Jewish Family Service (Calgary)

We strengthen communities by providing social services to individuals and families based on the Jewish values of compassion, social justice and improving the world.

Mother and daughterOur Story Why We Exist

"I visited my new apartment yesterday to move some things in and as I stood looking out my balcony and felt like I was home for the first time in a very very long time....

I thought...this is success. A tremendous success that took a lot of hard work and vision on my part. And a lot of dedication and compassion on the part of the beautiful people at Jewish Family Service Calgary. From the front desk to the board room. For every moment of dignity I was given back from what felt like the ashes of my life.

On behalf of every other client that has felt the peace of that and the human love of ...the cups of tea at the desk, the friendly hello and the tremendous team effort. I thought of it in my new little home that is mine. Of the many hands that lifted me to this success."

FamilyOur Impact What We Do

The Board of Directors, Staff and Members of Jewish Family Service Calgary believe that it is not who we provide service to but how we provide that service that matters most.  Our services and programs are offered in the spirit of Jewish tradition and values: social justice, compassion, and a commitment to repairing the world.

Individuals and families from all faiths and cultures coming to JFSC receive holistic care, meaning that the needs of all clients are addressed simultaneously to the best of the ability of the agency. JFSC functions as a broadly based social support and safety net for the clients we serve.


  • We treat each individual with dignity and respect.
  • We are accessible to people of all faiths and cultures.
  • We work together to strengthen all communities recognizing the value of participation and collaboration.
  • We are accountable to our clients and stakeholders.
  • We empower individuals and families by promoting self-sufficiency.
  • We respond to new ideas and emerging needs.

OUR MISSION | Jewish Family Service Calgary strengthens communities by providing social services to individuals and families based on the Jewish values of compassion, social justice and improving the world.

OUR HISTORY | Jewish Family Service Calgary (JFSC) began when a small group, under the auspices of the Calgary Jewish Community Council (CJCC), met to consider the establishment of a social service agency in the Jewish community to provide counselling and financial assistance. Representatives from the Canadian Jewish Federation of Welfare Funds, the Calgary Jewish Administrative Office, Calgary B’nai Brith, National Council of Jewish Women, and the Jewish Relief Society met to discuss the establishment of the social service agency

JFSC began in September 1960 as the Jewish Family Service Bureau. The Bureau was incorporated under The Alberta Societies Act in the spring of 1961. Operations started with the services of a volunteer social worker. Funding to assist clients was obtained from various businesses in the City.

An interim Board of Directors was set up and officers elected. The Calgary chapter of the National Council for Jewish Women anticipated the need for a paid social worker and dedicated revenue from its first two Angel’s Balls to the hiring of the first paid social worker. The Jewish Family Service Bureau became a member agency of the United Jewish Appeal. In April of 1963, office space was made available in the Jewish Community Building and the Bureau formally opened for business. Since then, JFSC has grown and evolved; it now offers a broad range of services to families and individuals in need in Calgary.

Seniors couple with counsellourOur Programs How We Do It

We offer Counselling, Education, Domestic Violence and Community Support services.

COUNSELLING | Jewish Family Service Calgary has a team of professional, qualified counsellors who provide a variety of services including individual, couples, child, and family therapy as well as group work. Our fees are calculated on a sliding scale according to family income. JFSC maintains collaborative relationships with other agencies so inter-agency referrals can take place.

EDUCATION SERVICES | The goal of our education programs is to assist individuals and families in coping with the challenges and stresses associated with typical life events such as parenting, separation/divorce, health and wellness and life transitions.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES (CSS) | Within the Community Support Services (CSS) department, clients can access a combination of services required to meet their unique personal needs. Our experience has well demonstrated that most clients require and benefit from receiving more than one service at a time. Our range of CSS services encompasses the delivery of Basic Needs Assistance/Jewish Advocacy, Vocational, Resettlement/Integration, and Older Adults Services.

DOMESTICE VIOLENCE | The Jewish community is not immune from domestic violence. Most statistics say it happens at the same rate and intensity as the mainstream community, 1 out of every 3 women. The only difference for Jewish women is they stay in abusive relationships longer... on average 15 years. This is why, in 2006, JFSC has decided to start a program called Shalom Bayit, dedicated to addressing the issues of domestic violence in the Jewish community.

To read more about our Programs and Services, please visit our website.

Father and daughterOur Requests What You Can Do


Volunteer  | JFSC has an on-going need for volunteers of all ages, stages and talents. Our volunteer area is always expanding its opportunities and training. As a JFSC volunteer, you can touch the lives of those most in need in our community by working together with our staff to provide innovative and vitally needed services to others.

Click here for current Volunteer Opportunities

If you'd like to help us out please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 403.287.3510 or e-mail


Donate on-line | Your donation through CanadaHelps will help Jewish Family Service Calgary strengthen communities by providing social services to individuals and families based on the Jewish values of compassion, social justice and improving the world.

CanadaHelps is a registered charity that processes secure, online donations on behalf of Canada’s 80,000+ registered charitable organizations.

Within minutes of making a donation, you will receive an official electronic tax receipt emailed to you.For any questions you may have regarding CanadaHelps please see their FAQ or visit the CanadaHelps Website.


Friendship Campaign | As JFSC continues to respond to the growing need for services for some of our most vulnerable clients, please consider this request for your continued financial support. Your gift to our annual Friends Campaign will enable JFSC staff to assist families and individuals of all ages to restore their sense of well-being, to become a self-confident and productive member of our community.

At some point in your life, you or someone you know will need Jewish Family Service Calgary. To become a Friend of JFSC, please call 403.287.3510 or e-mail or visit CanadaHelps


Tribute Cards | Commemorate a life event or pay tribute to someone who has passed on, by sending a customized Tribute Card. To send a card please call 403.287.3510. When you send a card you also make a donation to the Fund of your choice.



Marty Hornstein
Executive Director
Charitable Number: 118974252RR0001

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Finance & Governance