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Jewish Family Services of WNC, Inc. is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Charitable Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.


Jewish Family Services of WNC

2 Doctors Park Suite E, Asheville, NC 28801    828.253.2900     


“Uniquely Jewish is the obligation of the community through each and every one of its members                                           to seek out those in need and draw them in close where we know they will gain strength.”

(Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies)

To all of our JFS friends,                                   February-March 2015


Thanks to the generosity of many donors and funders, Jewish Family Services of WNC continues to provide assistance to individuals and families in critical need of a helping hand.


JFS assists clients confronted by serious life challenges, to increase their safety and wellbeing; supports older adults and their families to alleviate isolation or cope with the stresses of dementia; helps people who are unemployed or underemployed to improve their job skills; and guides students to resources for college funding. The JFS professional staff assists individuals to set goals, overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life.

This year it is especially exciting to highlight JFS Mental Health Counseling Services. For those who are struggling with depression, grief, or other mental health or relationship issues, now there is a welcoming place in the Jewish community, staffed by experienced and licensed mental health professionals, for accessible, confidential, and affordable counseling services.

With your support Jewish Family Services of WNC will continue to assist people as the only Jewish social service agency in Western North Carolina! Throughout February and March we are asking you and all members of the community to become “Friends of JFS” for 2015. Please make your generous pledge or donation now.

Every contribution to JFS supports programs and services

that help people!

Please click this secure link to make your donation:

Or mail your check to:

JFSWNC, 2 Doctors Park Suite E, Asheville, NC 28801

If you directed your 2015 WNC Jewish Federation pledge to JFS:  

We thank you!


With sincere gratitude,

Julian Biller, EdD, President                          Alison B. Gilreath, MSW

Board of Directors                                          Executive Director



JFS programs are open to all regardless of faith, race, color, gender,

sexual orientation, ethnicity, country of origin, age, or ability.

Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF) Applications Available March 1st

The Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF) has applications available on line beginning March 1st to Jewish college students.  Applications are for funding for the fall of 2015 through summer of 2016.  Deadline for this submission cycle is from March 1st through April 30th, 2015.

JELF grants interest-free loans to Jewish students from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia for post-secondary study at accredited institutions.  JELF's loans are "last dollar"- they supply the final funds that a student needs to attend school.  These loans can be used for study at a college or university, graduate school or professional/vocational school that leads to a degree or certificate.

Jewish Family Services of WNC is the Local Administrator for JELF in Western North Carolina.  For applications and more information, go to .                     


JFS receives certification as a Living Wage Employer

We are proud to announce that JFS is now a member of the Living Wage Certification Program through Just Economics, a local organization that is home for the Asheville-Buncombe Living Wage Campaign, a campaign that has helped establish an effective platform for economic sustainability and justice in our region.


What is a Living Wage?  A "living wage" is the minimum amount that a worker must earn to afford his or her basic necessities, without public or private assistance.  In short, a living wage is the real, just, minimum wage.


To learn more about Just Economics and the Living Wage program, go to



JFS is hiring: Elder Club Program Assistant


Facilitate a non-medical, structured social group program for older adults. Must have work experience assisting elders, some with dementia and physical challenges, in a group setting. Requires: strong organization and communication skills, activity planning, volunteer management. Preferred: Bachelor’s degree; knowledge of Jewish culture. 12hrs/wk: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-3pm, plus planning time; Wednesdays may be added in the future. Submit resume by 2/6/2015 to: No phone calls please! To view the full job description, click here ________________________________________________________________________________________

Be a JFS Volunteer!

Contact or call 253-2900 ext. 12 to learn more about volunteering at JFS!

Elder Club Volunteers Needed for all program days!

JFS offers volunteers an opportunity to assist in our rapidly growing Elder Club! Volunteers have a lot of fun while providing a wonderful service to Elder Club participants. Due to growing enrollment in the program on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we may be adding an additional program day to accommodate more older adults. But we can only do that if we have enough volunteers to assist our staff. If you would like to help out in the Club from 10:30am-2pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays, (or Wednesdays in the future), please contact .



