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History of JFS

"When you reap the harvest in your field and overlook a sheaf there, you shall not go back to get it; let it be for the alien, the orphan or the widow."

--Levitcus 23:22

1872 The Hebrew Women’s Benevolent Society of Salt Lake City forms to “relieve the destitute” by serving Jewish transients.

1888 The Society changes its name to the Jewish Relief Society of Salt Lake City and adopts a formal constitution.

1920 Becomes one of the earliest affiliates of the Community Chest, now known as United Way. 1936 Hires their first paid worker due to the overwhelming number of transients in need.

1948 By now, the Society provides about 600 meals, 250 lodgings, as well as clothes, medicine, gasoline, coal, food, half soles for shoes, and ice for local relief cases.

1956 Hires a part-time social worker.

1961 The Society establishes its first permanent office in the Jewish Community Center on 1700 South. The Society changes its name to Jewish Family Service.

1980s After 28 years of service to JFS, the part-time social worker retires and a part-time executive director is hired. JFS conducts a community assessment.

1990s Institutes Operation Exodus, Grandpa’s Attic, and the Blood Drive. In 1994, the first full-time executive director is hired. In 1997, Evelyn and Joseph Rosenblatt establish a free loan fund. Services are expanded to the entire community.

2005 JFS is awarded federal funding for its Project EncourAge Program, a program designed to help seniors stay in their home. This doubles the agency’s size.

2007 JFS moves to expanded offices to keep pace with community and program needs.