From Strength to Strength, the Generations Project Continues to Make Progress
The Krasoff family with JFS staff and volunteers at the groundbreaking ceremony. Credit: Wendy Goodman
By: Allison Teegardin
On June 21, 2022, another milestone was reached in the Generations project as the new Krasoff Jewish Family Service Building broke ground on the Dell Jewish Community Campus. This momentous day was a long time coming and was celebrated by dozens of participants attending the event.
Forty years ago, Steve Krasoff was involved in the remodeling of the first JCC in Austin. The facility was an old church on Jollyville road and he recalls the temporary buildings serving as the ECP, administrative offices and small social areas. At this time, JFS was not part of Shalom Austin. Now, four decades later, not only is JFS an integral part of Shalom Austin, it is moving its operations to the Dell Jewish Community Campus.
“The Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service professional staff and leadership are thrilled to be celebrating the groundbreaking of our new home on the Dell Jewish Community Campus. Over the past two years, our staff has expanded, and we no longer fit in our current space. We are eager to be fully integrated into the campus community. JFS will continue to offer services from our current office on Jollyville, as well as virtual services, to meet the growing mental health needs in the greater Austin community. Our volunteer director and food pantry will move to campus in order to more fully integrate our programs into campus life! We are eager to come home,” said Rabbi Amy B. Cohen, LMSW Chief social services officer and executive director of Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service.
In addition to the new building, JFS continues to expand its services and programming. “The fact that we are providing a new facility for therapists and counselors working with families who have various needs as well as developing inclusion programs for disabled children, as well as disabled adults, warms my heart,” said Krasoff.
Within the past two years, the JFS staff has grown from 5 to 17 team members and counting. The size of the staff is directly proportional to the number of clients they serve, showing just how important, and needed, the services are in the community.
Cohen read a statement made by JFS Clinical Director Emma Howitt, who was unable to attend the groundbreaking ceremony, “We have made tremendous strides together to reshape the conversation about mental health at Shalom Austin and in our greater community, and this home, at the heart of our campus, will be an invaluable tool in reminding everyone that the definition of health must include our mental health.”
“Molly and I are proud to be part of the Generations Campaign,” said Steve Krasoff. “We are excited the new Krasoff Jewish Family Service Building will be providing expanded services to the community. Additionally, it is very gratifying that Shalom Austin JFS will now be located on the Dell Jewish Community Campus alongside other Shalom Austin community facilities.”
The ceremony concluded with refreshments and schmoozing as everyone buzzed with excitement for what is yet to come.
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