See Ethan Kahn's story below

Volunteers make Rosh Hashanah special for Jewish Family Service Food Pantry clients

Ethan Glassman, a true "honey"
Ethan Glassman, a true "honey"

CINCINNATI SEPTEMBER 20, 2011

Home cooked Rosh Hashanah dinners will make the holiday more special for 100 Jewish Family Service Food Pantry clients thanks to a group of volunteers from Adath Israel Congregation and Temple Sholom.

 

Pam Barbash generated the project alone in 2009 that has now become a growing community tradition.

 

“In 2009, while I was cooking for the holiday I realized that people who use Jewish Family Service Food Pantry should enjoy the same meals my family is having,” said Barbash. “So I cooked 72 meals and got the dinners to the people who needed it. I wanted to take a burden off of them.”

 

Kathy Wise, Sandy Kaltman, Jan Burke
Kathy Wise, Sandy Kaltman, Jan Burke

The following year she asked for volunteers to help, and the list has grown each year.

 

This year, Sandy Kaltman helped to coordinate 14 volunteers from Adath Israel Congregation to cook brisket, chicken soup, noodle kugle, mini challah rolls and apple cupcakes. The meals were divided into individual servings and frozen for easy consumption later.

 

Temple Sholom provided freezer space to store the meals until Jewish Family Service Food Pantry clients were able to get them.

 

Thirteen congregants from Temple Sholom also added to the meal by baking honey cakes.

The traditional Rosh Hashanah apples and honey were provided with a twist from the heart of a 13-year old young man. For his Bar Mitzvah project, Temple Sholom member Ethan Glassman, spent a year learning to raise bees and harvesting honey at Gorham Heritage Farm. The project culminated with Ethan’s donating filled jars of honey to Jewish Family Service to share with food pantry clients and to wish them a happy, healthy and sweet New Year.

 

In addition to Barbash and Kaltman, Adath Israel Congregation volunteers were Jan Burke, JoAnn Casuto, Amy Diamond, Deb Lempert, Sherri Levitt, Jenna Ruben, Sara Samuels, Gilda Schwartz, Jill Segerman, Jean Tobias, Amy Whitehead, and Kathy Wise.

 

Joining Glassman as Temple Sholom volunteers were Mary Better, Linda Chambers, Peggy Eckman, Carolyn Fish, Sheila Freeman, Laura Glassman, Tom Glassman, Pam Hudson, Micaele Jordan, Joel Newberg, Julie Rubin, Carol Shore, Tobe Snow, Joyce Yonka.

 

“We are already starting to collect names for next year’s project,” said Barbash who asked future cooks to contact her directly at 513-378-1900.

 

Jewish Family Service Food Pantry is the source for free kosher food, personal and household care items, and fresh produce for individuals in the Greater Cincinnati Jewish community experiencing financial difficulties. Jewish Family Service also provides guidance and support for clients of the pantry to help improve their situation toward self-sufficiency. Jewish Family Service Food Pantry serves individuals living in 36 different zip codes across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

 

Volunteers are also needed year-round to help stock the food pantry or deliver food to clients who have no transportation, money for gas, or physical disabilities to get to the pantry themselves. To volunteer, contact Sandee Golden, Jewish Family Service volunteer coordinator at 513-766-3352 or sgolden@jfscinti.org.

 

Jewish Family Service strengthens lives and the community by providing professional social services to families and individuals in times of need. In addition to its food pantry, the agency offers Adoption, Aging and Caregiver Services, Care Management, Emergency Financial Support, and Family Life Education.

Putting the Mitzvah in his Bar Mitzvah for JFS

CINCINNATI SEPTEMBER 2, 2011  

13-year-old Ethan Kahn was excited every time he opened an envelope showing money was sent in honor of his Bar Mitzvah…especially because the money was NOT for him. Unlike most boys celebrating their Bar Mitzvah, he specifically requested that in lieu of a gift his guests donate to Jewish Family Service Food Pantry.

