jewish family service Barbash Family Vital Support Center

3113 Clifton Avenue

Cincinnati, OH 45220  

Ph: 513-766-3370

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





Ending hunger, promoting individual and family stability; encouraging wellness and recovery.... these 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


Not long ago, we invited clients in to ring in the new year and everyone had a great time. 


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 Heldman Family Food Pantry different than other pantries in the area?

The Heldman Family Food Pantry (located in Barbash Family Vital Support Center) serves the Greater Cincinnati Jewish community  as well as our neighbors in need who live in Cincinnati's Greater Clifton 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.