Touching Many Lives

0217arlenescornerIt’s been seven months since I came on board as the President & CEO of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS)—and I continue to be awed by the lives we are touching in Orange County, in Israel, and around the world. Hundreds of people started the new year with a little more cheer thanks to support from Adopt a Family. Holocaust survivors gathered a few weeks ago through our Café Europa series, to enjoy music and camaraderie. Our second Jewish residential home for adults with special needs—Horwitz Family House—is opening this spring, offering support and connection to Jewish life for six residents. Our young adult division, NextGen, brought together newcomers to Orange County for a welcome brunch. Alongside our international partners, we brought relief to fire-ravaged areas of Israel. From North County to South County—and to Israel—we are enhancing lives and building community and caring for people in need.

A single mom recently wrote to us to share her gratitude for our help during a rough patch in her life. She’d lost her job and was devastated, scared, and didn’t know how to get through this crisis. With the support of JFFS and our Women Forward career coaching program, she received financial counseling, professional assessment, and career guidance to set her on the right path. Equally important: she regained the confidence and perspective she needed to successfully pursue employment opportunities. Now, six months since she first came to JFFS, she’s accepted a job offer. We supported her in reaching her potential and today she’s on her way. It’s stories like this—and there are many—that underscore why we do what we do at JFFS. Our Jewish traditions of social responsibility, compassion and respect guide us in bringing together the people, the partners, and the resources to care for people in need, to build a more vibrant community, and to enhance Jewish life.

There’s a place for you here. Whether you’re a teen or a grandparent, you live in Fullerton or Mission Viejo, you’re a professional looking to network, or your family is interested in volunteering together—there are opportunities for you to connect with like-minded people in our community through JFFS. Because what we all have in common is our desire to improve the world and strengthen Jewish life.

Orange County is vast. But being involved with JFFS can make it feel smaller. We need committed and passionate people to join us. So please reach out to me if you’d like to learn more about Jewish Federation & Family Services. My door is always open to conversation. Let’s do the extraordinary together to build community and improve lives.

Arlene Miller can be reached at (949) 435-3484.

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