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.

Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for accepting K.W. into the Joshua’s Path BOOST Program at Goodman Jewish Family Services. This has been a wonderful experience for K.W., who was very depressed prior to her participating in BOOST. We were searching for a program for her that would help her develop her social skills, build employment skills, and enhance her independence.

She absolutely loves attending BOOST. The Program Director, Samantha, has developed an outstanding curriculum; one that is sorely lacking in the community. There is a huge gap in services for young adults with IDD over the age of 22. The curriculum was educational and empowering. Lessons were organized and comprehensive. K.W., who is normally distant, opened up to her class and to the coaching staff and developed wonderful new relationships. She learned proper behaviors and how to communicate better with her peers.

The work experiences were her favorite section of the BOOST program. She looked forward to working hard every day and learned skills that have given her confidence to be part of a family. We are confident that K.W. will be able to maintain purposeful employment and will be a contributing member of the community.

Bonnie, guardian of a BOOST participant

Goodman JFS does amazing things to assist Holocaust survivors maintain their independence while aging with dignity in their own homes, thanks to the funding from the Claims Conference grant. One of our clients, a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor from Poland has stated to her care manager that, “these services have saved her life.” This client has survived Auschwitz concentration camp and other forms of persecution throughout the war. She is a resilient and strong woman, who wanted to be as independent as possible. As she became frailer, she agreed to allow us to provide her with a life alert system (PERS). The day the PERS arrived, she fell and broke her hip. Without the PERS system, she would have not been found until late next morning when her aide arrived. We also provided her with over 100 hours of home care a week until she was fully healed.  Her medication made her feel very nauseous and she could not keep food down, so we also made sure she had Publix gift cards to purchase Ensure, as well as a wheelchair, a bed side commode, grab bars and incontinent supplies. The client is very grateful to GJFS and the Claims Conference for “saving her life” and providing her with all the care and financial assistance she needed to recuperate.

Anonymous, Holocaust survivor care manager

I was so overwhelmed by my situation at the time of having to move. Everyone was very professional. The front desk at Goodman JFS to the Intake Representative. The first meeting with Jeff (Coast to Coast Legal Aid) was so encouraging. I was respected very much. I would refer anyone to this service. The staff at The Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard was very helpful. ALL my stress was removed immediately by wonderful and caring people. My experience with everyone was top service and #1 in assisting people going through any problems.

Secondly, each individual knew their job and was very knowledgeable. I would not be here if I didn’t discover all the services available.  Finally, I thank you very much and my family and my friends thank you. I found a shining light at the end of the tunnel.

Patricia, Financial Assistance client

A retired Army veteran who could not make ends meet came in to The Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard wearing his army fatigues and dog tags. He had been living on peanut butter sticks and water from the Dollar Store and had an empty pantry. When he came to The Cupboard, he marveled at the fresh produce, kosher chicken and homemade challah. We filled two bulging bags of groceries for him and he was so grateful that he wanted to hug and thank all of the staff after he finished shopping. “I never needed help before in my life,” he told us.

It is so gratifying to have such a positive impact on those in need in our community, and to know that now there is one less person who has to go to bed hungry tonight.

Lu Fiegler, The DBJG Cupboard Community Liaison

I am extremely grateful to both Coast to Coast Legal Aid and Goodman JFS for the compassion they showed in dealing with my situation. I would love to send out special Kudos to Jeff and Anna Maria for showing such kindness, understanding and caring that only true Samaritans can achieve. You are fortunate to have them among you. Mazel-tov and God Bless.

Tom, Financial Assistance client

Mrs. L. was referred to Goodman JFS from Hallandale Human Services because her water had been disconnected for several days. She and her husband are both disabled, and they receive government benefits. She could not remember the events leading up to the water being disconnected. The client was assessed as “frail and forgetful.” Hallandale Human Services and Goodman JFS worked together to get the utility bill paid and services restored. The client was referred to AARP for evaluation and was approved for home care services, four hours a day, several times a week.

Financial Assistance Care Manager

Ms. J. contacted Goodman JFS requesting relocation services. She is disabled and is taking care of her grandchildren because her daughter passed away several years ago. They had to move because the home was in bad condition (mold, broken walls and floors, etc.). The client had a Section 8 Housing Voucher that would expire in 10 days and although she had been looking for a place for several months, she had been unsuccessful. She was paying for a motel and couldn’t afford to relocate. The children had very little clothing, and the other agencies she contacted were unable to assist with all her needs.

Goodman JFS was able to act as her advocate by working with a landlord, getting her public benefits reinstated, providing gift cards for food and clothing for the children and working with another agency to get them beds and household items. This family was able to start a new life in a new home.

Financial Assistance Care Manager

The Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard represents love, compassion, hope and the simplest of gestures which seems lost in today’s world, kindness, helping another because you can with no strings attached. Just the want to positively impact a family’s life. Clients are treated with such respect that we are not embarrassed by our circumstances but are lifted up by the generosity and smiles when greeted through the doors. We are not questioned on how we ended up in our circumstances but encouraged to help ourselves and in return another.

I am a single mother of a teenage child. Like all of us we have a story. I feel it’s important to share it, so others not only understand our circumstances but are moved by it. I hope it allows a platform to share the Cupboard’s impact while offering an invitation for many who may not know the significant yet quiet unspoken need in our community.

I was an established single parent whose teenage son had a bright future. He was active in the community and wanted to be a lawyer. Then, life happened. My son became ill and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. We were and are in for the fight of our lives. All resources I had and have are depleted on insurance, medical bills and weekly brain treatments and medication insurance does not cover. The decision became between medication/treatments or meals other than what seemed like grilled cheese, egg sandwiches and water. He and I gladly choose my son’s medication/treatments but the need for milk and fundamentals were apparent.

It was when I reached the Cupboard and saw Vicky’s smiling face, I then realize how lucky we were. Chicken, strawberries, milk, eggs and the staples for a nutritious meal for my child. It was and is the best decision I have made. There is no greater love than from one’s family. Sometimes that family comes from an unexpected place. That family is found not only at and through the volunteers and employees at the Cupboard but from the generosity of its contributors and local businesses who sustain it.

A very grateful client,
Mom and Son in Davie

Anonymous, client

When we recently delivered food to a frail elderly Dorit & Ben J. Genet Cupboard client who is practically blind, and has very little money, she dug in her purse and pressed a few dollars into my young daughter’s hands – “for your Tzedakah box” she said. What a great lesson my child learned that day.

Anonymous, volunteer

A 50-year-old man called Goodman JFS because he needed rental assistance. The client, who was once homeless, fell behind in rent because he lost his job. He had worked very hard to get back to stable finances, get a home and pay all of his own household expenses. He owed one month’s rent and did not want to be evicted. The case manager contacted the landlord to request time to process client’s application without evicting him. The landlord agreed and went to the housing court to stop the eviction procedure he had already started. He said, “I don’t want him to be homeless again because he is a very good man who ran out of luck.” The client had several job interviews and a couple of days later he was hired. In addition, he has been doing odd jobs around the neighborhood to save some money to be prepared in case he has another emergency. GJFS contributed to the community by preventing him from becoming homeless again.

Financial Assistance Care Manager

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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