JFSA grants for senior transportation expanded

Transportation programs for local Jewish seniors are increasing, thanks to grants from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Senior Task Force. This grant program is a major expansion of services for the Jewish elderly that began last year when the Federation funded Jewish Elder Access, which is administered by Jewish Family & Children’s Services.

There are three transportation grants for 2012. The Quad Synagogue grant includes Congregations Bet Shalom, Chaverim, M’kor Hayim and Or Chadash. A second grant covers Congregation Anshei Israel and Temple Emanu-El, and the third is for the JFSA Northwest Division.

The Quad Synagogue program will offer transportation for religious, educational and Jewish cultural events presented by the four synagogues or in cooperation with the Federation, such as the Israel Festival. Congregation Anshei Israel and Temple Emanu-El will offer transportation to worship services for Shabbat, holiday religious services and daily minyans. The Northwest program will offer transportation to seniors who wish to attend Jewish activities, classes and events (but not religious services) in the community.

This door-to-door transportation service is for seniors who are unable to drive and are unable to arrange other transportation. The service will be provided by a reputable transportation company.

“The grants offer both affiliated and unaffiliated members of the Jewish community more opportunities to participate in religious, social, educational and cultural activities. The programs will make it possible for many of our seniors to become more connected to the Jewish community and their Jewish heritage, and to form friendships and bonds with others in the community, thus relieving loneliness and feelings of isolation,” says Andi Elkins, transportation coordinator for Congregation Or Chadash.

For more information, contact Holly Harper at 449-1454 for Anshei Israel, Temple Emanu-El and the Northwest program. Contact Harper at 904-1881 for M’Kor Hayim; Sheryl Sitser for Chaverim at 320-1015; Debbie Rich for Bet Shalom at 298-6522; and Elkins for Or Chadash at 405-4565.