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Volunteer Voices Spotlight:
Mindy Rose – Café Europa
My vibrant and dear friend Bobbie who passed six years ago, once said, “Mindy, have you visited the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage?” I was more than a little embarrassed that I did not know of this gem that houses a permanent and very personal Holocaust Memorial Exhibit comprised of pictures, stories, clothing and artifacts of Coachella Valley Holocaust survivors.
Little did I know how impactful that day would be, or the meaningful friendships that would ensue, becoming such a big part of my life and my Jewish identity. From the moment we entered, Kraig Johnson, Executive Director, Jewish Family Service greeted us warmly in the space where his team was organizing and actively engaged with seniors.
“What are they celebrating?” I asked. Kraig explained, “They are all members of Café Europa a monthly gathering JFS sponsors, and organizes specifically designed to bring local Holocaust survivors together in a social setting, to have lunch and provide a program with guest speakers, or entertainment.” I was absolutely smitten by the outright friendliness, openness, and tremendous spirit of this special group of individuals. I asked Kraig if he could use any extra help in any way, and as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Nothing could have prepared me for the joyous, meaningful and lasting friendships that I would develop while volunteering at Café Europa gatherings with those who are clearly among some of our last living Jewish men and women. Many of who witnessed the gut-wrenching atrocities endured as individuals and with their families during the Holocaust.
Yet, in spite of their sorrow and suffering endured as innocent children and teens, they are not consumed by hate or bitterness; their hearts are not hardened. Rather, I have found them to be such gentle souls, with hearts full of compassion for others who are suffering and facing hardship.
Moreover, some Café Europa members willingly volunteer to re-live their personal experiences of hardship & suffering by sharing and telling their personal stories during the Holocaust with hundreds of students. Survivors share because they feel compelled to do so, so the lessons can never be forgotten.
The reason I volunteer for Café Europa and JFS is clear. I am so grateful for the blessing of getting to know Kraig Johnson, Cheryl Scarlett, Julie Hirsh, JFS staff and volunteers, and Talia at the Tolerance Education Center, who have become dear friends and have warmly embraced me.
My life is greatly enriched by all of you. I look forward to the day when we will all be together again to share lunch and a few laughs!
Our experienced case managers assist in exploring resources. They assess clients’ eligibility for services and programs and can help facilitate the application process to obtain benefits and support.
Our case managers are a resource for the Coachella Valley, providing emergency financial assistance to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless.
JFS also works with local and county organizations to advocate for the rights of Valley residents. The JFS case management team takes a holistic service approach, collaborating with internal departments to ensure clients’ needs are addressed. We are dedicated to making sure that mental health and basic needs issues stay front and center for our Valley citizens.
If you’re Jewish, you’ll first be offered information about the Jewish Federation of the Desert’s Tzedakah Fund, and interested persons will be provided with an application and connected to the Federation directly.
Your IRA is a Tax-Saving Way to
Make Your Charitable Gift to JFS Desert
Your Support Helps our
Valley Survive and Thrive!
When you plan a gift to JFS Desert as part of your overall estate and financial plans, you help ensure that we’ll be here to carry out our mission for many years to come. If you are 70.5 years old or older, you can take advantage of a simple way to benefit JFS Desert and receive tax benefits in return.
Your gift will be put to great use today, allowing you to see the difference your donation is making.
For More Information: Cheryl Scarlett, 760-325-4088 ext. 107, or by e-mail
How JFS Desert Provides
Support During COVID-19
Consider a 2021 Tribute…
They Make a Difference!
Let JFS help you honor someone special in your life by sending a unique personalized tribute card. A minimum donation of only $18.
For a Minimum Donation of $18
You’ll Support These Life-Saving Programs
– 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 A TRIBUTE!
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!