Jewish Family Services
Community Outreach Coordinator
Jewish Family Services
A letter from a soldier overseas introduced Jeri Horwitz’ mother to her true love.
In the 1940’s Rabbi David Greenberg would read letters from servicemen to the congregation at TBI. When her Mom, June, listened to the letter from a soldier named Louis Michner stationed in the Phillipines, she told the rabbi that when he came home she had to meet him. She was already in love before they met; the letter eventually led to their marriage and the birth of their daughter, Jeri Michner Horwitz, now the Community Outreach Coordi-nator of Jewish Family Services.
A graduate of Bullard High who attended Cal State Northridge, Jeri was a business major who left school with 30 credits unfinished in order to go to work. A native Fresnan, she has always been involved in the Jewish community and helping others, an inheritance from her parents. When her children were young she served on the Jewish Day School and became president of the Board. Later she served on the JFCC board for three years and worked with Jewish Family Services.
She and husband Lee left Fresno to live in New Mexico for five years. There Jeri was involved in the Jewish Care Program. When they returned to Fresno Jeri was offered her current position.
Although JFS personnel can’t make home visits as they used to, previously Jeri enjoyed putting a smile on someone’s face because it also produced a smile inside of her. “My mother taught us to empathize with others”, Jeri noted. “That is why when my father was in an assisted living facility and I saw there many residents who had few visitors, I decided to be a friendly visitor for those residents myself.”
At the Federation Jeri and others prepare holiday baskets for Passover, Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah. They are always looking for donations to help make purchases for this work. Their current project is CARES . They match people who need friendly phone calls with those who would like to establish contact with them. Calls can be weekly, bi-weekly or more frequent, depending on the agreement between the two parties.
Jeri and Lee are looking forward to celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in November with their son who is getting married in August, two daughters, and three grandchildren.
We continue to offer our services from Merced to Visalia, whether it is giving out $50 food cards to those in need, or providing information obtained from our updated referrals and resources lists.
*On Fridays we deliver a challah as a Shabbat gift to several community members.
*Recently we assisted the local prisons by providing electric menorahs for Hanukkah.
*We provided a client’s daughter with a used computer monitor that was needed for her remote learning.
*We received a very generous offer from a couple who wanted to provide a family with a home cooked meal or a box of groceries. Our client was overwhelmed with sincere gratitude that someone cared enough about her to shop for her, and gained a renewed positive attitude and was excited to get cooking.
We have successfully launched our Caring Calls program that provides connection and friendship to those that may be at elevated risk of loneliness or social isolation. Whether it’s a quick check-in to say hello or a longer talk about a favorite television show or current event, we have made some successful matches between our volunteer callers and recipients. If you would like to be a caller or know of someone who would benefit from this connection, please contact us at 432-0529 or use the form on our JFS Tools page.
Jewish Family Services (JFS) is very committed to our community. Our staff is small, yet our job is big. Our mission is to provide support for the Central Valley (Merced to Visalia) area Jewish community regardless of age, income or synagogue affiliation; and to strengthen Jewish identity, build community, and fortify family life. We are guided by Tikkun Olam, the essential Jewish values of doing good deeds and repairing the world.
Please help us help those in need. Jewish Family Services would not be able to do this without your gifts.
All communications are kept confidential so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you could benefit from our services.
Temple Beth Israel, Congregation Beth Jacob and Chabad of Fresno have all been very supportive of JFS, and we have worked together to ensure that our community is well taken care of.
On behalf of our clients, let me say thank you for your continued support of the JFCC. Your donations have made a difference and will continue to.
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please call us.
JFS/Community Outreach Coordinator