Welcome to JSS of Madison

Jewish Social Services of Madison empowers families and individuals across generations and cultures to build community and self-sufficiency, with a strong commitment to the Jewish community and inspired by Jewish values. We offer services in the areas of short-term advocacy, long-term case management, Jewish spiritual care and immigration services. We serve people of all ages and backgrounds.

A Rosh Hashanah Greeting from Rabbi Renee Bauer

We approach the new Jewish year at a paradoxical moment. On the one hand, most of us will be able to celebrate the holidays in-person, as our lives are less controlled by the COVID restrictions than they were during the last two High Holiday seasons. It is joyful to be able to connect in ways that we have missed. On the other hand, our country feels more divided than ever and it is hard to know how to bridge the wide rifts that exist between communities. 

The High Holiday liturgy provides wisdom for this time. One of the most haunting prayers is the unetaneh tokef,  which asks “who shall live and who shall die.” The end of the prayer says u-teshuvah, u-tefillah, u-tzedakah ma’avirin et roa ha-gezerah,  that repentance, prayer, and charity can avert the severity of the decree. But we know too well that we cannot avert death and that bad things do happen to good people. We can understand this prayer more metaphorically, that we can lessen the difficulty of whatever decree or reality comes our way in the coming year by living a life infused with the values of striving to change (teshuvah), engaging in spirituality (tefillah), and acts of justice (tzedakah). 

Read the rest of her essay by clicking here.


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Refugee Support Services Case Manager

Celebrate Shabbat with Rabbi Renee Bauer!

Please join your neighbors, volunteers and Jewish Social Services staff for candle lighting, challah, wine, songs and discussion to usher in Shabbat, along with the opportunity to recite Kaddish. We look forward to spending this special time together with you!

Every first Friday at Capitol Lakes Retirement Community

333 West Main Street, in the Grand Hall.
3:00-4:00 p.m.

Every third Friday at Oakwood Village University Woods

6225 Mineral Point Road at the Nakoma room in the Heritage Building.
3:30-4:30 p.m.

Click here to find out more about our many events and services at our main calendar.