In addition to our previous opportunities, we now have additional volunteering needs with seniors!
We are looking for someone strong to help a senior to move boxes from one room to another. It should be about 2-3 hours.
Keep checking in to see our volunteer opportunities!
Like all of you, I was really struck by the events of this weekend in Charlottesville, VA. Madison is a college town, as is Charlottesville. We also have very passionate people who are ready to standup against anti-Semitism, islamophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia while needing to acknowledge that we have all of these within our community. I am glad that I live somewhere that it feels safe to speak out against many forms of bigotry. I know that Madison and Dane County are not perfect, but I hope that I never have to find words to explain to my children about that kind of hatred happening in our community. It was hard enough answering questions when it was 1,000 miles away.
One of my favorite blogs is Nonprofits: Absolutely Fabulous. Yesterday morning the author, Vu Le, wrote about how we somehow need to cultivate an attitude of both gratitude and impatience. Impatience is a great motivator, but it is also makes us angry, frustrated, and exhausted. Gratitude increases mental strength and helps us to sleep better (my personal favorite benefit). We really need to find a balance between the two, the balance of appreciating what we have, but also to use the energy that comes from impatience to push for change.
Typically the JSS team is not out in the streets showing its impatience. We could complain all the time about how difficult it can be for seniors to find affordable, appropriate housing or for immigrant clients without documentation to find medical care. We don’t. We use impatience when we need to advocate for a client who needs something she isn’t already getting. And mostly, our team is out there cultivating gratitude. Sometimes it is gratitude from a case worker at another agency who appreciates the tip we gave about an apartment that our client couldn’t use, but her client can. Sometimes it is the gratitude from a client who emails me “to emphasize that … JSS has an awesome social worker!” It is the knowing that we are doing right by our clients that prevent us from getting stuck in the impatient mode. And it is this gratitude that allows us to continue to help people ensure that they are getting their basic needs met and that they do not feel that they are living in isolation.
We can only do our work of practicing impatience and gratitude with support from the community. We need staff, donors, volunteers, clients, participants, governmental and non-governmental community based organizations all connecting in some capacity with Jewish Social Services. This is how we get our work done.
In the next couple of weeks you will likely receive a letter from Jewish Social Services about our Friends Campaign. It is the one fundraising campaign we do per year for our overall community and helps to pay for our operational costs for all of our programs, including resettlement. Without the Friends Campaign, we could not have Lechayim, case management, chaplaincy or refugee resettlement. We could not provide barrier relief, odd-jobbers, or friendly visitors.
If you have already given to the Friends Campaign, thank you. If you have never given to the Friends Campaign before, but have given to refugee resettlement, please consider supporting this Campaign. JSS needs the help of everyone to ensure that all of our programs will succeed.
This past Tuesday the Jewish community observed Tisha B’av, a major day of communal mourning on the Jewish calendar, which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second ancient Temples in Jerusalem. A central ritual of the Tisha B’av is the recitation of the Book of Lamentations which includes not only dirges but also descriptions of the siege of Jerusalem. The text captures the horror of the siege: the starving of children, the raping of women and defiling of priests.
Refugees that JSS is settling and the millions who are seeking refugee around the world could tragically write a contemporary Book of Lamentations to describe the horrors they have witnessed. Our staff does not know the details of the atrocities that our newly arriving families have witnessed but we know there are victims of violence and persecution that have led them to flee across the world for safety. We hear their wailing when we listen to the chanting of the Book of Lamentations.
However, the wailing has not reached our government in Washington. On Wednesday, the day after Tisha B’av, Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue introduced the “Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy” (RAISE) Act, and President Trump has embraced the Bill. This bill would cut legal immigration to the United States in half within a decade and by 41% in the first year. These reductions would primarily be achieved by curtailing the ability of American citizens and permanent residents to bring family into the country. If passed the legislation would also permanently cap refugee admissions at 50,000.
The Haftarah this Shabbat says, “Raise your voice with power… Raise it, have no fear…” (Isaiah 40:9). Whether or not we will attend synagogue and hear these words read let us each take them to heart and use our voices to strongly oppose the RAISE Act.
We encourge you to take action TODAY and urge your Members of Congress to reject this anti-family and anti-refugee legislation and to read HIAS’s, the Jewish refugee resettlement agency, opposition to the bill.
All of these will take place in the JSS conference room and snacks will be provided.
RSVP to Becca
TELL CONGRESS: Stand Up for Refugee Protection & Resettlement and
Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and I support refugee resettlement and strongly oppose President Trump’s refugee and Muslim ban executive order. I urge you to do everything in your power to see that the administration resettle at least 75,000 refugees in 2018 and keeps the DACA* program intact. I call on you to protect refugee assistance and resettlement against proposed budget cuts; increase funding for trafficking survivors; and reduce funding for detention, deportation, and border militarization, which only tear families and communities apart. My community welcomes refugees and immigrants, and I urge you to reflect the best of our American values of compassion and welcome.”* DACA stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” DACA allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
For all of us who care about refugees and the United States refugee program, the Torah portion we read this Shabbat, Mattot-Maasei, is particularly compelling. We read about the requirement God gives the Israelites to set up cities of refuge when they enter the land of Israel. They are told that they must set up six cities where anyone who has accidentally killed someone could find safety from the “blood avenger” who seeks to kill him. These cities are not just for Israelites: “These six cities shall be a refuge for the children of Israel and for the proselyte and resident among them, so that anyone who unintentionally kills a person can flee there” (Num. 35:15).
