Category Archives: South Jersey

Free BRCA Gene Webinar – December 20

Sharsheret will present a free national webinar, “BRCA Genetics In The News: What Do I Do Next?” on Wednesday, December 20th, at 8 p.m. EST.

The webinar features Sharsheret’s own Genetics Program Coordinator, Peggy Cottrell, MS, CGC, who will explore the latest critical genetics research, decode BRCA and other genetic  mutations, and help us understand what steps we need to take next. A Sharsheret peer supporter will share her personal story and a live question and answer session will follow the presentation.

To register for the webinar or to share the webinar with others in your network, click here.

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Speaking Out Against Abusers is Paramount

 

By Lori Garber

Courage to speak out against an abuser is paramount in combating sexual assault.  The question is whether the recent reversal of Obama-era college sexual misconduct rules will discourage reporting by victims at colleges and universities.  Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos,  set an interim guidance for  a higher standard of evidence for victims of  sexual misconduct against their abusers.  Her reasoning was to protect the accused from being punished without legal due process.

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Education urged universities and colleges to commit to the prevention of sexual assault and adequately and quickly respond to assertions of the victims of sexual misconduct under Title IX, a federal law prohibiting discrimination in education.  

The standard was a “preponderance of evidence”, where, if more than 50% of the evidence points to misconduct, the abuser would be punished.  DeVos proposes the standard to be  for the stricter, “clear and convincing” evidence, which requires proof that  it is highly probable that the claim is true. 

Critics argue the higher standard puts an undue and often virtually impossible burden on the victims.  Others argue for the rights of the accused.  No one wants a college student to be expelled, jailed or otherwise ostracized based on false claims, but it is imperative that  victims of sexual violence not be afraid to confront their accusers through the legal system and they may if they fear they cannot adequately prove the assault occurred.  At this time, even with  DeVos’ announcement, colleges and universities can still choose whether to use the stricter “clear and convincing” evidence standard or the lesser proof of “preponderance of the evidence”.

Universities have responded.  Syracuse University, University of Michigan and University of Tennessee are among the many institutions of higher learning who will …”continue to resist policies that limit victim protections and will continue with their current policies  addressing sexual misconduct,” indicated a SU official.  Students of sexual violence need the courage to speak out and are more likely do so if they know the administration supports and encourages them to identify and confront their abusers.  

Sexual Predators Have Many Faces

… The use of power and force, whether it be by a high-powered Hollywood executive or a college student, shows no boundaries…

 By Lori Garber

What do Ashley Judd and Terry Crews have in common?  A 5’ 6” actress and  a 6′ 3″ actor and former NFL football player weighing 240 lbs?   Both have been sexually assaulted by Hollywood executives.  Both are victims.   They recently came out and  publicly told their stories of abuse and humiliation.  Sexual predators have many faces and do not discriminate;  the use of power and force, whether it be by a high-powered Hollywood executive or a college student, shows no boundaries.  In the wake of Harvey Weinstein, courage, it seems, is what is needed to stop it from happening.

 

During an interview with Helen Benedict, professor of journalism at Columbia University, she spoke with NPR host Michael Martin.  Benedict said of sexual predators, “The impulse is pretty much the same – to abuse power. You make yourself feel powerful by degrading others. It’s the same impulse that torture is used. You know, most torturers use sexual humiliation as part of their tools to torture.”

 

Crews felt powerless.  He tweeted, “Who’s going 2 believe you? (few) What r the repercussions? (many)  Do u want 2 work again? (Yes) R you prepared 2b ostracized? (No)”.  James Van Der Beek, another actor, recently revealed that he  was also a victim of sexual assault, and said in a tweet,  “I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle.  There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.” Many victims of sexual assault are afraid to speak up because of fear of negative consequences. 

 

As the voices of the Hollywood elite, both males and females, are taking the forefront against sexual harassment, assault, and rape, it is now more than ever, imperative for those in college, where sexual assault and rape are rampant, to speak up and have the courage to do something even when there is concern about the consequences because if they fail to do so, the the abuse will never end.

 

ATTEND THE #WETOO EVENT ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT on NOVEMBER 28 at 7 PM. 

COMMUNITY LEADERS. REAL CONVERSATION. IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. 

Register by Nov 22 here: www.jfcssnj.org/wetoo

 

 

What Do I Say to My Kids?

What Do I Say to My Kids?

Tips on having conversations on the aftermath of a tragedy

Carlos A. Bermeo. LCSW, NBCCH – Director of JFCS Clinical Services

On the morning following the tragic and senseless shooting that took place in Vegas many parents found themselves asking the same what’s and how’s to explain to their children what happened and  offer comfort and a sense of safety.

While many parents struggled to find what to say to their children, others opted to say nothing or avoided the conversation in hopes that this will shield their children.  In efforts to provide some help to the parents, here are some suggestions for broaching the issue with your children, being mindful of the ability of your child to take in and comprehend information…

  • With younger children (preschool and kindergarten): Let them take the lead in the conversation, make sure your child knows you are there to answer any questions. The issue does not need to be brought up unless a child hears about it first
  •  With older children (elementary school): Parents should be more direct.  Parents should preemptively help their child know about the tragedy and share basic details and leave the door open for them to ask questions.  Note that they may initially say that they are ok but that does not mean that you shouldn’t talk about it.
  • With teenagers: Parents should have a more detailed conversation with children. Start by asking questions like, “Have you heard about this?” and “What do you think about this?” to find out what they know and what may be bothering them.
  • Children want to know if they are safe.  Talk about creating a safety plan with your child and what to do in an emergency.
  • Adults should not to say everything is okay, that it happened somewhere else , and it will not happen here. This may seem like it is comforting to a child however it is not the truth.  This varies for where your child is developmentally.
  • Although these suggestions are for talking to your children, parents and adults cannot forget about their own care.  Take time to reflect and for time for self-care.  You cannot help your child cope if you yourself cannot.

