Long-Term Dedicated Volunteer Needed!

JSS is looking for a long-term, dedicated volunteer to help our refugee resettlement program with administrative tasks. The ideal volunteer has:

  • A strong understanding of and respect for client confidentiality
  • Great organizational skills
  • Computer literacy (Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and a willingness to learn various client database software systems)

The volunteer will help our refugee resettlement team with the following tasks:

  1. File preparation – printing and organizing documents into individual client files.
  2. Client data entry –transferring data from one database to another, and entering new data that JSS provides
  3. Calendaring – adding deadlines for required client services onto Outlook calendar, and into our database.

There may also be opportunities for occasional assistance with direct client services.

This volunteer position is for approximately 2 hours per week, flexible during business hours, depending on volunteer availability (Tuesday or Wednesday hours are preferred). We are looking for someone who can give JSS at least a six-month commitment.

Due to the sensitive nature of this position, the volunteer must be willing to be background checked, and to provide references upon request.

If this volunteer opportunity seems like a good fit for you, please reach out via email to Paul Borowsky, Volunteer Coordinator: paul@jssmadison.org

Community Action for Refugee Arrival (CARA)

JSS is currently initiating a new program, Community Action for Refugee Arrival (CARA).

Over the last nearly a year and a half since JSS restarted its refugee resettlement program, we have had dedicated volunteers who have prepared homes, meals and basic necessities for our newly arriving families. This is hard work that happens with little advanced notice. The CARA program, in which Congregations and other community organizations volunteer to partner with our resettlement staff to do the pre-arrival work, is a way for us to share the burdens and privileges of preparing for new families while harnessing the power of existing community organizations.

If you know of a community group or organization that would like to become a CARA team, please reach out to Becca, our Resettlement Coordinator, at becca@jssmadison.org.

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities for 2018

Our ongoing Volunteer Opportunities Include:

Older adult woman looking for a friendly visitor for conversation. She has been an active community member and volunteered for years at various senior programs, community centers, and schools. She loves music, travel and languages. She shared that she speaks, English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Arabic and German. Visiting times are flexible.

Do you like shopping? Looking for a companion to go for groceries and miscellaneous items. At least once a month – adaptable to your availability and schedule.

You can extend independence for a number of community seniors – occasional help with tasks around the house and apartment, and/or transportation for errands.

Contact our volunteer coordinator, Paul Borowsky at (608) 442-4083 or paul@jssmadison.org for more information about volunteer needs and opportunities.

General Volunteer Opportunities

The following are some general volunteer opportunities that are needed on an ongoing basis:

Drivers Needed: Help people remain independent! Provide rides to clients for appointments and other destinations on an as-needed and as-available basis.  Requires copies proof of insurance and driver’s license plus a driver’s record check, done at our expense.

Designated Shopper: Help people remain independent by providing assistance and companionship by going shopping or running errands with them. At times, clients may also need someone to pick up groceries or other items for them when they are not able to be accompanied.

Back-up Volunteer Photographer: Take photos at JSS events which will be used for promotional materials and social media.
Bikur Cholim/Friendly Visitor: Opportunities to visit with people in rehabilitation, hospital, or memory care. These visits can be made when convenient for you.
Computer/ Odd Job Help: Elderly and others looking for some help and support with doing small jobs – changing light bulbs, fixing loose hinge, etc. Help also needed to operate and learn basic computer tasks and general electronic devices such as television and remote controls.

Volunteer at holiday, social events, and Oakwood Shabbats: Help the residents of Oakwood Village welcome Shabbat one Friday per month from 3:30p.m.-4:30p.m. Seat guests, pour wine and juice, and distribute challah, interact with the residents of Oakwood Village and their families.

Oakwood Village is looking for volunteers currently to help with Shabbats. Please contact Paul Borowsky if interested. Please stay tuned or call Paul at (608) 442-4083 for updates regarding other holiday opportunities including Menorah delivery for Hanukkah.

Two Volunteer Opportunities – August 22nd, 2017

Near Westside single parent of child with intense emotional and behavioral challenges seeks assistance with (1) yard and garden work and (2) small home repairs.

This parent is hard working in the field of social services and is dedicated to prioritizing the needs of her two children, which means that attention to the house/yard is lacking.  The following are project-based requests – not ongoing.

  • Please consider volunteering time or funds to weed  and prune garden beds. It would be great to gather a small group of people to take a Sunday (or weekday) to pitch in and create beauty from the chaos.
  • Home repairs include stair rail, window blinds, curtain mount, door frame trim. Please consider volunteering time or fund a contractor to improve safety in this family’s home, which could likely be done in a morning or afternoon.

    Your assistance would provide great relief to mom, and she would be extremely grateful – as it is difficult to face the overwhelm of upkeep in the face of her family demands.

You can make a positive difference in the lives of this special needs child’s family.  Please email Maya Garbuz today at maya@jssmadison.org  or call 608-658-2240

Volunteer with Seniors!

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!

National Council on Aging (NCOA) Call-In Day to protect Medicaid on June 14th & Wisconsin Call-In Day June 15th!

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!


Email #1:

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 newsletters@ncoa.org.


NCOA | 251 18th Street South | Suite 500 | Arlington, VA 22202


Email #2:

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 disabilitiesEstimates 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:

  1. 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:
  2. Includes devastating cuts to Medicaid that will mean cuts to Wisconsin programs that children and adults with disabilities need.
  3. Weakens protections for people with disabilities and other pre-existing conditions by allowing states to charge them more for health care.
  4. Allows states to stop providing Essential Health Benefits like habilitative/rehabilitative services and devices; mental health services and prescription drugs
  5. Is being debated behind closed doors with no public input.


  1. Call Governor Walker: 608-266-1212 and tell him the AHCA will hurt Wisconsinites.


  1. Call your local radio/TV stations and ask to be interviewed about how the health care reform bill hurts children and adults with disabilities.


  1. 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/

Volunteer Opportunity with Seniors!

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!

Volunteer Opportunities for Refugee Resettlement

We are pleased to announce that we have set the dates and times for refugee resettlement volunteer orientations for the rest of the summer. Please do your best to come to one of them if you didn’t make either of the first two in April. As of September 1, all resettlement volunteers will need to have attended an orientation. We want to give everyone ample options to get to one. These will be held at our office at 6434 Enterprise Lane and snacks will be provided. Here are the upcoming dates:
  • Volunteer orientations: 
    –         May 22nd, 9:30am – 11:30am
    –         June 22nd, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
    –         July 19th, 9:30am – 11:30am
    –         August 21st, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
    All of these will take place in the JSS conference room and snacks will be provided.
    RSVP to Becca
  • Donate to the newly arrived families. See this link for current needs: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090445aca92aabfb6-jssrefugeeasylee.You can also use this link to donate toward helping pay two months of rent for each family. The JSS team and board have decided that we want to raise these funds to help the families a bit longer while they get acclimated.As part of this, we plan to cover two months rent for each refugee family that we resettle. The donations that we receive from the community will help us to reach our goals.
  • Advocate for Refugees by calling your senators and representatives to show your support for the federal refugee program. See details here “How to Stand Up and Fight Back for Refugees”.

Latest Volunteer Opportunities!

Here are some volunteer opportunities working with older adults that JSS really needs right now:

  • Small plumbing task (taking a nozzle off the bath tub)
  • Someone tax-savvy to help with some tax questions and direct the senior on where to get help with taxes
  • Working with a senior on planning, cooking and organizing meals, so that all she needs is to microwave them when she needs to eat.
  • Taking a senior to a bookstore

Keep an eye out, there will be more coming soon!