Accessing JFS Services During COVID-19

Because of the need for staying at home and social distancing, Jewish Family Services has updated our policies to allow new and existing clients access to our confidential services without coming to the Jewish Federation building. In order to access services, potential clients must first speak with Jewish Family Services staff for a phone intake. For current clients needing to access the Food Pantry, please CLICK HERE to access our fillable order form. Order forms can be emailed to Rowan Kelley at

Jewish Family Services currently offers many services, including person-to-person calling for isolated individuals, assessment and referral to local social and human service agencies, advocacy and coordination of care, limited financial assistance, food assistance via delivery from our food pantry, and ongoing support and wellness groups online.

For current clients needing to access the Food Pantry, please Rowan Kelley at

If you would like to volunteer for Jewish Family Services, please contact Charmagne LaFortune at


Who Do We Serve?

JFS focuses on providing services and programs to individuals and families within our Jewish community based on the mission and values of the Jewish Federation. Although some of our programs and services are designed to help fill a need for a specific demographic within our community, JFS offers services to anyone within the Jewish community who may need them. If you believe you may benefit from our programs and services, please call the Jewish Federation to set up a meeting with one of our JFS staff, and discuss how we can best assist you based on your individual needs and situation.

Who is the Jewish Family Services Staff?

Our Jewish Family Services staff includes Director, Rowan Kelley, BS and Jewish Family Services Associates Charmagne La Fortune, BA and Nancy Kennedy, BA.  In addition to a partnership with Rabbis from the local synagogues, we also have a community-based Jewish Family Services Advisory Board that works directly with our staff and volunteers to provide services to the Jewish members of the Michiana community. 


To contact our JFS Staff please

See Our Staff Directory 


We are always looking for volunteers. If you would like to know how you can help, please feel free to contact one of our Jewish Family Service Staff members. 

What Social Services Do We Provide?

Social services we provide within our community include, but are not limited to:

  • The JFS Food Pantry - providing Kosher food items, personal care items, paper products, and gas cards to assist with the many needs low income families have that may not be met by state and federal programs.
  • Assessment and referral to appropriate community agencies
  • Wellness checks or phone calls from our Jewish Family Service volunteers and JFS staff
  • Transportation to physicians' offices and social service appointments provided by our volunteers and part-time paid drivers. Transportation services require a minimum 7-day's notice. Transportation is also offered to select Jewish Federation programs at the Kurt and Tessye Simon Community Building.

    These events include:
    Bi-Weekly Lunch Programs, Yom I'yyun, Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Campaign Kick-Off, Jewish Federation's Annual Meeting
  • Supportive, non-therapeutic, situation-focused counseling
  • Advocacy within the social service, educational, legal, penal, and medical fields
  • Limited emergency financial assistance
  • On-site programming at senior living community centers
  • Russian ESL class
  • Youth and intergenerational programs

Our Community Programming

Most of our programs are open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend. Our programs are constantly changing based on the needs of our community. Programs we currently offer include:

Community Lunches

Each month, September through May, with Dor 'l' Dor – Intergenerational lunches during the summer months. Lunches are themed around a Jewish Holiday or an educational presentation by a professional within the Michiana community. Past programs have covered topics such as:

  • Maintaining Cognitive Wellbeing
  • Dealing with Disabilities
  • The Benefits of Pet Ownership
  • Kashrut: Jewish Dietary Laws
  • Benefits of Yoga in Daily Life
  • Appropriate Medication Use for the Aging Population

Monthly Senior Programming

At senior living communities to provide socialization and holiday celebration opportunities for our senior community members.

Yom I’yyun

A Day of Learning with deep and meaningful conversation. Our day begins with a speaker presentation on a topic of social awareness that is relevant to us today. We are also joined by local Rabbis who share insight on what the Torah and Talmudic studies add to the conversation. Past topics have included:

  • Dealing with Chronic Stress
  • The Impact of Transitions on our Mental Wellness and How To Strategize Effectively
  • Bullying
  • Suicide Prevention and Living With Depression
  • Financial Abuse within the Senior Community

If you have questions about a specific program, please

Contact the Federation

How We’ve Helped Thanks to Your Support

In just the past few years we were able to provide:

Over 300 Grocery store gift cards

Over 150 Gas cards

Over 200 Food pantry draws

Over 80 Medical and social service rides

Over 100 Free Hot Lunches

Over 450 Reduced-price hot lunches

Confidentiality within Jewish Family Services

Privacy is very important to us. All services of the Jewish Family Services are strictly confidential unless there is a threat to the safety of the clients as per law. Brief documentation of client contacts and services provided are recorded by a JFS staff member to ensure continuity of care and data collection. This charting is kept locked away and can only be accessed by appropriate designated professional staff of the Jewish Federation.

Upcoming Events

Contact Us

The Jewish Federation
of St. Joseph Valley

3202 Shalom Way
South Bend, IN 46615          

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M - Th: 9:00am - 5:00pm
F: 9:00am - 5:00pm Daylight Savings     
    9:00am - 3:00pm Standard
Sun: Varies dependent on programming
Sat: Closed

We observe most federal and Jewish holidays. To find out which ones affect our hours