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Jewish Service Organization Celebrates 135 Years

On Oct. 28, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of the East Bay celebrates 135 years at its sixth annual Art of Living fundraising gala.

By Jewish Family & Children’s Service of the East Bay

The year is 1877. Cross-country travelers and immigrants from foreign shores are ending their journeys in Oakland, California, the end of the line on the Transcontinental Railroad.

In response to the needs of these newcomers, the unemployed, the sick, and neighbors in their midst living in poverty, the Daughters of Israel Relief Society is formed.

Now, 135 years later, this organization — known these days as Jewish Family & Children’s Service of the East Bay — is still providing care for the East Bay’s most vulnerable community members.

JFCS/East Bay is a nonprofit, nonsectarian agency providing mental health and social services to more than 8,000 individuals, families, children, seniors, Holocaust survivors, immigrants, and refugees of all affiliations, races, religions, and backgrounds in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Headquartered on Shattuck and Dwight in downtown Berkeley, the organization serves those who face many daunting challenges: protracted unemployment; living with the corrosive effects of community and domestic violence; aging in place while staying well-connected to others; parenting children with emotional and behavioral difficulties; and making new lives in this country after having fled persecution elsewhere.

On Sunday, Oct. 28 JFCS/East Bay will hold its sixth annual Art of Living fundraising gala to celebrate its 135 years of service in the East Bay. Taking place at the Oakland Museum of California at 5:30 p.m., the evening will feature a unique musical and theatrical tribute to the agency’s history. Produced and directed by renowned local director/actress Joy Carlin, the show will feature performances by playwright/actor Charlie Varon; old-world klezmer group Veretski Pass; director/actress Naomi Newman; contemporary gospel singer Danny Dyson; actress Jeri Lynn Cohen; and many more.

Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.jfcs-eastbay.org or by calling Shelley Waits at (510) 704-7480, ext. 777.

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