JF&CS Newsroom

Welcome to the JF&CS Newsroom. Learn the latest news through press releases, archived videos, local news coverage and our own eNewletters.

Melissa DaSilva Named Director of Intellectual and Development Disabilities Services Of JF&CS Atlanta

The Shalom Bayit tree was planted in memory of victims of domestic violence and in honor of the brave survivors who received help from our program.ATLANTA, Ga., Oct. 24, 2018, —Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) Atlanta named Melissa DaSilva its new Director of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services. In this role, DaSilva will champion efforts to support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and their family caregivers. The program follows a person-centered approach to ensure those with disabilities have a hand in directing their services and a voice in choosing their own destinies.

“Melissa will play a vital role in further developing and executing the vision of our Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services,” said Faye Dresner, Chief Program Officer and interim CEO at JF&CS. “That vision is to offer opportunities for these adults to build on their abilities and to integrate into the community by providing them with developmental supports, a social network, employment and means of transportation.”

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services at JF&CS includes:

  • IndependenceWORKS, which offers a day program, evaluations, prevocational assessment and support, and job coaching so adults with disabilities can find and maintain work that utilizes their greatest talents and abilities.

  • Supported Employment Program, which provides the services needed to help employers and individuals with disabilities find each other and meet each other’s employment needs.

  • The Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program, a highly individualized, person-centered supportive living program that enables people with disabilities to live as independently as possible.

  • Alterman/JETS Transportation, which provides transportation for both seniors and adults with disabilities to and from work, doctor or other appointments, social outings, shopping or other destinations.

DaSilva brings more than a decade of management experience to JF&CS having worked at the intersection of health care, housing and workforce development for sustainable communities. She began her career as a clinical nurse manager at Dekalb Medical Center. With a clinical background and passion to serve communities in need, she pursued a path of business development for areas and organizations needing it most. Before joining JF&CS, she served as the Director of Behavioral Health Safety Net for the state of Tennessee, Deputy Director for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and Chief Innovation Officer for Detroit Central City Community Mental Health Inc.

Having begun her career in Atlanta, DaSilva looks forward to giving back to the city by helping JF&CS explore opportunities and partnerships that align with the organization’s strategic goals and mission of making hope and opportunity happen.

DaSilva earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science from Hunter College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pace University and a Master of Science in Educational Policy Studies from Georgia State University.

May this year be different: A Yom Kippur prayer for Shalom Bayit (Peace in the home).

The Shalom Bayit tree was planted in memory of victims of domestic violence and in honor of the brave survivors who received help from our program.The following prayer of healing and renewal was created in the spirit of Yom Kippur, 16 years ago, by women and men impacted by abuse and involved with our Shalom Bayit Program.

I share these words to support survivors, to acknowledge that abuse occurs within our community, and to affirm that abusers are responsible for their actions. I invite every reader to take some action toward ending domestic violence and all types of abuse.

May these words strengthen our commitment to bringing about true shalom bayit (peace in the home) O merciful and loving G-d, as we gather together in Your house on this, the holiest of days, we feel repentant, alive, and deeply conscious of our past actions. We open ourselves to You as with sadness we face this truth: at times this past year we have acted cruelly.  Some of us have abused our power and used control to hurt our spouses, our intimate partners, our children, our parents.  Others of us too often looked away, preferring not to see or speak out against abuse in our homes or in the homes of those we know and care about.  We have been afraid to interfere.

Today, O G-d, we pledge that we will no longer allow injustice to reign in our homes or in our community. We will not stand by silently and will find ways to contain our rage and our need for power and control.  In an effort to create change, we will seek counsel from our rabbis and other trained professionals. This day, O G-d, as we pray for renewal and redemption, we promise ourselves, each other and you that we will support shalom in all homes.  May this year be different.  Amen.

