What’s New

  • Fox 2 Detroit: JVS community garden helps developmentally disabled adults learn skills

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (August 27, 2021) –A community garden in Detroit is growing fresh produce for a good cause – reaping what they sow.

    See more here.

  • JVS Human Services and Kadima Announce Merger

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (August 6, 2021)JVS Human Services and Kadima, both nonprofits who serve vulnerable communities in Metro Detroit, announced they will move forward with a merger expected to be operational in 2022. The boards of directors of JVS Human Services and Kadima voted Aug. 2 to unite the organizations. JVS is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the central fundraising and planning organization of the Detroit Jewish community.

    JVS provides social services and vocational programs, including services for people with developmental disabilities. Kadima provides behavioral health services, including supportive housing, for adults with mental health challenges. The decision was made to create a new single organization, yet unnamed, to provide a broader continuum of care, more robust and higher quality programs, and overall better outcomes for individuals with disabilities. 

    Read the rest of The Jewish News article here.

  • Janitorial Program Trains People With Disabilities

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (August 3, 2021) –At a time when hiring frontline staff is difficult yet cleaning demand remains higher than ever, JVS Human Services in Detroit continues to step up and help the cause — while also providing for people with disabilities and other obstacles to finding work.

    JVS runs an 8-week paid janitorial program where participants harness custodial and interpersonal skills, soon qualifying them for work in a variety of facility sectors, ranging from retail to hospitality and medical, the Detroit Jewish News reports.

    The five days per-week program, pays the participants at minimum wage. Those that either have an open case with the Veterans Administration (VA) or Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) are eligible to be referred.


  • Training program opens opportunities for Metro Detroiters with employment barriers

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (August 1, 2021) –As companies began ramping up operations after more than a year of COVID-19 slowdowns, employers ran into trouble finding workers in a shrunken employment force.

    Adding to that are ongoing issues for people who would like to work but have disabilities or other employment barriers.

    JVS Human Services is available to help. Southfield-based JVS, with four locations throughout Metro Detroit, is committed to helping people realize their life’s potential and live with dignity. It runs a paid janitorial training program, founded nearly 30 years ago, providing hands-on training and practical field work directly related to an actual working environment.

    James Willis, JVS vice president of Workforce Development and Rehabilitation, says there are many opportunities available in the field.

    “Janitorial work is done in all different settings with a variety of different shifts which has proven to be invaluable to our job seekers,” Willis says. “Full- and part-time janitorial positions are widely available, and we have seen the demand for trained talent greatly increase since the onset of the pandemic. The average starting wage for janitorial positions is around $13.75 per hour with the potential of going up to $18-$20 per hour, some with benefits available.

    “In addition,” Willis continues, “we target job sites relevant to our trainees’ interests.”

    Read the rest of The Oakland Press article here.

  • JVS’ 38-Year Job Counselor Retires — After Launching Hundreds of Careers

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (July 29, 2021) –Debra Silver, who lives in Beverly Hills and is a member of Temple Emanu-El, reflects that her career has been incredibly rewarding.

    She was just married and new to Detroit when Wisconsin native Debra Silver got a job at JVS Human Services back in 1982. She thought it would be for a couple of years.

    Instead, the social worker turned career counselor — who admits she knew nothing about career counseling when she first started — forged a 38-year career with the agency.

    During that time, she has guided the working lives of more than 1,000 local people and inspired close to 400 Jewish college students to consider a career working in the Jewish community through a paid summer internship program called JOIN.

    Silver, who lives in Beverly Hills and is a member of Temple Emanu-El, is set to retire in August and reflects that her career has been incredibly rewarding. “Being given the chance to impact people, to empower them to make changes in their lives, was my calling, I think,” she says. 


  • JVS Webinar Helps Families, Businesses Choose Their Best Bank

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (July 27, 2021) –Michigan families and new business owners can learn more about choosing their best banking options during webinars hosted by JVS Human Services.

    The August and September virtual events are part of the First Financial Friday series sponsored by TCF Bank.

    “Banking in Today’s World”, held at 10:30 a.m. on August 6, will explain how to choose the best savings account for a family’s needs. “Banking for Entrepreneurs”, at 10:30 a.m. on September 3, will explain everything a new Michigan business owner needs to know about how business banking accounts work.

    “It is very common for people to begin with a bank in their teens or early 20s and then never move from that bank, or ever check what new banking products are available,” said Financial Capability Supervisor Laltsha Cunningham. “So many people just look at their statements and that’s it, while there could be additional benefits they aren’t receiving like, for example, a money market account which could provide interest.”

    Cunningham said that the outcome of the pandemic was that many new businesses were created in metro Detroit and throughout Michigan.

    “In some cases, people started looking at their hobbies in a new way and businesses were launched. These new entrepreneurs will likely need guidance on business banking. For example, there is documentation that might be needed for opening a business account and we will be addressing that in our program,” she explained.


  • JVS Course Helps Women Gain Job Skills

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (July 14, 2021) –Women to Work, a free four-week course offered by JVS Human Services that provides important skills to women needing immediate employment, is returning to in-person programming after being remote during the pandemic. 

    In addition, a summer networking event “WOW: Women, Opportunities, Work” will be held to offer local female jobseekers the opportunity to connect with successful businesswomen in Metro Detroit. 

    Featured business leaders in the WOW event are CEO of Universal Special Events Inc. Tonia Williams; founder and owner of skinnytees Linda Schlesinger-Wagner; cofounder and CEO of Bamboo Detroit Amanda Lewan; and founder and president of CKC Agency Carolyn Krieger.

    An informational meeting for the Women to Work course will be held July 21 from 9-11 a.m. The outdoor WOW networking event is on July 22 from 6.30-8.30 p.m. at JVS Human Services in Southfield. Register for Women to Work and the WOW networking event.

    “The pandemic has shown us how our work lives can be severely impacted by situations beyond our control, and we want all local women looking for a fresh employment start to know that free, life-changing help is available this summer,” said Judy Richmond, Women to Work coordinator.

    “This course offers vital skills many women need to get back into the workforce, and the networking event will help women make valuable connections and gain insight.” 

    Read the rest of the article from The Detroit Jewish News here.

  • Paid Janitorial Training Program Available for Metro Detroiters With Disabilities

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (July 6, 2021) –A paid janitorial training program for metro Detroiters with disabilities and other barriers to employment, operated by JVS Human Services, continues to provide local businesses with specialized cleaning skills essential during the pandemic. At the same time, lives of participants in the eight-week program have been changed forever, with graduates gaining the ability to work part-time or full-time in a variety of facilities once the course is completed, ranging from hospitals and retail outlets to sports arenas, offices, apartment buildings and government buildings. To qualify for the program, participants need to have an open case with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) or the Veterans Administration (VA), to be referred for training from these organizations. For an image of a janitorial program trainee and trainer click here.

    “The feedback we get from businesses is how much they appreciate the expertise our trainees have in commercial cleaning, which remains vital for everyone’s health and safety. Once they are on the job, our trainees don’t need additional instruction which is important given so many businesses are stretched thin,” explained Danita Love-Carter, manager for Rehabilitation Services at JVS Human Services, one of the largest human service agencies in metro Detroit.

    During the course, which runs five days-a-week and is paid at minimum wage, participants learn skills including: how to measure and mix chemicals, the correct sequential order of cleaning rooms, how to restock supplies, safety measures, how to follow a cleaning route, timeliness and how to use floor care machines such as scrubbers and buffers. In addition to deep cleaning and sanitizing techniques, trainees also learn interpersonal skills to help them interact appropriately with people if they are cleaning around them, for example in an office or hospital.

    Read the rest of the article from The Michigan Chronicle here.

  • Dorothy and Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Program Reopens

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (June 21, 2021)When a small group of older adults walked through the doors of the Dorothy and Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Program in early June, their first time back in 15 months, they were greeted by welcome-back banners, bouquets of paper flowers, hand-decorated cards, posters and, of course, plenty of big smiles. 

    The artwork was created by students at West Maple Elementary School in Bloomfield Township, which has had a long-term relationship with the Brown Program, an adult day program that improves the lives of people living with dementia and their care partners, run jointly by JVS Human Services and Jewish Senior Life. 

    Their relationship started with a pen pal program between fifth-grade students and the Brown Program participants, culminating in an end-of-school in-person visit to the center in pre-pandemic years. Fortunately, through continued Character Education work at West Maple, which included community outreach, children throughout the school, from kindergarten up, became involved in creating artwork for the Brown Program. 

    “We try to meet several times a year to work on our school culture and integrate character into our daily practices, including a way to foster a sense of family amongst all of our students,” said Jason Pesamoska, principal of West Maple Elementary, a Birmingham Public School near Inkster and Maple roads. “Working with the Brown Program has been a wonderful opportunity for our students this spring.”

    As for the staff at the Brown Program, the first day back June 3 was exhilarating, emotional and long-awaited. “We could feel it in the air, the excitement was palpable,” said Brown Program Director Debi Banooni. “When the program first closed, we had thought it would be for a few months, but then it kept extending. Back in January, we were planning to reopen, but then COVID-19 infection rates went up and it was not safe to do so. Being all together again, finally, was so wonderful. Everyone was smiling so much.”

