SAVE THE DATE – 7th Annual JFS Backpack Event – August 27-28, 2018


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Photo: Axie Breen

Click here to register for this year’s Build a Backpack events!

Framingham, MA – 6/18/18 – Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Metrowest is hosting a Build-a-Backpack event at the Framingham Public Library on Monday, August 27th and at the Wellesley Public Library on Tuesday August 28th. With summer flying by, it’s time to start getting ready for the 2018-2019 school year by lending a helping hand to children in the Metrowest area.

This is the seventh consecutive year of the Build-a-Backpack event, where the goal is to give away 275 backpacks full of school supplies to families in our community who need it most.  Every year, JFS collects school supplies for children ages 5-10 years through corporate donations and local supply drives. Past donors include organizations such as, Kronos, Inc., On Process Technology, Christmas Tree Shops, Horizon Technology, Framingham Public Library, Staples, Trader Joe’s and Wegmans.

DSC_0170Volunteers (often families with young children) are asked to bring new backpacks to the event where they stuff them full of school supplies, choosing who the backpack will go to, i.e. 2nd grade girl, 4th grade boy, etc. Then JFS distributes the filled backpacks to the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Framingham as well as the parent information center for the Framingham Public Schools.

“Build-a-Backpack is a wonderful event that brings families together and gives kids the chance to learn how they can help support their community” says JFS Manager of Youth and Volunteer Programs, Kayla Hopkins. The backpack events are part of JFS’s Reducing Achievement Gaps initiative, which is a comprehensive system of interventions to address the academic and social needs of low-income children of immigrant families in Framingham.

“JFS Reducing Achievement Gaps works to give children the tools they need to succeed in school and in life.  Backpacks and school supplies can help a child feel more confident at school and prepared to tackle homework at home,” states Hopkins.  “This event is a chance for children to become involved in philanthropy and possibly even build a backpack for the student sitting next to them in math class. JFS is finishing off the summer with a feel good project that makes a difference in people’s lives.”

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to ensure an adequate stock of supplies.  Click here to register for this year’s events.  To learn more about JFS and the Reducing Achievement Gaps program, please visit

About JFS of Metrowest

JFS is a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to standing up for those left behind and provides services to over 5,000 people in need within the Metrowest and Greater Boston regions each year, including afterschool academic support for low income children; nutrition and basic family assistance for struggling families; citizenship, immigrant and resettlement programs; and geriatric care management and other support services that enable frail older adults to live independently. JFS’ sound fiscal management practices have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. To learn more about JFS, visit


Media Contact:

JFS of Metrowest
Kayla Hopkins
Manager, Youth and Volunteer Programs
508-875-3100 x220

Posted in Reducing Achievement Gaps, Upcoming Events, Volunteer Opportunities, We are JFS!

Job Opening: JFS Part-Time Kesher Chaplain

Job Title:  JFS Part-Time Kesher Chaplain

Location: Supported Living Facilities in the Metrowest region of Massachusetts


  • Lead Shabbat Services each Friday with residents of Supported Living Facilities
  • Lead Holiday Services with residents of Supported Living Facilities
  • Engage with families and residents
  • Weekly contact with supervisor; attend trainings and meetings as required
  • Be available for one to one visits regarding healing; death; grieving with family members
  • Comply with agency data collection requirements
  • Serve as back up for other Chaplains

To learn more or to apply, please send your resume with cover letter to Program Coordinator Abrielle Salloway at

Posted in Elder Services, Healthy Aging, Jewish Community, Job Opportunities, We are JFS!

Are you aged 50+ and live/work in Framingham? Your help is needed!

JFS of Metrowest is a partner in the Framingham Age and Dementia Friendly Initiative funded through the Massachusetts Councils on Aging, Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and MetroWest Health Foundation.

In an effort to understand the needs of older adults in Framingham, a survey has been developed and anyone that works or lives in Framingham aged 50+ is encouraged to fill it out.

The survey is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi.

Please click on the link below for the survey that best meets your language needs and complete the survey by Friday, June 22.





Thank you for your participation!


Posted in Elder Care Management, Elder Services, Healthy Aging, Upcoming Events, We are JFS!

Music Video Bears Haunting Witness to the Tragic, Courageous Journey of a Refugee Family from Syria

Beyond the Borders, written by Attorney Susan Cohen after the first travel ban was imposed in 2017, depicts the tragic story of a Syrian refugee family as told to an American refugee camp volunteer, who promises to bear witness to their plight, their dignity and their courage.

Produced in collaboration with Berklee College of Music musicians, vocalists and professors, including many from countries impacted by the U.S. Travel Ban, this video hopes to raise awareness of the refugee crisis and inspire people to take action.

JFS of Metrowest has worked with individuals and families from over 60 countries around the world and in 2017 led the JFS Syrian Refugee Humanitarian Project which brought our community together to provide safety, hope and opportunity to Syrian refugees resettled in Greater Boston Metrowest.

Join JFS in helping these children and parents live beyond the devastating heartbreak and build a future as New Americans.



Posted in Resettlement, Volunteer Opportunities, We are JFS! | Tagged , , ,

JFS Attends Metrowest ESL Fundraiser

Metrowest ESL Fundraiser

From Left To Right: Lino Covarrubias, Lucia Panichella, Malvina Goldfarb, Kayla Hopkins, Danny Woodward

“Amazing success stories at Metrowest ESL fundraiser tonight. Glad to attend with some of the JFS team which works so closely with MWESL. ” -Lino Covarrubias, COO JFS of Metrowest.

Posted in Family Assistance Network, Jewish Community, Reducing Achievement Gaps, Resettlement, We are JFS!

JFS of Metrowest Helps Elders Increase Mobility with Chair Yoga Exercise Classes


As part of JFS of Metrowest’s Healthy Aging initiative, a JFS program specialist offers a great chair yoga class for elders living at Edmands House. This class is designed to help older adults increase their mobility, enjoy time with friends and improve their overall well-being.  A big thank you to our dedicated staff and our happy participants!

Posted in Elder Services, Healthy Aging, Volunteer Opportunities, We are JFS!

JFS of Metrowest Provides English as a Second Language Instruction to Local Elders

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As part of JFS of Metrowest’s Healthy Aging initiative, JFS Americorps member Maggie Kenney teaches an English as a second language to local elders.

Today’s article: U.S. Births Dip To 30-Year Low; Fertility Rate Sinks Further Below Replacement Level. It was a great read and a great learning experience!

Posted in Elder Services, Healthy Aging, Volunteer Opportunities, We are JFS!