by George J Elbaum
Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) is a San Francisco Bay Area social services organization whose mission statement is “Serving individuals and families of all faiths and backgrounds, guided by the Jewish value of caring for those in our community most in need.” As such, JFCS carries a special responsibility within the Jewish community for reaching out to children, the aged, those with special needs, the alienated and the dependent, and for the resettlement and acculturation of refugees and immigrants. Through its YouthFirst Internship Program, JFCS offers internships for high school and college students by placing them in Bay Area firms and allowing them to learn important on-the-job skills. Supporting these internships are YouthFirst workshops focusing on topics such as office etiquette, responsible work behavior, researching job opportunities, résumé writing, and interviewing skills.
My talk was attended by three dozen students in JFCS YouthFirst Summer Internship Program. This year the students came from 16 schools in 10 Bay Area cities, and the internship placements included law offices, real estate firms, restaurants, a bakery, an engineering firm, Exploratorium, office of an Assembly Member, the Bar Association, a summer camp, and JFCS itself – obviously a wide range of employments and diverse learning experiences. The event was arranged by Nikki Bambauer, Program Coordinator of the JFCS Holocaust Center, and was attended by Morgan Blum Schneider, Director of Education, JFCS Holocaust Center, Linda Karlin, Director JFCS YouthFirst Program and Leah Shapiro, Program Coordinator JFCS YouthFirst Program.