More than a million people were killed at Auschwitz in Poland during WWII.The majority were Jews and the former extermination camp is the world’s biggest Jewish cemetery. Others who did not fit the Nazis’ world view died there too. Many of the concentration camps set up by the Nazis were razed to the ground, but Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated on January 27, 1945 by Soviet troops before it was completely destroyed. 2015 is the 70th anniversary of that liberation.
The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27th INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY to commemorate the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jews, 1 million Gypsies, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
One of our clients in the Holocaust Survivors Program, Valeria Himmel, was among those who were liberated from Auschwitz-Birkenau. Read more about her and our other Survivors who have shared their stories with us. https://jfcstucson.org/valeria-himmel/
Presenter: Param Dedhia, MD is a passionate internist and integrative medicine physician focused upon translating everyday practices into key steps along the journey of health and wellness. From experiences ranging from corporate executives to underserved communities, Param partners with each individual to provide a personalized care. From lectures to one-on-one care, he seeks to have the science of medicine distilled into daily health and healing opportunities.
The Power of Sleep: Sleep is no luxury. Modern science has validated and extended the traditional wisdom of sleep. The Power of Sleep is unveiled as it honors not only prevention but also healing on nightly basis. Please join Param Dedhia, MD to define healthy sleep as well as to discern normal variations and common sleep disorders. In addition, you will learn about tips to promote the quality and quantity of your best sleep.
Please RSVP to Andrea Siemens by email or by phone at 795-0300 ext. 2365.
CHAI Circle is a group for women with cancer in the Jewish community who have been newly diagnosed with cancer or who are long-term survivors. There is no charge for the group. The goals are education, mentoring, socialization, spirituality and support. CHAI Circle is a program of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Southern Arizona.
There is so much that sets JFCS of Southern Arizona apart. We consistently meet the needs of our clients while showing respect for their beliefs, choices, values and differences. While serving the Jewish and broader Tucson communities, regardless of religion or ethnic origin, we are guided by the Jewish traditions of healing the world (tikkun olam) with loving kindness (chesed) through just and charitable deeds (tzedakah). We hire committed and capable professionals who provide the expert care that those we serve deserve.
Andrea Siemens, LMSW, is one of those people.
Named the JFCS of Southern Arizona 2014 Employee of the Year, she exemplifies the way JFCS staff make a big difference for people of all ages during very difficult times in their lives. She also received our 2014 Betty Brook Professional of the Year Award.
Andrea is devoted to helping people meet their full potential and is forever grateful to have the opportunity to do the work she does. She reflected, “I was blessed with the experience of watching my parents give selflessly of themselves throughout my childhood. I knew that, in some way, I wanted to follow in their footsteps and help others.”
She is part of the success of many JFCS programs. Andrea provides clinical therapy for children and teens recovering from trauma through the agency’s Project Safe Place, and for other clients of all ages. She manages the LEAH program for Jewish people experiencing domestic violence, the CHAI Circle for female cancer survivors in the Jewish community, and the Holocaust Survivors Program volunteer program.
One of the Siemens’ family art projects.
Being a wife and a mother to three children, and working with such a diverse group of clients and co-workers translates into a very busy life that “has enriched and blessed me with many wonderful and life-enhancing experiences and opportunities.” JFCS’s flexible, family-friendly scheduling is a plus, making it possible for Andrea to spend quality time with her children engaged in art and outdoor adventures.
Andrea moved to Tucson 11 years ago to work at Canyon Ranch Health Resort. In her event planning role at Canyon Ranch and subsequently, she supported the Dream Street Foundation in providing camps for terminally and chronically ill children and young adults. She was inspired to pursue a Master’s Degree in social Work from Arizona State University as a result of her connections with Dream Street campers.
An academic internship connected Andrea with JFCS and she is very grateful that over the last seven years, she has continued to put her experience and advanced degree to good use in so many ways at the agency. “My hope is that people leave our time together feeling happier and healthier,” says Andrea.
