Jewish Family Service of Saint Paul

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Robin Williams’ death brings the focus on mental illness

The untimely death of actor/entertainer Robin Williams reminds us of the importance of identifying and addressing mental illness.  Mitchell Wittenberg, PH.d., LP, JFS Counseling Supervisor, contributed to an article published in TCJewfolk, stressing the importance of not ignoring the signs of depression.  Click here to see the complete article.

Helping Your Child with Back-to-School Anxiety

As the Gershwin brothers’ song so famously states, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy…” Yet, while summer for most children is filled with carefree fun, starting school, returning to school, or beginning a new school experience in the fall can leave many children and adolescents riddled with anxiety as they prepare to face emotional, social, and educational challenges absent in the summer. “What will school be like?” “Will my teacher be nice?” “Can I handle the new workload?” “Will I fit in socially?” “Will my new classmates like me?” “Are my clothes OK?” These are only a few of the many questions with which children and teens might be struggling as they prepare for a new school year, if they are even able to put such worries into words.

In this comprehensive article on the topic of back-to-school anxiety, JFS Counseling Services Director Mitchell Wittenberg offers many tips and much encouragement to help you ease your child into the upcoming school year.

Click here to see the complete article.

JFS Hiring Events Get “Personal”

062414 Hiring Event-Sholom

Megan LePlavy, Recruiting Specialist with Sholom, interviews a JFS employment candidate

Megan LePlavy, Recruiting Specialist with Sholom, visited Jewish Family Service of St. Paul on June 24th. During her afternoon with us, she described current employment opportunities at Sholom and conducted short interviews with eight JFS Employment Department clients.

Unlike job fairs that are standard in the field of employment, JFS Hiring Events are personalized–they focus on matching one employer with candidates who fit specific job descriptions posted by the employer. The result is a higher success rate for candidates and more employer satisfaction.

Click here to view a list of upcoming JFS Employment Events.

JFS Stands Out in “Boomer Town” at Twin Cities Pride 2014

JFS at TC Pride 2014

JFS Employment Specialist Mollie Burstein-Ostrow poses with son Michael as they begin their shift at the JFS table

Representatives from Jewish Family Service staffed a table under the Boomer Town tent at the Twin Cities Pride 2014 Festival this Sunday, June 29, in Loring Park, Minneapolis. Boomer Town has grown in the past few years to warrant its own tent, which, this year, housed eight agencies that offer services for elderly LGBT members of our community.

JFS was there to present information about our Counseling, Employment, and Senior Services departments. JFS is pleased to operate as an “equal opportunity service provider.” In keeping with the sunny, summer fair atmosphere, visitors to our table had the opportunity to enter a drawing for a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card. We congratulate local resident Cristine Lyons for winning the drawing!

Touching Lives


From Staff

Jackie came to JFS in August 2011 after she chose UCare for her health insurance program. She had just turned 65. Jackie had been living with her daughter but decided to move and live in an apartment alone after she and her daughter had a…

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