Affirming our Roots: Jewish Financial Assistance Available through CJFS

by Lauren Schwartz, CJFS Executive Director 

Before there was a Collat Jewish Family Services, the Birmingham Jewish community had a special group of mensches who ensured that when someone lost a job or a family breadwinner passed away, no one went hungry or lost their home. Though I know it was a larger network, I have been privileged in my career to learn from three of them—Fred Friedman, and Bubba Friedman and Sidney Ziff, of blessed memory.

As a young social worker at what was then Jewish Family Services of Birmingham, I learned from those three how they quietly reached out and gathered funds to assist; the guiding principle of their tzedakah was  preserving the pride and dignity of those receiving aid.  Today, with the instability and uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, I am reminded of their generous hearts and wisdom.

For the last 30 years, CJFS has fulfilled the role of providing financial assistance to ensure that our community members have not only the funds they need but also the professional guidance to move beyond the need for help. Thanks to a grant from the Greatest Needs Fund of the Birmingham Jewish Federation COVID Relief Campaign, CJFS is prepared to meet the growing needs of our Jewish community members who are facing financial insecurity because of job loss, caring for family or other issues. 

You may have never needed CJFS before. In fact, you may have been a volunteer or a donor. You have been here for us. We want to be here for you. If you or someone you care about needs help with rent or a mortgage payment, utilities, prescription costs or other financial needs, please email Marcy Morgenbesser, marcy@cjfsbham.org or call us at 205.879.3438. Allow us the honor of affirming our roots.