Last year, 59-year-old George and his wife, Paula, (not their real names) experienced a major life hurdle when George lost his job with a local health care company.

Paula is a local small business owner, but her income has always been unpredictable and the family mostly relied on George’s earnings to support them.

After facing some initial challenges with his job search, a friend referred George to Jewish Career Services at Jewish Family & Children Service. The program, funded by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix through a grant from the Carmen and Michael Blank Family Philanthropic Fund and the Carmen and Michael Blank Jewish Career Services Endowment, offers career services for the recently unemployed and underemployed. Since its inception in 2011, the program has served nearly 400 individuals.

In addition to each client having a professional resume, JFCS’ Jewish Career Services coaching sessions include understanding of the job-search process and how it works; developing appropriate networking skills; creating answers to interview questions that result in an offer; and negotiating a salary. This program meets the specific needs of each individual to maximize success.

George was able to fine-tune his resume and practice interviewing skills and techniques. His experience was so positive that his wife, Paula, decided she should also try to look for a full-time position, so she reached out to the Career Services team for help, as well.

For George and Paula, Jewish Career Services was exactly what they needed. Earlier this year, George found a job in the health care industry that he is enjoying, and Paula’s small business has been busier.

Although Paula ultimately did not seek new employment, the skills she learned gave her a newfound energy and passion for her business.

“This is such an important program that JFCS offers, and we are so grateful that we found it,” Paula said. JN

Kathy Rood is the Jewish Social Services manager for Jewish Family & Children’s Service. For more information on Jewish Career Services, contact Rood at 602-452-4627 or

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