This program is made possible through generous grant support from: Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation, and Perry N. Rudnick Fund at the Community Foundation of Henderson County.

JFS now offers Mental Health Counseling Services to children, adolescents and adults in a confidential setting. Services include individual, couples, family, and group therapy sessions. Issues addressed include depression, anxiety, parenting, grief, trauma, adjustment disorders, relationship problems, stress management, healthy  aging, and LGBT support.  Debra Bell, MSW, LCSW brings 20 years of professional clinical experience. 

“Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss making an appointment for any issues you may wish to talk about.”

Debra Bell, MSW, LCSW, JFS Licensed Clinical Social Worker     

(828)253-2900 ext. 13 

Sliding scale fees based on income are available; please inquire about insurance billing.


JFS "Living into Change"-- Group Still Open for Enrollment

Living Into Change is a psycho-educational group run by our JFS Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Debra Bell, MSW, LCSW, who has over 20 years of experience facilitating therapy groups.  The group will be starting in early February and is still open for enrollment.  Fees are 10.00/week with reduced rates for those who need it. First meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 2, 2015 at 6:30pm.

For information or to enroll, please contact:

Debra Bell, MSW, LSCW

JFS Licensed Clinical Social Worker

(828)253-2900 ext. 13, or 

JFS celebrated the one-year anniversary in the current location at Doctors Park!

Festivities included a "Ribbon Cutting" from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, followed by very supportive remarks from Mayor Esther Manheimer.  Executive Director Alison Gilreath and JFS Board Vice President Julian Biller did the formal ribbon cutting. Alison described JFS services, and honored the JFS Staff for their hard work and dedication.

A “Mezuzah Dedication” for JFS doorways included "teaching moments" by Rabbi Justin Goldstein of Congregation Beth Israel and Rabbi Shaya Susskind of Chabad House. Rabbi Batsheva Meiri completed the ceremony with enthusiastic hammering to place the front door mezuzahs on the JFS "doorposts". Around 100 JFS supporters crowded inside out of the frigid temperatures and joined in for some singing with local Jewish musician Penny White.


Everyone stayed to shmooze and to nosh on some delicious refreshments provided by caterer Nancy Forester and lovely desserts provided by Elegantly Simple Retreats. Deborah Halpern, President of North Carolina Wine Gifts, poured a variety of local wines for our enjoyment! It was a great evening for all our friends who came in out of the cold to the warmth and care provided by JFS! 


New! JFS Baby & Me class forming NOW at JFS

Are you a new parent (mom or dad!) looking for connections, support and fun with your baby? "Baby & Me" is a professionally facilitated group program (co-sponsored by the Asheville JCC) planned for new parent and baby.  This is a group program designed for information sharing, support, education and interactive fun!

JFS education programs take place at the JFS offices:

2 Doctors Park Suite E, 417 Biltmore Ave, Asheville 28801.

To register for any program, email or call 253-2900.


Did you know about JFS assistance from our Social Worker?

The JFS Social Worker can help with a wide range of needs including information & referral, as well as direct JFS assistance, for challenges related to mental health, financial, housing, food, transportation, and issues of aging. Contact Ariella Fleet, MSW, at , or call 253-2900 ext.12.

We can help!

“(The JFS Social Worker) was really there for me and my family at a critical time, by setting up a lifeline for my elderly parents, finding drivers so my disabled brother and father could make it to see their doctors, and finding people to help them unpack. (It was) above and beyond what I expected. This is such a needed program for the community. (JFS) continues to be a source of support for us by providing me with accurate and up-to-date information about caregiver support programs and services available within this area. Without this help my parents might have ended up suffering in a nursing facility rather than staying in the comfort of their own home.” 


JFS Elder Club


Location: 417 Biltmore Ave, 2 Doctors Park Suite E, Asheville, NC 28801

This is a great opportunity for older adults to find friendship, good kosher lunches, and stimulating activities in a safe, professionally faciliated program.  Registration is now available for new Elder Club Members!

Volunteers are needed for Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Hours for volunteering are 10:30 am- 2:00 pm.  This is a fun and rewarding volunteer experience.

