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OMAHA, NE — The Jewish Federation of Omaha is pleased to announce it was recently awarded a grant of $25,000.00 from United Way of the Midlands to fund a variety of programmatic initiatives through agencies on the Jewish Federation of Omaha campus, Jewish Senior Outreach and Jewish Family Service. The generosity of United Way donors will greatly impact the members of the Jewish community of Omaha.

The demographics directly impacted by this grant are youth, seniors and those most vulnerable or in need of direct assistance. United Way’s investments in the Jewish Federation of Omaha include the following: $10,000 for Jewish Social Services’ geriatric counseling, $15,000 for mental health care and counseling through Jewish Family Service.

For Jewish Senior Outreach, the goal has been, and remains, varied programming for the frail elderly to keep them healthy and a vital part of the Jewish community.

Jewish Family Service received funding for mental health care and counseling services. This funding provides counseling services to individuals (they need not be Jewish clients) who require a Sliding Fee rate, either because they do not have insurance or income qualify.

Jewish Family Service accommodated 46 Clients and provided 361 therapy sessions from July, 2014-June, 2015. Members of the Omaha community received help when access to comparable services were unavailable elsewhere. When Jewish Family Service has the resources available to provide these services, they are fulfilling one of the most important tenants of the Jewish faith: Tikkun Olam, to help repair the world.

To illustrate direct assistance, consider this example. A 56 year old Caucasian woman was initially referred to JFS in 2005, through Best Care EAP (through employer). The Client comes from a family with a history of mental illness and she has experienced sporadic employment until recently securing full-time employment for the first time since 2013.

Or, “Jan’s” story. “Jan” was born and raised in Omaha raising three children with her husband of 42 years. Now widowed, she is currently 88 years old, disabled and using 2 canes to navigate the main floor of her home. She has serious cardiac issues, and is extremely hard of hearing. Over the last two years, “Jan” has reached out for assistance from Jewish Senior Outreach (JSO). “Jan” remembered an aunt receiving care at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home many years ago and felt she would be welcomed in reaching out to JSO for help. She participates regularly in counseling sessions that provide therapeutic support and coping skills to reduce stress in her life. The Outreach Social Worker helped to apply for Medicaid benefits through the State, found a primary care physician and a cardiologist. Jewish Senior Outreach also covers the monthly cost of Lifeline services in her home. Her home is in need of major repair, packed full and dirty. She actually has received a notice of code violation from city inspectors. JSO is working with the city on a timeline —hoping to avoid eviction without a relocation plan and working to find appropriate living arrangements for “Jan”. JSO funding assistance will be available to cover some of her moving costs. United Way support makes it possible for “Jan” and many like her to receive case management attention from JSO—an agency they know and trust.

Alan Potash, CEO of the Jewish Federation Omaha expressed his gratitude to United Way of the Midlands. “We are thankful to United Way for their generous support of our programs. Jewish Senior Outreach and Jewish Family Service strive, each and every day, to provide the highest level of service to our community members. The quality of people’s lives is changed for the better. Thank you to all who contribute to the United Way of the Midlands.”

United Way of the Midlands helps the most vulnerable in our community, and works on human service solutions that will benefit our metro area for generations to come. We connect people and organizations with a secure way to donate their financial support and their time, and connect them to a strong network of health and human service programs that help our neighbors build a better life for themselves.  Thanks to all who come together at United Way’s table, we are COMMUNITY STRONG.

The Jewish Federation of Omaha works each day to fulfill its mission to build and sustain a strong and vibrant Omaha Jewish community and to support Jews in Israel and around the world. We strive to achieve our goals through the basic core values of Judaism: collective responsibility, community, education, health and well-being, integrity, leadership and stewardship.