News & Events

Carlos A. Hernández to receive 2017 Influential Health and Medical Leader Award

Posted & filed under JFCS News, Featured.

JFCS President and CEO Carlos A. Hernández, MA, LCSW, CPHQ

Carlos A. Hernández, MA, LCSW, CPHQ

Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona (JFCS) is proud to announce that CEO & President, Carlos A. Hernández has been selected to receive a 2017 Influential Health and Medical Leader Award in the category of Mental Health & Psychiatric Services.

Every year, Tucson Local Media honors local medical and healthcare professionals who have made significant contributions and demonstrated outstanding dedication to their work.

At age 47, Hernández is considered a young CEO, and is the first Latino to serve as President and CEO of JFCS of Southern Arizona, a non-profit, non-sectarian specialty provider offering psycho-therapeutic counseling, patient-centered trauma-informed care (PCTI), and social services to thousands of vulnerable community members of all faiths, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations and economic circumstances.

“Under Carlos’ outstanding leadership, JFCS has seen program expansion, technological advancement, and improvement in the delivery of services,” said Fred Fruchthendler, JFCS Board Chair. “This is a significant and well-deserved honor.”

With a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago, Hernández’s professional experience runs the gamut from clinical work to compliance and Continuous Quality Improvement. Hernández is a licensed psychotherapist, Certified Professional for Healthcare Quality as well as Adjunct Faculty member at ASU School of Social Work, and Pima Community College, Social Services Department.

During his 25-year career, Hernández’s passion for helping the most vulnerable led him to experiences that include coordinating mental health programs for foster children, counseling for homeless teens, and promoting integrated health for migrant workers living on the border.

Previously, Hernández served as Director of Family and Community Partnerships, and successfully guided the implementation of disabilities services, mental health services, and parent engagement services for Head Start at Tucson-based Child-Parent Centers. Prior to this, he was in charge of compliance, quality management, and performance improvement for Pantano Behavioral Health Services in Tucson.

As an influential community health leader, Hernandez’s has devoted his life work to broad-based collaboration, quality improvement, de-stigmatization of mental illness, and achieving mental health parity for low-income and under-insured people. The 3rd Annual Influential Health and Medical Awards event will be held at Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at Casino del Sol Resort in Tucson.

Project Safe Place: Making a Difference in Pima County

Posted & filed under JFCS News, In the News, Featured.

JFCS was one of six agencies recognized in the Pima County Community Development Annual Impact Report for delivering outstanding services to underserved and disadvantaged people in our community. Our Project Safe Place program was highlighted for achieving positive outcomes in trauma-informed therapy for children ages 3 to 18 who are victims of crime or abuse. JFCS is thankful for our highly-skilled, licensed Master’s level therapists.
To read an abbreviated version of the report, click here.

Kelly Burroughs Named JFCS Vice President of Clinical Services

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Kelly Burroughs

Kelly Burroughs

As the Vice President of Clinical Services for Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Southern Arizona, Kelly Burroughs, MA, LAC, BHP, CCTP brings more than 20 years of experience in social services and behavioral health. She has extensive experience in the publicly funded behavioral health system and in social services for children and families.

Prior to JFCS, Kelly provided clinical and administrative supervision to advocacy and behavioral health programs serving thousands of people in Southern Arizona. She has a passion for program development, and hopes to help expand JFCS services to reach a larger segment of the Tucson community—both Jewish and non-Jewish.

“I am excited about the opportunities to influence change for people reaching out for help. JFCS offers exceptional therapeutic services, and is well-known for its work with people with histories of trauma. My hope is to be able to help JFCS grow and expand the scope of our services to reach more people,” said Kelly, who holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Arizona, post graduate certification in Positive Behavioral Support from Northern Arizona University, and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.

Liz Hernández Named JFCS Director of Marketing & Development

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Liz Hernandez

Liz Hernandez

Prior to accepting her new Tucson-based position as Director of Marketing & Development for Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona, Liz Hernández served for three years as Marketing Manager, and then Director of Public Relations and Communications for Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Phoenix.

“Liz’s strong marketing and communications skills, innovative style, and dedication to the values and vision of JFCS will be a great asset to us,” said Carlos Hernández, CEO & President of JFCS of Southern Arizona. “And in case you were wondering,” he added with a smile. “We are not related.”