    Read the rest of the article from The Detroit Jewish News here.

  • JVS’ Nancy Bogdan Honored for Work Helping Job-Seekers With Disabilities Find Employment

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (June 8, 2021) – The National Council of SourceAmerica Employers recently awarded Nancy Bogdan, the senior vice president of JVS Human Services, with their Management Excellence award.

    SourceAmerica created the NCSE Management Excellence Award in 2018 to “celebrate individuals who have displayed excellence in leadership in the management of an AbilityOne participating nonprofit agency and significantly advanced employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”

    The AbilityOne Commission is an independent federal agency established in 1938 to create job opportunities for the blind and disabled. There are over 500 nonprofits in the program, which work though two designated Central Nonprofit Agencies, one of which is SourceAmerica. SourceAmerica connects the nonprofits they oversee directly to federal customers.

    Read more here >>

  • JVS Webinar Offers Tips For Overcoming Age Bias

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (May 27, 2021) – For many people over 40, minimizing age bias perceptions in an interview can still be a tough hurdle.

    JVS Human Services hosts “The Road Ahead: Overcoming Age Bias in a Job Interview” on June 1. The webinar will help jobseekers diminish a prospective employer’s age concerns. No registration is necessary for the 10 a.m. event, which JVS will stream on its Facebook page.

    Lisa Bahm, JVS training supervisor, many clients worry that their age would be an employment barrier.

    “The issue creates anxiety and stress and even holds people back from seeking jobs they would like, and could do,” she said.

    Tips for job seekers

    • Brush up on your computer knowledge by taking continued education courses and inform the interviewer. This shows you will learn new things.
    • Address biases that an older worker might lack energy by bringing up any activities you do to stay active, whether it is biking, hiking, running, dancing or some other high energy pursuit.
    • Explain that you are looking for something different, and that your skills can bring added value to the company or organization.
    • Make sure you understand a reasonable salary and tell the interviewer that you understand the pay scale.

    Read more here >>

  • Get a Boost With Your Bills, Credit With ‘HarMoney’ JVS Program

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (May 13, 2021)HarMoney, a financial education program from JVS Human Services, one of the largest human service agencies in metro Detroit, is offering $1,000 for approved low- to moderate-income local families to be used towards a down payment on a home or for credit repair, and more local families than ever are now eligible.  A virtual informational meeting will be held on Monday, May 24, when local families with a credit score of 620 and below can learn more about the financial assistance program which teaches participants about improving credit, savings, money management and home ownership. The program is underwritten by a $50,000 grant from TCF Bank and, when it began in November 2020, was originally only available to Oakland County families. Now, HarMoney has been expanded to include all qualified metro Detroiters and the new program, which has weekly sessions over 12 weeks, will begin on June 7. Upon completion of the program, a $1,000 one-time payment is available for participants to use towards collections, improving credit scores, or for down payment assistance on the purchase of a new home.

    Read the rest of the article from The Michigan Chronicle here.

  • JVS Human Services, Council Re|Sale to Host Free Webinar on How to Prepare for an Interview and Dress for Success

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (April 23, 2021) – JVS Human Services, one of the largest human service agencies in metro Detroit, has joined with Council Re|Sale, the thrift store operated by National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan (NCJW|MI), to offer a free webinar April 28 at 5:30 p.m. to help job seekers bring their A-game to every interview. In addition, all webinar participants will get a $25 store credit to go shopping for an interview outfit at Council Re|Sale (3297 W. 12 Mile Road, Berkley, MI 48072), one of the oldest thrift stores in Metro Detroit. The store sells high-end clothing, including designer wear, casual and work attire, accessories, and jewelry, all at bargain prices, with proceeds benefitting NCJW|MI’s social advocacy and grassroots volunteer efforts.

    Read the rest of the article from The Detroit Jewish News here.

  • Fox 2 Detroit: Women to Work Program at JVS

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (April 8, 2021) – There’s a new chance for women whose careers have been derailed by the pandemic to jump back into the workforce. A local organization is providing all the tools and training you need to find the right job – and it’s all for free.

    Judy Richmond is the coordinator of the Women to Work Program at JVS Human Services.

    “Often the women are divorced, or widowed, or separated from a partner or a spouse, and sometimes just don’t know where to begin a job search. So they come to JVS and the Women to Work Program,” she said.

    Now, because of the pandemic – hundreds of thousands of women have been forced out of the workforce.

    They’ve lost jobs or have to stay home to care for children learning at home. Now those women might need help getting back to work.

    “These women do have excellent skills,” Richmond said. “Often they do have substantial work histories, but because of our current situation, they find themselves very unexpectedly needing some additional assistance.”

    The kind of assistance that will be available virtually starting April 20th. The group meets a couple of times a week – building camaraderie and self-confidence as well as the skills necessary, to get out into the workforce.

    “How to find a job, resume development, interviewing skills, the importance of networking,” Richmond said.

    She says graduates of the program have gone on to work in many different fields – and she’s always impressed with what these women can do.

    “If they want something to really work out – women find a way to do it,” Richmond said.


  • Fox 17: Job Opportunities for Americans with Disabilities

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (April 15, 2021) –The pandemic has hit millions of Americans hard. Unemployment is still higher than before the pandemic, and one of the groups still struggling are Americans with disabilities.

    The unemployment rate for disabled Americans was 12.6% in 2020 – more than 5% higher from 2019 and the highest in 7 years. That number was even higher for women at 13%.

    Younger adults with disabilities between the ages of 20-24 had an unemployment rate of 21%.

    But, changes to the workforce could change that. The switch to work from home could benefit disabled Michiganders and help them rebound – earning a paycheck and building up their self-esteem.

    Accessibility to job opportunities has long been a challenge for Americans with disabilities. It’s been a barrier to 27-year-old artist and Lego enthusiast William Dash from Clinton Township. As a person with a disability, Dash doesn’t drive.

    That means William can only apply to jobs near public transportation routes and open during hours when public transportation can take him there.

    But the work from home culture – fueled by the pandemic – is expanding possibilities.

    “I think that this opportunity for remote work has really opened up the door for more participants like William,” Rene Dell, the senior director of rehabilitation for JVS Human Services, said.

    She says the chance to work remotely solves a lot of challenges for people with disabilities.

    “You have access to your medication, a lot of times your home is equipped with all of the assistive devices that you might need to be more successful in your job,” she added.

    Dell said the company found that job seekers are able to keep their focus on their abilities and their skills, and avoid putting the focus on their challenges.

    There will be more help on the way. The American Rescue Plan allocates almost $13 billion for Americans with disabilities through home and community-based services. Some of that money will help pay for internet, transportation upgrades, and job coaches and personal care help to assist with bathing and dress and help set them up for the day.

    But matching Michiganders with disabilities with employers isn’t a one-way street. Dell says employers get someone willing to work hard and who takes pride in working.

    “When we’re able to remove the barriers to employment success it really does become a win, win situation for all involved,” Dell said.

    “If someone is smart enough to hire William dash what are they lucky enough to get?” I asked.

    “I’m someone who’s really detail-oriented, creative outlet box thinker,” Dash said.

    Dash is looking for that win-win situation. The Oakland University grad is interviewing for a work-from-home job as an associate with a Fortune 500 company. The opportunity isn’t just about a paycheck. For William and so many others like him, it’s about independence and dignity, and a permanent full-time job will be a relief for William.

    “The best way I can probably describe it is fresh rain, after a long drought,” he said.

    Job interviews are changing too. More employers are using so-called one-way interviews where applicants receive questions and record themselves answering those questions.

    That was the first step in William’s process.

    That’s opening up more opportunities for job seekers with disabilities.

    The impact of remote work could also change the conversation around complying with the Americans with disabilities act and whether work from home arrangements could be considered a reasonable accommodation

    After all, tens of millions of Americans will be working from today.


  • Free Webinar: Don’t Let Fear Steer the Interview on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 Provides Tips for Job Interview Success

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (March 29, 2021)JVS Human Services is offering a free webinar to Michiganders searching for employment who are hampered by the fear of the interview process. The virtual event will occur on Tuesday, on April 6, 2021, at 10 a.m. and will address the reasons why job candidates often can become nervous before their interview, signs the interviewer can pick up on in the candidate which do not showcase a job seeker to the best advantage, and ways that fear can be managed.

    JVS Human Services career counselor Phyllis Scripsick, who has a master’s degree in counseling, explained there are many reasons why job applicants are nervous. “There’s a feeling they are being judged, and that the interviewer might sense that their back is against the wall, that they are desperate for the job,” she explained. “Many people have catastrophic thoughts in their head – the ‘what ifs’ – and then others just simply aren’t prepared enough, so they feel anxious.”

    Scripsick added that more than 90 percent of communication is non-verbal, and that an employer will sum someone up in the first 30 to 90 seconds by their body language. “If you are smiling and confident, as opposed to fumbling with items you may be carrying and stumbling over your words, that can be a big factor in the hiring process,” she explained.

