News & Events

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

Posted & filed under JFCS News.

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

Posted & filed under JFCS News.


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

Posted & filed under Events.

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.

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.

Matza & More 2017: Celebrating Passover, Alleviating Hunger

Posted & filed under JFCS News.

2017 is the 6th year that Nancy Lefkowitz has served as the Matza & More volunteer Chairperson. She was named 2016 JFCS volunteer of the year in honor of her service.

JFCS of Southern Arizona’s 2017 Matza & More project again will serve 200+ families in need

Click here to make a donation to Matza & More.

Matza & More volunteers will pack and deliver 200+ Passover bags to Tucson-area families who otherwise could not afford food and other items for a seder. This year, bags will be filled by volunteers on March 31, 2017 with fresh vegetables, gefilte fish, horseradish, walnuts, grape juice, matzo ball soup mix, food gift cards, holiday candles, and, of course, matza. Another group of volunteers will deliver the bags to families on April 2, 2017.

Donations from synagogues and individuals make the project possible, which has helped families alleviate hunger and celebrate Passover for more than 40 years. Other contributors include the Tucson Hebrew Academy, Shamrock Foods, and author Robert Kopman whose “30-Minute Seder” Haggadah is distributed with the food.

“The Haggadah says, ‘All who are hungry come and eat, all who are needy come and participate in Passover.’ Matza & More volunteers and donors make that possible for people who are struggling in some way,” said Rabbi Helen Cohn from Congregation M’kor Hayim. “Imagine the feeling when someone opens the door for a volunteer bringing a seder to them.  It’s like opening the door for Elijah!” Congregation M’kor Hayim has contributed to the JFCS Matza & More program for six years. 

2017 Matza & More Partners









Matza & More is part of the Jewish Emergency Financial Services (JEFA) program at JFCS of Southern Arizona. Because kosher food is more expensive and anything extra is unaffordable, food for a seder is out of reach for JEFA families.

“There is great need,” says Debbie Crowder, JFCS’s JEFA Manager. “People sometimes have to choose between buying medications, paying another bill, or buying food. They struggle all year and Matza & More allows them to enjoy the holiday with traditional kosher foods.”

Throughout the year, JEFA offers help with utility payments, work-related transportation, funeral costs, and housing costs, including deposits, rent, safety-related repairs and moving. “We are creative in the way we help people,” says Crowder.

JEFA also administers the Mitzvah Magic program for recipients each year. JEFA is funded by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and individual donors.


JFCS of Southern Arizona’s expert behavioral health care and social services are collaborative, convenient, and guided by the Jewish traditions of healing the world (tikkun olam), with loving kindness (chesed) through just and charitable deeds (tzedakah). JFCS is the agency of choice for people of all ages, beliefs and economic backgrounds. More:

April 18, 2017 is the deadline for YOUR Arizona Charitable Tax Credit gift to JFCS!

Posted & filed under JFCS News.

It is not too late to claim a tax credit on your 2016 State Tax Return!

Did you know…?

#1 You Can Give & Receive!  
A Charitable Tax Credit gift to JFCS ends up costing you nothing because you will receive the full amount as a credit on your state tax return.
#2 New Rules
The allowable amounts for the AZ Charitable Tax Credit have increased for tax year 2016! Individuals can now receive a Charitable Tax Credit of up to $400. Couples filing jointly can receive up to $800The deadline to make your donation has been extended to April 15, 2017 for tax year 2016.
#3 Everyone Qualifies
You do not need to file an itemized return to receive the Charitable Tax Credit. Simply make your donation to JFCS, and you can claim the credit on you State tax return.
#4 You can claim Multiple Tax Credits
In the same year, you may take advantage of multiple tax credits: the Charitable Tax Credit, Public School Tax Credit, Private School Tuition Credit, the Foster Care Credit, and more.
#5 It’s Easy
You can make a gift online mail us a check at the address below. When you or your accountant file your taxes, list JFCS as your charitable organization, and the dollar amount of your donation on the tax form. Any donation amount is greatly appreciated.

Click here to direct your tax credit to JFCS today!

God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine

Posted & filed under Events.

Victoria Sweet

Victoria Sweet, M.D.

Mark your calendars for the VIP reception + public talk “God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine” at 5:30pm March 29th with prize-winning historian Victoria Sweet, MD, an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine from the University of California, San Francisco.

The events are part of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s  Cindy Wool Memorial Seminar in Humanism and Medicine. Dr. Wool is remembered for her caring and devotion to the field of healthcare and the people she helped, and for her love of humanity and connection to Jewish values.

Click here to register

JFCS at Tucson Festival of Books

Posted & filed under Events.

The Tucson Festival of Books is a public celebration of authors, reading and literacy. Admission and parking are free.

We hope you will visit us in Booth 244 March 11-12 from 9:30am – 5:30pm at the Tucson Festival of Books on the University of Arizona campus.

We will again highlight the JFCS-produced book “To Tell Our Stories: Holocaust Survivors of Southern Arizona.” Visitors to the JFCS booth also will have an opportunity to create Passover greeting cards for both Holocaust survivors and people who will receive Matza & More Seder bags this year.