‘Our vibrant agency’

‘Our vibrant agency’

Many members of our northern New Jersey community have reached out to us in surprise and consternation over certain things that were said in “Major changes ahead at major Jewish charity” (June 12).

Jewish Family Service of North Jersey has a 65-year history of addressing the needs of our community by developing innovative programs that ensure that the best services are provided to our clients. We provide assistance to the elderly, the indigent, the special-needs family. Currently, as so many of our neighbors are struggling because of the difficult economic situation, more and more people are turning to us for assistance. We offer counseling services, link clients to community resources, provide Kosher Meals on Wheels to the homebound. We also offer home support services for Holocaust survivors and we assist children through play therapy and other services. Vocational counseling for our unemployed neighbors is yet another service that we increasingly offer. Our volunteers visit the homebound and are the only links that many have with the community-at-large.

To meet contemporary circumstances, we are rebuilding and restructuring the agency and have a bright future as we devise new and better ways to serve the many members of our community. Clearly, the “continued existence” of our vibrant agency is not in danger, and no one who accesses our services or is considering our services has cause to hesitate. As we move forward and continue to serve the North Jersey community, let us pay increased attention to our many successes. To offer just one example, we are the only social service agency in North Jersey to have received, just recently, a federal earmark grant to provide counseling services to the uninsured.

Instead of emphasizing unfounded rumors about our agency’s future, we prefer to look forward with optimism. We agree with the description that a member of our board of directors recently offered about JFSNJ: We are a “wonderful, invaluable organization.” We believe that many of those in our community who turn to us, and have been doing so for more than six decades, would also agree. JFSNJ is here, as it has been for so long, to serve the needs of the members of our community; we have every intention of continuing to do so.