    Here are a just a few of Scripsick’s tips she will be sharing in the webinar to overcome interview fear:

    • Being anxious ahead of time is not a bad thing if you can channel it into preparation. Think of yourself as an athlete preparing to race; you have been practicing for the big moment. Make sure you have all the knowledge you need at your fingertips.
    • Be kind to yourself the night before and get a good night’s sleep and avoid dinking too much caffeine before the interview which can make you jittery.
    • Avoid negative cognitions by putting positive visualizations in your head; imagine the success you are going to have in the interview.
    • Instead of focusing on angst and anxiety, try to make yourself feel excited – think of it as a positive feeling.
    • Stop thinking of yourself as being deficient. Know your worth and see the interviewer as being an equal, and someone you are interviewing to get information from as much as they are interviewing you.

    No registration is necessary for the webinar which will be streamed on the JVS Human Services Facebook page. For those that miss the live interactive webinar, it will be recorded and can be accessed on the Facebook page for later viewing. Job seekers who need help preparing for an interview or putting together a resume or searching for employment can also email employmenthelp@jvshumanservices.org or call 248-233-4245.

  • Southfield groups offer virtual brain health lecture for seniors

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (March 25, 2021) – Local seniors are invited to take place in a monthly virtual lecture administered by Mind University.

    “Gray Matters: Laughter and Brain Health” was the title of the March 17 free virtual lecture aimed at helping seniors find the brighter side of life by exploring the benefits of laughter in the brain, particularly during these stressful times.

    Every month there is a different Gray Matters presentation centered around brain health, with a different specialist leading the lecture each time.

    Mind University is a joint effort of JVS Human Services and Jewish Family Service. The program provides seniors with activities and programs to keep their brains healthy, especially during a pandemic that has caused many seniors to isolate from friends and family.

    The special presenter at the March edition of the lecture was Dr. Linda Keilman, an associate professor, gerontology nurse practitioner and gerontology content expert for Michigan State University’s College of Nursing.

    “My focus is helping older adults to live the best life they can every day until the last day,” Keilman said. “For a lot of people, as we age, we develop chronic conditions. For some, that can be dispiriting. We don’t plan on these things, especially when people are looking towards retirement. Sometimes it’s easy for older people to become discouraged, depressed and more anxious. I’m not a big proponent of medicine solves everything. Laughter is the best medicine.”

    Throughout the pandemic, social distancing turned into social isolation for a lot of seniors and other adults. Seniors became those most at risk from the virus and had to take the necessary safety precautions.

    “The brain is our computer. It controls everything,” Keilman said. “There’s so many great things in the brain with endorphins, neurotransmitters and lots of different chemicals that naturally create different states in us. When we laugh, the neurotransmitter endorphins are released and they actually can decrease anxiety, depression, pain — improve self-esteem, boost our immune system and regulate our appetite.”

    Keilman encouraged seniors to use technology if they have access to it. Watching funny videos on YouTube or talking with loved ones over the phone were two pieces of advice. Keilman said seniors should think about things they can do to release endorphins in the brain: watching funny TV shows or films, listening to comedians, reading newspaper comics or cartoon books, or even reading amusing greeting cards at a store. The endorphins work on the opioid receptors in the brain. The more opioid receptors in the brain, the more powerful the effect of laughter.

    JVS Director of Senior Adult Services Debi Banooni is also a strong proponent of using technology to improve brain health.

    “I would say get whatever support you can in terms of technology, because it is very important to continue to see other people,” she said. “I would say set a varied schedule that includes physical movement. Conversations with other people can help, whether it’s over the phone or a Zoom call. Thinking of the right word and responding to conversation is very good for you. As isolated as we have to be, there are ways for us to still be together and take care of ourselves.”

    Those interested in attending the next lecture should email MindU@jfsdetroit.org or call (248) 788-MIND.

  • WXYZ-TV Features JVS Volunteers in Action

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (March 24, 2021) – As Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month comes to a close, see our Skill Building Assistance program at work on WXYZ-TV Detroit  Channel 7! These individuals with disabilities have continued to volunteer in the community throughout the pandemic, making a difference every day.

  • Brown Program Director Discusses Managing Loved Ones’ Dementia During the Pandemic

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (March 15, 2021) ­- Civic Center TV did an interview with Debi Banooni, director, Dorothy and Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Program, to learn more about the Brown Program and the impact of the pandemic on those living with dementia. Are you taking advantage of all the services that are offered? Watch Now >>

  • Laughter and Brain Health: Free Uplifting Lecture for Michigan Seniors on the Power of Humor for Memory and Mood

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (March 9, 2021) ­- “Gray Matters: Laughter and Brain Health” is the title of a free virtual lecture for Michigan seniors on Wednesday, March 17, at 1 p.m. aimed at helping them find the brighter side of life by exploring the benefits of laughter on the brain, particularly during current stressful times. Brain health expert Dr. Linda Keilman, associate professor, gerontology nurse practitioner and gerontology content expert for Michigan State University’s College of Nursing, will be talking about some of the changes that happen in the brain as people age and how laughter can make a difference to memory, mood, and even physical health.  The uplifting event is part of a monthly “Gray Matters” lecture series offered from Mind University, a joint initiative of JVS Human Services and Jewish Family Service, which provides seniors with activities and programs to keep their brains healthy and vital especially at a time when so many seniors are isolated from friends and family. To register for the free Zoom lecture, email MindU@jfsdetroit.org or call (248)788-MIND.

    “As we age, we are prone to develop chronic conditions and, as a result, often we are given medication which effects the body and the brain,” says Dr. Keilman. “But medication doesn’t solve everything. Laughter and humor can be very therapeutic and can build resilience, reduce depression and a sense of isolation, which is particularly needed right now.”

    Dr. Keilman explained that laughter effects neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to the release of serotonin and dopamine, which make people feel better and cope with stress more effectively. She added that laughter can also improve the circulation of blood around the brain and reduce the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, resulting in improvements in the cardiovascular system, immune system and even memory.

    Dr. Keilman has several strategies for seniors to implement which can increase laughter in their lives, ranging from watching funny TV shows and films, listening to comedians, reading newspaper comics or cartoon books, watching funny animal and children videos for those who have access to a computer, or even reading amusing greeting cards at a store. “There are so many things you can do to give yourself a giggle, and when there is joy in life, the brain just works better,” says Dr. Keilman.

  • Laughter and Brain Health: Free Uplifting Lecture for Michigan Seniors on the Power of Humor for Memory and Mood

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (March 9, 2021) ­- “Gray Matters: Laughter and Brain Health” is the title of a free virtual lecture for Michigan seniors on Wednesday, March 17, at 1 p.m. aimed at helping them find the brighter side of life by exploring the benefits of laughter on the brain, particularly during current stressful times. Brain health expert Dr. Linda Keilman, associate professor, gerontology nurse practitioner and gerontology content expert for Michigan State University’s College of Nursing, will be talking about some of the changes that happen in the brain as people age and how laughter can make a difference to memory, mood, and even physical health.  The uplifting event is part of a monthly “Gray Matters” lecture series offered from Mind University, a joint initiative of JVS Human Services and Jewish Family Service, which provides seniors with activities and programs to keep their brains healthy and vital especially at a time when so many seniors are isolated from friends and family. To register for the free Zoom lecture, email MindU@jfsdetroit.org or call (248)788-MIND.

    “As we age, we are prone to develop chronic conditions and, as a result, often we are given medication which effects the body and the brain,” says Dr. Keilman. “But medication doesn’t solve everything. Laughter and humor can be very therapeutic and can build resilience, reduce depression and a sense of isolation, which is particularly needed right now.”

    Dr. Keilman explained that laughter effects neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to the release of serotonin and dopamine, which make people feel better and cope with stress more effectively. She added that laughter can also improve the circulation of blood around the brain and reduce the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, resulting in improvements in the cardiovascular system, immune system and even memory.

    Dr. Keilman has several strategies for seniors to implement which can increase laughter in their lives, ranging from watching funny TV shows and films, listening to comedians, reading newspaper comics or cartoon books, watching funny animal and children videos for those who have access to a computer, or even reading amusing greeting cards at a store. “There are so many things you can do to give yourself a giggle, and when there is joy in life, the brain just works better,” says Dr. Keilman.

  • Chasing the Dream and Making it Pay: Free Webinar on Finding A Dream Job, Even During a Pandemic, Plus Budgeting for Success

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (February 9, 2021)JVS Human Services is offering a free webinar to metro Detroiters entitled, “The Road Ahead: Budgeting and the Dream Job” which will be streamed live on February 16, 2021 at 10 a.m. Despite the pandemic, job seekers still have dreams, passions and core values which remain big drivers for people considering a switch to a new job or a pivot to a new career. This webinar will also discuss the need to meet the individual’s financial goals while pursuing a dream job. The webinar will be streamed on the JVS Human Services Facebook page; no registration is necessary.

