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  • History 1887
  • History 1927
  • History 1934
  • History 1940
  • History 1951
  • History 1960
  • History 1970
  • History 1980
  • History 1990
  • History 2000
  • The early years: A focus on relief

    1887

    The seeds for JFS were planted when Louis Rittenberg opened a dry goods store in Springfield. He helped Jews by giving them goods on credit to sell. These peddlers soon became successful, philanthropic members of community. In 1898, the Hebrew Ladies Relief Association was founded. It was organized by volunteers and established to “help the sick and unfortunate”.

    In 1915, we incorporated as United Hebrew Charities with an annual budget of $3,600 and had 200 members. UHC assisted needy Jewish families with unexpected expenses including food and shelter.
    History 1887
  • 1920s

    In 1927, we incorporated as Jewish Social Services Bureau to reflect a new mission to “conserve, develop and foster normal and wholesome family life.” First social worker hired.
    History 1927
  • 1930s

    In 1934, Jewish Social Services Bureau’s budget increased to $9,675. Aid provided to 1,966 individuals for unemployment relief during the Great Depression.
    History 1934
  • A shift from relief to service work

    1940s

    Located on Main Street in Springfield where we provided wartime services to families and post-war resettlement. In 1946, with a budget of $9,619, we helped 134 families. Services included food and shelter for “transients,” child care and emergency aid. We established our first formal resettlement program. We had three paid staff: Executive Secretary Jessie Josolowitz, a caseworker and an office secretary.
    History 1940
  • 1950s

    In 1951, our annual budget grew to $12,646. Office moved to Mill Street in Springfield where two staff members, Executive Director Sarah Crovitz and a social worker provided counseling and adoption services focused on the Jewish community.
    History 1951
  • 1960s

    We moved to Pine Street and our programs included family casework, economic & employment aid, and resettlement. Our only staff member was Executive Director Lucille Stein.
    History 1960
  • From passive referral program to active helping agency

    1970s

    In 1970, we changed our name to Jewish Family Service of Greater Springfield, Inc. We received $28,650 from United Way and the Jewish Federation of Western Mass to serve 114 families. Our core programs were homemaker services, camperships, and emergency financial assistance. We established a licensed adoption program.

    We moved back to Mill Street and started resettling the first modern wave of Russian Jews coming to Springfield. Our by-laws were updated to reflect other JFS agencies in the nation. We hired Arnold Nash as the Executive Director and added a new social worker and several graduate students.
    History 1970
  • 1980s

    In 1981, we served 1,124 clients. In 1984, we began an Elderly Guardianship Program under Executive Director Michael Leavitt. In 1985, under the leadership of Dr. Arthur Weidman, we placed five children through our adoption program and provided over 4,257 hours of counseling services. In 1987, we moved our Main office to 15 Lenox Street in Springfield.
    History 1980
  • Comprehensive non-sectarian service agency

    1990s

    In 1990, we resettled 70 former Soviet Jewish émigrés. We ran Chesed House, a residential program for people with AIDS for several years. In 1994, our budget was $438,189 with $50,245 in surplus. Our core programs included Resettlement, Older Adult, Adoption, and Child & Family Counseling. In 1995, under the leadership of Executive Director Susan Broh, we celebrated our 80th Anniversary.
    History 1990
  • 2000s

    JFS modestly entered the 21st century with 7 employees and a budget of $480,000 with $80,000 deficit. In 2001, we hired a new CEO, Robert Marmor. He worked to expand the resettlement program to aid non-Jewish refugees such as the Somali Bantu. In 2002, we changed our name change to Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts. By the end of 2005, our budget grew to $1.45 million. We were nationally accredited and opened offices in Pittsfield and Northampton. We were named the premier Jewish agency in the country for resettling non-traditional refugees. We expanded counseling to serve 1,477 clients. In 2011, our budget was $2.3 million. We had 4 offices, 4 core programs and 40 employees. We opened an office on the Grinspoon Jewish Campus and expanded our Jewish programs to serve over 2,000 people. In 2015, with a $2.9 million budget and almost 50 employees, new CEO Maxine Stein led JFS in service to over 5,000 people.
    History 2000
  • History 1887
  • History 1927
  • History 1934
  • History 1940
  • History 1951
  • History 1887

    The early years: A focus on relief

    1887

    The seeds for JFS were planted when Louis Rittenberg opened a dry goods store in Springfield. He helped Jews by giving them goods on credit to sell. These peddlers soon became successful, philanthropic members of community. In 1898, the Hebrew Ladies Relief Association was founded. It was organized by volunteers and established to “help the sick and unfortunate”.

