West Hartford-Based JFS and Tara’s Closet Launch Mental Health Community Conversation Series

Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford (JFS) and Tara’s Closet have launched a new virtual series, Tara’s Talks Mental Health Community Conversations, directed at decreasing the stigma around mental health struggles. Read more >

JFS CEO Katie Hanley Selected to Join Leading Edge’s Fourth Cohort of CEO Onboarding Participants

Leading Edge is announcing the participants in the fourth cohort of its CEO Onboarding Program, the first-of-its-kind leadership development program for new top executives leading nonprofits in the North American Jewish community. Cohort participants are CEOs and Executive Directors leading organizations including educational and religious institutions, Jewish community centers, social service organizations, and more. All are in the first 30 months of their tenure and face new challenges and opportunities as the Jewish nonprofit sector adapts to the ebbing of the COVID-19 crisis. Read more>

JFS COO Miriam Brander chosen for New England Cohort of the Jewish Communal Women’s Leadership Project

It has been more than four decades since women joined the workforce in significant numbers. Despite the ongoing growth of women in the workplace, the gender gap persists when it comes to the percentage of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. This is just as true for Jewish organizations. A recent report from Leading Edge, a prominent think tank conducting original research on Jewish organizations, found that 70% of the workforce in Jewish nonprofits is made up of women and those who identify as female. Yet women represent only 30% of the CEOs of those nonprofits. Read more>

Coronavirus pandemic stretches resources of Connecticut’s Holocaust survivors

More than 300 Holocaust survivors live in Connecticut. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the needs of this aging, fragile population were considerable: help with utility bills, health care costs, food, translation help for those with limited English. Read more>

#MyStoryIsNow – This Yom HaShoah, Let Us Focus on The Real Lives of Survivors NOW

The modern dialogue about Holocaust survivors involves asking them about their experiences in the war. “Never again,” we say.

It is to preserve their memory and their experience to ensure that such an atrocity does not ever transpire under our watch. “Never again,” we say.

But how often do we stop and think about survivors’ personal trauma that some must relive so others can be educated on the horrors of the Holocaust to prevent history from repeating itself?  Read more >

Greater Hartford Youth Create Innovative Solutions to COVID-19 Challenges  

Tara’s Closet, a program housed at Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford (JFS), provides free clothing to people in need in the region, but like many programs throughout the state – the pandemic changed everything! Tara’s Closet needed to find inventive ways to continue to serve clients as the state, and nation, adjusted to a new normalIn response, Tara’s Closet partnered with Jewish Teen Learning Connection (JTConnect) and created an Innovation Challenge, calling on teens in grades 8-12 to reimagine how Tara’s Closet could better serve the community in the time of coronavirus Read more >

National Matching Initiative exponentially multiplies Emergency Services reaching Holocaust Survivors in 30 US cities and growing

As the pandemic approaches its year mark, Holocaust Survivors across the United States continue to face new and renewed daily struggles. COVID-19 has only further exacerbated and enhanced the challenges that this vulnerable population faces. Health and safety protocols have heightened social isolation for Survivors.  Read more >

Jewish Family Services Offers Free Financial Counseling to All in Tough Economy

2020 was a hard year financially for many in the Greater Hartford region when the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world, and sadly 2021 seems to be more of the same.  The continuing economic impact of the pandemic has left many in our community questioning their financial futures.  With multiple rounds of stimulus checks, inconsistent disbursement of unemployment benefits, and a fluctuating stock market, wading through one’s own individual finances can seem daunting.  Jim Goldman, Money Coach at Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford (JFS), is here to help.  Read more >

JFS Annual Hunger Event – Nourishing Our Community’s Soul

Join us on Tuesday, November 17 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. for a virtual night of gratitude for our volunteers, donors, and partners.  We will give thanks to those who have helped us feed our hungry community during this difficult time, and outline the ongoing needs and how you can help.  Read more >

Tara’s Closet Mental Health Awareness Event on October 15 Postponed

Due to the continuing risk of COVID-19, our Annual Tara’s Closet Mental Health Awareness Event on Thursday, October 15th is postponed until we can safely be together in person. We will be in touch again once we determine a new date.

