Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services assistance programs.

A wide range of services are available in Palm Beach County from Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services. While some programs are focused just on people of the Jewish faith, others are available regardless of religion or faith. The charity works to both help those that are struggling and also assist with employment and other needs.

As funding allows, JFS of Palm Beach provides financial assistance to various residents, including children from low income families, seniors, adults, the disabled, and those in need of health care. Some of these programs are listed below, but there may be others, including referrals.

Medical and dental assistance is what the Caring Doctor's Project focuses on. It was created to assist the rising number of children and adults in Florida who have inadequate or even no health insurance. In partnership with the Palm Beach County Medical Society's Project Access, Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services links eligible residents with doctors or even dentists who provide pro-bono health care.

Basic needs are part of the Rose Golden Fund. This assists low-income Palm Beach County residents with meeting needs, such as shelter, food, car repairs, meals, clothing, and so on. Related to this is the Viner Family Compassionate Care Program. This JFS resource offers financial assistance and basic needs to families with dependent children who are experiencing temporary crisis situations.

Seniors and the disabled are the main beneficiaries of the Silverstein Fund. The program provides assistance to elderly and others from the region who require short term in-home care services as a result of a recent rehabilitation center stay, hospitalization, or similar situations.

The Dorothy and Irving Cooper Fund provides cash grants and other forms of financial assistance, but it is only for special needs children and their families, specifically with obtaining appropriate professional services. Some of the areas of focus include summer and after-school camp, the training of professionals and volunteers working in the field, financial assistance with obtaining necessary adaptive equipment, respite care, help in paying and acquiring behavior modification specialists, and counseling services.




Mostly for people of the Jewish faith, but there may be interest-free educational loans for post-secondary study at accredited institutions in Florida. These are available through the Jewish Education Loan Fund, which is available in many other states too.

The Hebrew Free Loan Association, which is a partner of Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services, provides interest-free financing of up to $5,000 to individuals and families who are not eligible for bank loans. The funds can be used for a variety of purposes, some of which include home repairs, auto repair or purchase, dental care, rent to stop evictions, educational classes, or other necessary expenses. A guarantor may be required, based on the applicant’s credit scores.

Some clients in Palm Beach County may receive financial help for other needs. In certain cases, JFS will issue a loan to the Palm Beach County family. Some of the programs include.

  • Back to School Supplies or payments for After - School Activities.
  • Car Insurance or Auto Loan Payment Assistance for work reasons.
  • Tutoring as well as Educational Testing, such as GEDs, or College Prep Services.
  • Homeless prevention, such as Mortgage or Rent payments.
  • Medical care, such as for supplies, Eyeglasses, medications, In-Home Care, Prescriptions, or even Hearing Aids.

The Jacobson Family Food Pantry’s mission has been to provide free meals, food, and groceries to people experiencing serious financial difficulties in Palm Beach. The goal is to ensure that no one in the community goes hungry.

By alleviating the burden of hunger, the Jewish Services allows people to direct their attention and efforts at working toward improving their circumstances. The pantry delivers vegetables, non-perishable groceries, fruits, and more every other week, at no charge. Providing for those who lack the means to afford basic necessities is the essence of Tzedakah, which asks us to help those in need live with greater dignity and comfort.

The JFS Meals on Wheels Program delivers hot, prepared, and healthy meals to allow homebound seniors or the disabled in Palm Beach County. It in effect allows them to live and “age” safely in their own homes for as long as possible. More importantly, Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services volunteers provide participants with a personal connection and access to a variety of other programs and services that enhance and improve their quality of life.

The organization also tries to offer support groups, mental health care and counseling, workshops, psychiatric assessment, psychological testing, medication management, and mentoring programs for children and adults.

In addition, they operate a free drop-in center for adults who are living with persistent mental illness, a serious health care issue and/or developmental disabilities. In most cases, the various support groups are free of charge, even for those that lack insurance.





Employment services are a focus too. Given the still economically challenged South Florida community and diminishing job growth, JFS’s Career and Employment Services offers an array of services for those seeking employment or a higher paying job. Available resources from the charity include vocational training, job coaching, instruction in workforce development skills, career seminars, resources for continuing education, job fairs and a variety of additional supportive services targeted to achieving success.

The JFS Kibbitz and Ride Program provides a local Palm Beach transportation option for seniors who are no longer able to drive cars on their own. The agency has a small number of volunteer drivers who help. They will gladly pick people up at their home or apartment and drive them to medical appointments, the post office, grocery shopping, and other destinations, with prior arrangement.

To learn more or schedule these services, call Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services. As noted, there may also be some direct financial aid provided. The main office is at 21300 Ruth and Baron Coleman Blvd., Boca Raton, Florida 33428, dial 561-852-3333.




By Jon McNamara

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