JFS to provide in-school social work service for Toras Chaim

August 9, 2019

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Counseling and social work services will be available for Toras Chaim Day School students when the school year begins. Jewish Family Service of Tidewater (JFS) will provide these in-school services.

For the past 25 years, JFS has established a solid and positive reputation for providing these services to local Hebrew day schools, including Strelitz International Academy (formerly Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center), Bina High School, and the Sarfan Early Childhood Center. JFS provided these services from 2004 through 2007 at Toras Chaim, but had to discontinue when funding was not available.

Rabbi Mordechai Loiterman, Toras Chaim principal, requested that JFS return and create a daily presence in his school, recognizing that the students and their families need this service.

“Being attentive to our students’ emotional and social needs is becoming more critical in our current society,” Rabbi Loiterman says. “Students need to be supported to learn important skills that will help them successfully navigate through the emotionally complex world in which they are growing up.”

Debra Mayer, LCSW, JFS clinical director, says, “We’re so pleased to re-create this important partnership with Toras Chaim and their community of students, families, and staff.”

Emily Bettendorf Riley, MSW, has been hired by JFS to work at Toras Chaim. She will have an office at the school and be there for part of each day to meet with students and work closely with their families and teachers. Riley worked at JFS as the special needs case manager, 2010–2013, and has since worked with children and teens in multiple settings (home, school, and hospitals).

Staff Report

Emily Bettendorf Riley can be reached after September 3 at Toras Chaim at ERiley@TorasChaim.net.

These services are made possible through generous funding from Toras Chaim.

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