Click here to read a message from Founder Barbara Roth and the Tara’s Closet Event Committee.  Read more >

Responding to COVID-19: A Community Panel

On October 13, 2020, a 7:00 p.m., the Jewish Historical Society hosted, “Responding to COVID-19: A Community Panel.” Katie Hanley, CEO of Jewish Family Services, joined local community leaders to discuss how Jewish organizations and the wider community responded to the ongoing pandemic.  Read More >

Conversation with Katie Hanley

The new CEO of Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford aims to focus on mental health of teens

Three years ago, while working at Oak Hill, Connecticut’s largest provider of services for people with disabilities, Katie Hanley was introduced to Jewish Family Services (JFS). At the time, Hanley was serving on a committee called Connecticut Health Advocacy for Adults with Disabilities, along with other professionals, including Janice Rothstein, JFS director of clinical services. It was at several meetings held at the West Hartford offices of JFS that Hanley met and got to know longtime JFS CEO Anne Danaher. Read More >

Welcome to Our New CEO

Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford welcomes Katherine Hanley as Chief Executive Officer

“We are excited to have found a candidate with Katie’s deep commitment to JFS’s mission,” said Pia Rosenberg Toro, Chair of the Board.

Since 2013, Hanley has been employed at Oak Hill, Connecticut’s largest private provider of services to people with disabilities, based in Hartford Since 2015, Hanley has served as the Senior Director of Oak Hill Centers, where she has substantially grown and managed eight of Oak Hill’s specialized community-based programs across five locations. Prior to joining Oak Hill, Hanley held several positions at the Charter Oak Cultural Center, where she stewarded nationally recognized arts programs for over 1,000 inner-city youth.

“I am excited to join JFS given its phenomenal reputation and the comprehensive services it provides throughout Greater Hartford. I have had the pleasure to work with Anne and several staff and board members on initiatives in the community over the years. I am impressed with JFS’s passionate commitment to its clients and its support of the Greater Hartford community. Having the opportunity to lead JFS is truly an honor,” said Hanley.

After over 25 years of stellar leadership, Anne Danaher, who will retire once Katie is onboard, states that she “is thrilled with Katie’s hire. Since our paths have crossed in recent years, I have gotten to know Katie, and I am confident she will be a wonderful leader for JFS, and I am ready to assist her in any way I can to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

Hanley holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from UCONN with a focus on social work administration, a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy with a minor in women’s studies, from UMASS – Amherst.

Please join us in welcoming Katie to JFS, and, as always, thank you for your continued commitment and support, especially during these particularly challenging times.

The J Factor, by Jacob Schreiber:

The little engine that can

On a freezing cold winter evening in West Hartford, a petite woman with salt and pepper hair tied in bun is methodically picking out groceries and placing them into a single brown paper bag. She chooses generic brands of tuna, canned beans and vegetables, pasta, condiments, cereal and cleaning supplies to go with her package of bread, eggs and pastries, packed separately in another bag. Read More >

Chris Murphy Receives Award

Senator Chris Murphy receives 2019 Tara’s Closet Humanitarian Award

Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford recently presented the 2019 Tara’s Closet Humanitarian Award to U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.

A mental health advocate, Murphy introduced the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2015, signed into law in 2016, to expand federal resources and improve coordination for mental health and substance abuse treatment program. In addition, last week he introduced the Mental Health Parity Compliance Act of 2019, which aims to improve transparency and accountability to help ensure consumers have access to mental health and substance use services included in their plans. Read More >

Award-Winning Journalist

Award-Winning Journalist Elizabeth Vargas to Moderate Community Conversation about Mental Health in West Hartford

To mark 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month, Jewish Family Services (JFS) and Tara’s Closet present “Embracing Possibility for Mental Health Awareness: Are you Happy?”

The conversation will be led by Yale Professor of Psychology Laurie Santos with special guest moderator A&E Investigates and award-winning longtime anchor at ABC News, Elizabeth Vargas. Read More >

Youth Hunger

Jewish Family Services Launches Youth Hunger Project

More than 250 people recently attended Jewish Family Services (JFS) Sixth Annual Embracing Possibility “Helping our Hungry Community” gathering which took place at the home of Rachel Lutzker and David Jorgensen. The event celebrated the launch of the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry’s Youth Hunger Project. Read More >

Getting it Right

West Hartford-Based Organization Honored for ‘Getting It Right’

Jewish Family Services (JFS) and JFS Care At Home have become the state’s first organizations to earn certification for “Getting It Right: Creating an LGBT Inclusive Organization,” an integrated program including actions and resources to help organizations adopt practices of intentional inclusion for LGBT elders. Read More >