Jewish Family Service of Tidewater (JFS) will soon be providing in-school counseling/social work services for Toras Chaim Day School. For the past 25 years, JFS has established a solid positive reputation for providing these services to local Hebrew day schools, including Strelitz International Academy (formerly Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center), Bina High School, and the Sarfan Early Childhood Center. JFS had previously provided these services during 2004-2007 at Toras Chaim but had to discontinue when funding was not available.
Rabbi Mordechai Loiterman, Toras Chaim principal, requested that JFS return and create a daily presence in his school; he knew the students and their families needed this service. Rabbi Loiterman said, “Being attentive to our students’ emotional and social needs is becoming more critical in our current society. Students need to be supported to learn important skills that will help them successfully navigate through the emotionally complex world in which they are growing up.”
Debra Mayer, LCSW, JFS Clinical Director said, “We’re so pleased to re-create this important partnership with Toras Chaim and their community of students, families, and staff.”
Emily Bettendorf Riley, MSW, has been hired by JFS to work at Toras Chaim starting in August 2019. She will have an office at the school and will be there for part of each day to meet with students and work closely with their families and teachers. Emily worked at JFS as the special needs case manager from 2010-2013 and has since worked with children and teens in multiple settings (home, school, and hospitals). Emily is excited to take on this new role. She can be reached after September 3 at Toras Chaim at ERiley@TorasChaim.net.
These services are made possible through generous funding from Toras Chaim.
JFS recently recognized the United Way of South Hampton Roads with our Community Partner Award for their outstanding support of JFS. Kelly Burroughs, CEO, and Ellen Rosenblum, board president, visited the United Way's offices to present the award.
At the JFS Biennial meeting, Jeff Cooper, outgoing board president, said, "The United Way and JFS share many core values - both agencies strive to create opportunities for a better life for the most vulnerable people in our community. Through this partnership, JFS is able to help feed more hungry people, enhance the health care of older adults, reduce social isolation, and improve the mental health and wellness of hundreds of people throughout the region. The United Way seeks to bring people and resources together to 'solve problems too big for any of us to solve alone.' JFS is proud to be a United Way Certified Agency."