Liz left a long career in the arts & culture sector to transition into the nonprofit sector. “I love art and believe that artistic expression enriches our human experience,” she explains. “I also believe that it’s essential to live compassionately, care for others, and be a positive influence in our world.”

Born in New York City, and educated through high school in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Liz Hernández moved to Tucson where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and later completed graduate studies in Art History at The University of Arizona.

Having lived, worked and volunteered in Arizona for more than 35 years, Liz has demonstrated a strong commitment to various community and nonprofit organizations through leadership and fundraising endeavors. In Tucson, she served on the board of The Foundation for Creative Broadcasting, Girls Scouts of America, Tucson Museum of Art, and the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (formerly called the Tucson Pima Arts Council). Liz was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Arizona Theater Company.

Bank of Tucson Awards $5,000 to JFCS for First Responders Counseling Program

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Bank of Tucson

L-r: JFCS President & CEO Carlos Hernández; Bank of Tucson President & CEO Mike Hannley; snf JFCS Director of Marketing & Communication Liz Hernández

May 15, 2017, Tucson, AZ – Bank of Tucson recently donated $5,000 to Jewish Family & Children’s Services (JFCS)for its First Responders Counseling Program that provides confidential 24-hour therapeutic counseling to our community’s firefighters, police officers, and other first-responders along with their families—at no cost to them.

In keeping with Bank of Tucson’s commitment to support quality, accessible services to the Tucson’s children and families, we are proud to partner with JFCS because their mission is to help people from all walks of life,” said Mike Hannley, President & CEO of Bank of Tucson. “We are a small bank with a big heart,” he added.

More than 700 First Responders in Tucson respond to more than 80,000 calls every year. “First Responders work long hours, face frequent danger, and witness countless traumatizing events,” said Carlos Hernández, President & CEO of JFCS. “At JFCS we recognize the urgency and need to provide confidential counseling with the goal of helping these brave men and women cope and reduce their personal and family stress.”

“We are grateful for Bank of Tucson’s generous support which will go a long way to providing free services to our community’s first responders and public safety officers and their families,” added Hernández.

“This is a really important program, and JFCS is doing an outstanding job at offering a support system to a broad spectrum of our community,” said Hannley. “In light of recent incidents involving firefighters and their families, Bank of Tucson wants to do everything we can to help and hopefully prevent these tragic events from happening.”

About JFCS:   For more than 76 years, Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona (JFCS), a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization, has provided responsive, quality, personalized behavioral healthcare and social services to children, families and adults without regard to race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion or income.

Contact:  Liz Hernández, JFCS Director of Marketing and Communications 

(520) 795-0300 x-2263   

Click here to email Liz.

Hi-res image available upon request.

Phoenix Suns Charities Give $8,000 Grant to JFCS

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Phoenix Suns Charities

Left to right: Phoenix Suns Charities Manager Jennie Patel and Executive Director Sarah Krahenbuhl visited Tucson to present the grant check to JFCS President & CEO Carlos Hernández and Philanthropy Officer Alisa Shorr

JFCS couldn’t be more pleased with the grant from the Phoenix Suns Charities for the Healing Garden Project.

This project will create a more welcoming patio at the entrance to the clinic where there is now just gravel and a lonely ocotillo.The transformed space will include plants, seating, and a brick pathway and be a special place for children and families to enjoy together before and after therapy sessions.

Additionally, each of our childhood trauma therapy offices located on the ground floor has a large window that looks out onto an individual patio box neglected for too long. These patio boxes, which are very visible and run the entire length of our building, will be filled with colorful plants for children and their families to enjoy during trauma therapy sessions.

At least 400 children (ages 3-18) will benefit. Many of them have been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused and/or the victim of a crime. Without intervention, they are more vulnerable to negative outcomes such as dropping out of school, substance abuse, and delinquency. JFCS offers early intervention by highly qualified licensed therapists at no cost for as long as needed to address trauma.

Children exposed to these traumas see their world as a frightening place. A very important part of therapy is creating an environment at the clinic that is friendly and welcoming. These patios filled with plants and flowers will create a more healing environment that helps reduce anger, anxiety and stress.


Where flowers bloom, so does hope. ~ Lady Bird Johnson


Tucson Charity Bridge Club Donates $2,700

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JFCS CEO Carlos Hernández attended the weekly Tucson Charity Bridge Club meeting today and accepted a donation of $2,700. JFCS was nominated as the charity organization for the month of September by Seymore Einstein, of blessed memory, who was a member of the Club.

