The merger of the Jewish Seniors Agency and Jewish Family Service into Jewish Collaborative Services continues as the two agencies moved into one building, at 1165 N. Main St. in Providence, at the end of July.
The hope is that putting these services together in one place will help the community get more out of them and make them easier to access.
The new building will house staff that formerly worked in offices at 100 Niantic Ave. and 959 N. Main St. Also in the building is the newly relocated Louis & Goldie Chester Full Plate Kosher Food Pantry.
The three-story structure has been completely remodeled. The food pantry is on the first floor. The second floor is set up for clients from the community, and the third floor houses offices for those who do not see clients and affiliates of Jewish Collaborative Services, such as Lifeline.
Jewish Collaborative Services will still operate the “West Bay Campus,” which includes The Phyllis Siperstein Tamarisk Assisted Living Residences and The Shalom Apartments, in Warwick, and the two Kosher meal sites, one in Providence and one in Cranston.
“The building is symbolic of the agency coming together,” said Erin Minior, interim CEO of the new agency.
“We hope it will help people know where to go and help us to make appropriate referrals,” said Patty Harwood, chief of programs.
“This allows for a wider, deeper reach for services,” said Susan Bazar, chief of strategy and administration.
“Moving,” Minior added, “is a monumental task.”
The staff has been very involved in the building renovations, said Sara Goodwin, director of major gifts.
As they chose their new offices, and made decisions on items such as tiles, the staff got to know each other better. Bazar and Harwood said the staff is excited and the combined board of directors is supportive.
“The board has worked hard to bring this to fruition,” Bazar said. “This bodes well for the future.”
The building was purchased by the former Jewish Family Service of Rhode Island with a gift from The Grace K. and Wesley S. Alpert Foundation. At the time of that purchase, earlier this year, Minior said, “Grace and Wesley Alpert have always been so committed to helping us to help our clients, many of whom are Rhode Island’s most vulnerable residents. We miss them deeply, but we know that their legacy of sustained philanthropy will have a lasting impact on all who knew them and those who have been helped by their generosity.”
Minior also acknowledged the support of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.
A $4-million campaign is underway to raise funds to grow the agency’s endowment in order to increase programs.
Goodwin said a gala on May 5 will celebrate the new agency, the move and the fundraising. That event, whose theme will be tracing the agencies’ history, will be held at the Providence Marriott Downtown. Before that, there will be a ribbon cutting at the building and a rededication of the food pantry.
FRAN OSTENDORF (email@example.com) is the editor of The Jewish Voice.