For those who do not have enough to eat, NCJW NY is a place to be welcomed with dignity and warmth, a place where there is no hunger. For older adults at risk of isolation, NCJW NY is a place to learn, explore, grow – and perform! For those struggling with the effects of death and the difficulties of life, NCJW NY is a safe and supportive environment where they are understood and can heal.
NCJW NY currently provides a wide array of community services for those in need, including:
Over three million New Yorkers have difficulty affording food. They are out-of-work families with children, elderly people who live alone, and the working poor who cannot afford to pay for both rent and food. They are also the homeless who live in shelters or on the streets. In response, our programs provide nutritious and wholesome food served in a friendly, hospitable manner.
Our Monday Food Pantry provides a three-day emergency supply of both fresh produce and shelf-stable groceries to families in need, serving approximately 200 families each week. Participants must live within the borough of Manhattan, and can utilize the Pantry up to once a month.
Our twice weekly Community Kitchen provides a hot, delicious meal to all who need it. Patrons of the Community Kitchen sit down to a hot meal or, alternatively, may take away a brown-bag meal. Meals are served on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 11:30 a.m. All are welcome at the Community Kitchen, and guests can come as often as they like.
- In fiscal year 2016, our Hunger Program served more than 41,000 individuals, and over 276,000 meals;
- More than 8,300 clients served through our food pantry in FY16 were children, an 11% increase from the year before.
Help feed hungry New Yorkers by clicking here. We’re able to provide a nutritious meal for only $1.31, so every dollar counts as we work to fight hunger in our city.
COUNCIL LIFETIME LEARNING
Our Council Lifetime Learning (CLL) programming for older adults continues to be a vital resource for seniors in Manhattan and a signature program of NCJW NY. Our broad array of program offerings – from art classes to discussion groups to free and discounted tickets to the city’s finest shows – keep our participants engaged, growing, and learning, helping them to defy society’s stereotypes about aging and its effects on mind and body. CLL takes a definitively “strengths-based” approach, starting from a place of building on what’s right with a participant rather than fixing what’s wrong. Our staff social worker is a vital part of executing this approach, as she is able to welcome new participants, draw out their inherent interests, tastes, and social style in order to design a custom program of activities.
CLL programming is based on the philosophy that arts and culture are a uniquely effective way to engage and empower older adults, building on their interests and strengths to maintain connection and vitality as the aging process continues. Our programming helps seniors to continue learning and growing into their 70’s, 80’s and well beyond. An average of 200 older adults come through our doors to participate in more than 35 classes each week, and over the last year, approximately 500 active seniors have participated in a broad range of programming, including:
- Visual art, creative writing and drama classes
- Exercise and dance classes including Feldenkrais, body fitness, tap and yoga
- Art festivals and exhibitions
- Musical theater classes and performances, talent shows, and special celebrations, including an Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon, Hanukkah celebration and a Passover Seder
Informed by best practices and the latest research, CLL staff and volunteers sculpt programming based on several key attributes of creative aging including mental exercise, physical exercise, challenging leisure activities, mastery achievement, and the establishment of strong social networks. CLL fosters community, strength, and creativity. Click here to see pictures of our CLL Classes.
To view a calendar of the current semester’s classes and activities, click here.
For more information about Council Lifetime Learning for yourself or a family member or friend, please call Tamar Yanay, Client Services Associate, at 212.687.5030 x 0 or email her here.
Our Healthy Living program for older adults includes ongoing support and discussion groups as well as special workshops and presentations. Our staff social worker conducts several support groups, including two bereavement groups, titled “Recovering from Loss,” for men or women who have lost partners after long-term relationships. We are seeing a growing demand for our bereavement groups, both in terms of the number of participants and the length of their participation. Grief is a complex, individualized process that does not resolve itself on any set time frame. Bereavement groups meet on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m.
Support Groups for Caregivers
Our staff social worker also leads a support group for caregivers of persons with memory loss primarily due to Alzheimer’s Disease. Caregivers share advice, insights, and frustrations in a safe and supportive environment, helping each other to identify effective coping strategies for the unique challenges of caring for a loved one with memory loss. This group currently meets on Fridays at 11:30 a.m.
Aging Educational Forums
Our Healthy Living program hosts educational forums and interactive workshops to address many aspects of growing older, including both the legal and financial aspects of long term planning, but also the psychosocial impacts of aging and how one can live life to the fullest.
In addition, some of the emotional and psychosocial needs of our older members are met through discussion groups such as “The Emotional Aspects of Aging,” “The Women’s Discussion Group,” and “The Men’s Discussion Group.”
For more information, please call our social worker, Letitia Maun, at 646.884.9471.