    In 1915, we incorporated as United Hebrew Charities with an annual budget of $3,600 and had 200 members. UHC assisted needy Jewish families with unexpected expenses including food and shelter.
  • History 1927

    1920s

    In 1927, we incorporated as Jewish Social Services Bureau to reflect a new mission to “conserve, develop and foster normal and wholesome family life.” First social worker hired.
  • History 1934

    1930s

    In 1934, Jewish Social Services Bureau’s budget increased to $9,675. Aid provided to 1,966 individuals for unemployment relief during the Great Depression.
  • History 1940

    A shift from relief to service work

    1940s

    Located on Main Street in Springfield where we provided wartime services to families and post-war resettlement. In 1946, with a budget of $9,619, we helped 134 families. Services included food and shelter for “transients,” child care and emergency aid. We established our first formal resettlement program. We had three paid staff: Executive Secretary Jessie Josolowitz, a caseworker and an office secretary.
  • History 1951

    1950s

    In 1951, our annual budget grew to $12,646. Office moved to Mill Street in Springfield where two staff members, Executive Director Sarah Crovitz and a social worker provided counseling and adoption services focused on the Jewish community.
  • History 1960
  • History 1970
  • History 1980
  • History 1990
  • History 2000
  • History 1960

    1960s

    We moved to Pine Street and our programs included family casework, economic & employment aid, and resettlement. Our only staff member was Executive Director Lucille Stein.
  • History 1970

    From passive referral program to active helping agency

    1970s

    In 1970, we changed our name to Jewish Family Service of Greater Springfield, Inc. We received $28,650 from United Way and the Jewish Federation of Western Mass to serve 114 families. Our core programs were homemaker services, camperships, and emergency financial assistance. We established a licensed adoption program.

    We moved back to Mill Street and started resettling the first modern wave of Russian Jews coming to Springfield. Our by-laws were updated to reflect other JFS agencies in the nation. We hired Arnold Nash as the Executive Director and added a new social worker and several graduate students.
  • History 1980

    1980s

    In 1981, we served 1,124 clients. In 1984, we began an Elderly Guardianship Program under Executive Director Michael Leavitt. In 1985, under the leadership of Dr. Arthur Weidman, we placed five children through our adoption program and provided over 4,257 hours of counseling services. In 1987, we moved our Main office to 15 Lenox Street in Springfield.
  • History 1990

    Comprehensive non-sectarian service agency

    1990s

    In 1990, we resettled 70 former Soviet Jewish émigrés. We ran Chesed House, a residential program for people with AIDS for several years. In 1994, our budget was $438,189 with $50,245 in surplus. Our core programs included Resettlement, Older Adult, Adoption, and Child & Family Counseling. In 1995, under the leadership of Executive Director Susan Broh, we celebrated our 80th Anniversary.
  • History 2000

    2000s

    JFS modestly entered the 21st century with 7 employees and a budget of $480,000 with $80,000 deficit. In 2001, we hired a new CEO, Robert Marmor. He worked to expand the resettlement program to aid non-Jewish refugees such as the Somali Bantu. In 2002, we changed our name change to Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts. By the end of 2005, our budget grew to $1.45 million. We were nationally accredited and opened offices in Pittsfield and Northampton. We were named the premier Jewish agency in the country for resettling non-traditional refugees. We expanded counseling to serve 1,477 clients. In 2011, our budget was $2.3 million. We had 4 offices, 4 core programs and 40 employees. We opened an office on the Grinspoon Jewish Campus and expanded our Jewish programs to serve over 2,000 people. In 2015, with a $2.9 million budget and almost 50 employees, new CEO Maxine Stein led JFS in service to over 5,000 people.
  • History 1887
  • History 1927
  • History 1887

    The early years: A focus on relief

    1887

    The seeds for JFS were planted when Louis Rittenberg opened a dry goods store in Springfield. He helped Jews by giving them goods on credit to sell. These peddlers soon became successful, philanthropic members of community. In 1898, the Hebrew Ladies Relief Association was founded. It was organized by volunteers and established to “help the sick and unfortunate”.