    Career Counselor Sherrie James from JVS Human Services explains that there are people who have difficulty defining their dream job. “For some, the definition of a dream job may not be clear cut, but we can guide people through self-assessment, looking at their strengths, interests, values, skills, abilities, and personal style,” explained James. “Conversely, others are locked into what their perfect job looks like but need practical financial skills to make a switch work.”

    James will be running the webinar alongside Financial Capability Counselor Emily Bergt, a colleague at JVS Human Services. Bergt says understanding a budget is vital for anyone looking for a major career change. “You need to look at numbers and figure out what you need in order to survive – the bare essentials for you to stay afloat covering housing, transport, food and utilities,” she explained. “This might mean ensuring you can make minimum payments on credit cards so that credit scores are not affected. Or it might mean staying in a current job for a while longer while you work part-time on a business you are setting up.”

    JVS Human Services can also provide one-on-one career counseling to metro Detroiters. Contact employmenthelp@jvshumanservices.org  for more information.

  • JVS In the News: Recent College Grad Success Group

    WXYZ TV 20 interviewed Jason Charnas, JVS director of Business and Career Services, to learn about our new success group starting Wednesday, January 27 to help recent college grads who are job seeking in the midst of the pandemic. Watch the news clip >>


  • JVS Human Services Offers Free Virtual Support Group for Michigan’s Recent College Graduates Trying to Find Work During the Pandemic

    Southfield, Mich. (January 15, 2020) – JVS Human Services, one of the leading human service agencies in metro Detroit, is launching “Recent College Graduate Success Group”, a virtual support group for new college graduates in Michigan trying to find work in a severely challenged job market due to the pandemic. Recent research showed the national unemployment rate for 15 to 24-year-olds was 11.7 percent in October 2020; this compares with a national average for all ages of 6.7 percent in November 2020. A Michigan State’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute survey released in the fall of 2020 found that a quarter of surveyed companies said they were not planning to recruit from colleges last year, and of 2,408 employers questioned, a quarter had stopped recruiting or even rescinded job offers to recent graduates.

    “Our new college graduates started their academic journey at a time when the economy was doing well. Now, in these unprecedented times, they are faced with a new reality that the competition to secure jobs is very steep,” said Jason Charnas, Director of Business and Career Services at JVS Human Services. “In addition, they are also presented with unusual challenges like virtual interviews and obstacles to networking, so our program will provide them with some vital tools for the job search process.”

    The new series begins January 27, and runs from 11 a.m. to noon, for four consecutive weeks, and is open to recent college graduates between the ages of 21 and 25. Topics to be covered include:

    • Week 1: The art of resumes and cover letters
    • Week 2: Networking your way to success
    • Week 3: Creating a smart job search plan
    • Week 4: Perfect pitches and mock interviewing

    There is no cost to join the group and graduates can find out more information here. Virtual one-on-one meetings with employment specialists are also available by emailing employmenthelp@jvshumanservices.org.

  • Paid Internship for Job Seekers 50+ Years Old Through JVS Human Services’ New Experiences Internship Program

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (December 8, 2020)JVS Human Services, one of the largest human service agencies in metro Detroit, is encouraging workers aged 50 and over who have been unemployed for six months or longer, to join its paid internship program. Funded by government grants, the New Experiences Internship provides 10 weeks of paid work, 40 hours-a-week, at a rate of $13 an hour. Additionally, the program offers recent employment activity and positive job references that can be used for future employment applications. In some cases, internships may lead to job offers. Graduates of the program have gone on to get jobs in childcare, light assembly, security, marketing and sales, human resources, administrative work, and as professional drivers. There is no upper age barrier to taking part in the internship.

    “There are countless mature workers who have been out of work for many months now due to the pandemic, and we know there are many who might be interested in the opportunity to try something new,” said Jason Charnas, Director of Business and Career Services at JVS Human Services. “Other candidates we consider are those that have been unemployed or underemployed for a long time and who need the chance to showcase prospective employers that their skills are current.”

    JVS Human Services is also encouraging more metro Detroit businesses that are interested in hiring interns, to take part in the program. Workers and potential businesses seeking more information should contact Gerard Baltrusaitis, Internship Employment Specialist, at gbaltrusaitis@jvshumanservices.org or by calling 248-658-8862.

  • Free ‘Work from Home Success Group’ Launched by JVS Human Services

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (November 06, 2020) ­– JVS Human Services, one of the largest human service agencies in metro Detroit, has launched a free, four-week program on Zoom called  “Work from Home Success Group” and has made it available to all Michiganders.  Human resource and career experts at JVS Human Services have tips, suggestions and new perspectives for Michiganders now working from home and trying to find a good balance in this ‘new normal.’ Discussion topics will include 10-minute chair yoga, stress management, and the use of software to increase productivity. The four-week session will be held on November 11 and 18, December 2 and 9, 2020 and will meet from 11 a.m. to noon via Zoom. To register for the new program click here.

    “Whether balancing work expectations with school demands, dealing with stress and isolation or even coping with the physical discomfort of being stuck at a desk all day, we are here to help,” said Jason Charnas, Director of Business and Career Development. “The new normal doesn’t feel that normal and we could all do with some extra support.”

    JVS Human Services saw the need for a program like the “Work from Home Success Group” as an increased number of people expressed experiencing work at home stress, anxiety and productivity issues in this ‘new normal’ caused by the pandemic. JVS is committed to helping employees working in the local business community to thrive in this unprecedented time. For more information on the new program contact employmenthelp@jvshumanservices.org or call Gerard Baltrusaitis on 248.967.0383.

  • Low- to Moderate-Income Oakland County Families to Receive up to $1K Towards Home Down Payment or Credit Repair, with New JVS Human Services Financial Program

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (October 29, 2020) ­– JVS Human Services, one of the largest human service agencies in metro Detroit, is announcing the HarMoney Program, a new financial initiative to help low- to moderate-income families in Oakland County get their foot on the home ownership ladder. Through the HarMoney Program, qualified families can receive up to $1000 down payment assistance on a home, or for repairing their financial credit to help them qualify for home ownership, after successful completion of a 12-week financial education course. Up to 40 qualified families will benefit from the initiative which will launch November 9 at 3 p.m. via Facebook Live. The program is made possible by a $50,000 grant from TCF Bank’s Community Impact Fund.

    “Around 75 percent of the calls we receive into our financial coaching department is about home ownership, with one of the largest barriers being the inability to fund a down payment. Through HarMoney we now we can provide a little extra help, to push struggling families over the finishing line,” said Laltsha Cunningham, Financial Capability Supervisor at JVS Human Services. “We decided to call the program HarMoney, because so many in the population are not in harmony with their finances which is incredibly stressful, particularly now during this unprecedented time.”

    JVS Human Services has identified that Oakland County has had a recent increase in households experiencing poverty. In 2019, census tracking showed that 8.2 percent of families in Oakland County were below the income poverty level and, now with the Covid-19 pandemic, these numbers will likely become greater. An increase in overall debt, lower credit scores and lack of savings impacts a family’s ability to qualify for either renting or leasing a property and is a major obstacle to home ownership. The aim of the HarMoney Program is help families gain the knowledge to manage their money more effectively, learn skills such as budgeting and credit repair and understand the path to home ownership. The HarMoney Program components include:

    • 12 weeks of interactive financial education workshops (1-2 hours per week)
    • Eight individual financial coaching sessions
    • Referrals to organizations that focus on income support and career development
    • Development of a credit repair strategy
    • Credit report pulls at the start, midway and conclusion of the program
    • Down payment assistance of up to $1000 per family after successful program completion

    “TCF is a purpose-driven company, passionate about building stronger individuals, businesses and communities. TCF’s Community Impact Fund supports local organizations because we know that together, we can do even more good in the communities where we live and serve,” said Laura Castone, Market Manager of Community Development. “TCF is proud to make this donation to JVS Human Services, which provides critical resources to local residents to help them take the steps towards home ownership.”

    Potential applicants to the HarMoney Program must be low- to moderate-income based on HUD income limits and have a current credit score at or below 620. For more information applicants can email financialhelp@jvshumanservices.org, call 248.233.4299, or go to https://www.jvshumanservices.org/homebuyers.


    About JVS Human Services: Since 1941, JVS Human Services has been a leader in the community helping individuals and businesses achieve their employment goals. The agency helps job seekers jumpstart their careers, offers financial counseling, provides fulfilling programs for people with disabilities and helps seniors remain active and engaged in the community. In 2018, JVS Human Services provided services to nearly 12,000 metro-Detroit residents and assisted more than 1,000 employers seeking job candidates for a variety of occupations and skill levels.

    About TCF: TCF Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: TCF) is a Detroit, Michigan-based financial holding company with $48 billion in total assets at September 30, 2020 and a top 10 deposit market share in the Midwest. TCF’s primary banking subsidiary, TCF National Bank, is a premier Midwest bank offering consumer and commercial banking, trust and wealth management, and specialty leasing and lending products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. TCF has approximately 475 banking centers primarily located in Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota with additional locations in Colorado, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. TCF also conducts business across all 50 states and Canada through its specialty lending and leasing businesses. In 2019, TCF and Chemical Bank merged, forming Michigan’s largest national bank holding company. To learn more about TCF, visit tcfbank.com.