At the end of a week when the courts have gone back and forth about which refugees, immigrants, and visitors from six majority Muslim countries can enter into our country, it is striking that Jewish tradition is so clear that we need a place for people under attack to find safety – no matter their faith or nationality.
Not only does Torah teach that nation-building must include spaces of refuge, but the classical rabbis argue that the path to the cities of refuge must be unobstructed to avoid delaying anyone who is fleeing to the city. As Rambam says in Mishneh Torah, “The court is obligated to straighten the roads to the cities of refuge, to repair them, and to broaden them. They must remove all impediments and obstacles … so as not to delay one who is fleeing [to a city of refuge].”
JSS Fundraiser was a huge success!!!
Thank you to everyone who supported Just Desserts. We raised over $12,000 In addition to beautiful donated space by AMC theater (Sundance), desserts from community establishments specializing in sweet treats, we enjoyed gorgeous floral displays from The Florettes and there was live music performed by David Adler of local bands The Gomers and Steely Dane, volunteer speakers, and a local employer and a short video. Plus, Leora Saposnik, Laurie Nagus and all of our wonderful volunteers were total rock stars!
If you were unable to join us please consider making a donation to our program today. It is for a good cause.
If you would like contact information for any of the vendors who supported our programs, please call or email us. We would be happy to share the information.
Earlier this week on World Refugee Day, June 20, JSS welcomed a new refugee family to Madison. One of our obligations as a resettlement agency is to provide a culturally appropriate meal upon arrival. The family, who are Iraqi but has been living in Turkey for 2.5 years since fleeing Iraq in 2014, has a friend in Madison. Our caseworkers connected with this friend as they prepared for the family’s arrival. One of our obligations at JSS is to have a culturally appropriate “proper meal” prepared upon arrival. But the friend said that the family had requested that the “proper meal” wait until their second day here because it would be late and they really missed pizza. So pizza it was. As the family settled into their new home in the United State, several pizzas were delivered. And we learned once again we often have much more in common with these newly arriving families than we would have imagined.
On June 12 a second Federal Appeals Court ruled against President Trump’s revised travel ban. The Supreme Court will now decide whether to hear the case. For now, the Executive Order halting refugees from entering the United States and targeting travelers from six majority Muslim countries has been stayed. Because of this and the Omnibus Bill that continued funding for the refugee programs until the end of the fiscal year, JSS expects to meet its original goal of resettling 50 people this fiscal year.
From: Janet Zander, Advocacy & Public Policy Coordinator, Greater WI Agency on Aging Resources, Inc.
Despite earlier reports of U.S. Senators having difficulty getting agreement on their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), our national advocacy partners are telling us the U.S. Senate is now preparing to fast-track their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell implemented a rule allowing the House-passed AHCA to bypass committee discussion and go directly on to the Senate calendar for a vote once the Senate’s revised version is complete. The latest reports indicate the Senate bill is nearing completion and will soon be sent to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for evaluation which is expected to take approximately two weeks. Details of the plan are not expected to be released to the public during this time. The U.S. Senate is hoping to vote on their draft healthcare bill before Congress recesses for the July 4th holiday.
Though specific details of the Senate version of the AHCA are not available, we are hearing the Senate intends to keep 80% of the House plan, including substantial cuts to Medicaid.
The CBO evaluation of the House-passed AHCA indicated the proposal would make massive cuts in Medicaid ($834 billion) and cover 14 million fewer people. The AHCA shifts Medicaid from a federal/state funding partnership to a per capita or block grant structure with capped payments to states and a 25% cut in funding over 10 years. The President’s FY 2018 budget proposes to cut an additional $610 billion from Medicaid benefits creating a combined cut of over $1.4 trillion (45%) over the next 10 years. The impact of these devastating cuts threatens Medicaid programs in Wisconsin such as SeniorCare, Family Care, and IRIS and could result in changes in eligibility and covered services, cuts in service or the reinstatement of waiting lists and/or reductions in provider rates further harming Wisconsin’s long-term care service providers and the people they support. For more information see the revised Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network ACA/AHCA Update attached.
Medicaid is the primary payer for long-term services and supports. Approximately two-thirds of Medicaid funding in Wisconsin and nationally is used to provide needed services and supports to low-income older adults and people with disabilities. Contact Senator Tammy Baldwin and Senator Ron Johnson to let them know the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is not good for Wisconsin and ask them to vote NO on the AHCA that cuts Medicaid.
