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Jewish Child & Family Service - Strengthening the Lives of Families in Winnipeg
About JCFS > History of JCFS
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1903 - Kishinev (Russia) Pogrom Massacre in which many were murdered. This incident caused Jews in North America to become more tightly knit. Many Jews chose to emigrate to USA and Canada. Some eventually settled in Winnipeg.


1914 - Ester Robinson Jewish Orphanage incorporated.


1916 - United Hebrew Charities and the North End Relief groups merged to form the United Hebrew Relief group - a group that supported impoverished Jewish immigrants.


1927 - A small Jewish social service agency was opened with one social worker.


Late 1930’s - Jewish Welfare Fund was established. United Hebrew Relief was a beneficiary of the Jewish Welfare Fund.


1940 - Jewish Children’s Home and Aid Society of Western Canada was established.


1942 - The Knesseth Israel Sisterhood and the Social Service Department of the National Council of Jewish Women merged with Hebrew Relief to form the United Hebrew Social Service Bureau.


1947 - War orphans, Jewish refugees, displaced persons and Holocaust survivors supported by the social service bureau.


1951 - United Hebrew Social Service Bureau, renamed the Jewish Family Service Bureau of Winnipeg, later joined Jewish Children’s Home, which then became JEWISH CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICE.


1952 - JEWISH CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICE was incorporated as a Children’s Aid Society for the care of Jewish children in the Province of Manitoba.


1956 - 200 Hungarian refugees received support.


1963 - First residential group home for boys established.


1966-1968 - Moroccan Jews, Israelis, and Czechoslovakian immigrants resettle in Winnipeg and received help from JCFS.


1970’s - Development of counselling services, financial assistance services, homemaker services that eventually led to the establishment of specialized services for the elderly, which became known as Older Adult Services.


1975-1981 - Russian immigration - 1200 individuals resettled during this period.


1981 – Agency office was destroyed by fire. Records were salvaged with the assistance of the provincial archivist and the Air Force who freeze-dried the records. The records were then committed to microfilm.


1981 - Barney Yellen appointed as JCFS Executive Director. The previous director was Edward Moscovitch (1956 to 1981).


1981 - JCFS opens new offices in the Lindsay Building on Notre Dame Avenue.


1982 - Establishment of the volunteer program. This was the first time in the agency’s history that non-professionals were involved with clients.


1982-1987 - Shalom Residences was established to provide residential support to adults with intellectual disabilities. The agency played an interim role in providing administrative support services.


1983 - The Jewish Child and Family Capital Fund Inc. was established as a separate incorporated organization which maintains various trust funds and assets of JCFS.


1985 - Chevrah Group Home was renovated, renamed and expanded as a co-ed residential treatment home for youngsters.


November 1987 - Agency was decentralized to two locations. Our main office was in the North end, on the corner of Jefferson and McPhillips. A satellite office was established in the Temple Shalom building on Wilton and Grant.


1990 - the Homemaker Registry service was established.which provides a roster of people who were looking for work as caregivers and other domestic services.


1990 - The Agency took on the responsibility of the Jewish community Chaplain - a position that is funded by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and the WRHA.


1992 - the Temple Shalom location was closed and a satellite office was opened on St James  Street across from Polo Park Shopping Centre. This location was named The Counselling Centre.


1994 - The Agency board approved the decision to centralize its facilities and move to the Jewish Community Campus on Doncaster Street.


1994-1995 - Chevrah group home was downsized to a boys' only residential home.


1996 - Barney Yellen resigns as Executive Director to take a position as Director for JFCS in New Haven, Conn.


1996 - The Communal Mental Health program was launched, originally as a pilot program, and  later evolved into a permanent agency service in 1998.


May 1997 - Emily Shane is appointed as Executive Director.


1997 - JCFS moves to the Asper Jewish Community Campus.


2000 - The group home Chevrah was closed. It was felt that the needs of Jewish children could be better met by expanding the Foster Care program.


2000 - HOURS TO SHARE was launched. This was the Jewish Community Volunteer Bureau. This initiative was funded by the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba and was coordinated by JCFS.


2001 –Identified the need for formalized support for survivors of domestic violence which led to the formation of Domestic Violence Task Force.


2002 - Golden Gala Anniversary - JCFS celebrated 50 years of caring. Past presidents, Executive Directors and staff were honoured. The honourary chair for the evening was Ida Margolis. Ida was honoured for her longtime service as a volunteer and for the involvement of her family in the work of the agency. The event took place at the Hotel Ft. Garry. A dinner and cabaret were part of the evening’s events.


March 17, 2002 - MAKING A DIFFERENCE – a book chronicling the Agency’s history, written by Sybil Shack and Sharon Chisvin, was launched.


June 2003 - COVER OUR KIDS WITH CARE, an initiative in support of Jewish children in foster care, was started. Special tribute cards were created to support our efforts to provide extra care for Jewish children in care.


October 2003 – A Manager was hired for THE ASPER HELPING HAND INITIATIVE interest-free loan program.


March 2006 - Creation of the JCFS Passover cookbook - A 21ST CENTURY PASSOVER: RECIPES FROM THE FRIENDS OF JEWISH CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICE. The cookbook was launched at a fundraising event. The cookbook was sold for $18. Printing costs were underwritten by the Danzker Foundation.


2006 - Establishment of the Eve and Harry Vickar Community Assistance Program to support Jewish individuals in Winnipeg living with poverty.


May 2006 - JCFS wins AJFCA award for website design.


June 2007 - JACS program established (to help Jews in recovery from addictions) supported by JCFS. This is a community initiative that receives ongoing support from the agency.


April 13, 2008 - STARS OF TOMORROW (number 2), a fundraiser to support Jewish children in foster care. This event took place at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Youngsters from the community auditioned to perform in the show.


2009 - Establishment of employment services to support new immigrants in finding employment. This has become part of our Resettlement and Integration services.


2012 Century of Caring Year – Celebration of one hundred years of Jewish social services and the 60th anniversary of JCFS.  Gala evening was held on May 24, 2012 at the Fort Garry Hotel.


2012 – The new Jewish Child and Family Incorporation Act was introduced and passed in the Manitoba Provincial Legislative.  This replaces the original petition that was established in 1952.


2014 - JCFS spearheads two-day conference on Addictions. “Opening the Door: Conversations about Addiction” featured national and international speakers and addressed important issues dealing with addictions, treatment and recovery.


2014 - Al Benarroch appointed as JCFS Executive Director. Al succeeded Emily Shane who retired in June 2014.