Navigating Life's Transitions. Together.

Our Stories

We are JFS and these are our impact stories.

Navigating Life's Transitions. Together.

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.

Our Stories

Featured Story: Meet Miriam

Receiving Support During a Time of Financial Need.

Miriam found herself under considerable financial stress — unable to pay her bills or rent, or even buy groceries. However, she was uncomfortable asking for help and felt ashamed that things had gotten so bad. The caring team at JFS held her hand and encouraged her to get the help she needed through our Emergency Financial Assistance program.

Completely confidential, this program allows us to help you with emergency needs such as help paying your rent or mortgage, your electric or other utility bills, with dignity. You can find more information on our emergency financial relief program here.

Cheryl Lane: Bringing shabbat to seniors

“It means a great deal for those attending the JFS Shabbat services where I live. It affords us the ability to keep Jewish traditions, follow our faith, and brings us together in friendship and prayer.”
-Participating Senior

Freshly baked challah. Voices rising in song welcoming Shabbat with L’cha Dodi. Gathering as a community to celebrate Shabbat is something that many older adults miss when they’re no longer able to attend local synagogues for in person services and holiday observances.

Since 2004, the JFS Helping Hands Program has provided Shabbat services at area assisted living facilities. Needless to say, the Jewish residents love having the services in their own “homes.”

The JFS Helping Hands Programs connects volunteers, which can include Bar/Bat Mitzvah students, college-age students, young families with children and other seniors, with the assisted living facilities. JFS provides challah, large-print prayer books, shabbat candles, and a lot of love and care.

Sadly, the program had to shut down for 16 months during the recent COVID pandemic. Even Zoom services weren’t an option for seniors. JFS worked hard during that dark time to maintain connections through a pen pals program, in-person porch visits and phone calls. Fortunately, services at assisted living facilities resumed in the summer of 2021.

Cheryl Lane, a member of the Nashville community and part of the program for the last 14 years loves creating these meaningful Shabbat moments and remarks on her love for singing and leading prayers with the residents as being a profound honor. Cheryl remarks, “many of the residents have become my dear friends in the Jewish community.”

“It means a great deal for those attending the JFS Shabbat services where I live. It affords us the ability to keep Jewish traditions, follow our faith, and brings us together in friendship and prayer.”
-Participating Senior

Jim Holzer: connecting through the Jewish Job Network

“The Jewish community in Nashville isn’t that large, but it’s very tight. I was delighted by how warm and welcoming people were and the connections helped me land a job I wouldn’t have even considered had it not been for the Jewish Job Network through Jewish Family Service.”
-Jim Holzer, Executive Director
West End Synagogue

Jim Holzer spent nearly 30 years in Los Angeles running his own marketing business. But with COVID impacting his business and his grown children having moved to New York, Jim and his wife decided it was time to move to Nashville to be near his brother-in-law who works in the music business.

Despite all of his experience (including time at a Big 4 accounting firm), Jim struggled to find the right fit. After speaking to someone at the Jewish Federation, he was introduced to the Jewish Job Network (JJN), a service provided by Jewish Family Services. Jewish Job Network consists of a group of Jewish professionals formed during the great recession in 2009; its purpose is to share resumes and job opportunities and provide warm introductions.

Once Jim was introduced into the network, he received two warm introductions from people he hadn’t met before. One was an opportunity to become the Executive Director of the West End Synagogue, a Conservative congregation of more than 400 families serving Nashville and the surrounding Middle Tennessee region.

“When we met Jim, we found that his warmth and understanding of the Jewish community as well as his experience as a Nashville newcomer would be an asset to West End Synagogue. Thank you to the Jewish Family Service and the Jewish Job Network for making a connection that likely would not have been made otherwise!”
— Batia Karabel, Chair of Personnel Committee. West End Synagogue

If you hire, or have colleagues and friends who are in the position of hiring for their company, and wish to be a part of the Jewish Job Network committee, please contact Pam Kelner at (615) 354-1644 or email pgkelner@jfsnashville.org.

If you are Jewish and are a job seeker and would like to have your resume forwarded to the Jewish Job Network, please send your resume to pgkelner@jfsnashville.org.

“The Jewish community in Nashville isn’t that large, but it’s very tight. I was delighted by how warm and welcoming people were and the connections helped me land a job I wouldn’t have even considered had it not been for the Jewish Job Network through Jewish Family Service.”
-Jim Holzer, Executive Director
West End Synagogue

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.

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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.

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Our Staff

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

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Board 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.

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Ways To Help

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

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Volunteer

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

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Make a Donation

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

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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