JAFCO has two campuses in Sunrise, a village in south Florida. The not-for-profit organization serves abused and neglected children as well as those with developmental disabilities. Founded more than two decades ago to service the Jewish community, the agency is privileged to serve any child in need. JAFCO began as a grassroots organization geared to provide a unique service that its founders felt was overlooked in the local and national Jewish community.
Based in south Florida, JAFCO currently is housed on two campuses. At the first location, its exemplary Children’s Village, the group serves abused and neglected children through its Family Preservation, Foster Care, Adoption and Mentoring programs. Its second and newer location, which opened in September 2014, is the JAFCO Children’s Ability Center.
JAFCO Long Island Chapter president, Pearl Halegua of Old Westbury, who toured the center this past winter, described the facility as “impressive. It’s aesthetically pleasing in appearance, and meets the clients’ special needs,” she said.
Halegua visited the new JAFCO site with her husband, Nathan, along with JAFCO Long Island board member Rose Schecter and her husband, Dr. Alan Schecter. The two couples reacted positively to the building, and described the respite center as having a modern and appealing environment.
A Long Island/New York board has worked with Halegua to plan this year’s annual JAFCO event, and to help educate others about JAFCO’s mission of strengthening the family. Board members include Kim Floam, Joan Grant, Alyse Heyman, Alexis Kaminoff, Lisa Levine, Amy Levy, Linda Moskowitz, Ronna Niederman, Rose Schecter, Stacey Spitalnick, Susan Tashlik and Dorine Wulwick.
The July 30 event, geared to raise awareness about JAFCO, will include a program with a guest speaker, a festive luncheon, game day, yoga and a shopping boutique
Created to meet the needs of children up to 22 years old with developmental disabilities – those whose cognitive, academic and social functions are impaired – the JAFCO center “is unique, because it serves the whole family,” said Sarah Franco, JAFCO executive director.
A clinical staff, including social workers, psychologists and other professionals, works at the Abilities Center. When a family visits this JAFCO site, professionals provide a game plan, including emotional support, counseling and a connection with JAFCO and community services. While youth are engaged in enrichment activities, such as learning skills to help them live everyday lives, parents may join their own support groups, or simply have much-needed time for themselves. Franco will also speak at the July 30 fundraiser.
For more information, or to attend the fundraiser, contact Pearl Halegua at firstname.lastname@example.org; or contact Rana Bell, JAFCO Director of Northeast Development, at 610-525-1040, or e-mail rana@JAFCO.org.