The year was 1849 and Elizabeth Blackwell became the aboriginal woman in the U.S. to acquire a medical degree. Closer to home, the wife of the clergyman at Congregation Beth Ahabah aggregate a accumulation of women and formed the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Association to serve the ailing and vulnerable. Over time, the accumulation helped Civil War soldiers, victims of the affliction communicable and tuberculosis patients.
The Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Association eventually transitioned from a advance bureau into a avant-garde amusing casework agency, acceptable Jewish Ancestors Casework in 1954. This Sunday, it will bless its 170th altogether with a big affair at the Virginia War Memorial.
Wendy Kreuter, arch controlling of Jewish Ancestors Services, says its mission consistently has been to transform lives and strengthen the community.
“What that agency has afflicted over the decades,” she says. “We’ve consistently looked to advice with what’s important appropriate now.”
In the aftermost 70 years, its volunteers and agents accustomed an acceptance program, accurate abandoned adolescence and accustomed immigrant families from the above Soviet Union. During three acute periods — 1890, 1938 and 1989 — JFS put its energies into allowance Jews escape animality and displace in Richmond. It appropriate a amazing accomplishment that complex affair the immigrants back they arrived, award them active accommodations, teaching them to boutique in U.S. grocery food and accepting their accouchement into bounded schools.
In 1969, the accumulation saw a charge to advice adolescent adults ambidextrous with biologic problems and homelessness, so it opened the Rap Center, which eventually became what today is accepted as the Daily Planet. It is adulatory its 50th altogether in affiliation with Jewish Ancestors Services’ 170th.
A agents of 45 advisers with 100 home affliction aides oversees home affliction and affliction administration programs throughout the community.
“We adapt the affliction and alike with the families to advice earlier adults with money management, abyssal doctors’ accessories as able-bodied as medical issues,” Kreuter says, abacus that the accumulation assumes guardian and conservator roles back requested. “Whatever bodies need, we accept amusing workers and agents to help.”
Begun in the 1950s, Jewish Ancestors Services’ acceptance affairs helps those acquisitive to accept accouchement as able-bodied as those because agreement accouchement for acceptance in abiding homes. Additionally, it offers a abounding counseling affairs for children, adults and couples staffed by accountant analytic amusing workers and psychologists. Because the U.S. citizenry is rapidly aging, the accumulation has added off-site counseling in assisted active accessories to accommodated bodies area they are.
“Our casework assignment as a continuum,” Kreuter explains. “It’s accessible and acceptable to be able to admission so abounding programs in one place.”
Those gluttonous advice can alarm the advanced lath or email from the Jewish Ancestors Casework website to appeal assistance. Significantly, back the canicule of the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Association and continuing through the present, it serves the absolute community, including all faiths and all assets levels. Tikkun olam — a Hebrew byword that agency acclimation the apple by authoritative it a bigger abode one being at a time — has been its allegorical assumption back 1849. The aboriginal women-only accumulation has acquired into a agents and lath of admiral absorption all genders and faiths.
Expansion continues today with JFS establishing a claimed affliction abettor academy in the East End, from which 14 acceptance accelerating in April. Most recently, it launched the Richmond Jewish Affliction Line to advice Jewish individuals and families in crisis.
“In one year, we advice about 1,425 audience and accommodate over 131,000 hours of service,” she says. “Over the advance of 170 years, that’s absolutely an impact.”
But for now, it’s active planning a altogether party.
There will be lots of cake, a adventitious to accommodated some resettlement families and time to apprentice about the abounding facets of Jewish Ancestors Services, which is why it’s extending a community-wide allurement to accompany in the celebration.
“We’ve been allotment of the association for so continued that anybody is allotment of the JFS ancestors now,” Kreuter says.
Jewish Ancestors Services’ 170th altogether affair will be captivated Sunday, Oct. 6, from 4-6 p.m. at Virginia War Memorial, 621 Belvidere St., jfsrichmond.org.
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