2003-02-22 / Community

Jewish Community Council Offers New Services

When the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula moved to its new offices last October, it did more than just relocate to a more modern and more spacious building. It considered this move as an opportunity to expand its wide array of social services for the people of Rockaway and to provide these services more efficiently.

Now conveniently located at 1525 Central Avenue, between Mott Avenue and Nameoke Street, the JCCRP has added a Project Liberty Task Force to its staff and has appointed new members to its Executive Board to meet the needs of the people of the Rockaway Peninsula.

After being located for many years in small offices, the JCCRP was able to move into its new building due to a grant from the State of New York that was arranged by Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer. Nesanel Feller, president of the JCCRP, explained, "The JCCRP is poised to become a more prominent force on the peninsula in terms of the delivery of Social services and the ability to help foster community growth and development." Commenting on the new services and the new members of the board, Harvey Gordon, executive director of the JCCRP added, "I look forward to a new year in which we work together to witness the ongoing development of community life for all residents of the Rockaways."

In addition to the services described on the website, the JCCRP now hosts a Project Liberty Task Force and has added additional health, nutrition, and social services. The new and expanded programs, which are described below, have enhanced the JCCRP’s ability to meet the needs of all the residents of the Rockaways.

The World Trade Center attack on 9/11/01 had a profound effect on all New Yorkers. Whether a person knew or was related to one of the victims, was a survivor of the attack, or just saw the event on television, the horror of the attack will not be forgotten. Project Liberty was created to assist those who need community services to handle post-traumatic stress disorder due to the events of 9/11 or other catastrophes such as the crash of Flight 587 in Belle Harbor. The JCCRP Task Force is made up of Kathy Rosenberg, project coordinator, and Rena Meriash-Levine, social worker. The program is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), and the JCCRP was selected by the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty to spearhead Project Liberty in the Rockaway Peninsula.

The JCCRP has been in the forefront of helping the people of the Rockaways. Under the expert direction of Shelly Twersky, JCCRP coordinator of social services for almost fifteen years, the Council has been able to help with government entitlements, to provide for the needs of the Russian-speaking community, and to oversee the Rabbi Michael Scholar Camp Scholarship Fund. In partnership with the Jewish Services Coalition, the Council provides a food pantry that gives food to the needy and distributes food vouchers that are usable in local markets.

The well-being of all Rockawayites has always been a major concern of the JCCRP. In addition to the social services that the JCCRP has provided over the years, the organization has added new staff members whose expertise enables the council to provide a wider range of services. In conjunction with the JCCRP, the Joseph P. Adabbo Family Health Clinic has hired Sruly Miller as an enrollment facilitator for state-sponsored health insurance programs such as Medicaid, Family Health Plus, and Child Care Plus. Rena Blum has joined the JCCRP staff as a Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program (MCCAP) specialist. She will be giving workshops on getting health insurance and working with an HMO. Mia Allison, as the JCCRP’s nutrition outreach specialist, determines a family’s eligibility for food stamps and assists them with the application process.

This is just a short overview of the services provided by the JCCRP. If you would like more information or have a need or know of someone in need of these services, please contact the Jewish Community Council at (718) 327-7755.

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