For Child of Holocaust Survivor, Professional and Personal Meet at Looking at Then, Now

By Dr. Yonit Hoffman, Manager, Holocaust Community Services

This is the first blog of “Yonit’s Journey: Light Out of Darkness,” a narrative of Yonit Hoffman’s month-long trip to Israel and Germany to attend Holocaust-related events – some public, some personal. The director of JCFS’s Holocaust Services program and an authority on the psychology of Holocaust survivors, Yonit is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and descendant of Holocaust victims.

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Light Out of Darkness: Yonit Hoffman to Blog a Journey of Holocaust Discovery

“Yonit” is a Hebrew name – literally “dove of peace” – given by Holocaust survivor Gershon Hoffman to his daughter when she was born in Israel.

Yonit, who lost her grandparents and uncle in the Holocaust, grew up to become a Jewish Child & Family Services manager of the Holocaust Community Services program, a joint effort of JCFS, CJE SeniorLife, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. It is one of the busiest and most important social service programs in the Jewish community.

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For Parents of Young Adults with Disabilities, Heichal Home Provides a Vision for the Future

By Chris Krapek

When you walk into the beautiful two-flat in Rogers Park, you’ll smell the food being prepared.

The three residents love to make cuisine from all around the world. They research countries  and customs, cook the meal and maybe even host a few friends. From now until the end of the year, they’ve got every dinner and its theme planned out.

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Ask A Clinician: Tips for Traveling with a Child

Q: We are planning an upcoming trip to see Grandma and Grandpa, but are nervous about traveling with our child who has autism. Do you have any suggestions to help?

A: A vacation or a trip can be an exciting adventure, but sometimes, getting there is the hardest part. When traveling with a child with autism, one of the best things you can do is have a plan.

Traveling can be a stressful experience on anyone.

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Breaking Bad: An Intervention For Bad Habits

by Anthony Tucci, MA, Psychological Services Pre-Doctoral Intern

Do you bite your nails, smoke, spend too much money, overeat, lose your temper or play on Facebook for hours?

So much of my work with kids, parents, adults, and couples involves helping people to break patterns of behavior, or habits, which interfere with their goals. Sometimes we work together to start healthy habits and sometimes we work to stop unhealthy ones.  Most often, we work to do both.

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Fairness: What Does it Really Mean?

By Debra Cardash

“It’s not fair!”  If we had a dollar for every time a child said this phrase, we would all be millionaires.  A working definition of fairness and clear steps to achieve fairness will foster our children’s growth – so this article will focus on how to define fairness, conceive of ownership, distinguish “nice” from “fair” and achieve fair outcomes.

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The Importance Of Foster Parents

By Marc Bermann, Foster Parent Recruiter

There are approximately 20,000 children in foster care in the state of Illinois.

50% of them have chronic medical problems; 30% are victims of various forms of abuse and neglect. Many of them have significant issues of attachment and loss resulting from childhood trauma.

Prior to foster care, sometimes these children are removed from their home and taken into protective custody by the state.  They may be placed in a temporary shelter or substitute care with a relative. Biological parents can terminate their parental rights by choice or court mandate.

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Home Away From Home At Camp Firefly

by Lindsay Hardy, M. A., Pre-doctoral Psychology Intern

Camp Firefly has been my ‘happy place’ for three years…friends and family know I am busy every year at the end of July because I make it a point to clear my schedule and head up to camp.”  – Returning camp counselor, 2013.

This counselor’s very special experience of Camp Firefly is not uncommon. A majority of counselors return to work at Camp Firefly each year, placing careers, family, school, and social lives on hold to spend a magical two weeks in Wisconsin under the bright July sun. They help children and teens with diagnosed social disorders such as Social Anxiety, OCD, Asperger’s and others make friends and have an authentic summer camp experience.  Campers and their families arrange their schedules each year to make sure that they are able to participate in yet another summer with the Fireflies.

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Milt's Story: Subduing The Storm With Love And Support

by Susan Schulman, Vice-Chair, Jewish Child & Family Services Board of Directors

"My Dad did not know many people. He did not speak the language. He needed help and that help came from The Jewish Children’s Bureau.” (Now known as Jewish Child and Family Service.)

Zoltan Zimmerman could never have dreamed his son Milton would be where he is today when he handed the care of 11 month old Milt to JCB. Milton, married for 25 years and father to four children, is the Executive Vice President and Partner at Presence Marketing/Dynamic Presence. A national company with over 400 employees that specializes in brokering environmentally conscious products. He is also on the executive board of Jewish Child and Family Service.

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Prevention, Help and Hope: We Are YOUR Jewish Center For Addiction

by Beth Fishman, Ph.D

Addiction is a disease that impacts our community and a disease that can be treated. The Jewish Center for Addiction (JCA) was created to assist those in the path of addiction’s immediate trauma and to help build caring communities that are aware of and responsive to the problem of addiction. Programs offered by the JCA address specific needs of Chicago’s Jewish community, and reflect best practices from across the country.

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