News from the Heart

2019 JFS Newsletter
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December 2019

Dear Friends,

It is a great honor and privilege for me to serve as President of Jewish Family Service. My roots in the Nashville community date back as many years as JFS is old. I have seen the agency grow from one professional to now three professionals providing direct social services. The agency has grown to serving over 1600 clients through 17 different programs.

Our history shows that we began with helping settle immigrants, servicing the needy and helping Jewish families adopt when they had no other place to turn to. We now have our own adoption agency, Adoption Journeys. We not only help Jewish couples in their quest to adopt but also the general community which includes other groups who, if not for JFS, would not be served such as the LGBT community. JFS has evolved into a full social service agency with a spectrum of services.

One of the aspects that I admire most about JFS is when our staff
sees a need in the community we are ready to spring into action to address that need. Our most recent example of that is the Chaver (friend) Mentor program. Our social workers noticed that there are more and more children in the Jewish community who are being raised in non-traditional families, whether that be a single parent, by a relative such as grandparents or children who could benefit from additional adult support. The Chaver Mentor Program is designed to emphasize one-on-one relationships between a Jewish adult and these very children. JFS—seeing a need in the community and creating a program to address it. That is how we operate.

We could not continue all of our programs or add new ones without your support, monetarily, or from our volunteers – a big THANK YOU.

We look forward to a wonderful year.

Nan Speller
JFS President

In this Issue:

  • L’dor V’Dor: 3 Generations Giving Back to the Community Together
  • 2018-2019 Service & Program Highlights
  • Chesed Dinner Honorees
  • New Employee Spotlight: Brad Kay
  • Count it! Lock it! Drop it! With Caty Davis
  • Nashville’s Rabbis on How JFS Brings the Jewish Community Together
  • Tributes
  • Life & Legacy Letter of Intent Participants
  • Golden Lunch Bunch Celebrates Jimmy Small’s 90th Birthday
  • Gordon JCC’s Under One Roof Collaborative Art Project

All Services

Our comprehensive social services and programs are designed to enrich the whole person, enhance the whole family, and empower the whole community–no matter your age, race, religion, preference, identity, economic standing, or otherwise.

Explore All →

Counseling Services

Life can be challenging, relationships can be hard, and you may need the extra support that comes with working with a therapist. Our licensed social workers offer counseling for individuals, couples, and families, as well as for children and adolescents.

Individuals  |  Couples  |  Families   |  Children & Teens

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Adoption Services

Choosing to adopt a child, or to place a child for adoption, is a life-altering decision. We are a licensed child-placing agency in Tennessee with more than 40 years of experience in adoption services in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Birth Parents  |  Adoptive Parents  |  LGBTQ+ Adoptions

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Food & Financial Support

Whether you need emergency financial assistance, such as help paying a utility bill or rent for the month, or material assistance by ensuring your children have gifts at the holidays, school supplies, or food supplements, Jewish Family Service offers this critical assistance in a confidential, compassionate manner.

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Older Adult Programs & Services

We recognize that older adults are true treasures, and we strive to create and maintain a community that values and celebrates them for their wisdom, contributions, and experiences. Our programs and services are an important outlet for our older adults, encouraging them to be social and stimulated.

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Family & Community Enrichment

Life can be challenging, and knowledge is power. The Jewish Family Service’s Family and Community Enrichment programs serve to empower, protect, and address the ever-changing needs of the entire Nashville community.

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Who We Are

Passionate providers of comprehensive social services, we are advocates, allies, educators, cheerleaders, and guides who create solutions to problems facing families and individuals of all ages.

More About Us →

jfs-nashville-about-us-thumbnail-2024Our Staff

We are a team of experienced professionals dedicated to treating each person with compassion, care and dignity.

Meet the Team →

jfs-nashville-board-of-directors-thumbnail-2024Board of Directors

A group of people with different backgrounds and perspectives who come together to help Jewish Family Service fulfill its mission and expand its reach.

Meet Our Leadership Team →

Our Impact

We serve the people of Nashville and Middle Tennessee in many different ways. Here are a few of the human stories where JFS programs have made a tangible difference in people’s daily lives.

Read Our Stories →

Items That Tell a Story

We’ve compiled a selection of items that we use frequently at JFS – in some cases every day.

 Check Out the Items →

Ways To Help

The number of ways in which you can help support individuals and families navigate life’s transitions are endless.

Explore All →


Volunteers are a vital part of how we support our clients. Find opportunities to assist those in our community who need a helping hand.

Get Involved →

Make a Donation

Since our founding in 1853, the generous support of our community has made the work of Jewish Family Service possible.

Donate Now →

JFS Central

Press coverage about JFS Nashville’s programing and services, learn about the history of the agency from our past newsletters, and enjoy reading original JFS content like our signature advice column, “Dear Esther.” Stay up to date with the impact we’re making throughout our community.

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Events & Gatherings

Check out the full calendar of upcoming JFS Nashville events. From community education, support groups, and special engagements alike, find out where you can show up and get connected.

See what’s Going On →

Information & Referral Resources

Connect with our community partners. Our information and referral directory includes local and national resources that can provide additional support for addiction, mental health, and more.

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Mental Health Matters

Mental Health Matters is a JFS series that was designed to reduce the stigma of mental health issues by providing education, increasing awareness, and inclusivity. Check out our ongoing resources and past programming.

Check it Out →

Senior Services Directory

Need to know which pharmacies deliver? How to get a ride somewhere? Volunteer opportunities? The senior directory is the go-to resource for anything seniors might need related to the community.

Explore →

Contact Us

How can we help? Send us a message, give us a call, or find us on social media. We usually respond within 1-2 business days.

Get In touch →