REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY ON
Assisting the former employees of the American Hebrew Academy (AHA)
It has been Jewish Family Services’ privilege to be the lead agency responding to the crisis at AHA. The summer was very busy for us, and I would like to share what the agency has been doing.
Assistance has been provided to any family or individual requesting it from AHA. There are 49 families to date who have been assisted in some of the following ways: free supportive counseling; consultation with JFS staff & HR professionals for resume writing, improving job search skills, and career coaching; identification of housing options and providing short-term housing relief; identification of community resources such as realtors, therapists, and a host of volunteers who stepped up to offer help; free consultations with health insurance experts; matching community members with AHA staff for assistance with concrete tasks; serving as a clearing house regarding local, private, and public school openings and boarding school options around the country both for student enrollment and job opportunities for staff; and regular communication throughout the summer with staff providing job opportunities and relevant resources.
Most remarkably, as of August 30, $72,111 has been raised. This represents 133 donors, 70% locally and 30% from around the country. To date, we have made 27 distributions and distributed $41,384, 57% of what has been raised. No one who has requested funding has been denied. Funds have gone to pay mortgages, rents, utility and car repair bills, summer camp costs for children, storage costs, medical bills, and a myriad of other things that arise when anyone finds themselves suddenly unemployed and without income.
We continue to work with those who are still without employment, those looking for housing as the deadline approaches, and those making their transitions to new jobs and communities. I am happy to say that of the people we have worked with, most have made the transition from AHA and are getting settled in their new communities.
The Greensboro community has helped in such extraordinary ways—thank you.
I am very grateful to all the wonderful people at the Federation and our community for the physical, emotional, and now financial support offered and given to me as I work on moving on to a life without AHA. The toilets were repaired last week and yesterday the washing machine/kitchen sink problem was taken care of. It seems like such a luxury to be able to just flush my toilet and wash my clothes without concern... a simple thing that is taken for granted until I don't have it.
I would like to extend my most humble gratitude to JFS for treating the closing of the American Hebrew Academy as the personal disaster for the faculty and staff that it has been. The manner in which JFS has stepped in to share information, offer services, and provide support has been remarkable to witness. Such actions are representative of the best of us, which resonates so closely with the way of being of the faculty and staff of the American Hebrew Academy. Each email has just warmed my heart and made these days just a little bit easier. All this to say, thank you so very much. With eternal gratitude, todah rabbah.