JFS established group homes for the elderly.

JFS Historical Highlights

One of the agency’s first buildings was on Second Avenue in Detroit.

One of the agency’s first buildings was on Second Avenue in Detroit.

1928

  •  The Jewish Social Service Bureau is incorporated to promote “family welfare and welfare of children among the Jewish people of Detroit and environs.”

1930s

  • The first Homemaker Service Program in Michigan is started to serve children in homes with an ill or absent mother.

1940s

  • The agency’s focus with children shifted to foster care and residential treatment of children, services to unmarried parents and adoptive couples.

1950s

  • Department of Services for the Aged is created; group home for teens started.

1960s

  • Beginning of group therapy
  • The agency added family therapy.

    The agency added family therapy.

    In response to the Detroit riots, the Housing Relocation Program is created to move Jewish families from the inner city to subsidized housing near Jewish facilities.

  • Volunteer services formally organized as an entity within the agency.

1970s

  • Kosher Meals on Wheels is initiated with the NCJW and the Jewish Federation apartments.
  • JFS defines poverty as a continuing issue in the Jewish population and expands financial assistance services.
  • JFS established group homes for the elderly.

    JFS established group homes for
    the elderly.

    Staff undertakes training in family treatment and offers services that combine marital therapy, child-parent therapy and treatment of the complete family unit.

  • Group apartments for the elderly are established; the program offers congregate housing and support services.

1980s

  • In-home respite care started.
  • JFS establishes the Skillman Project to work with issues of neglect and physical and sexual abuse of children.
Resettlement of Soviet Jews was a major JFS project.

Resettlement of Soviet Jews was a major JFS project.

1990s

  • Endowment campaign to fund WINDOWS, the agency’s domestic violence prevention and treatment program (formerly Skillman); opening of kosher shelter called “Safe Place” in conjunction with NCJW; Reva Stocker lecture series begins.
  • Transportation starts with one vehicle and three drivers.
  • Resettlement of 7,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union.

2000s

  • Creation of Project Chessed, providing access to medical care for uninsured Jewish adults.
  • Emergency financial assistance in the face of the economic downturn.
  • Gave group apartments for the elderly (Coville Apartments) to JSL.

2010s

  • Emergency assistance during the flood of 2014.
  • Focus on teen mental health; introduction of suicide prevention trainings.
  • Health care navigation.
  • In 2014, JFS mobilized quickly to help those devastated by flooding.

    In 2014, JFS mobilized quickly to help those devastated by flooding.

    Wellness offerings such as walking group, book club, guest speakers, diabetes management.

Ongoing

  • Serving Holocaust survivors; in 2016, JFS received a grant that marked the first time in history that the U.S. federal
    government provided direct funding for survivor services.
  • Responsiveness to community needs.

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