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Community Impact Report: 2023

Annual Letter

"We cannot do this work without our staff, our leadership team, our board, our volunteers and our generous donors.”

The past few years have been difficult for Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS); however, despite the challenges we have faced, 2023 was a good year. In the face of ongoing government under-funding and reductions, we remained true to our mission of delivering quality behavioral health, healthcare and social services to individuals of all ages, beliefs and backgrounds.

2023 Highlights

An image of Janice Dinner
Dr. Lorrie Henderson
President & Chief Executive Officer
An image of Dr. Lorrie Henderson
Janice Dinner
Governance Board Chair
  • 2023 Community Impact Award - Phoenix Business Journal recognized JFCS as one of the top nonprofit organizations in the state.
  • Designated a 2023 Mercy Care Center of Excellence for Transition Aged Youth.
  • Received re-accreditation from the Council on Accreditation (COA).
  • 225 Thanksgiving meal kits provided to families in need through JFCS’ Food Security & Basic Needs program.
  • 120 families, 36 teens and 52 older adults received holiday gifts through our Adopt A Family program.
  • Sojourner Center (JFCS affiliated subsidiary) unveiled renovated pet-friendly rooms and a new pet park, plus a Phoenix Suns-themed game room, upgraded sports court and a shaded outdoor seating area.

The 2023 Community Impact Report provides highlights and stories about our work. JFCS offers a vast and diverse set of programs and services that address the needs of Maricopa County residents. We served the most at-risk populations of Maricopa County - youth transitioning out of the foster care system, children reuniting with their parents after removal from the home, domestic violence survivors, homebound older adults who wish to age-in-place as well as children, youth, adults and families experiencing severe trauma, socialization obstacles, mental health disorders and challenging environmental circumstances.

JFCS has a unique ability to connect children, adults and families to its own countywide system of comprehensive trauma-informed services in four core areas - Integrated Healthcare, Child & Family Solutions, Older Adults and Jewish Community Services. Supporting the core areas are JFCS’ Virtual Services, Food Security & Basic Needs and Emergency Financial Assistance programs which are offered to all clients. We provided intensive site and community-based support services that are client-centered, culturally sensitive and proactive to help clients learn to manage daily demands, changing lifestyles, life transitions and situational crisis.

We cannot do this work without our staff, executive leadership team, governing board, volunteers and our generous donors. Kudos to everyone who makes it possible for us to provide critical care to over 50,000 clients by helping us heal lives and doing whatever it takes.

What We Did

Real World Job Development Provides Assistance for Underserved Teens

In the heart of Phoenix lies a story of resilience, determination and triumph. Trish Farrell, a 20-year-old with a quiet spirit, has navigated through the challenges of the foster care system to achieve her dreams, one step at a time.

Trish Farrel
Real World Job Development Graduate

Farrell’s journey began when she found herself bouncing between her mother's home and that of her mother's friend, all while wrestling with the complexities of adolescence. At 17, she made the tough decision to drop out of school, recognizing the need to take control of her own life and secure her future. But, dropping out didn't mean giving up; it meant finding a different path, one that led her to the JFCS Real World Job Development (RWJD) program on the advice of her caseworker.

According to Farrell, JFCS became her guiding light, offering not just educational support but also a sense of belonging and understanding. Through RWJD, she found the encouragement she needed to pursue her General Education Development (GED), a pivotal step toward her aspirations.

The journey was not easy. She admitted to taking breaks along the way, but each pause served as a reminder of her resilience and determination. After two years of hard work and dedication, she proudly earned her GED, marking a significant milestone in her life.

With her GED under her belt, she now sets her sights on a new horizon: college. Her dream? To become a cosmetologist and eventually open her own salon, all while exploring the world and its diverse cultures. Her enthusiasm for her future is palpable, her excitement infectious.

But her success isn't just about academic achievements; it is a testament to her spirit and the support she received from JFCS. With JFCS’ assistance, she not only secured stable housing but also embarked on a journey toward financial stability, taking steps toward becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) as well.

“I just moved into my dream apartment in March with my girlfriend,” Farrell shares. “I'm really stable at this moment and I'm very grateful.”

As she reflected on her journey, she acknowledged the role JFCS played in shaping her future. She says JFCS’ support, both emotionally and financially, have been instrumental in her success. She recommends the program to anyone needing assistance.

“JFCS will focus on you and you will feel valued,” she says. “They will make sure you are good. Not just with finances, but even with things like utility bills and light rail passes. I think it's a great program and others should give it a try.”

For now, Farrell is working two jobs and saving for the future. Her story serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that with perseverance and support, young people can overcome even the toughest obstacles.

Empowering Lives: The Story of Lois Schwartz and JFCS Support

In the bustling world of JFCS, countless stories of resilience, community support and empowerment unfold every day. Among these narratives is the heartwarming journey of Lois Schwartz, a vivacious 88-year-old who has found solace and assistance through the Helping Hands program provided by JFCS. A spirited individual, Lois has tremendous gratitude for the support she has received over the years.

"I can't do much on my own," admits Schwartz, who lives by herself on just her social security. “But with a little help, I manage.”