If you need help talking with your children, or your child needs guidance, contact the JFCS Counseling Department at 856-424-1333.

Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation In Summer…

Food insecurity is a family’s inability to deliver enough food to live a nourishing lifestyle. 1 in 8 people in the United States battle with hunger and the ability to provide nutritious foods at the dinner table.  Thousands in Southern New Jersey rely on the JFCS Betsy and Peter Fischer Food Pantries each year to do just that.

Six out of seven low-income children who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch during the academic year do not get that free meal during the summer. The absence of a meal in the middle of the day can be more detrimental to a growing child than one might believe. Children who lack proper eating habits often have low blood sugar, have trouble focusing, and do not have nutrients that children require to retain good health. With help from the good Samaritans of Southern New Jersey, JFCS can help make sure that no child has to go hungry this summer.

Summer food insecurity facts are quite staggering. Here are just some that resonate*:

  • New Jersey ranks 12th in the nation in the percentage of eligible children who received a free lunch last summer, according to a report released Tuesday.
  • 57,000 children in Southern New Jersey are food-insecure.
  • Families no longer visit “emergency food” sources for temporary relief; they rely on food pantries as a supplemental food source
  • 53% of households report having to choose between food and paying for medicine in the past 12 months; 29% face this choice every month
  • 68% of households report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities in the past 12 months; 24% face this choice every month.
  • One out of every 3 people who are hungry in New Jersey is a child.
  • About 1 of every 5 children in New Jersey is hungry.

Food insecurity can happen so quickly, due to unexpected events or accidents. Many families find it is an ongoing battle to choose between paying bills and buying healthy food.  Most of the time the family has to choose to pay bills.  In addition to regular pantry items, JFCS is asking farmers and gardeners to share their surplus with our clients during these summer months, via the JFCS Gardens For Good produce donation program. The importance of fruits and vegetables is essential, as they contain vital vitamins, minerals and contain fiber.

JFCS wants your help to make a difference for these families by donating items to our pantry.

Pantry Items Most Needed 

Cereal

Oatmeal

Rice

Juice

Snacks (pretzels, granola bars, crackers)

Tomato Sauce

For more information on our needs for our food pantry, please contact Andi Loew aloew@jfedsnj.org.

*Map the Meal Feeding America Study, 2014

 

 

 Former Soviet Union Holocaust Survivors Receive Support and Socialization Programs

Serving Holocaust Survivors is not only our honor at JFCS, it is a passion and commitment that we have held steadfastly to for decades.  It is our mission to make sure that no one affected by the atrocities of the Nazi regime is left without proper services and care to which they are entitled.

A segment of the Survivor population, from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), are helped by JFCS through various services and social programs, and are invited each month to Café Europa, which is a luncheon open to Holocaust Survivors.  Recently, a grant was given to JFCS through the Jewish Community Foundation to specifically support the FSU Survivors further, and bring them a special event that honors their traditions.

In response to significant outreach efforts, JFCS has had an increase in the numbers of FSU Survivors in the past few years.  JFCS senior services staff, always striving to educate themselves more deeply in the unique traditions of clients, reached out to other JFCS organizations nationwide who service this population, to learn even more about cultural norms of those from the FSU.  They also attended webinars and researched local venues that celebrate Russian culture.  It is of the utmost importance for the staff to seek guidance on continuing to build the trust of the FSU population, and understand the significant dates of history related to the FSU Survivors, as they are different than those of the Eastern European Survivors.

“We have served this population starting with their resettlement, but this grant has helped us to gain even more education to better understand Russian culture, which helps to deepen the bonds developed between clients and staff,” says Wendy Cohen-Klier, MSW, LSW, CDP, a Geriatric Social Worker at JFCS says. “Additionally, culturally-specific invitations were specially sent out to FSU Survivors, inviting them to a luncheon at the Palace Royal restaurant. At this event, they will have lunch and be entertained in Russian style, to celebrate the heritage of their homeland.”

“JFCS’ support for the FSU Survivor population has allowed many of the Survivors to continue to live in their homes with help, instead of moving into a nursing facility. It is the goal of JFCS to service them with dignity and cultural appropriateness,” says Wendy.

JFCS currently assists over two dozen FSU clients by providing homecare services, case management, counseling, transportation, food programs, adult day care, and home response systems, funded by the The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

For those receiving support from JFCS, the impact goes further than tangible services.  For many, it provides socialization, more independence, and comfort in their golden years.

JFCS encourages the community to help identify those who may benefit from the funds allocated for Holocaust Survivors.  JFCS is committed to assisting all Holocaust Survivors, as much as possible.  Please call our offices at 856-424-1333 to find out more about our support services.

Justin Wolfe Memorial Birthday Event To Support Addiction Prevention – June 13

Please see full flyer below, and purchase your tickets for this event by going to www.justinforjustice.org.

 

Volunteer to Flag Veterans’ Graves on May 21st

See flyer below, or simply go to www.jfcssnj.org/flagging to register you and your family for this event.

Free Financial Consultations May 15

Patient Partners Program Accepting Volunteers & Clients!

CLICK ON BROCHURE BELOW TO PRINT OR ENLARGE.

TO BECOME A RECIPIENT OF PATIENT PARTNERS SERVICES, OR TO BECOME A PATIENT PARTNERS VOLUNTEER, CALL SUZI ABRAMS, RN at 856-424-1333, EXT. 1085. Or email sabrams@jfedsnj.org

patient-partners-brochure-final-11-23-16_page_1 patient-partners-brochure-final-11-23-16_page_2

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