  • HOUR Magazine Interviews Trade Secrets Honorary Chair

    October 21, 2020 – Author Suzy Farbman, who is writing a new book about Cass Corridor artists, is featured in an article on the HOUR Magazine website. Farbman, who has faced some rough times these last two decades, will serve as Honorary Chair and Keynote Speaker at JVS’ upcoming Trade Secrets on Nov. 19. The article also tells the story of a woman whose life was turned around by JVS’ Women to Work program, which receives funding from Trade Secrets.  Read more>>

  • JVS Human Services Offers “Modern Toolkit”, Free Online Computer Proficiency Skills Webinars that Focus on Working from Home During the Pandemic

    September 8, 2020JVS Human Services, one of the leading human service agencies in metro Detroit, is launching a new, free online training program to help job seekers to increase their computer proficiency necessary for securing employment both in the office or remotely. Titled “Modern Toolkit”, the prerecorded classes will be uploaded every week beginning Thursday September 10, 2020 on JVS Human Services’ Facebook .  The webinars will help job seekers with tips, tools, and techniques to improve confidence and skills on the computer. Initial topics are:

    • September 10 – SharePoint vs OneDrive Fundamentals; understand these file management platforms with similarities and differences in file saving and storage to help boost business efficiencies
    • September 17 – LinkedIn Basics; learn to create a LinkedIn profile with your professional brand
    • September 24 – Electronic File Organization; file management tips to keep your electronic files organized on your computer
    • October 1 – LinkedIn Advance for Job Seekers; learn how to make valuable connections, increase knowledge and visibility in a field and open new career opportunities with LinkedIn tools
    • October 8 – Intro to Google Apps; the basics of working with web-based Google Apps such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets and Forms.
    • October 15 – Ribbon Essentials and Beyond in MS Word; learn about the components of the Ribbon and how to easily navigate for quick access and increased productivity.

    “Life-long learning for job seekers is essential to overcoming age barriers and to continue to be marketable,” explained Lisa Bahm, Supervisor of the David B. Hermelin ORT Resource Center, a training division of JVS Human Services. “With our new “Modern Toolkit” web series, we are offering the chance to learn some additional technical skills to help ensure that job seekers are not afraid of new technology, which is critical, especially right now.”

    Access to “Modern Toolkit” is free and the Facebook page will be monitored by instructors who will be available to respond to questions. For jobseekers wanting more detailed computer instruction, online classes are available for a nominal fee; for example, a series of 24 class hours costs $110. You can sign up for classes at www.ed2go.com/hermelinORT. More information can be obtained at hermelinORT@jvshumanservices.org

    Since the pandemic started, JVS Human Services has been offering jobseekers in Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb counties a variety of options to assist them in gaining employment during these unprecedented times. These training options include virtual one-on-one meetings with employment specialists, and “The Road Ahead” webinars offering advice on subjects like interview techniques on Zoom and writing resumes. Emergency one-on-one financial advice for those impacted by Covid-19 is also available.

    To find out more about virtual one-on-one meetings with employment specialists, email employmenthelp@jvshumanservices.org. Other services are available at JVS Human Services’ Job Seekers page.

  • Metro Detroit Seniors Living with Dementia Can Celebrate the Jewish Holidays with a Special Service on Zoom

    September 3, 2020 – Seniors living with dementia in metro Detroit can still celebrate the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur this year with a 45-minute service on Zoom especially designed for them. The virtual service will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27.  In addition, families that sign up for the program by September 14 will get a free special gift bag for the holidays which includes an apple and honey, honey cake, round challah, grape juice and prayer book, and which will be delivered to their homes by volunteers.

    For the past three years, the Dorothy and Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Program in Southfield and West Bloomfield has run an award-winning special Dementia-Friendly Kol Nidre/Yom Kippur Service. Staff recognized the challenges that a regular synagogue service presented to families whose loved ones have dementia – too long and too crowded. This year, although many reform and conservative synagogues are offering Zoom services during the pandemic, they are still not targeted to those living with dementia.

    “The need for connection is greater than ever for families caring for their loved ones. We knew that a regular synagogue service on zoom would likely be too long and not engage our community in the same way that we could: with a shorter and special service full of familiar melodies and briefer periods of talking,” explained Debra Yamstein, a spokesperson for the Brown Program, which is run by JVS Human Services and Jewish Senor Life. Debra added that through her work with people living with dementia she knows that music, prayer, and liturgy are experiences that the dementia brain responds to beyond the time other interests and activities have been lost.

    The Brown Program has continued to run virtual programming since April, providing a way for this population to maintain their connections and routine, plus have a positive structure to their day. Zoom classes have included music, trivia, jokes, games, poetry reading and writing to keep these seniors occupied and enjoying life.

    To register for the program, being led by Cantor Pamela Schiffer, go to https://bit.ly/BCservice2020 or call 248.592.5031. Registration is preferred by September 14, 2020 so that attendees can receive the holiday gift bags which are being sponsored by a friend of the Brown Program.

  • JVS Career Counselor Shares Advice in Jewish News

    August 12, 2020 – In a recent column in The Jewish News, JVS Career Counselor Sherrie James offers advice for people looking for jobs during these unprecedented times. Read more >>

  • Fox 2 Detroit: Devin Holmes Picks Up New Skills with JVS Internship

    August 5, 2020 – Devin Holmes, who has profound hearing loss, is a great football player and now he’s got some awesome work skills to add to his resume. As part of JVS’s summer internship program for students with disabilities, Devin works at the Royal Oak Golf Center. Fox 2’s Amy Andrews shared his story.  Read more>>

  • Recharge! Career Development Program for Mature Michiganders Now Open to Workers 45 and Over

    July 13, 2020 –JVS Human Services, one of the largest human service agencies in metro Detroit, will be expanding its latest Recharge! career development program aimed at mature workers, to those aged 45 and over. The 4-week program was previously aimed at those aged 50 or over who are unemployed, underemployed or who want or need to change their careers. It has been expanded to include younger workers because of the pandemic’s effect on so many employees in the state.

    “This session will be done on zoom for the first time, but we are confident that our participants will get the kick-start that they need to reinvent their careers,” explained Sherrie James, career counselor for JVS Human Services. “Covid-19 has obviously had such a devastating effect on many employees, but we are here with practical help for those in mid-life who need to look at their working options in a new way.”

    The program requires registration and $40 material fees and runs twice a week from 10 a.m. to noon. It will provide tools for participants to:

    • Reconnect with their skills and interests
    • Refresh their professional image and personal brand
    • Restore belief in themselves during life transition
    • Review the local job market

    Since Recharge! launched in 2012, more than 275 individuals have gone through the program. Graduates who have reinvented themselves include a lawyer who became a CEO of a non-profit, and a Corporate America worker who became a fundraiser. To register for Recharge! email sjames@jvshumanservices.org or call 248.233.4472; deadline is July 17, 2020.

  • We Put People Before Profits

    July 2, 2020 – In 2019, Facebook reported $18.5 billion in profit. And far too much of that record-setting haul was made from ads that peddle prejudice and hate. JVS is joining with many other organizations in the Stop Hate for Profit boycott. For the month of July, we will spend no money on Facebook ads or other promotions as we call on them to do their part to eliminate the toxic culture of hate that is damaging our country and destroying lives. We will continue to share information about classes, events, and other resources that are valuable to our community during this time.

  • JVS Human Services Names Aubrey Macfarlane as New COO

    Human services executive Aubrey Macfarlane has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of JVS Human Services effective June 1. Macfarlane replaces Paul Blatt, President and CEO of JVS, who held the position previously. Macfarlane will oversee business operations of the Southfield-based non-profit, which aims to enhance the lives of job seekers, people with disabilities and seniors in metro Detroit. Background information on Macfarlane can be found here.

    Macfarlane’s prior positions include Executive Director of the Livonia Public Schools Education Foundation, President and CEO of the Kennedy-Donovan Center in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and COO/Vice President of Programming at the Judson Center in Royal Oak.  A licensed macro and clinical social worker, Macfarlane has spent her career developing purposeful strategic direction for each organization, with the aim of ensuring a more sustainable future for each one.

    Working with the underserved, and children and adults living with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, Macfarlane has relied on evidence-based practice to institute the best in program development. Her efforts have led to service expansion, new revenue streams, innovative programming and improved organizations for the vulnerable communities she has served.

    “Aubrey brings a wealth of organizational experience to the role of chief operating officer in our ever-changing world,” said Blatt. “Her energetic leadership will enhance program, fiscal and strategic goals for the agency, as we work together to enhance services JVS provides to many thousands in our community.”

    Macfarlane says that JVS Human Services’ mission, to help metro Detroiters and their families maximize their potential with counseling, training, and supportive services for people with disabilities, job seekers, seniors, and others in need, has never been more important.

    “It is an honor to join an organization that has been providing such vital assistance since the 1940s,” said Macfarlane. “I am looking forward to working with a team dedicated to improving people’s lives and helping to navigate the agency during the current uncertainty as we move towards a brighter future.”

