Raleigh-Cary Jewish Family Services (JFS) improves quality of life by providing affordable social and human services to Jews of all ages and affiliations in Wake County and surrounding areas. JFS fosters the Jewish value of empowering people to care for themselves and each other.
In the second half of 1984, an ad-hoc committee was formed to determine the need for, and feasibility of, a Jewish family service in the Raleigh area. This effort, by a dedicated group of volunteers, culminated in January, 1985 with the first official meeting of Jewish Community Services. Incorporated in February, 1985, the purpose of Jewish Community Services, Inc. (JCS) was “to preserve, to develop, and to promote healthy family life in the Jewish community of Wake County.”
Over the next two years, JCS developed a Board of Directors, hired a part-time Executive Director and provided a wide range of programs and services including sliding-scale counseling, Family Life Educations programs, Seniors’ bus trips, genetic testing, and the publishing and distribution of a community newsletter.
By 1987, JCS shared office space and worked side-by-side with the newly formed Wake County Jewish Federation. This mutually beneficial relationship continued until 1991 when JCS formally merged with the Jewish Federation. Throughout the early 90s, JCS provided essential services, including the community Health Fair. 1995 brought a name change to Jewish Family Services and a re-defined mission “to provide professional psychosocial support to individuals and families…offering Jewish Family Life Education, Geriatric case management, sliding-scale fee psychotherapy, educational scholarships to children and loans to college students, and refugee resettlement.”
The end of the first decade of the 21st century, and its attendant recession, brought a downsizing to JFS that entailed cuts to staffing and services. Having weathered that storm, JFS announced a major re-launch in 2016. With increased staff and enhanced programs and services, JFS is committed to expand to meet the growth in both our community’s population, and its clinical, social service, human service, and volunteer needs.