Below are two options for making calls to Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators.
1.) The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is offering a toll-free number to connect you with Senators Baldwin and Johnson on Wednesday, June 14th. See details listed in email #1 below.
2.) The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations is promoting a Wisconsin Call-In Day on Thursday, June 15th. Additional information, phone numbers and a link to Medicaid enrollment data by Wisconsin Congressional district can be found in email #2 below.
Please choose one of these options/dates and make your calls before it is too late!
Senate Republicans are trying to fast-track a health care repeal bill that would devastate Medicaid, which 6.9 million seniors rely on.
Medicaid pays for over 60% of the nation’s long-term care costs, and the bill would result in large cuts to optional home and community-based services that help keep people independent and out of institutions.
Call your Senators on Wednesday, June 14 and tell them to vote NO on Medicaid cuts and caps: 1-866-426-2631.
Last month, the House passed a bill that would cut Medicaid by nearly $800 billion and cap payments to states. The Senate is now looking to keep 80% of the House plan, including the Medicaid provisions.
Protect Medicaid! Join us on Wednesday, June 14. Tell your Senators to vote NO on Medicaid cuts and caps: 1-866-426-2631.
Your voice can make a difference!
|Howard Bedlin, Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy|
|© 2017 National Council on Aging, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. May not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organizations, or corporations other than NCOA, its affiliates, divisions, and units without the prior written permission of an authorized officer of NCOA. For permission, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCOA | 251 18th Street South | Suite 500 | Arlington, VA 22202
Members of the U.S. Senate are working behind closed doors on their own version of American Health Care Act (AHCA). The U.S. Senate is preparing to vote on the AHCA within the next two weeks. There is a lot at stake for Wisconsin in this vote. The AHCA cuts federal Medicaid funding by 25% over 10 years and eliminates key health care protections for children and adults with disabilities. Estimates indicate Wisconsin could lose $1 billion in funding and put many essential programs and supports for children/adults with disabilities and seniors at risk.
There have been no public hearings held on these major proposed changes. Join us on June 15 to let the Senate know that Wisconsinites don’t support the AHCA.
These significant cuts to Medicaid mean cuts to Wisconsin programs like Family Care, IRIS, the Children’s waiver, BadgerCare, mental health programs like CCS, Katie Beckett, autism services, therapies like OT, PT and Speech, personal care, supports provided in schools and even Aging and Disability Resource Centers. Many of these are “optional services” in Medicaid and are at significant risk of being cut or eliminated.
The Senate is also debating:
- Even bigger cuts to Medicaid
- Weakening protections for people with disabilities and other pre-existing conditions by allowing states to charge them more for health care.
- Allowing states to stop providing Essential Health Benefits like habilitative/rehabilitative services and devices; mental health services and prescription drug coverage.
On June 15, join us in doing these four things:
- Call Senators Ron Johnson (202-224-5323) and Tammy Baldwin (202-224-5653) and Ask them to vote NO on the American Health Care act because it:
- Includes devastating cuts to Medicaid that will mean cuts to Wisconsin programs that children and adults with disabilities need.
- Weakens protections for people with disabilities and other pre-existing conditions by allowing states to charge them more for health care.
- Allows states to stop providing Essential Health Benefits like habilitative/rehabilitative services and devices; mental health services and prescription drugs
- Is being debated behind closed doors with no public input.
- Call Governor Walker: 608-266-1212 and tell him the AHCA will hurt Wisconsinites.
- Call your local radio/TV stations and ask to be interviewed about how the health care reform bill hurts children and adults with disabilities.
- Tell two of your friends what cuts to Medicaid would mean for you and your family. Ask them to call their two U.S. Senators!
Information on Medicaid enrollment in your Congressional District can be found here: http://www.survivalcoalitionwi.org/index.php/2017/updates/results-and-stories-from-survival-coalitions-am-i-impacted-by-medicaid-survey/
As I looked out the taxi window and saw the Welcome to New York City sign, I had a clear sense of my purpose the next day. I was bringing to the halls of power the message of the refugees we were settling, the DACA students we have assisted and the many immigrants who have been clients of JSS. How profound that my grandparents arrived in this city and saw some version of the welcome sign as refugees themselves. I was here now because they were welcomed then.
- Call 1-844-4STAND5 (1-844-478-2635) during this week, and we’ll connect you directly to your representative and senators. And then email Rabbi Renee Bauer at JSS to let her know you made the call.
- Text “STAND” to 313131 to receive a reminder about the campaign.
- Encourage your family, friends and co-workers from around the country to do the same.
- To learn more, see http://www.standwithrefugees.us/ or email StandWithRefugees@wr.org
We are looking for volunteers to help with packing, shopping for a car and moving a couch.
We have a client who needs to buy a new car, something inexpensive and efficient and we are looking for someone who knows cars to help with this process.
In addition, we need lots of help packing, and also help moving a couch.
If you are able to help, please contact Maya Garbuz
Be sure to keep checking our blog for further Volunteer Opportunity Updates!