    Macfarlane’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a Master of Social Work, both from the University of Michigan.

  • COVID-19 Update

    JVS Human Services takes the health and safety of our employees, persons served and community very seriously. We have developed a comprehensive approach that will allow us to continue to deliver on our mission while embracing our core values.

    JVS Safe Work Guide.pptx

    JVS Safe Work PlayBook .docx


  • My Jewish Detroit Highlights Dorothy and Peter Brown Program

    March 9, 2020 – Celebrating 20 years of helping families living with dementia, the Dorothy and Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Program is jointly operated by JVS Human Services and Jewish Senior Life, with locations in Southfield and West Bloomfield.

    View the full story »

  • New Oakland County Michigan Works! Waterford service center to help thousands

    February 6, 2020 – Oakland County Michigan Works! is celebrating the grand opening of its new service center at 7500 Highland Road in Waterford which will support the needs of more than 2,600 job seekers a month in a more-accessible location. The new facility replaces the Michigan Works! office on Steffens Road in Waterford, which closed last summer. Oakland County Executive David Coulter and Paul Blatt, Executive Vice President and COO of JVS Human Services, which manages the Waterford location, held a special ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

    “The new Waterford office enhances the capabilities of Oakland County Michigan Works! to help residents find jobs and employers hire staff,” Coulter said. “Our goal is to make sure everyone has the resources they need to find opportunity across the job spectrum.”

    The Oakland County Michigan Works! service center in Waterford was carefully designed to meet a variety of needs ranging from private consultations and one-on-one job search assistance to training workshops and larger workforce events. It also features ample space for staff and multiple meeting rooms.  Updated technology systems allow the team to provide services and support to customers more efficiently than in the past.

    “JVS Human Services is excited to bring our person-centered approach to employment services to the job seekers of Oakland County,” Blatt said.  “The new office is designed to provide job seekers and employers with a warm and inviting space. It is powered by the latest technology features, allowing for the business community and job seekers to connect seamlessly resulting in a win-win for everyone.”

    The new Waterford service center offers a variety of career development workshops which focus on topics such as networking, resume development, online job searches, social media, overcoming age issues, personal branding, small business startups and more. Counselors also arrange formal training for qualified job seekers, leveraging federal and state funding. The office is establishing partnerships with local school districts and other groups to create career pathway programs, job readiness training opportunities, and on-the-job training programs with local employers.

    Oakland County Michigan Works! Director Jennifer Llewellyn said one of the key factors in selecting JVS Human Services to manage the office was its past work with Oakland County and successful track record of delivering similar services elsewhere in southeast Michigan.

    “We’re excited to have JVS Human Services as a key partner delivering services at our new Waterford location,” Llewellyn said.  “JVS and Oakland County have enjoyed a long-standing relationship and we’re confident that our customers, both businesses and job seekers, will benefit from the high-quality, customer-centered, services and programs delivered by the fantastic team there.”

    Oakland County Michigan Works! also operates service centers in Novi, Oak Park, Pontiac, Southfield and Troy. Combined, they annually service more than 105,000 job seekers. Services include career coaching, interviewing workshops, job search workshops, placement assistance, training courses and job trend information.

    The Oakland County service centers also assist more than 3,000 employers seeking assistance with talent recruitment, apprenticeship programs, job fairs, candidate pre-screening, hiring and training support, layoff support and labor market data.

    JVS Human Services is a leader in the community helping individuals and businesses achieve their employment goals. The agency helps job seekers jumpstart their careers, provides enriching programs for people with disabilities and helps seniors remain active and engaged in the community. In 2019, JVS Human Services provided services to over 10,000 individuals in need at their locations in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.

  • JVS Women to Work Program Highlighted on Local News

    January 12, 2020 – Judy Richmond, JVS Women to Work Coordinator, and Lori VanWormer, a former program participant stopped by the Fox2 News studios to highlight how this unique program helps transform lives.

    Watch the Interview »

  • JVS Human Services Names Paul Blatt as New CEO

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (December 18, 2019) – Josh Eichenhorn, chair of the Board of Trustees of JVS Human Services, has announced the appointment of Paul Blatt to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective March 1, 2020. The appointment follows the earlier announcement of current CEO Leah Rosenbaum’s retirement. Blatt has been with the agency since 2008, serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit for the last five years. JVS Human Services is one of the leading human services agencies in metropolitan Detroit, enhancing the lives of job seekers, people with disabilities and seniors. The agency will impact the lives of more than 13,000 people across the community this year alone. Background information on Paul Blatt can be found here.

    “Paul’s passion for helping people, combined with his deep knowledge of JVS and its strengths and opportunities will position the agency for a strong future,” said Eichenhorn. “His vision and collaborative approach will enhance our ability to provide life-changing opportunities to members of our community.”

    As Chief Operating Officer, Blatt has been responsible for ensuring the agency’s programmatic fiscal and strategic goals were met and key needs in the metro Detroit community were being addressed. As a strong advocate for people with disabilities, unemployed workers who face challenges and the elderly living with dementia, Blatt has helped implement innovative programs including eCycle Opportunities, an electronic recycling business; and training for fulfillment centers leading to jobs in companies like Amazon and Kroger. Blatt has also worked with both Oakland County and the City of Detroit to secure successful contracts to operate the Waterford Michigan Works! Career Center and a Detroit at Work career center located at Durfee Innovation Society.

    In his executive leadership role at JVS, Blatt has been responsible for the success of the 350 staff who deliver and implement the agency’s services. He also works with the Board of Trustees and staff serving as an ambassador for JVS for prospective board and committee members, funding sources and community leaders.

    “For the past 11 years, I have had the honor to work with an amazing team who have made a tremendous impact on the people of our community. During this time, I have grown professionally with the guidance of our board and my mentor, current CEO Leah Rosenbaum, who is an outstanding leader,” said Blatt. “I am honored to take on the role of President and CEO of an organization which inspires hope when it is needed most.”

    Blatt’s education includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and a Master of Public Administration Degree from Oakland University.


    About JVS Human Services:

    Since 1941, JVS Human Services has been a leader in the community helping individuals and businesses achieve their employment goals. The agency helps job seekers jumpstart their careers, provides enriching programs for people with disabilities and helps seniors remain active and engaged in the community. In 2018, JVS Human Services provided services to over 10,000 metro-Detroit residents and assisted more than 1,000 employers seeking job candidates for a variety of occupations and skill levels.

  • Fox2: Southfield’s E-Cycle Opportunities Recycles Old Electronics

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (December 16, 2019) – Derek Kevra of Fox2 Detroit visited to learn about the importance of properly recycling electronics and the services provided by E-Cycle Opportunities to area businesses and residents.

    Read More »

  • Kevin Blackburn’s Story: “Being a Hard Worker Does Pay Off”

    December 10 – An Amazon Blog entitled, “What a catastrophic injury can’t take away,” tells how Kevin Blackburn of Trenton, who thought he would never work again, came to JVS and found a second chance.

    Read More »

  • The Dementia Journey: An Oakland Press Feature Tells How to Keep Joy in the Holidays

    December 9 – The Oakland Press featured the Brown Program in this article about finding joy in the holidays when a family member is living with dementia.

    Read More »

  • JOIN Intern Writes Story for The Jewish News

    December 4 – The Detroit Jewish News published an article written by JOIN intern Grace Sherbin about her experience last summer working at JARC. The application for next summer’s program is now open, so this story helped get the word out about this great program.

    Read More »

  • JVS in The Detroit News

    November 28, 2019 – Trained in an innovative program at JVS Human Services, Kevin Blackburn – who in 20015 lost his hands in a powerline accident – has been working and excelling since early July at the Amazon sorting center in Brownstown Township.


  • JVS in The Jewish News: JVS to be Key Player at Durfee Innovation Society

    October 24, 2019 – JVS Human Services is set to play a key role in job training and placement for Detroiters needing work with a new career center at the Durfee Innovation Society.


  • JVS on Fox2: Amid surge in online grocery shopping, Amazon and others hiring workers with special needs

    Fox 2 News Anchor Roop Raj visited JVS Human Services’ simulated warehouse sorting and fulfillment center in Detroit, where we’re helping people with disabilities get good-paying jobs with Amazon and other employers.

  • Southfield Sun Features JVS Supermarket Simulation

    The top story in the Sept. 3 issue of C&G Newspaper’s Southfield Sun features JVS Human Services’ new simulated shopping/fulfillment training program.

    Read the full story>>

  • JVS Human Services CEO Leah Rosenbaum Announces Plans to Retire in 2020

    The Board of Trustees of JVS Human Services, which is based in Southfield, Mich., has announced that Leah Rosenbaum, President and Chief Executive Officer, has shared her intention to retire effective March 1, 2020.  Ms. Rosenbaum has served more than half of her 40-year career in a leadership role at JVS, including six years as CEO and 18 years as Chief Operating Officer. The Executive Committee of the JVS board has established a search committee to assure a smooth transition in leadership.

