Passover Reflections

This Passover has left many new memories to be planted in our minds:
“Seders will never be the same, whether looking for the afikoman, or who will get stuck at the kids table to read the 4 questions are gone?
The number of people to share these nights and not being able to ask why is this night different from all other nights?
There is no difference when you are home alone.”

Here at JFS and on behalf of the Claims Conference Program we were able to brighten up the Passover of many members of the community. Gift bags and meals were delivered to help seniors experience a traditional holiday. With the help of many groups including NCJW, Na'amat, Beth Israel, Pushka Fund, Claims Conference, along with personal donations, we enriched the holiday for many.
JFSE is grateful for your support and contributions that help us serve community and we look forward to a future of continued support so that together we can make a difference for those in need.

Rhonda Eidelman BScN BA
Seniors Outreach Worker

Volunteers needed!

Jewish Family Services is looking for volunteers this spring to help Chevra Kadisha to enhance the beauty of our community cemetery. We will be planting flowers on Sunday May 16, and on Sunday May 23. Masks, gloves, and tools will be supplied.

To sign up, please email Rhonda at or call at 780-454-1194 ext. 227.


A New Corner: Finding Grace in Grief

Summary of Article in Glenora Magazine Dec 2020
Written by Alaina Pascoe.

Rhonda “stumbled on JFS Edmonton when I was desperately looking for any kind of support in grieving Erik, I didn’t know what I wanted or needed, and at that point, my husband also admitted he needed help, and luckily we found the Edmonton Healing Centre for Grief and Loss at JFS Edmonton.” “it was difficult to find good help in managing grief, and initially I was worried because no one else in the group had lost a child, but that’s where [the facilitator] Anna navigated it well and I soon learned everyone has their own grief journey.” The second group that Rhonda attendee at JFS Edmonton “helped so much, and Anna did a wonderful job. The group [participants] still meet and support each other; a lot of us lost kids and became very close.”

“When it comes to suffering,” Rhonda says, “there is no more need to suffer in the dark and we need to feel it and speak it when it comes to grief, and that’s the biggest lesson,” she confesses. “I learned that I can’t tuck it away and not go through it.”

When surviving the impact of losing a child to a drug overdose she says each family member went through something different. Though she understands the unpredictable nature of grief and goes on to state, “each of us is going through our won journey with this and this has shaped all of my family members like it’s shaped me.”

Grief unexpectedly shaped Rhonda, already an experienced nurse, into a drug awareness advocate. She even joined an initiative called, “the experience of losing a child to an overdose, despite having consistent conversations about it is devastating,” she says, but Rhonda states that, “education can arm families to help those in need.”

Anna Jongeleen, who facilitated Rhonda’s grief groups, says she salutes Rhonda’s growth and work within the community, EHC was an important piece in her healing and becoming the healer she is today.” Anna says, “our grief groups are powerful stuff. People really take it in, change, and become powerful messengers and grief walkers.”


Jewish Family Services 66th Annual General Meeting

Thursday March 18, 2021

7 pm online via Zoom


CORDIALLY INVITES YOU to join us to celebrate resilience, share our Annual Report, accept our Audit Report, elect our 2021 Directors and meet the staff & board members.

Members and general public are all welcome!

Please click here to register

Pre-registration is required. You will receive a link to the Zoom session after registration is completed.

JFS Edmonton Recruiting New Board Members

Jewish Family Services Edmonton, in existence since 1942, was originally set up to serve the Jewish community. Since incorporation in 1955, the agency has served the greater Edmonton community-at-large and services are explicitly non-faith based.  We are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in our communities, no matter a person's creed or ethnicity. Our commitment is to empowering our clients and helping them find pathways for healing, growth and opportunity.

The Board of Directors is the legal authority for Jewish Family Services.  As a member of the Board, a Director acts in a position of trust for the community and is responsible for the effective governance of the organization. Directors provide sound and ethical guidance for the organization, including approving the annual budget and ensuring the organization has sufficient resources to achieve its mission.

JFSE is currently seeking interested individuals to join the Board of Directors. This is a volunteer position and board members are voted in for a two-year term of office with an option to renew for two additional two-year terms. Directors make a personal commitment to devote the time necessary to perform the responsibilities of a board member (attend meetings and serve on committees).   While board meetings are normally in-person, during the pandemic all board and committee meetings are held virtually.

Experience:  We are looking for individuals with a background in at least one of these areas:  non-profit governance (member of other boards); law, human resources, and planning.   We are particularly interested in candidates who have experience or knowledge in the following two areas:

  • Individuals with a finance background and this is a specialized position occupied by a director who has extensive accounting or financial management experience. Ideally this individual will have a background as a CPA and/or experience with nonprofit management.  This individual will join the Finance Committee.
  • Individuals with a business background. We are currently exploring the enhancement of a social enterprise program to ensure we have the capacity to continue to offer our home care program to the broader community.

JFSE serves the broader Edmonton Community as well as the Jewish Community of Edmonton.  We have made a commitment to diversity and inclusion and strive to ensure the composition of the Board is reflective of this action. We encourage all who are interested in supporting the organization consider applying.

If you are interested in this position and possess the required skills/experience please email your cover letter and resume to:

Purim 2021

Purim 2021

    Purim celebrations are coming soon and regretfully that will mark a year since we began dealing with all our Covid-19 issues. A year of isolation and staying at home is difficult for anybody so in February Jewish Family Services would like to share `Misloach manot a Purim basket with people in need. 

 To be included in this program please contact Rhonda at
780-454-1194 ext. 227 or

JFS counts on community donations to provide this service.
Please call our office to place a donation or to share the name
of a potential recipient. To make an online donation, click here.

Thanks for your support.

Hanukkah 2020

Hanukkah gift bags were delivered to 293 Jewish clients and friends of Jewish Family Services this past week. This promised to be a very lonely and gloomy holiday because of Covid 19 rules.  With the help of many private donors and community agencies we were able to help light many Hanukkiahs, spin a few dreidels and feed latkes to some hungry people .

The gift bags were delivered to seniors at home or in residences, and families that would have been left out of  celebrations. The gift bags were offered to help remember holidays gone by and family members that were no longer around to share this happy season. We received many notes of appreciation and calls from thankful clients. The tears were mixed with both happy and sad memories as stories were shared of Hanukkah - gone - by. These gift bags were free to the recipients and we appreciate all the donations we received  to ensure that this service could occur.

Please let us know if you are aware of anyone else who would benefit from our next delivery!

“I can’t thank you enough for helping to make this Hanukkah happen for me. I was all alone and I felt so sorry for myself. Then there was a knock at the door and Hanukkah came alive right before my eyes.”

“You people at JFS just outdid yourself this year. There wasn’t anything left out of my Hanukkah gift bag.”

“My sister and I just finished a tearful conversation of my long lost sister and the recent passing of our dad. We shared all our heartbreaking Hanukkah woes and your bag of treats arrived and helped to cheer the moment.”

Oh Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah…

Snowflakes are just around the corner and with the ongoing issues of Covid 19, this is going to be a long and lonely winter. Jewish Family Services is looking to spice up the Hanukkah season with some very special treats for our community members to enjoy. Gift bags are being prepared by our staff and will be delivered to homes and institutions around the city in early December. All ingredients are kosher and packaged to assure Covid 19 germs will not be spread. If you know of anyone or family that could benefit by receiving a gift bag please contact Rhonda at or call 780-454-1194. There is no cost for this service but all donations are greatly appreciated to help support this program.