Our Impact Stories 

“I always used to give to JFS when I didn’t even really know what they did. I never knew I would need to receive, back when I was giving”.

- Ruth Ben-Joseph

Ruth, a Holocaust survivor, was a strong, independent, vibrant woman with an active social life until the aging process took hold and her husband of 69 years, Marc, became ill. Living on a fixed income became a challenge. Cooking and managing their routine became a challenge. Never having had children and without family nearby, Ruth began feeling more isolated and alone, and wondered how she would manage. It was just as they struggled to make decisions about their living situation that JFS stepped in and offered to help. Weekly visits and deliveries from the Food Pantry helped Ruth and Marc remain safe in their home, able to make decisions about their long-term living situation. JFS Senior Engagement staff helped find an appropriate living facility, arranged and paid for their move and continued with regular visits as they settled into their new residence. Unfortunately, soon after the move, Marc passed away, leaving Ruth struggling with grief and depression as well as the challenges that accompany moving to a new home. Once again, JFS was there to support her with counseling, engaging her in social activities and providing a volunteer friendly visitor. To this day, Ruth enjoys JFS-hosted weekly Shabbat Services and still receives regular friendly visits from JFS staff and volunteers. On occasion, with transportation provided by JFS, Ruth is also able to attend social events such as the Senior Chanukah Party and Purim celebration, as well as other events dedicated to Holocaust survivors. JFS has helped Ruth remain social, connected and engaged. She no longer feels as isolated or alone. .

“I finally feel like I am home. I am not so angry anymore and I have friends”

- Bobby Klein

Relocating to Charlotte due to a job loss, the Klein family had a lot of adjustments to make. Transitioning wasn’t easy and tensions were high. The kids were constantly fighting, felt isolated from all things familiar, were highly anxious about starting a new school and about making friends. Mom and dad turned to JFS for help. JFS provided therapy for the kids and a safe space for the parents to develop a plan that addressed the multi-layered needs of the family so the healing process could begin. Within 6 months and with the help of JFS the Klein’s got involved in the Jewish community. They attained a temple membership, participated in programs offered by JFS and throughout Shalom Park and were able to enjoy Chanukah with gifts from the JFS Dreidel Drive.

“I felt stuck with nothing to look forward to. Thanks to my therapist at JFS I look forward to the opportunities in front of me every day”.
- Roz

While grieving her husband’s death, Roz discovered that he had used their life savings on a business deal that ended badly. She thought moving to Charlotte to be near her son would be a good decision, but with her life’s savings gone and only $1,300 a month from Social Security, Roz was feeling anxious and on the verge of falling apart. Thankfully, she found JFS. Roz’s therapist connected her with subsidized senior housing, prescription assistance and access to the JFS food pantry. Through counseling Roz was able to see that her anxiety, depression and difficulty coping, stemmed from a childhood trauma. Working through these life-long issues enabled Roz to handle things much better.