 

Jewish Family Service Food Pantry is dear to Ethan. After he delivered food for the Dr. Samuel S. Rockwern Passover Delivery of Jewish Family Service project, Ethan wanted to get more involved with feeding families in need.

 

Last year Jewish Family Service Food Pantry fed 208 people living in 36 different zip codes across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. It is the source for free fresh produce, kosher meat and packaged foods, and personal care items for individuals in the Greater Cincinnati Jewish community experiencing financial difficulties.

 

“Often an illness, disability, job loss or any misfortune can change anybody’s life in such a profound way; Jewish Family Service is their safety net,” says Fran Gafvert, Jewish Family Service director of Vital Services. “With support from community individuals such as Ethan, JFS can give them hope for a better future.”

 

Ethan now volunteers regularly by doing Jewish Family Service Food Pantry home deliveries with his mother Jessica.

 

They deliver to clients who are unable to come to the food pantry because the clients have no transportation or money for gas, or they have physical disabilities that make it impossible for them to navigate the stairs of the pantry located in the lower level of space donated by Golf Manor Synagogue.

 

With each delivered box filled with kosher food and personal care items, Ethan has been able to see firsthand the benefits of his Bar Mitzvah fundraising.

 

“We have visited families with mental illness. We have also visited several elderly women, and he saw the link between poverty and age...that struck him,” says Ethan’s mother.

 

As he makes his deliveries, Ethan says he feels that each family or friend who donated to Jewish Family Service Food Pantry in honor of his Bar Mitzvah is sharing in the experience.

 

He also believes that by having family and friends donate to the pantry, it took the focus off of him, saying, “It made my Bar Mitzvah a lot of people’s day. It wasn’t just my day, it was benefiting everyone.”

 

When asked if requesting donations in lieu of gifts set an example for his classmates, Ethan humbly didn’t want to take credit for anyone else, but asserts, “Once you realize it, you know it’s the right thing to do.”

 

Ethan did not stop at fundraising or personally delivering food. He also decorated his Bar Mitzvah party’s tables with Jewish Family Service’s Centerpiece for Tzedakah baskets, with the rental fees directly supporting the food pantry. A Centerpiece for Tzedakah is an attractive basket filled with kosher food packages and other sundries, custom-decorated to match the party colors.

 

“Everything we did helps increase awareness…and before you know it, it is a ripple,” says this young man, wise beyond his years.

JFS case management eases future concerns for Russian-speaking senior adults

CINCINNATI AUGUST 25, 2011 

Making health care decisions is something many people take for granted. But an unexpected hospital stay or illness may make it difficult for many older adults to fully communicate their health needs and care choices. The situation becomes even more complicated if English is not the first language.

 

To help Russian-speaking Holocaust survivors plan for their future health care needs, Jewish Family Service Resettlement brought in attorney Edward G. Marks on August 25, 2011.

 

“Ed graciously volunteered his time. First to explain to older adults from the former Soviet Union what documents are needed in this country. With the help of interpreters, Ed answered their questions to ensure they understood the importance of these papers. He returned to make sure they had the appropriate documents signed and notarized,” said Ann Sutton Burke, Director of Aging and Caregiver Services at Jewish Family Service.

 

Twenty older adults signed a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will.

 

This case management service of Jewish Family Service Center for Holocaust Survivors arranged for three teams of three: an interpreter to ensure the older adult understood what they were signing, a notary public to legalize the papers, and a clerical person to make photocopies.

 

Marks recommended the older adult give a photocopy of each document to their doctor, “regular” hospital that they use, and the individual designated in the Health Care Power of Attorney. He also suggested giving a photocopy of their Living Will to their rabbi.

 

“This was also a civics lesson to learn about Ohio state law, another service we offer through our Resettlement Acculturation program. Ed gave many examples of what happens if the documents are not available,” said Burke.

 

Jewish Family Service strengthens lives in times of need and the community by providing professional social services to families and individuals. It offers Adoption, Aging and Caregiver Services, Care Management, Family Life Education and Vital Services Support.