    In 1915, we incorporated as United Hebrew Charities with an annual budget of $3,600 and had 200 members. UHC assisted needy Jewish families with unexpected expenses including food and shelter.
  • History 1927

    1920s

    In 1915, we incorporated as United Hebrew Charities with an annual budget of $3,600 and had 200 members. UHC assisted needy Jewish families with unexpected expenses including food and shelter.
  • History 1934
  • History 1940
  • History 1934

    1930s

    In 1934, Jewish Social Services Bureau’s budget increased to $9,675. Aid provided to 1,966 individuals for unemployment relief during the Great Depression.
  • History 1940

    A shift from relief to service work

    1940s

    Located on Main Street in Springfield where we provided wartime services to families and post-war resettlement. In 1946, with a budget of $9,619, we helped 134 families. Services included food and shelter for “transients,” child care and emergency aid. We established our first formal resettlement program. We had three paid staff: Executive Secretary Jessie Josolowitz, a caseworker and an office secretary.
  • History 1951
  • History 1960
  • History 1951

    1950s

    In 1951, our annual budget grew to $12,646. Office moved to Mill Street in Springfield where two staff members, Executive Director Sarah Crovitz and a social worker provided counseling and adoption services focused on the Jewish community.
  • History 1960

    1960s

    We moved to Pine Street and our programs included family casework, economic & employment aid, and resettlement. Our only staff member was Executive Director Lucille Stein.
  • History 1970
  • History 1980
  • History 1970

    From passive referral program to active helping agency

    1970s

    In 1970, we changed our name to Jewish Family Service of Greater Springfield, Inc. We received $28,650 from United Way and the Jewish Federation of Western Mass to serve 114 families. Our core programs were homemaker services, camperships, and emergency financial assistance. We established a licensed adoption program.

    We moved back to Mill Street and started resettling the first modern wave of Russian Jews coming to Springfield. Our by-laws were updated to reflect other JFS agencies in the nation. We hired Arnold Nash as the Executive Director and added a new social worker and several graduate students.
  • History 1980

    1980s

    In 1981, we served 1,124 clients. In 1984, we began an Elderly Guardianship Program under Executive Director Michael Leavitt. In 1985, under the leadership of Dr. Arthur Weidman, we placed five children through our adoption program and provided over 4,257 hours of counseling services. In 1987, we moved our Main office to 15 Lenox Street in Springfield.
  • History 1990
  • History 2000
  • History 1990

    Comprehensive non-sectarian service agency

    1990s

    In 1990, we resettled 70 former Soviet Jewish émigrés. We ran Chesed House, a residential program for people with AIDS for several years. In 1994, our budget was $438,189 with $50,245 in surplus. Our core programs included Resettlement, Older Adult, Adoption, and Child & Family Counseling. In 1995, under the leadership of Executive Director Susan Broh, we celebrated our 80th Anniversary.
  • History 2000

    2000s

    JFS modestly entered the 21st century with 7 employees and a budget of $480,000 with $80,000 deficit. In 2001, we hired a new CEO, Robert Marmor. He worked to expand the resettlement program to aid non-Jewish refugees such as the Somali Bantu. In 2002, we changed our name change to Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts. By the end of 2005, our budget grew to $1.45 million. We were nationally accredited and opened offices in Pittsfield and Northampton. We were named the premier Jewish agency in the country for resettling non-traditional refugees. We expanded counseling to serve 1,477 clients. In 2011, our budget was $2.3 million. We had 4 offices, 4 core programs and 40 employees. We opened an office on the Grinspoon Jewish Campus and expanded our Jewish programs to serve over 2,000 people. In 2015, with a $2.9 million budget and almost 50 employees, new CEO Maxine Stein led JFS in service to over 5,000 people.

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