While there is still more of 2015 to come, Jewish Children’s Regional Service is already on a pace to serve over 1500 Jewish youth in seven states of the mid-South this year. Youth in 200 communities in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas receive assistance each year.
Many of the programs offered by JCRS, such as special needs scholarships, Chanukah gifts and outreach programs are unique, and not offered by other Jewish social service organizations. Eligibility for all of the scholarship programs is based on documented financial need.
This December, over 200 Jewish youth and 30 state hospital residents from the region will each receive a bag of eight Chanukah gifts. Each bag contains gifts that were selected, individually wrapped and shipped by volunteers and staff of the 156-year-old agency.
The youth who received these gifts are either ongoing clients of JCRS, whose needs are known to the JCRS, or new clients referred by local rabbis and Jewish Family Service agencies. Families who reside in the region can register for gifts now, but they must act quickly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be sent a registration form for each child in the family. Gifts are age and gender specific, and the form contains a place for children to list their interests.
This year’s Chanukah gift wrap-a-thon will be on Oct. 11 at the Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus in Metairie from 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up and help wrap the mountain of gifts.
During 2015, 900 Jewish youth, ages 8 and under, are receiving free monthly books from JCRS through PJ Library, a national outreach program that brings literacy and Jewish learning into family life.
Approximately 70 dependent and special needs youth are being funded or served through the efforts of the JCRS Case Committee, while the JCRS studied the needs of other Jewish youth for whom case plans and funding are pending.
Over the summer of 2015, JCRS funded 316 Jewish campers, who annually attend 35 to 45 different Jewish, non-profit overnight camps across the United States. Financial aid is being provided to approximately 120 college students during 2015, and these students attend undergraduate programs throughout the U.S. as well.
Funds to support the annual budget of JCRS comes primarily from large and small contributions from individuals, families and foundations, and the annual income derived when a family starts a scholarship fund at the agency.
To learn more about the oldest Jewish children’s agency in the U.S., visit the website or call the office at 1-800-729-5277.