Fred Fruchthendler elected Chair of the JFCS Board of Directors at the 2014 Annual Meeting on November 11th
Board Chair-Elect is Mike Holmes, our Treasurer is Max Cohen and our Secretary is Barbara Befferman Danes. Continuing board members are: Janet Belkin, Ken Goodman, Jaime Gutierrez, Mike McKendrick, and Nancy Robertson.
Welcome to new board members Rabbi Stephanie Aaron and Pamela Sorock.
Our warmest thanks to our Immediate Past Chair Jill Rosenzweig and outgoing board members William Addison, Jr., Sara Cohen, Edmund Marquez, Liz Weiner-Schulman, and Jake Wyckoff.
L-R: 2014 Volunteer of the Year Richard Fenwick, JFCS President and CEO Carlos Hernández, Donor of the Year Jill Rosenzweig, and Employee of the Year Andrea Siemens. Not pictured: Herschel Rosenzweig, also one of our donors of the year.
Carlos A. Hernández, MA, LCSW, CPHQ has been named President and CEO of Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) of Southern Arizona. Jill Rosenzweig, Chair of the JFCS Board of Directors, announced the appointment after a national search.
Carlos A. Hernández, MA, LCSW, CPHQ
“We welcome Mr. Hernández and the leadership he will provide to our 73-year-old social and human service organization. His experience covers the gamut from services for children, adolescents and families, to community collaborations that bring psychotherapeutic counseling to children and caregivers, all with sensitivity to the needs of our multi-cultural community,” said Rosenzweig.
Hernández, a resident of Tucson and most recently the Director of Family and Community Partnerships at Child-Parent Centers, succeeds Shira Ledman in a position she held for five years and Jeanne Anderson, who served as Interim President & CEO since November 2013.
Hernández has served as Director of Quality Management with Pantano Behavioral Health Services in Tucson, Research Project Coordinator with Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, a part-time social work consultant, a program supervisor with the Association House of Chicago’s Independent Living Program, and a case manager for that organization’s foster care program.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and social work from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He is a former member of the Pima Council on Aging Board of Directors and serves as adjunct faculty at Arizona State University’s School of Social Work in Tucson and with the Pima Community College Social Services Department.
We’ve just added new stories from Holocaust Survivors Walter Feiger, James Lieber, and Wanda Wolosky to our web page dedicated to Survivors. Read more
“It’s so important to record these stories. All of our survivors are growing older and I want to ensure that we never forget what they endured,” said Raisa Moroz, Holocaust Survivor Program manager.
A very special thank you to volunteer Richard Fenwick for taking time to curate these stories and translate many of them from Russian to English. He is also a volunteer with the Friendly Visitors Program.
“For a family struggling to make ends meet, the gifts and holiday items provided by Tucson’s Mitzvah Magic program are “a godsend,” one recipient recently told the AJP. We’ll call her “Rachel.”
Mitzvah Magic, a program of Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy and Jewish Family & Children’s Services that was started in 2009, brings together circles of women to create baskets of food and gifts for Jewish families in need several times a year. The anonymity of the families is closely guarded. The year, the program helped 23 families.”
Help for Jewish families supported through Mitzvah Magic is more important than ever.
Families like “Rita” and “Todd” and their two children. They had family wealth until his father died recently and extended family members excluded Todd and his family from any type of inheritance. The only income they have at the moment is Rita’s disability income, and the family is really struggling.
In Rita and Todd’s case, by the self-sufficiency standard criteria, their family needs $53,928 a year for basic needs. That’s $4,494 each month for a no-frills existence. Seriously.
You can see why public and private support for families is so important. We are doing everything we can to help, including carefully screening Jewish families for help through Mitzvah Magic. The families are anonymously paired with volunteers from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, who will receive this month, personalized lists of each family’s needs. Gifts will be delivered before Rosh Hashanah.
Just imagine what a treat it would be to receive much-needed necessities to lighten the load, along with a few treats to put smiles on the faces of a families in tough spots!