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Black Tie
West Orange Times & Observer Friday, Jun. 1, 2018 5 months ago

CAUSING AN EFFECT: JFS Orlando

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This month’s featured nonprofit is the Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando.
by: Danielle Hendrix Black Tie Editor

This month’s featured nonprofit is the Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando. JFS Orlando is a human-services organization that reaches thousands of people in the Central Florida each year and offers various programs, services and resources to help stabilize families, attack hunger and homelessness and more. JFS currently is celebrating its 40th anniversary of making an impact on the Central Florida community.

What is JFS Orlando?

Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando provides services to stabilize individuals and families in crisis. It also works to enhance the quality of life across generations to all members of the Central Florida community.

 

How long has JFS Orlando been in operation?

“We were incorporated in 1978, and we have a whole list of programs we offer to clients, individuals and families in need in Central Florida,” said JFS Orlando Executive Director Eric Geboff. “This organization was started by the Jewish community 40 years ago. … However today, (more than) 94% or 95% of our clients are not Jewish.”

 

How has JFS Orlando impacted the community?

“We focus on four areas: hunger, aging/end of life, mental and emotional stability and homelessness prevention,” Geboff said. “We have several programs that fall underneath each category. … We (have provided) more than 1.6 million meals and have offered more than $2 million in financial assistance to help those in need with mortgage and utilities to get them through to the next month. … It really does impact the community in a positive way, so there’s lots of successful programs we offer.”

What is significant this year for the JFS Orlando community?

“We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary,” Geboff said. “When we look just year to year and see that we impact the lives of 10,000 people every year, it tells us that we’re doing the right thing. … That gives our board and volunteers a really good feeling about what we’re doing and how we’ve been doing it, because the need continues to grow and we know that.”

What sets JFS Orlando aside from other similar organizations?

“What’s cool about us is we provide a holistic approach to serving people,” Geboff said. “People tend to have multiple issues they’re dealing with at the same time and with the four areas (we focus on), they tend to impact everyone who walks into our office. We feel pretty good about what we’ve been doing, and we’re creating new partnerships every day to help our clients and their clients lead better lives.”

What upcoming events should JFS supporters keep on their calendar?

To keep up to date with upcoming events, including JFS’ gala, visit jfsorlando.org/jfs-events.

How can someone get involved?

“Certainly call our office or go online,” said Development Director Rosie Miller. “We (also) certainly have lots of items that need to get repaired on our building. If someone would like to get involved on one of our committees, that’s great, too.” Visit JFS’ website at jfsorlando.org or call (407) 644-7593.

 

Causing an Effect is a monthly feature that introduces a charity or philanthropic organization and highlights its impact on the local community. If you would like to be featured in a future Causing an Effect, contact Black Tie Editor Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].

Danielle Hendrix is the Black Tie Editor for all three of Observer Media Group's print publications in Orange County. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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