    “We are very proud of JVS Human Services’ excellent reputation for serving our community with heart, and we deeply appreciate Leah’s leadership and dedication to the people we serve,” said Josh Eichenhorn, chair of the JVS Human Services Board of Trustees. “In a culture of caring and respect, Leah has enhanced the agency’s efforts by melding the passion of our board, staff, community partners and funding sources. We wish her the very best in her well-deserved retirement.”

    JVS is one of the leading human services agencies in metropolitan Detroit. With services to enhance the lives of job seekers, people with disabilities and seniors, the agency will impact the lives of more than 13,000 people across the community this year alone.

    Delivering human services with a dedication to quality and innovation, Ms. Rosenbaum has helped the agency grow from a budget of $8 million to $26 million and a staff of over 400.

    Ms. Rosenbaum has helped in many key accomplishments over the years, most notably:

    • launching an innovative day program serving people living with dementia while also supporting their family care partners.
    • developing person-centered services and community integration for people with disabilities.
    • expanding employment initiatives to provide individualized career services to help job seekers of all ages and from all walks of life, including laid-off executives, people experiencing homelessness and women returning to work after a break.
    • creating new revenue streams for the agency such as eCycle Opportunities, an electronics recycling program.

    In recognition of her tireless efforts, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit honored Ms. Rosenbaum with the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Award for Outstanding Professional Service in 2016.

    “I have been blessed with a wonderful career doing what I love, the opportunity to work with people that I admire, and the privilege of serving people in our community,” said Ms. Rosenbaum. “JVS will always hold a special place in my heart. I leave feeling confident that our talented and caring staff and lay leaders will continue to passionately serve our mission, and that JVS Human Services will move forward and remain one of the best human services organizations.”

  • WDIV-Ch 4 Interviews Strictly Business Honorary Chair

    Justice Richard Bernstein, Strictly Business Honorary Chair, did an interview with Jason Carr at WDIV-Ch 4 early on Monday, June 10. 

    At the start of the interview, the Justice speaks about current issues in the legal system. He then addresses the important role work plays in the lives of all people, and especially in the lives of people who have disabilities.

    “What JVS shows is that no matter what your struggle in life is, in many situations people’s bodies might be infirmed but their spirits have no limitations, and can truly soar if given an opportunity and given a chance. And we do that through work,” said Justice Bernstein.

    Watch the full interview online.

  • JVS Human Services Issues RFP

    May 29, 2019 – JVS Human Services released a Request for Proposal with the primary objective of leasing office space (approximately 10,000 sq. ft.) to house a Detroit at Work Career Center in the City of Detroit. This annually renewed lease will begin October 1, 2019 and extend over a five-year period.

    All proposals are due electronically by 6/10/19 at 12 PM EST.


    JVS Detroit Career Center Office Space RFP

    JVS Detroit Office Response Form

  • Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein Headlines JVS Human Services “Strictly Business” Event on June 13

    Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein will headline the 22nd annual JVS Human Services Strictly Business networking, awards and fundraising event on Thursday, June 13. Bernstein, known for using his own disability to help and inspire many others, will speak to an anticipated crowd of more than 700 business and community leaders. The event will celebrate individuals who have transformed their lives through work and business leaders who support innovative employment practices. The event begins with a reception at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon and program from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., at MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, Michigan.

    “Richard Bernstein’s life’s work truly exemplifies the mission of JVS Human Services in helping people of all situations to maximize their potential,” said Leah Rosenbaum, president and CEO of JVS Human Services. “He takes action to help those who need it, and his law cases often set national standards protecting the rights and safety of people with and without disabilities.”

    With a commitment to justice and fairness, Bernstein began his eight-year term for the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2015 as the first blind state Supreme Court justice in the nation. Prior to serving on Michigan’s highest court, he was known for being a tireless advocate for disabled rights as an attorney, heading the public service division for The Sam Bernstein Law Firm in Farmington Hills.

    In addition to Bernstein’s keynote speech, attendees will also hear from the recipients of the 2019 JVS Business Leadership and Rising Entrepreneur Awards, along with individuals whose lives have been enhanced by the work of JVS Human Services. Awards will be presented to:

    • Star Trax Events which will be honored with the 2019 Business Leadership Award for innovative employment practices. With a focus on outstanding customer service, company President Geoff Kretchmer drives employee engagement through a strong company culture: employees who feel connected to each other and understand how their work contributes to the success of the company, work together towards common goals and perform better.
    • Josh Gershonowicz, who will receive the 2019 Rising Entrepreneur Award, founded his creative agency, Rebuild Group, seven years ago to help clients challenge their thinking and achieve strategic growth through proprietary research and effective brand campaigns. Rebuild Group’s culture is fun, inclusive, creative and encouraging. The company moved from the suburbs to the City of Detroit in 2014 and now has a staff of more than 20 full-time employees.
    • Kelly Flynn from Tapper’s Jewelry, Loukas Pallicaris from Preferred Building Services and Sonya Terry from the City of Detroit will be honored with Employee of the Year Attendees will hear the inspiring stories of these three individuals who have overcome employment obstacles with assistance from JVS Human Services programs.

    For details about sponsorships and tickets, visit https://www.jvshumanservices.org/strictlybiz or contact Judy Strongman at 248.233.4213 or jstrongman@jvshumanservices.org

  • JVS Human Services Issues RFP

    April 19, 2019 — JVS Human Services released a Request for Proposal with the primary objective of leasing professional office space (7,000-10,000 sq. ft.) to house Oakland County Michigan Works – North Oakland (Clarkston, Waterford Twp., White Lake Charter Twp., or Independence Charter Twp.). This annually renewed lease will begin July 1, 2019 and extend over a five-year period.

    All proposals are due electronically by 5/10/19 at 3:00 PM EST.


    JVS Oakl Office Response Form.doc

    JVS Oakl Office Lease RFP.pdf

  • Bloomfield Cable – Bottom Line With Cindy Kainz

    Cindy Kainz talks at length with Judy Richmond, JVS Women to Work coordinator, and Kristen Gross, JVS trustee and co-chair of Trade Secrets, an event to raise funds to support JVS programs for women job seekers.


  • Fox 2 – JVS Women to Work Program hosting event for women job seekers

    Fox  2’s Sherry Margolis interviews Judy Richmond, JVS Women to Work coordinator, and Felicia Militello, past participant in the program.


  • JVS Launches Partnership with Amazon

    Human Services is launching our partnership with Amazon to employ people with disabilities. The agency is currently recruiting individuals to work at the Brownstown sort center.

    Recruitment and sort center simulation in JVS Human Services facility in Detroit.

    Applicants must have an open case with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). Interested candidates are encouraged to contact their MRS counselor to be referred to the Sort Center Simulation Interview at JVS in Detroit, or contact Gabrielle Sharp by email at gsharp@jvshumanservices.org or phone 248.417.3094.

    In the future, positions will be available in Whole Foods, Prime Now and other Amazon warehouse locations in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Troy.

    More information is available online. http://bit.ly/JVSAmazonJobs

  • JVS Human Services to Honor Woman Business Owner and Philanthropist, Mindi Fynke, at 11th Annual Trade Secrets Fundraiser April 11 in Troy

    Event benefits JVS Women to Work program, which provides career counseling, job search assistance and emotional support to unemployed women

    Women in search of a fresh start and the tools it takes to successfully seek and secure employment after divorce, disability or death of a spouse, or other life circumstances will take center stage at the 11th annual JVS Human Services Trade Secrets fundraiser at 6 p.m. on April 11 at the Detroit Marriott Troy. Keynote speaker and honorary chair, Mindi Fynke, president and CEO of EHIM in Southfield, one of the largest woman-owned pharmacy benefits management companies in the country, will share her personal story of reinvention and success with the event’s expected 600 attendees.

    “Mindi has a huge heart and is passionate about giving back to our community and helping others succeed,” said Leah Rosenbaum, president and CEO of JVS Human Services. “She has been an ardent supporter of JVS programs which strengthen and provide employment opportunities for the unemployed, older workers and people with disabilities.”

    Through sponsorships, ticket sales and a signature raffle, the JVS Trade Secrets event raises funds for the award winning nonprofit’s Women to Work Program and other services that support women job seekers. The program has transformed the lives of more than 2,200 women throughout metropolitan Detroit for more than 30 years, with 85 percent of its graduates gaining employment or developing a plan to furthe their education. Luisa Harrington, a graduate of the Women to Work program, will share her inspiring story at the event.

    This year’s Trade Secrets event co-chairs are Roz Blanck, Kristen Gross and Linda Schlesinger-Wagner. Sponsorship opportunities are available; and individual tickets are $150. Visit www.jvshumanservices.org/tradesecrets or contact Judy Strongman at (248) 233-4213 for additional information.

    Trade Secrets’ Presenting Sponsor is EHIM; Platinum Sponsors include Jack and Annette Aronson, DeRoy Testamentary Foundation and Huntington Bank; and the Diamond Sponsor is Skinnytees.