At the core of her story lies a simple truth: life sometimes presents challenges that require a helping hand. Despite her age and the physical limitations that come with it, Lois cherishes her independence. Living alone and reliant on a walker, she navigates life's intricacies with grace and determination.

Helping Hands is an emergency assistance fund at JFCS that provides specific, short-term financial assistance to Jewish individuals or families in Maricopa County who are otherwise unable to meet their basic needs.

Through generous grants and donations, JFCS assists those who may have lost their job, endured illness, suffered a loss or had other unexpected financial hardship.

For Schwartz, the assistance provided by JFCS extends beyond financial aid. While she acknowledges the relief of having bills paid and receiving food during the holidays, it is the sense of connection and care that resonates most deeply with her. "I don't ask for much," she explains, "but when I need help JFCS is always there for me."

“Helping Hands helps keep people in their homes, keeps their lights on and food in the refrigerator,” says Kathy Rood, Program Manager, Jewish Programs at JFCS. “It provides relief for those who just need a hand up, so that they can focus on regaining financial self-sufficiency.”

Rood says Helping Hands is also a gateway into other vital JFCS programs, such as Jewish Career Services, counseling and even holiday programs such as JFCS’ Passover and Hanukkah programs.

Beyond the practical assistance, Lois' story highlights the profound impact of human connection. As she reminisces about her past—her singing group while growing up in Connecticut, her family's journey from England to the United States—she emphasizes the importance of shared experiences and memories. In a way, JFCS not only provides tangible support but also fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie.

Schwartz embodies the strength and tenacity that define so many individuals who seek assistance from organizations like JFCS. In the grand tapestry of life, Schwartz's story is but one thread, yet it serves as a poignant reminder of the profound difference that acts of kindness and assistance can make. Through organizations like JFCS, individuals like her find not only support but also hope and a renewed sense of purpose.

“We are proud to be in a position to help JFCS, and especially the youth at the RWJD program. Our commitment to JFCS has grown over the years as we spend more time in Arizona. We know JFCS is making a vital difference in so many lives.”
- Jolene and Harvey Weisblat

Senior Enrichment Classes Provide Stimulation, Sense of Community

In the midst of the pandemic's isolation and uncertainty, many individuals found themselves searching for connection and meaning in the confines of their homes. Sun City senior Rod Fensom, 73, discovered a lifeline through JFCS Senior Enrichment’s online classes.

These virtual sessions provided more than just intellectual stimulation; they offered a sense of community and purpose for Fensom and countless other seniors.

Rod Fensom
Senior Enrichment Participant

“Locked down at home, unable to venture out, these classes offered a window into a world of knowledge and social interaction," explains Fensom, a retired educator with a lifelong love of learning. “In my own experience, having watched students in the classroom when the lightbulb came on, I wanted to continue that in my senior years.”

Fensom says the transition to virtual platforms like Zoom was seamless, offering accessibility and convenience that traditional in-person classes could not match.

“Zoom brings the world into our homes, especially for seniors with transportation or mobility challenges, it's a game-changer,” he remarks. “Here in Sun City, there are a number of people who don't drive anymore so getting to downtown Phoenix or to Scottsdale is a big ask for a lot of elderly folks.”

JFCS Senior Enrichment offers an abundance of diverse experiences that encourage adults 60 and over to engage, move forward and have fun. With online and in-person classes, our Senior Enrichment program offers hundreds of opportunities for older adults living anywhere to learn, explore and grow. Classes range from virtual tours to fitness classes to historical and cultural lectures from global experts.

The goal of the program is to create a dynamic, supportive and fun-filled environment that promotes learning, self-discovery and connection. A full calendar of classes and registration information is available at

Fensom’s enthusiasm for lifelong learning has led him to attend many classes over the years. He has enjoyed history lectures and cultural explorations, as well as virtual tours of museums in Paris. Each session offers a new avenue for intellectual growth and connection. Beyond the acquisition of knowledge, these sessions foster social connections, spark curiosity and provide a sense of purpose.

"It's a form of mental stimulation," he emphasizes. "Just as we care for our physical health, nurturing our brains through learning is vital."

Fensom says all seniors should seek enrichment in their golden years. He remarked that research shows that lifelong learning stimulates the brain and positively affects memory and reasoning skills.

"It's never too late to learn,” he says. “The thing that I do for myself, I ask myself every single day, what did I learn today?”

Who We Serve

Community, Commitment, Contribution

In 2023, JFCS provided assistance to over 50,000 individuals throughout Maricopa County. Our healthcare centers, Child & Family Solutions programs, Jewish Community Services and Older Adult programs remain steadfast in their mission to support those in need.

Little Girl

41% of those served in 2023 were children and teens.

Man Smiling

29% of those served in 2023 were adults.


30% of those served in 2023 were older adults.


21,431 people received physical and mental health services through our healthcare centers


14,056 people received services through our Child and Family Solutions programs

Jewish Members

5,607 members of the Jewish community received help from our Jewish Community Services programs


11,515 seniors received services through our older adults programs

Public Support and Revenue

Functional Expenses

Management Efficiency