Honoring the Mitzvah Circle

“Mitzvah” is defined as a commandment of the Jewish law and/or a meritorious or charitable act, and the Mitzvah Circle operating out of Sun City Palm Desert has certainly lived up to its name. The brainchild of Elaine Leib and Rhoda Lewis, the Mitzvah Circle was started as a small group of volunteers interested in supporting local Jewish households who were struggling financially.

Three to four times a year, “adopted” Jewish families are provided with a generous gift package that includes items specifically purchased for family members and a substantial gift card for groceries, medications, gas, etc. Barbara Price took over for Elaine and Rhoda, and she ushered in social opportunities for Mitzvah Circle members, adding a “family atmosphere” to many fundraising events. Her efforts led to a substantial increase to the membership roster.

When Barbara stepped down, Lois Bergman and Carole Westwood teamed up, serving as Co-Presidents of the Mitzvah Circle. In addition to assisting local Jewish families, Lois and Carole opened up Mitzvah Circle support to Jewish individuals, so JFS case managers are now able to request direct financial support for Jewish individuals through the Mitzvah Circle.

For nearly ten years, the Mitzvah Circle has provided direct financial support to local, Jewish families struggling with short-term financial issues. Jewish Family Service of the Desert would like to thank the founders, past-presidents, and members of the Mitzvah Circle for their deep caring and commitment to Jewish households throughout the Coachella Valley. “Today, Harriet Rodman and Dorothy Fishman assist with gathering membership dues and readying the gift packages for JFS pickup.”

Kraig Johnson

Executive Director


Help JFS Serve the Most Vulnerable in the Coachella Valley

Purchasing a tribute or a general donation allows JFS to continue to offer no-cost emergency assistance and allows us to be your voice in the Coachella Valley. Your gift of any amount is greatly appreciated.

JFS set up a fund called “It Begins with Us” specifically used to help address the emotional and financial needs of all those in the Coachella Valley coping with the Coronavirus pandemic. Our case managers are very busy taking calls from local residents who are having trouble and need our help, now, more than ever.

  • $360 will help pay for minor home repair, increasing safety and accessibility.
  • $180 will help pay an overdue utility bill.
  • $72 provides food to those unable to go to the market.
  • $36 helps support counseling.

For nearly 40 years, JFS has protected the most vulnerable in our Valley, and we all have the power to make a difference. We’ve helped thousands of people manage anxiety or depression, avoid becoming homeless, and connect with life-sustaining services, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or lifestyle. We have a proven track record, and we’re proud to be your voice in the Coachella Valley.

Questions? Call or E-mail:

Cheryl Scarlett

Director of Major Gifts and Fundraising

760-325-4088 ext. 107

[email protected] 



December 7, 2020

Virtual and Live Patron Party

We will be announcing exciting and interesting twists to our much anticipated annual Patron Party and other surprises that will allow our Patrons to connect and support our mission.

For More Information:

Cheryl Scarlett, 760-325-4088 ext. 107 or [email protected]

Become a Volunteer!

Volunteers keep JFS humming along! You too can join our team. JFS has a variety of office and community volunteer opportunities for teens and adults. Also, the JFS Auxiliary works to support our mission through events, programs, volunteering, and fundraising for special projects.

They are a membership arm of JFS and have their own governance with a nominal yearly membership fee. Our amazing Auxiliary promises camaraderie and fun while helping to raise much-needed funds for JFS programming.

Click Here for Volunteer Application!

JFS is Here to Serve the Entire Community!

We’re Committed to Staying Open to Help Our Valley

via “Telehealth” and, again, with In-Person Counseling.

Anyone interested in making an appointment for in-person counseling or if you know someone who needs counseling or financial assistance,

please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or 760-325-4088.

(Set up counseling for new clients)

760-325-4088 ext. 121

[email protected]

(Set up counseling appointments for existing clients)

760-325-4088 ext. 0

[email protected]  

(For emergency assistance)

760-325-4088 ext. 250

[email protected] 

Visit the JFS Resource page on the website, which provides valuable information that can steer you toward the specific help you need whether it is Emergency Housing, Food Assistance,

Crisis Hotlines and more! Click Here!



Let JFS help you honor someone.

Let us create your unique greeting with one of our personalized tribute cards.

With a Minimum Donation of $18,

You Can Support These Worthwhile Services…

– Counseling for everyone

– Homeless prevention

– Financial aid for families and seniors

 – Lunches for isolated seniors in the Coachella Valley

– Emergency services for our local undocumented residents

Click Here to Send Tribute!