PREGNANCY LOSS SUPPORT
The Pregnancy Loss Support Program (PLSP) is an innovative program that utilizes professionally-trained volunteers to provide telephone counseling and in-person support groups for parents who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or newborn death. All of our volunteers have been through the program themselves, so they can speak from personal experience to grieving parents, and at the same time continue their own healing process through service to others.
LINC (Lunch, Interaction, Nurturing, & Companionship)
The LINC program provides a stimulating, supportive, and joyful atmosphere for elders suffering from memory loss, along with their caregivers. The program is led by a professional facilitator twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. Participants are welcomed individually and helped to settle in for the day’s activities. Participants may explore a poem, a piece of art, or discuss a news story together – each interacting at his/her own level. Participants enjoy a light lunch together followed by a sing-along led by a professional music therapist. LINC is based on the philosophy that stimulating activities geared to participants’ interests and capacities can help to stave off continued decline and boost overall mood throughout the day and week. The program models positive interaction for caregivers.
The LINC program requests participation fees on a sliding scale basis.
For more information, please call our social worker, Letitia Maun, at 646.884.9471
BACK 2 SCHOOL STORE
Our annual Back 2 School Store debuted in 2015, and it provides children with everything they need to go back to school with pride, confidence, and enthusiasm. One day every summer, NCJW NY’s Council House is transformed into a very special department store, to provide each child with a brand new outfit (shirt, pants, parka, sneakers, underwear and socks) as well as a backpack filled with school supplies, entirely free of charge. Best of all, the children chose each item themselves, based on their own tastes and styles. While children shop with their volunteer personal shoppers, parents explore the Family Resource Center, where representatives from public and private agencies will be on hand to inform parents about resources available in the community to support their family’s health, learning, and growth.
Working in partnership with community-based agencies serving low-income families, we register eligible children entering grades K through 5. We solicit in-kind donations from children’s clothing manufacturers and retailers, and working with schools, synagogues, churches and community groups to organize donation drives to collect NEW items for the store. What we cannot collect as donations, we purchase at low cost from wholesale suppliers.
- Check out pictures from our first Back 2 School store, which took place on August 2, 2015, here under highlights and here on our Facebook page.
- In 2015, we outfitted 75 kids; we more than doubled that number in 2016, providing 175 kids with brand new clothes.
If you would like to get involved as a volunteer or a partner agency for the Back 2 School Store, please contact Yael Reisman, Director of Outreach and Engagement, at 646.884.9462.
CHILDREN’S LITERACY PROGRAM
Our Children’s Literacy Program aims to engage children in a lifelong love of books and reading, thereby helping to close the gap in school performance for economically disadvantaged children.
Our Reading Tutors program works in partnership with three after-school sites in Manhattan, providing one-on-one reading sessions with age-appropriate materials for children in grades kindergarten through 4th. Students keep their books after they have read them with their tutors.
Children’s Lending Libraries
Children’s Lending Libraries operate once a week in two Upper West Side community centers. At each of these centers, two volunteers arrive to display an array of age-appropriate children’s literature. In these three-hour visits, the children and their caretakers are encouraged to explore the library and borrow up to two books of their choice each week.
If you would like to volunteer for the Children’s Literacy Program, please contact Yael Reisman, Director of Outreach and Engagement, at 646.884.9462.
The Home Instruction Program for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) utilizes weekly home visits by professionally trained peer educators to empower parents who have little formal education to become effective first teachers for their young children, aged three to five. HIPPY was created by the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in the late 1960s. Since then, HIPPY has blossomed into its own organization. Dedicated NCJW NY volunteers work in partnership with the BronxWorks agency to provide HIPPY to 85 families in the South Bronx. Volunteers provide enrichment activities, special celebrations, and other support as needed.
Volunteers create handmade necessities such as sweaters, hats and scarves, as well as gifts like stuffed toys, for distribution to children in need. KnitWits works in partnership such agencies as Ronald McDonald House and Safe Horizons to ensure that these items go to the intended population free of charge.
ELEANOR LEFF JEWISH WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER
The Jewish Women’s Resource Center (JWRC) explores, documents, and celebrates the full range of Jewish women’s experiences — religious, secular, public and private – through conferences, film festivals, book clubs, and other events.
The 2017 Jewish Women’s Film Festival is currently accepting submissions. Films must focus on experiences, aspirations, and accomplishments of Jewish women throughout the world. Films submitted for consideration may not be screened in the New York Metropolitan area from August 1 to December 31, 2017. Entry Forms will be accepted through Monday, May 1, 2017. Click here to download the entry form. Contact us via email with any questions: email@example.com
This scholarship provides grants to enable individuals with physical challenges to pursue academic study or vocational training that will lead to a more independent life.
Applications are now open for the 2017-2018 school year, and are due on March 31, 2017. You can download the application here.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.