Religions and Spirituality

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Bereavement Group to Begin Tuesday, November 10th


WESTFIELD, NJ - A six-session Bereavement Group for those who have lost a spouse or partner, will begin on Tuesday, November 10, from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the Lavy House – A Resource Center for Seniors, 748 E. Broad Street, Westfield, NJ.   Subsequent meetings will be held on Tuesdays, on November 17, 24, December 1, 8 and 15.  Discussions will deal with understanding the nature and process of loss and grief, as well as learning coping skills.

The Lavy House is a project funded by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest, NJ, in collaboration with Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey (JFSCNJ), Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, and The Westfield United Fund.  The group will be led by JFS Social Worker, Maris Chavenson, LSW, and is free and open to the public.  RSVP required to, or call her at 908-352-8375, in advance if you are interested in joining the group.

The Lavy House, adjacent to Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, will serve as a clearinghouse of resources for seniors and their families for the greater Union County area.  It will be open Monday – Friday from 9 am – 3 pm and operated by volunteers coordinated by The Westfield United Fund.  Thanks to a generous grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest, NJ, Maris Chavenson, JFSCNJ social worker will be available Tuesdays, from 9 am – 5 pm, to develop special programs and provide more individualized case management services by appointment only.

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The Lavy House will host a “Cafe Hour” on Tuesdays between 11 am- 12 pm where people are encouraged to gather informally to become familiar with the programs and services available to them in and around Union County.  In addition to the scheduled Bereavement Group, information on Jewish Family Service’s wide range of programs including: Alzheimer’s/Dementia Caregiver Support Programs and Groups, Nursing and Homecare Services, Meals on Wheels, Food Pantry, and Counseling will be available.  Jewish Family Service of Central NJ is a non-profit, non-sectarian health and social service agency servicing all of Union County, NJ. The mission of JFS is to assist individuals and families in crisis through any stage of the life cycle process. 

Temple Emanu-El of Westfield (TEE), a Reform synagogue affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism, is committed to insuring the vitality and continuity of our Jewish heritage.  TEE is a 1,100 + family member congregation that emphasizes Jewish worship, tradition, education, youth development, and social justice.  Demographics range from early childhood education students through seniors.

The Westfield United Fund’s mission is to help members of the local Westfield area communities who need care and social services.  The purpose is to fund quality programs provided by independent agencies approved by the Westfield United Fund.  The Fund strives to identify unmet needs and support programs and services that address the needs of individuals, families, teens, children, and seniors, including those with physical and psychological disabilities.

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ (JCF), is the largest community foundation in New Jersey.  JCF is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and serves as the Federation’s planned giving and endowment.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the program contact the Westfield United Fund,, or call, 908-233-2113.  You can also sign up to become part of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for Union County under the auspices of JFS through, or call Nathalie Garcia, 908-352-8375.           

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