Jewish Teen Philanthropy Learns About JFS

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As written by Kendall Miller, AJA 8th grader:

      As part of our Teen Jewish Philanthropy class, Mr. Sudolsky, the director of Jewish Family Services in Austin, came and spoke to us about what JFS does. We learned that JFS began when Jewish immigrants were struggling with work and getting enough money during the Industrial Era of American history. The whole point of JFS is to help Jews in need, whether it be for rent, medical bills or keeping the water on. But the money doesn’t come from the government, it comes from other Jews. Mr. Sudolsky explained that JFS is all about Jews helping other Jews. But if someone who isn’t Jewish asks for help from JFS, they will point them to a different organization who can help them. There are many Christian organizations similar to JFS in Austin, and even a Muslim one. They also do this for Jewish individuals with mental health disorders. Though JFS does provide support groups and psychotherapy, sometimes they can’t always help so they make sure to provide the resources for them to get help elsewhere.

      Mr. Sudolsky told us that sometimes asking for help can be hard and embarrassing, so they reach out to the  community so people don’t have to go looking for them. Sometimes they will even reach out to specific people if they get a tip that the person is in need of some help. Since there is such a small population of Jews in Austin, JFS makes sure the community is taken care of. It’s a very comforting thought that there is a community of people who support you and care about you, especially in times of trouble.


Mitch Sudolsky