If you or anyone you know is suffering abuse of any kind, please know you are not alone.  Contact Shalom Bayit at 770-677-9322 or shalombayit@jfcsatl.org for information about confidential counseling or for more information about our programs for both adults and children. Wendy Lipshutz, LCSW, Shalom Bayit Program Director

PHOTO: The Shalom Bayit tree was planted in memory of victims of domestic violence and in honor of the brave survivors who received help from our program.

Jewish Family and Career Services Announces Leadership Changes

Jewish Family and Career Services Announces Leadership Changes; Existing CEO Stepping Down, Chief Program Officer Named Interim CEO

ATLANTA, September 4, 2018 - As Rick Aranson has announced he is stepping down from his role as CEO, we wish him well and are grateful he has agreed to consult as needed. Faye Dresner, current Chief Program Officer, will assume the role of interim CEO while the Board of Directors identifies new leadership.

“Faye has been dedicated to JF&CS by previously serving as a Board member, as well as in her current role of Chief Program Officer. We have great confidence in her ability to lead the Agency’s important and impactful work as we conduct our search for the new leadership,” says Michael Levy, JF&CS President of Board of Directors.

Gabrielle Stearns Named New Chief Development Officer For JF&CS

Stearns brings nonprofit passion and major gifts experience

ATLANTA, Ga., July 12, 2018, —Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) announces Gabrielle Stearns as its new Chief Development Officer. Stearns has dedicated her career to driving philanthropic dollars to organizations that improve the health and quality-of-life of those most in need.

I am proud to serve JF&CS and their vital work to empower and improve the lives of so many in the Atlanta community,” she said.  

Stearns brings 12 years of principal and major gift experience to JF&CS. She began her career as a major gift officer raising funds for pediatric oncology child life programs at the University of Chicago. She continued her efforts to address the needs of the most vulnerable at NYU Langone Medical Center, where she partnered with philanthropic leaders and members of the board to support child life programs. In 2013, Stearns served at the Emory Woodruff Health Sciences, raising crucial funds for JScreen and the Jane Fonda Center, among other notable programs.  

Stearns was attracted to Jewish Family & Career Services because of its compassionate care and service of individuals and families. She looks forward to helping JF&CS expand funding sources to reach more families and help them continue their journeys toward a better quality of life and increased self-sufficiency.  

Gabie brings to JF&CS experience in resource development, management, stewardship, annual giving, planned giving and endowments. Her expertise will enable JF&CS to generate the resources needed to support its mission and it’s continued growth and impact,” said JF&CS CEO, Rick Aranson. 

About JF&CS

Jewish Family & Career Services Atlanta is dedicated to making hope and opportunity happen for the metro Atlanta community. Established in 1891, Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) offers programs and resources to help improve the quality of life and build self-sufficiency for individuals and families in greater Atlanta. Our vision is a community of empowered lives; our mission, making hope and opportunity happen. JF&CS serves thousands of individuals annually regardless of age, race, religion, national origin or ability to pay. For more information about our entire array of services, please call 770.677.9300 or visit JFCSatl.org. The main office is located at 4549 Chamblee Dunwoody Road in Atlanta.                                                                 


Eric Robbins Group Home

JF&CS and Camp Twin Lakes Open Group Home For Disabled Adults

Eric Robbins Group Home Jewish Family & Career Services and Camp Twin Lakes Open Home for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

New group home will allow residents to live, work, play at camp

ATLANTA February 12, 2018 – Atlanta nonprofits Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) and Camp Twin Lakes announce the opening and full licensure of a new group home for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Eric M. Robbins Group Home at Camp Twin Lakes will provide support to individuals with the purpose of living as independently as possible and creating a year-round community where they can live, work, and play in an inclusive camp and community environment.

Bianca's Story

10 years ago, Bianca learned she had a tumor in her jaw. She was told for years nothing could be done to help her. Then she found the Ben Massell Dental Clinic. Thanks to volunteer dentists like Dr. Moore and Dr. Zelby, Bianca will get her smile and health restored.