Winter Newsletter
January 2020


From the Desk of Roxanne Droppo 

Executive Director

JFSC staff and volunteers have been busy strengthening the work we do with individuals, children, seniors and families. We started out the year focusing on why we do the work we do and fine-tuned our impact into four statements. By Individuals accessing services at JFSC, they will have:   Healthier housing and living conditions; greater emotional and mental health; greater financial security and a stronger sense of belonging. These impacts aligned with JFSC Mission and Guiding Principles which ensures our service delivery enhances lives and strengthens communities.

This past year saw significant growth in our seniors sector. As the aging population in Calgary increases so does the need for support and services. I am excited to announce that in April, JFSC will begin to offer a weekly Memory Care Program which will include services for individuals impacted by memory loss, Alzheimer’s and dementia due to a generous donation from Leonard Shapiro. The program will also provide services to the caregivers and loved ones of those affected as well as offer education sessions to the community. Stay tuned as more information will be available on our website in early March 2020.

JFSC continues to offer private home support services to individuals in the community. These services include home care, respite, meal preparation, accompaniment to appointments, cleaning etc. More information can be provided by calling our office at 403 287 3510. 

JFSC food hamper program continues to meet the need for vulnerable Calgarians. We are fortunate to have supportive partners in Sobeys, Southland Co-op, JCC, Safeway Glenmore, Beth Tzedec Synagogue and the Temple B’Nai Tikvah Synagogue. We truly appreciate and value these partnerships. 

We look forward and optimistically to 2020 as JFSC continues to offer services to vulnerable Calgarians for basic needs, resettlement services, domestic violence case management and counselling, community educations for children, youth and families and volunteer opportunities. More information can be provided by visiting our website at or calling our office at 403 287 3510.  

International Holocaust Remembrance Day January 27 

With Monday January 27, 2020 marking the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, people around the world observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

“Admitting its Nazi past, family that owns Krispy Kreme, Panera Bread donates $7.3 million to Holocaust survivors”, National Post, December 12, 2019. After Nazi ties were revealed, the German Reimann Family last month announced the donation of $7.3 million to the “Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany”, known as the Claims Conference, which offers payments, sourced from Germany, to help provide services and care to surviving victims.

This donation impacts JFSC (Jewish Family Service Calgary). JFSC is honoured to work with Holocaust survivors through the Claims Conference, supporting more than 150 Calgary clients. JFSC assists local Holocaust Survivors with home support, emergency financial assistance, advocacy, connection to cultural and social supports and assistance with applications for government assistance and Holocaust survivor compensation. It is because of the Claims Conference Program that we can support clients like Abraham and Ellie*.

This couple have lived in Calgary for a few years. It was upon hearing Ellie’s story that their case manager suggested she apply for compensation from Claims Conference. Ellie had not come forward earlier because she did not have the necessary documents and was afraid her story would not be believed. With the help of her Case Manager, her application was submitted.  A cumbersome process, it can take time for a claim to be considered especially if additional research about family and details surrounding the level of persecution is required.  

This is where the Claims Conference Case Managers comes in; they are a small but mighty group of passionate case managers who are strong advocates for getting their clients what they so richly deserve. Staff pride themselves on providing their clients with encouragement and support.  They arrange for home care assistance where necessary and are committed to helping clients maintain their independence and carry on living a life of dignity in their own homes for as long as possible.  

Ellie has been acknowledged as a Nazi victim and is now eligible for both Emergency Financial Assistance and Home Care programs by Claims Conference provided through JFSC. Being accepted and acknowledged as a Holocaust Survivor is a significant relief for both Abraham and Ellie and has alleviated their financial stress as a result of many years of low income and deteriorating health.

With the support and advocacy from JFSC’s Claims Conference program, Abraham and Ellie stay in their home and have someone to accompany then on shopping trips, medical appointments, supports them with meal prep and house cleaning.  Having someone visit them in her home also affords much needed companionship.   

The Claims Conference was initiated in 1952 in Germany and helps more than 130,000 Holocaust survivors in 47 countries. Through the Claims Conference’s international distribution of hundreds of millions of dollars annually, Holocaust victims receive assistance with home care, food, medicine, medical care, emergency cash aid, dental care, transportation, winter relief, legal aid and socialization. JFSC Calgary is one of the 250 Claims Conference partner organizations.

Life & Legacy Program

Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s Life & Legacy program assists communities across North America, through partnerships with Jewish Federations and Foundations, to promote after-lifetime giving. JFSC is honoured to have been selected as one of 10 Community Partners in Calgary to participate in the LIFE & LEGACY program.
As of January 23, 2020, we have received thirty letters of intent from generous supporters! These legacy gifts will help us maintain a strong and sustainable agency, which in turn will enable us to continue our critical role in the community from this generation to the next. On behalf of all the individuals, children, families and seniors who will benefit from your thoughtfulness, we thank you. 

Your legacy gift will be the conduit that helps us continue to respond to the needs of our clients: whether it is connecting seniors to the community to lessen their loneliness, or providing financial coaching to families in our basic needs program, or even supporting a woman’s journey on their way to a life free from family violence, the goal is always to enrich the lives of those we help and strengthen the communities in which we live.

If you would like to make one of the most significant and lasting contributions to the community and JFSC and be remembered forever in the Jewish community with a gift in your will, retirement account or life insurance policy, please call 403-287-3510.


Cowboys and Cocktails - Honouring the memory of Sam Switzer

Save the Date!
June 11, 2020 - 6:00pm

JFSC invites everyone to attend ‘Cowboys and Cocktails’. A fundraiser to honour the memory of Sam Switzer.

The Metropolitan Conference Centre, Calgary

Details coming soon.

About JFSC
Our Mission

JFSC enriches lives and strengthens communities by providing social services to individuals, children, youth and families based on the values of compassion, social justice and improving the world.

JFSC has a distinguished history of service in Calgary as a non-denominational accredited social service agency.

Visit our
website to read about our programs and services.

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