News from the Heart

2020 JFS Newsletter

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December 2020

Dear Friends,

2020 has turned into an interesting year for all of us. For an agency whose mission is to serve people, Jewish Family Service made a 180 degree turn in March with the onset of the pandemic.

Strength in our community, in our Board and in our staff and volunteers is what we have leaned on since March. As the days grew into weeks and then months, we understood that we needed to work together to ensure those who depend on JFS would know we were there for them – as our staff always are. Regardless of a communal crisis, this is the way in which JFS operates every day. A stellar work ethic, compassion, flexibility, can-do and will-do attitude assures we continue to meet the needs of our current and new clients.

Our existing 18 programs grew with 8 additional new programs added to service our clientele and the community. These programs were added seamlessly to respond to the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, Nashville experienced another devastating tornado. JFS responded to the needs of the community as we always do, with ease and compassion.

Our dedicated and creative staff deserves all the kudos we can muster – they have addressed every issue and every client with dignity, style and grace. On behalf of the board and the community, I would like to thank Pam, Toni, Ashley, Anna, Janet and Nancy- JFS would not be the agency it is without any of them. As a footnote, Nancy, our controller, joined us at the end of February – what a welcome!!

It has been said that deep within any crisis is an opportunity for friends and strangers to step up and help. We are fortunate to live in a community where tikkun olam, or “repairing the world,” is a part of the fabric of our identity. Because of you, our clients have the support they need to care for themselves and their families.

Our community is always extremely supportive of JFS, but the generosity of our supporters has been inspiring, both with stepping up as volunteers and monetary support since the start of the pandemic.

My thoughts are with those who have experienced challenges during these trying times, whether they be financial, physical or mental health related.

JFS is here to serve you.

Nan Speller
JFS President

In this Issue:

  • Serving Those Devastated by the March Tornado
  • 2019-2020 Service & Program Highlights
  • Chesed Dinner Honorees
  • 8 New Programs to Address COVID-19 Needs
  • Helping Teens and Parents Navigate the LGBTQI Space
  • Tributes
  • Life & Legacy Letter of Intent Participants
  • Keeping Connections Strong During a Pandemic
  • Jewish Family Service Recognized for Helping Same Sex Couples Build Families

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 →