  • WBRW-TV Features JVS Tri-County Dental

    Karen Trompeter, director of JVS’s  Tri-County Dental Health program, recently appeared on WBRW-TV with host Nannette Griffin talking about  low-cost or no-cost services for underserved populations, emergency dental assistance and our co-teacher project with Detroit Mercy to enhance the clinical experiences of dental students in their work with people with disabilities.

    Watch the full interview below.

  • JVS Hosts Hiring Blitz Thursday, January 10 from 2 to 6 p.m.

    Southfield, Mich. (Jan. 2, 2019) – JVS Human Services will host a hiring blitz for direct care/engagement and job coach positions on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the JVS headquarters at 29699 Southfield Road, Southfield, Mich., 48076.

    Direct care staff and job coaches for JVS plan, implement and supervise activities that promote a healthy, active and social lifestyle for people with disabilities.

    “We are seeking candidates who have a passion for engaging with people on the path to employment and community inclusion,” said Debra Yamstein, vice president of Non-Vocational and Senior Adult Services at JVS Human Services.

    Positions are located in either Southfield or Detroit and are full- or part-time with weekday, daytime hours. Starting pay is $10.90-$12.20 an hour. A competitive benefits package is included.

    Applicants must be at least 21 with a high school diploma or equivalency. Experience serving individuals with disabilities is preferred. Applicants must also pass MVR and background checks in order to transport clients in agency vehicles.

    No appointment is required to attend the event. JVS staff will be on hand to conduct interviews and offer positions on-the-spot. Interested applicants should visit www.jvsdet.org/DirectCare in advance of the event for detailed job descriptions and to complete an application.

  • JVS Springboard to Success Helping Women Get a New Start on Employment for the New Year

    There is help and hope for women facing difficult circumstances who need to return to the job market. JVS provides assistance to women from all social and economic backgrounds in Southeastern Michigan who must find a job following unemployment, divorce or the death or disability of a spouse or partner. In January, Springboard to Success combines computer training with JVS’s hallmark Women to Work program.

    Offered at no charge to participants, the program helps women assess their vocational interests, identify work-related skills, prepare resumes, develop interviewing and networking skills and launch a job search. It also includes hands-on Microsoft Office Suite 2010 training.

    Springboard to Success begins with an informational meeting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 10.  The program starts on January 15 and will meet from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at JVS Human Services in Southfield. For information or to register, contact Judy Richmond at jrichmond@jvshumanservices.org or (248) 233-4232, or visit www.jvsdet.org/women.

  • Training Class for Career Services Providers Announced

    JVS Human Services will offer a 10-week training program beginning January 8 in Southfield for individuals working in career development. The Facilitating Career Development Course is based upon 12 professional competency areas outlined by the National Career Development Association (NCDA).

    Led by nationally trained and certified instructor Karen Gutman, the class will offer hands-on, practical learning and interaction with colleagues from a variety of work settings.

    “Participants will leave the class with relevant skills, knowledge and tools they need to assist others in planning careers and obtaining meaningful work,” said Gutman. “The course also prepares individuals to apply for nationally recognized professional credentials.”

    The program is designed for people who work in any type of career development positions including career counselors, job search trainers, career resource center coordinators, career coaches, career development case manager, school counselors, employment/placement specialists or workforce development staff.

    The class will meet from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 8 to Mar. 12 at JVS offices, 29699 Southfield Rd., Southfield. Tuition is $1,200 and includes all books and materials. For more information and to register, download the course flyer at http://bit.ly/FCD-Jan2019 or contact Karen Gutman at FCDGutman@jvshumanservices.org or 248-891-7484.

    A certificate of completion will be awarded to students who successfully complete course requirements. Participants will then be eligible to apply for the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) credential offered by the Center for Credentialing and Education and the Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) credential offered by the National Career Development Association.

  • Flagstar Bank and eCycle Opportunities Host Free Electronic Recycling Event Nov. 2

    Flagstar Bank is partnering with eCycle Opportunities (ECO) to host a free electronic recycling event 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2, at Flagstar’s Troy headquarters. The event is open to Flagstar employees and the metro Detroit community at Flagstar Bank, 5151 Corporate Drive.

    In recognition of the upcoming America Recycles Day, Flagstar Bank worked with eCycle Opportunities to provide a free way for community members to safely and securely recycle electronics to protect the environment.

    Electronics such as TVs, computers, peripherals, flat screen monitors, cathode ray tubes (CRT) monitors, cable boxes, DVD players, cell phones and tablets will be accepted during the event, at no cost. The standard disposal fee of $25 on TVs will be waived for the first 400 TVs (limit two per vehicle), thanks to a generous grant from ITC Global.

    The event makes it easy for consumers to properly recycle—especially TVs and monitors—and builds awareness of the dangers of disposing electronics into landfills. According to Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse, Americans had around five billion pounds of CRT TVs tucked away in spare bedrooms and basements in 2015.

    Recycling electronics is often difficult or costly as they frequently contain toxic substances such as lead, mercury, beryllium, and cadmium. On average, legacy TVs with bulky and heavy CRTs contain around six pounds of lead.

    ECO provides services to businesses and organizations, including secure, certified repurposing or recycling of computers and other electronics, while at the same time creating jobs for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

    “With Flagstar’s support in hosting this event, we’re able to help the public dispose of harmful electronic waste the right way,” said Stacey Lareau, general manager of ECO, a JVS subsidiary. “At the same time, ECO gets a boost in its mission of creating an inclusive workforce with jobs for individuals with barriers to employment.”

    “We are so proud to align with ECO and bring this event to the community,” said Sonia Plata, director of the Flagstar Bank Foundation. “We especially like the job creation aspect of the program because it fits well with our diversity and inclusion initiatives—especially the goals of our employee resource group that focuses on people with disabilities.”

    To learn more about what can and cannot be recycled on Nov.2, visit

    www.eCycleOpps.org.  For more information about Flagstar Bank community initiatives, visit flagstar.com.

  • Dementia-Friendly Service Planned for Yom Kippur

    The Dorothy and Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Program (Brown Program) is hosting a dementia-friendly High Holiday service 11:00 a.m., Sunday, September 16 at Fleischman Residence/ Blumberg Plaza, 6710 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield, Mich., 48322. A luncheon will follow the service. There is no fee to attend.

    “Since many find solace through High Holiday services, we designed a special program to make it easier for individuals and families to observe Yom Kippur,” explains Debra Yamstein, Brown Program director. “Often, families that are living with dementia can become isolated from their friends, co-workers and faith communities so this program provides an opportunity to remain connected to a faith community.”

    The dementia-friendly service will be an intimate gathering where individuals will feel welcomed and not overwhelmed by large crowds or a long program. The abbreviated 45-minute service will focus on the most important prayers.

    The service, named 2018 Program of the Year by the Association of Jewish Aging Services, also aims to help individuals with dementia tap into their memories as music and liturgy are usually among the last things to slip away.

    “The memories of prayer, music and worship are settled deep in the brain and can serve as a trigger to bring someone into the present,” explains Yamstein. “Although people with dementia may not remember what they ate for breakfast, they can still remember deep-rooted experiences of their youth. For many, that includes celebrating holidays. Therefore, the opportunity to pray and connect with G-d on Yom Kippur remains important.”

    To register or for more information about the Yom Kippur service call (248) 661-6390. Individuals are encouraged to pre-register with the understanding that last-minute challenges may prevent them from attending.

  • JVS Receives Grant for eCycle Opportunities

    JVS’s electronics recycling division, eCycle Opportunities (ECO), has been awarded a $10,000 grant from ITC. ECO serves individuals and businesses by recycling their electronics in an environmentally responsible way. As part of its community-focused mission, ECO also provides jobs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

    The grant will allow ECO to recycle televisions and CRT monitors at no cost to the public. ECO will offer the fee-free service at a special drop-off event in the fall and will continue the offer until grant funds are depleted.

    Responsible recyclers pay high fees to safely recycle televisions and CRTs, which contain harmful toxins such as lead and mercury. Those costs are usually passed along to consumers when the items are dropped off. ECO usually charges $25 for televisions, for example.

    “To save money, people put these items at the curb with trash,” said Stacey Lareau, eCycle Opportunities general manager. “Unfortunately, that can expose our landfills to hazardous elements.”

    The ITC grant will positively impact the community by keeping those harmful toxins out of landfills and preventing further contamination of the air, soil and water.

    “ITC and JVS share a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and the communities we serve,” said Donna Zalewski, director, Local Government & Community Affairs and Philanthropy, ITC Holdings Corp. “ITC is proud to support the JVS ECO program, which not only helps keep electronics out of Michigan landfills, but creates job opportunities for the people it serves.”

    “We are very excited about the grant because it gives us an opportunity to inform and educate the public while creating jobs,” said Lareau.

    Those interested in learning more can visit eCycleOpps.org or call 248-233-4477.

  • Bank of America

    With a grant from Bank of America, the JVS Bridging the Gap program is helping Detroiters who are experiencing homelessness successfully obtain employment to rebuild their lives. Watch this inspirational video on the impact this program had on Mark’s life.