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jfs centennial celebration lg

Thursday, October 6th, 5:30 pm

centennial celebrationspacer

We’re having a party! We invite you to celebrate with us as we honor a major milestone for JFS –100 years of solving problems and helping families in Western Massachusetts. For over a century, JFS has addressed the needs of the Jewish community and the community-at-large with responsive services including Jewish life enrichment programming, elder care & caregiver support, counseling and resettlement services.

The Centennial Celebration will be held at the beautiful Carriage House at the Barney Estate in Forest Park, Springfield. Our special honorees are Martin and Marian Broder in recognition of their many years of service to JFS, to the Jewish community of western Massachusetts and to their professional communities. We will also be recognizing our Past Presidents and their contributions. Each one has been an integral part of the history and growth of the organization.

Though we are 100 years old, we feel 100 years young!

Martin and Marian Broderspacer

Martin and Marian Broder  Since moving to the Springfield area in 1982, Martin and Marian Broder have contributed to their community in innumerable ways.

A gifted cardiologist and medical educator, Martin was chair of the Department of Medicine at Baystate Medical Center for many years, where he was known for recruiting talented physicians to our area, educating an entire generation of medical residents and Tufts Medical School students and developing new programs that have improved patient care throughout western Massachusetts. He continues to teach at Baystate. He has served on the board of Jewish Family Service for thirteen years, including two years as chair. He has also served on the board of Temple Beth El and on the Jewish Federation's Community Study Task Force.

Marian, a healthcare attorney, is a model of what JFS stands for. She has shown a keen ability to identify community needs and implement solutions, especially for older adults. She chaired the Jewish Geriatric Service's board and its committee that planned Ruth's House. She has also served on the board of Temple Beth El and the Community Advisory boards of the Ray of Hope breast cancer walk and Baystate's Comprehensive Breast Center. Her passion for oral history led her to found Memories Recorded, an oral history company, and to co-author "Memories of Zionism- An Oral History of Residents of Springfield and the Pioneer Valley" on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel.

If you would like to honor Martin and Marian Broder with a message at the Centennial Celebration, click here. 


profiles of the people and families we have helped 


  • caregiver


    JFS Elder Care Program offers many services to elders, caregivers and their families.

    spacerMeet Evelyn, a 64 year old woman who contacted JFS for caregiver support. Evelyn lived alone prior to bringing her ailing 79 year old sister Rose to live with her in Springfield from California. Before the move, Evelyn grew concerned for her sister’s wellbeing and sensed that she might not safe. Rose was more disoriented, forgetful and she no longer seemed to be the loving, happy sister that Evelyn remembered. When Evelyn saw Rose, she realized her concerns were real.

    spacerRose’s house was in disarray. She soon learned that Rose’s caregiver was neglectful in caring for her. Immediately Evelyn decided to bring her sister to live with her.This transition proved challenging for both. Rose was not adjusting well and displayed signs of dementia. Realizing that she needed support, Evelyn called JFS.

    spacerEvelyn spoke with Cathy, JFS Clinical Social Worker who met with both and developed a plan of care to address their individual needs. With JFS’s help, Evelyn was able to place Rose in an Adult Day Care Center while she worked. Rose now had supervision, meals, and a safety plan which gave Evelyn peace of mind.

    spacerHowever, Evelyn continued to struggle with the stress of caregiving. Cathy was able to provide in-home counseling until Evelyn felt ready to join the JFS caregiver support group, a safe place where she had the opportunity to connect with other caregivers. Yet Evelyn’s story is not finished. She knows that she can continue to rely on JFS for assistance navigating life’s challenges and transitions as her caregiving role changes, thanks to the support of many donors, friends and community partners.

    The names and photo have been changed to protect each person’s privacy.

  • refugee


    The JFS Refugee Resettlement Program treats our new Americans with respect and dignity. A refugee is not an immigrant. Refugees are fleeing persecution and are legal permanent residents of the U.S.

    spacerMy name is Rihab. I am from Iraq. I was born in Baghdad in 1958.

    spacerMy family and I came to the United States because it was too dangerous for us to stay in my home country. After the war started, my wife’s brother was killed. My wife’s family house was burned down. My brother was threatened and then killed. It grew increasingly risky to stay since they target any person with a high degree in a job.I received my bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Iraq in 1981. Then a master’s degree in 1987, and a PhD degree in Accounting in 1991.

    spacerI studied for many years in Iraq and Ukraine and got my PhD certification in Accounting and worked as a professor in many universities in Jordan and have more than 15 years of experience teaching.

    spacerI came to Massachusetts in August 2010 with my beautiful wife and three children. The first steps in my new life and new country were difficult. I remember how Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts sent two people, Abdul and Saad, to meet my family and I at the airport. Then I got assistance with applying for MassHealth, cash assistance and food stamps. JFS helped register my kids to school, helped my wife and I with job search and gave us some used furniture for our first apartment.

    spacerI appreciate all the services which we received from JFS in our first year here. The first year was especially hard for me because I struggled to find a job. JFS gave me two job opportunities but they didn’t suit my past job experience. Shortly after, Westfield State University gave me a call, and I was accepted as a professor. This is going to be my fourth year in Westfield State University.

    spacerI now work at the Economic and Management Department and serve as Associate Professor teaching accounting. I have been involved in several committees: Finance, Curriculum, and Faculty Center Advising Committee. I have taught accounting information systems over a period of fifteen years, because it’s my favorite course.

    spacerMy family and I are deeply grateful to United State Government for accepting us as refugees, as well as to Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts for their support and care.

    spacerToday, I am proud to be a worker who serves the community and a taxpayer for three years now who is able to return a part of what I got from United States Government. Also I am proud of my wife. She is in the process of getting certified in early education to be a preschool teacher. I am also proud of my children who study and when they bring me a school report card with all “A+” grades.

    spacerI truly appreciate all the time and care that Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts and others put in to help bring my family and I these accomplishments.

  • guardianship


    JFS is the only agency in Western Massachusetts that provides elder guardianship services.

    spacerJFS steps in when an individual is without family, or their family is unable to assume the role of guardian. We ensure that the elder will thrive with dignity and respect. Guardianship means we become their legal protector, responsible for their care … just like a parent is responsible for its child.

    spacer“Sophie was a third generation Springfield woman who lived alone and supported herself for 45 years. She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital because she was disoriented and dehydrated. She had not bathed in months and refused to speak. She had no one to advocate for her needs. The courts appointed JFS as her guardian. JFS located Sophie’s neighbors and learned that her mental health crisis occurred shortly after she lost her beloved sister. Her life-long mental health issues, dementia, and then this loss precipitated her psychotic break. JFS advocated for Sophie’s medical care and, when she was able to live outside a hospital, arranged for her placement in a group home. For 10 years, Sophie enjoyed the company of others and the simple pleasures of life. She loved watching the birds outside her window. At the end of her life, JFS guarded her dignity and arranged for a funeral. We were the only ones in attendance.”

    The names and photo have been changed to protect each person’s privacy.