Formed in 2011, and Club’s first game was played right after the tragic shooting rampage in Tucson that took the lives of six people, and seriously injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several other people. A beautiful 9-year-old girl by the name of Christina-Taylor Green was one of the people fatally injured. The club donated their proceeds that day to the Christina-Taylor Green Fund, to help children in our community, in her memory.

In his brief thank you speech, Carlos spoke about JFCS’s services to the entire community, including services for older adults. He highlighted the JFCS First Responders program. The Tucson Charity Bridge Club donation will support services to first responders and their families. If you would like to support the First Responders program with a tax credit gift or a charitable donation, click here.

Shalom in Every Home Healthy Family Lecture Series

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Please join JFCS & the LEAH program for these community talks.

Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Rd. Tucson Arizona 85718

Free and Open to the Public. Seating is limited.

Sunday, April 30, 2017  |  11am to 12:30pm | JCC Library

Nourishing Love & Happiness: Mindfulness Techniques & Relationship Health

Speaker: Shari Goettel, LCSW

Incorporating the practice of mindfulness into our lives has a positive impact on our individual well-being. This discussion will focus on the use of mindfulness in couples counseling and specific skills that increase gratitude and compassion in interpersonal relationships.

Shari Goettel is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Tucson, who has worked in a variety of clinical settings as a therapist and an administrator.  As a trainer and presenter, Goettel draws from her background in Imago Relationship Therapy, Encounter-centered Couples Therapy, her teachers and mentors, and Buddhist psychology. Goettel creates a rich learning space in which people can explore new ideas, beliefs and habits.

As a teacher and guide, she enjoys supporting couples, therapists, and other professionals from a relational, integrative approach that facilitates the integration of personal development, skills and being present with oneself. She has a warm interactive style and uses humor to create a welcoming space for couples, workshop participants and professionals to embrace their personal growth with enthusiasm and joy.

Click here to RSVP for the 4/30 talk with Shari Goettel, LCSW



Sunday, April 23, 2017  |  11am to 12:30pm | JCC Multipurpose Room

The Role of Spirituality in a Healthy Household

Avraham Alpert, Spiritual leader, Congregation Bet Shalom

Sacred time and emotional fullness can help promote meaningful and long-term family health.

Enjoy an interactive and reflective conversation about bringing family closer together through age-old practices such as transforming a dining room table into an altar to create shared family spirituality.

Avraham Alpert is in his final year of rabbinical seminary at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles after serving as a hazzan for more than 18 years in Arizona, Nevada, and Northern California. He has chosen to utilize the rabbinate as a platform for connecting with receptive souls.

As a cantor and hazzan, Alpert was invested and commissioned by the Cantors Assembly. Previously, he studied for five years with Ivor Lichterman, who in turn received the cantorial tradition from his father, Hazzan Jakub Lichterman of the Great Nozyk Shul, in Poland. In Israel, Alpert was a student of Maestro Elli Jaffe, the director and conductor of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir. Alpert trained in cantorial arts and vocal technique with virtuoso Daniel Gildar of Philadelphia. Hazzan Alpert holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the Herberger College of Arizona State University.

Alpert is known equally for his fervor and commitment to Torah, prayer, and the people of Israel. In addition to leading services, sharing words of Torah, Alpert can be found officiating at a full range of life cycle events, counseling those in need, training students of all ages, coordinating lay-leaders, developing innovative programs, and teaching creative classes.

To Tell Our Stories Book Reading

Posted & filed under Events, Featured.

Holocaust Survivors whose autobiographical stories are featured in this JFCS-produced book will read excerpts from their stories and answer questions from 10-11:15am on Friday, April 21, 2017 at Handmaker, 2211 North Rosemont Blvd. Book co-editors Rick Fenwick and Raisa Moroz will discuss the evolution of the book.

Please join us to hear these personal accounts of Nazi persecution; they are important historically and reveal the power of perseverance and the resilience of the human spirit.

Kindly RSVP to Raisa Moroz at (520) 795-0300 ext. 2214 or by email.

Proceeds from the sale of books fund direct services for Holocaust Survivors served by JFCS of Southern Arizona.

Learn more about the book.