Our local Jewish community ranks among the highest nationally in both its percentage of older residents AND in its percentage of "transplanted" residents. Taken together, these facts add up to the absence of any local family support network for many of our elderly neighbors.
In the case of our homebound elderly, this is an especially tragic and ominous situation. Last year, with Federation support and in partnership with Jewish Family & Children's Service, nearly 2,000 home visits were made to our most vulnerable neighbors, providing a host of critically needed high-quality services.
For more information on our elderly services, please contact Orna Nissan at 941.552.6305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dress Up for Yontif program, which is implemented through the Federation (thanks to the generosity of Marvin and Betty Danto), offers seniors of the JFCS Senior Outreach Services (SOS) Program: a new outfit with a pair of shoes, haircut and manicure just in time for the High Holy Days. This program is a partnership of the Federation, Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS) and the Jewish Housing Council.
The Federation is pleased to fund, in part, The Jewish Healing Program of JFCS. The program is staffed by a full time licensed clinician who serves as the program director. There are 75 dedicated, trained volunteers who provided 4,465 contacts within the Jewish community during the past year. Through Jewish traditions, rituals and wisdom, these volunteers and staff offered support, comfort and hope to individuals and families experiencing life challenges.
The Federation funds, in part, three specific areas of service provided by the Jewish Healing Program to the Jewish community. These include:
- Bikkur Cholim, which is fully funded by the Federation, has 12 trained Jewish Para-Chaplain Volunteers working in Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton. They visit hospitals, homes and senior residences where they provide emotional support and a spiritual connection to individuals who are isolated or suffering. Also, the Healing Program’s volunteer Rabbi made many visits to those in spiritual crisis through Bikkur Cholim services.
- Bereavement Services, which consists of Support Groups offering healing and hope to men and women coping with the loss of a loved one. Thirty-seven people were served in six Bereavement Support Groups led by the licensed Program Director and two qualified volunteers. Each group was six weeks long. Sixteen people were served by the licensed clinician on a one-to-one basis in bereavement counseling and home visits were made to bereaved families whenever needed.
- Religious Services, including Shabbat, High Holy Day and Festival Services were celebrated in 20 nursing homes and assisted living facilities, providing 2,021 Jewish contacts during monthly Shabbat, and annual High Holy Day, Hanukkah and Passover celebrations. These services provide a valuable Jewish connection to senior residents who would not otherwise be able to attend services.