“I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively.”
— Golda Meir
Substitute the word “county” for “country” and Meir’s thoughtful observation of 50 years ago handily describes the relationship between the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County and Jewish Family and Vocational Service: one of “collective accomplishments.”
I believe there is a strong intersection of interests between JFVS and Federation. We share a world view that focuses not on what is best for our individual agencies, but how we can work in tandem to bring about what is best for the community as a whole. We are proud that our agency’s leadership is actively involved in Federation’s fundraising activities and we are grateful Federation is committed to perpetuating the mission of JFVS.
In Federation’s recent demographic study, Jewish community members identified one of their key reasons for giving to Federation was its support of social service programs in our community. JFVS’s core programs serve our community: programs for seniors, immigrants, Holocaust survivors, those who are unemployed and undernourished, and individuals experiencing personal/family problems. It is Federation’s purpose to interpret the broad vision of the Jewish community and make that vision a reality. It is JFVS’ purpose to make that vision a reality.
Through its 25-year history, Federation has stood beside its independent partner agencies to ensure they have the resources they need to succeed to keep our promises to the Jewish community. Federation provides a safety net to our agency and the people we both compassionately serve. When a faltering economy led to increased demand for kosher home-delivered meals, putting JFVS’ Kosher Meals on Wheels program in jeopardy, Federation stepped in and secured the funds to feed those who were hungry in our community.
And it’s not just about money…
Cooperation between the agencies goes well beyond arenas relating to financial support. Federation brings to bear strengths that only Federation possesses, including political resources and leaders with varied life experiences and areas of expertise. JFVS brings expertise in the development and implementation of social service programming that helps Federation meet its commitment to our community. Both sets of skills are critical to the health and well-being of our community.
The bulk of funding for JFVS comes from designated grants from local, state, and federal governments, and private entities such as the United Way. Federation assumes the role of facilitator, utilizing its vast network of political resources to help secure these grants. In turn, JFVS’ implementation of these programs allows Federation and JFVS to jointly meet the goals to our community.
JFVS benefits from promotion of its programs and volunteer opportunities through Federation’s monthly e-newsletters and its key pages in newspapers like New Jersey Jewish News. Federation’s expansive connection to both the secular and Jewish media provides an instant resource for JFVS leadership, saving both time and money. Our projects and events appear prominently on Federation’s website and are featured on its community calendar. This exposure has increased participation in JFVS events and made a successful event even more successful.
Our relationship with Federation and its other partner agencies bring us the added benefit of networking and resource sharing in the areas of volunteer management and program development. Together we empower those in our community by helping individuals and groups explore volunteer opportunities, for both youth and adults, including positions on agency boards and committees.
Thanks to technology, innovative methods of communication, and the rising influence of newly cultivated leadership, we will work together to improve performance in current projects and develop new projects to meet emerging community needs and concerns.
Federation and JFVS hold strategic positions in Middlesex County to identify community needs and develop programs that target local issues to influence measurable, lasting change. Together we improve people’s lives and get results that strengthen our community. Together, we are making a difference through programs that create constructive results that change lives.