Our Impact

How We Make a Difference

Goodman JFS is dedicated to serving the Broward County community by empowering individuals and protecting the vulnerable. Read the many ways our innovative social services have impacted lives.

I was no stranger to therapy when I came to Goodman JFS for help. I was in the middle of a situational life crisis, a health scare, and what looked to be the start of a long legal divorce battle. I did not know if I was going to be able to withstand this tsunami I was facing. The threat of being caught in the wave and drowning, amidst its pressure seemed inevitable, yet months later here I am.

Therapy does not remove the tsunami, but it does provide me with the tools to make my own scuba gear. The wetsuit to keep me protected from the elements, the oxygen tank to breathe underwater and a face mask to see the world around and catch a glimpse of beauty or spark joy in my life. I was unable to see anything but the tsunami before me and now I’m able to catch glimpses into the horizon, I didn’t think I was ever going to see again.

Anonymous Client, Jeff Masarek Behavioral Health Center

A couple who are both neurodivergent met in last year’s BOOST session and started dating at the end of the session. One is very interested in sexual relations but has a lot of misinformation about what sex is and how to initiate. The other person in the couple is less interested in sexual relations but wanted to know more about safety and language about sex. They both came to the Relationship, Sex, and Sexuality Workshop and now are talking to each other about boundaries and asking for consent for any touching. They both shared they have been able to grow their relationship with the information they were given in the workshop and feel more comfortable with their bodies and their future together.

Joshua’s Path/BOOST Program Manager

We recently worked with a client who had been experiencing homelessness and job loss so he was sleeping in his car and in a local temple. When our staff began working with this client, he would get frustrated and express thoughts of self-harm or suicide. While working to assist the client with funding for temporary shelter, we also connected him with mental health counseling sessions through our Jeff Masarek Behavioral Health Center

Through our wrap-around services, in particular the efforts of our Homeless Prevention Program, our Jeff Masarek Behavioral Health Center Counseling Services, and our Financial Assistance Program, we provided this client with hope, dignity, and respect and a new opportunity for a better life!

Case Manager, Homeless Prevention

At 4pm in the pediatric emergency room at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, a distressing call alerted us to the arrival of twelve children from the same neglected household. These children had endured significant neglect throughout their lives, being cared for by their 15-year-old elder sibling. Their condition was heart-wrenching, with the children dirty, congested and battling severe head lice infestations that were challenging to control. It was clear that immediate intervention was crucial to safeguard their well-being. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Joe DiMaggio stepped forward with a determined commitment to provide these children with essential resources. A frantic call was made to the RAK PAK Clothing Closet for the need of clothing, hygiene products, and back-to-school supplies, in hopes of setting them on a path towards healing and stability. Goodman JFS was there to help. The hope is that with this support, the children can find the love, care, and nurturing they deserve, paving the way for a brighter and healthier future.

Anonymous Employee, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Goodman JFS was contacted by staff at United Way to assist an elderly client who was facing loss of her home due to multiple code violations for the home’s disrepair and unsanitary conditions. Partnering with the city’s fire rescue department, JFS provided temporary housing while the volunteers cleaned the home and made mandatory repairs. It has been very rewarding partnering with this amazing group of people in our community in helping a senior keep her home. Client was also connected with the RAK PAK Clothing Closet and The Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard.

Financial Assistance Care Manager

Ms. E recently turned 101 years old and received a visit from a Case Manager from The Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard to conduct her annual home visit and client reassessment.  Ms. E is legally blind and lives alone. With all her family living out of state and receiving few visitors, she greeted the Case Manager with a big smile. She depends on her grocery delivery from The Cupboard because it’s difficult to get around and she no longer drives. 

“You have no idea how much this means to me,” said Ms. E. “Not only the food but the warmth and hugs that I receive from the volunteers make my day.”

Goodman JFS Case Manager

We recently received a referral for a family of four, including a recent widow, two adult children and one that is 17 years old. Two of the three children have permanent disabilities. After the father passed away the family ended up living in a motel. We were able to get the family out of the motel and into their own apartment that they can sustain on their own. By helping them pay a security deposit, they will now be self-sufficient.

Through our wrap-around services they were also connected with The Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard, and our Financial Assistance Program had an extra dining table that the family is now using. I just finished dropping everything off. They are extremely grateful.

Case Manager, Homeless Prevention

I’ve never written a love letter before…at least not one like this.

Dear JFS,

While I know it may have been just another Tuesday for you, I still remember the day we met. October 6th, 2020. I realized what it meant to find a home away from home, a second family of sorts.

Everyone knows you as Goodman Jewish Family Services, but to me you have always been JFS.

Falling in love catches you by surprise. I remember finding a volunteering flyer nestled on my car’s windshield that day, and without even realizing, found myself driving to you.

Some may say there’s nothing alluring about packaging canned matzo ball soup and figurines, but it never mattered to me. After all, you know what they say about personality always beating out looks! The more I worked, the stronger our connection grew. I felt honored to just be with you, admiring the work you do for Holocaust survivor families daily.

So, thank you JFS. Thank you for showing me what it feels like to love without any expectation for reciprocation. Love without anything to gain, just merely the contentedness of contributing to something larger than myself.

Thank you for introducing me to Michelle Pines, the person I owe my newfound drive and passion to, and the best mentor I could have ever asked for.

And thank you for bringing me one step closer to my Jewish community.

Know that this is not a goodbye but a see you later.


I am writing this with a sigh of relief. I called Joshua’s Path to get some information about services for my adult son who is on the spectrum. Sharlene answered all my questions and linked me with resources and direction. I am grateful for the assistance.

A Grateful Parent

As a parent of one of the Joshua’s Path ZoomTogether participants, and Legal Guardian to another participant, I am so thankful to Goodman Jewish Family Services for offering this necessary service to this population. I think it is so important to shed light on what parents who are caring for adults with disabilities go through on a daily basis, especially now during the COVID crisis. I also need to express my gratitude to Goodman JFS and the Joshua’s Path department for stepping up and creating an innovative, unique and timely program, reminding us that we are not alone. I know I am just one parent and sharing my one story, but the programs and services made available through your disability program have become my lifeline and I know they have been the same for so many others.

As you are aware, adults with I/DD experience isolation, depression and anxiety once they age out of federally funded programs at the age of 22. The ZoomTogether Program offers adapted, purposeful, engaging content. Samantha Sehter is a gifted teacher and leads the class with confidence, enthusiasm and patience. Samantha’s passion and understanding for this population is apparent. Thanks to Goodman JFS, my daughter and others like her with I/DD have the opportunity to learn, socialize and connect virtually.

Bonnie S., Parent and Guardian

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Affiliated Agencies

Jewish Federation
United Way of Broward County
Claims Conference
Federal Ministry of Finance on the basis of a decision of the Bundestag
Jewish Family Homecare