family Service Director of Vital Services.  “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is spearheading this event and Jewish Family Service has invited experts from Enroll America and a federal government contractor as well as the local Healthcare “Navigator”, Freestore Foodbank, to assist individuals in the signup process.”


Each attendee will sit with an expert who will help determine what type of insurance the individual qualifies for: Medicare, Medicaid, or a private plan from the Healthcare Marketplace. The experts, known as “assisters” will work through the process step by step including helping with government subsidies if the individual qualifies.


“Don’t be concerned that you may not qualify,” says Gafvert who said that more than eight out of ten Ohioans got help paying for their health coverage, and were able to choose from a variety of plans that cover the services most people need for health care.


“The goal of this event is to complete as many registrations as possible,” she says.


This health insurance enrollment event is free and open to the public regardless of income. It is advisable for those wishing to complete an application to schedule an appointment. Log on to to make an appointment online now, select “find local help” and put in the zip code 45220. That is the location for Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center in Clifton. You can then schedule an appointment with Jewish Family Service. Walk-ins are accepted as well.


Questions? Call 513-766-3370. Download the flyer pdf.

Two recipients of Vital Services share how Jewish Family Service and its Barbash Family Vital Support Center strengthened their lives. Click the arrow below.


End hunger, promote stability, encourage wellness and recovery....those are the goals of the Barbash Family Vital Support Center.


Jewish Family Service opened its food pantry in 2003 to a couple dozen people in need, and watched it grow to serve 458 individual clients by 2012. A 2008 community survey confirmed the need to transform the pantry into a full comprehensive center. The survey identified 1,100 low-income Jewish households in Cincinnati, and another 1,625 households that are just one car repair, one job layoff, or one health setback from descending into poverty.  Along with poverty, hunger, and mental illness come the hardships of homelessness, fear, isolation, stress and despair.


The Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center provides a new approach to tackling the growing needs of the most vulnerable members of our community. 


By offering a full menu of comprehensive services at one location, our professional social workers and care managers can best lead Jewish Family Service clients toward stability, security, and self-sufficiency.  It puts the food pantry, case management, emergency financial assistance, supportive counseling, therapeutic socialization activities, and health promoting classes under one roof.

Together we can end the stigma of poverty, hunger, and mental illness.

Yes, together. The Barbash Family Vital Support Center is a place where clients, staff, and volunteers are welcome; where everyone can feel accepted and be accepting.


Multiple Sclerosis forced Leslye from a successful career to surviving on Social Security and food stamps. She says that  the Barbash Family Vital Support Center gave her a purpose, which made her feel like her old self.

Now she gives back to help other Jewish Family Service clients.  Read her full story.


Below are photos from a December 30, 2013 party inviting clients to ring in the new year. Download the pdf to read about the party.


In the spirit of tikkun olam (repairing the world), the Center offers a wide range of social action and volunteer opportunities. Your help is always needed! Learn about Volunteer opportunities.


Why is the Barbash Family Vital Support Center different than other pantries in the area?

The food pantry is open to Jewish Family Service clients as well as our neighbors in need who live in Cincinnati's 45220 zip code area. It is the only food pantry in the region that also includes a section with a full array of Kosher food.


The Vital Support Center is also the only place in our Greater Cincinnati community that addresses the unique needs of people experiencing poverty or mental illness who desire to be served within a Jewish cultural setting. After all, socialization and spiritual needs are as important to achieving wellness as nutrition, exercise and diet.


Where is the Barbash Family Vital Support Center located?

The Barbash Family Vital Support Center is centrally located at 3113 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220 discreetly tucked on the campus of Hebrew Union College.


The Center is housed in over 4600 sq. ft. of newly renovated space with plenty of parking. This location is served by three bus lines, proximate to the over 45 zip codes served by Jewish Family Service, and conveniently located near the community services that our clients frequent for health care, behavioral health care, and benefits administration.


Click the arrow above to learn more about Building the Dream of the Vital Support Center.

Click here to read about our Grand Opening Celebration that took place October 27, 2013, and see photos from the event.

Thank you to our major donors who helped get the dream off the ground...

Pillar ($1,000,000+)
Bernard and Pamela Barbash and Family
The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati
Guardian ($500,000-999,999)
George and Anne Heldman Family
Founder ($250,000 - 499,999)
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc.
Builder ($100,000 - 249,999)
The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
Murray Guttman / Children and Grandchildren
The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati
Hyman and Bessie Passman Family
Dorothy Lockspeiser
Benefactor ($50,000 - 99,999)

Jo and Al Levine

Sustainer ($25,000 - 49,999)
Anonymous   Andrea, Alex and Aaron Levenson
Bret and Alison Caller Family   Gloria and Alex Lipson
Adele and Fred Cohen/
Robert and Lynne Kanter
  Nina and Edward Paul and Family
The Family of Fred Diamond   Elise and Jon Randman
Golf Manor Synagogue    
Patron ($10,000 - 24,999)
Richard and Sara Behrman   J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Casto Homes, Inc. and
the Casto Family
  Larry and Kim Juran
Wilbur and Miriam Cohen   Dennis and Rochelle Manes
Marty and Sally Hiudt   Henry W. Schneider and
Anita R. Schneider

Now the journey begins...

Jewish Family Service continues to shoulder the burden for the bulk of the Vital Support Centers on-going budget (for food, overhead and staff). Thank you to all individual donors for contributions of money and food that will allow us to strengthen even more lives every day.



Visiting the new Barbash Family Vital Support Center? Take along this sheet with a self-guided tour.

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