For information about enrolling in the Elder Club or about volunteering, contact Ariella Fleet, MSW, our Elder Club Coordinator: or call 253-2900 ext. 12. 

Transportation is arranged with Buncombe County and need-based scholarships may be available upon request.


JFS Wants to Hear from YOU!!!

If you have received services or information from our staff or programs, please  give us your confidential feedback and comments.  If you have a suggestion for a program or service that we should consider offering, let us know as well. We want to hear from you! Click here to submit your comments online.



Stay tuned for more information about this fun event!


Manna Food Bank Welcomes 
Jewish Family Services of WNC  to their Partner Network. 

Our JFS agency is very pleased to be accepted into the Partner Network of MANNA FOODBANK! This will allow our agency to purchase at minimal cost a vastly increased amount and variety of food pantry items to offer our clients.


Sharsheret Offers Breast Cancer Survivorship Kits

Breast Cancer survivorship can trigger concerns related to a woman’s physical, psychological, social, sexual, economic and spiritual well-being. Concerns, much like a cancer diagnosis itself, are unique to each individual and can change as her journey continues. Sharsheret’s Survivorship Program, THRIVING AGAIN, offers free tailored resources that can help manage these concerns or any other survivorship uncertainties.

To learn more about this kit please click here.


JFS Grant Announcements

JFS is VERY GRATEFUL for recent major funding awards from the following funders:

WNC Jewish Federation:                                          $38,000

JFS general agency support

BJH Foundation for Senior Services:            $35,000

$25,000-JFS Case Management; $10,000-JFS Elder Club

Sisters of Mercy Foundation:                        $33,000

JFS Mental Health Counseling                        

Perry N. Rudnick Fund of the

Community Foundation of Henderson County:              $15,000 JFS Mental Health Counseling

Buncombe Country Aging Services               $14,010

JFS Elder Club scholarships

Anonymous Grant Funder*                             $  3,686

JFS Kosher Kitchen-commercial dishwasher

*facilitated by the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies


Announcing JFS Spring Fest 2015!

Our first annual JFS Friends Fest (renamed Spring Fest)was a great success! Thanks to everyone who supported JFS by attending and having an enjoyable evening with us! Click here for photos!

Please save the date for our JFS Spring Fest 2015: Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 6:00pm at The Mill Room.


Assist. Educate. Empower.

Mission: Jewish Family Services of Western North Carolina strengthens the community by empowering individuals and families through programs and services guided by Jewish values.

Vision: A community in which individuals and families
have the resources to reach their full potential.



Corporate Partnerships with JFS

Corporate partners are needed to support the Jewish Family Services of WNC. For more information on how your business can become a JFS partner, please click here.

Jewish Family Services of WNC
2 Doctors Park Suite E
Asheville, NC 28801

(828) 253-2900


JFS has Moved!

Jewish Family Services of WNC is pleased to announce that as of November 2013, our agency and all of its programs moved out of the JCC building to a new location at Doctors Park on Biltmore Avenue. This is an exciting and momentous time for JFS, and we thank everyone who contributed in any way to helping us reach this great milestone in our agency’s development. We are deeply grateful to the JCC for housing and incubating JFS through all these years, and to the JCC Board and Staff for supporting our efforts to find our own home! Click here for a list of relocation donors.

JFS celebrated the move with a festive Opening Celebration! To view photos of the event click here.

JFS celebrated the first anniversary in our new location at Doctors Park!  

TO SEE JFS PHOTOS, ( including pictures from our anniversary party), AND THE JFS YEAR IN REVIEW, CLICK HERE

Jewish Family Services of WNC
2 Doctors Park Suite E
Asheville, NC 28801

(828) 253-2900


Friends of JFS

In 2014, JFS served over 250 individuals and family members.
While 75% of JFS clients are Jewish, our services are open to those of all faiths. Please join our Friends of JFS for 2015 now so that we can continue to help our community’s most vulnerable neighbors, friends, and families.

To become a Friend of JFS click here. 



Want to keep informed about JFS activities, news and information?
Click here to subscribe to the JFS email list!