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38th IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy August 5-10, 2018 Warsaw, Poland

Jewish Family Service of North Jersey

Jewish Family Service was established on June 26, 1944 as the Jewish Social Service Bureau of Paterson, under the auspices of the Jewish Community Council (later the Jewish Federation). First located at 179 Ellison Street, the agency later moved to 390 Broadway, and in 1975 moved to its present location at the North Jersey YM-YWHA in Wayne.

Originally the agency was formed to oversee the welfare of Paterson's homeless Jewish children. Prior to its establishment, homeless Jewish children were cared for at the Daughters of Miriam Home for Orphans and the Aged in Clifton. Because of the growing needs of the chronically ill and aged, it was no longer feasible to house the children in the same facility with the aged. Plans were initiated not only to relocate and place the children in foster homes, but also to offer comprehensive social services to families in the entire Jewish community.

Throughout the 1940's, 50's, and 60's, the agency developed a range of counseling and social services to assist individuals and families under stress. Initially, the agency screened applicants for the Daughters of Miriam. After World War II, it actively participated in helping to resettle many immigrant families. From 1949 to 1972, the agency was licensed for adoption and foster care services. During the 70's and 80's, Jewish Family Service became a multi-function family agency, providing counseling, outreach, consultative and educational services to Jewish families. In addition, JFS developed a wide range of community-based and specialized services to the elderly and their families.

Today, JFS provides professional and confidential counseling services to all Jewish families who live or work within, the JFS area seeking help for personal, marital and family conflicts.

The agency collaborates with the YM-YWHA in providing educational and consultation programs to the nursery school, parenting center, senior citizen groups and Camp Veritans. Staffed by professionally trained clinical caseworkers, JFS is subsidized primarily by the Jewish Federation of North Jersey with UJA funds. Services are available for all Jewish families who live or work within the Jewish Federation area.