New Jewish Care Program Starts

Setting Things Right: We New MexiJews recall, with deep sorrow, the closing of the Jewish Family Service of New Mexico last January (see JFSNM Closes Its Doors).

Things started to look a little better in April (see Opening A Doorway).

Now – thanks to Social Worker Erin Tarica – things are looking even better than that.

The Jewish Care Program of Albuquerque, an initiative of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque funded by the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, has been launched to provide community members, at all stages of life, assistance meeting emotional and social needs.

The Jewish Care Program will provide support in three main areas – resource and referral, support groups, and visits to Jewish seniors living in facilities.

If you or someone you know is in need of these services, 

Resource and Referral

We offer information and make referrals to local social service organizations that can provide further support on issues including: health and medical;  financial and legal; transportation; housing, food assistance; assisted living, nursing home and hospice; LGBT support; religious life; interfaith programs; and substance abuse.

Support Groups

Ongoing support groups to care for members of the Jewish community who are struggling with a range of issues by providing a safe and supportive atmosphere where individuals are able to share their experiences.

The groups will help individuals with different concerns, and Judaism will be the common thread by incorporating Jewish values, thought, and ritual.

The Jewish Care Program is currently offering the following support groups for the community. All groups except the Grief and Loss Support Group require preregistration by calling the group facilitator and all groups are free. Jewish themes, thought, and ritual will be integrated throughout the sessions.

Caring for a Child with an Illness 
This group gives attention to parents and caregivers. We will discuss self-care, priorities, advocacy, and topics raised by participants.  
Time and location TBD. Facilitated by Dawn Halperin, LPCC, NCC, CRRP. Preregistration required by calling (505) 331-7081. Free. 
Conversation and Connection 
Are you feeling disconnected from others? You are not alone. This ongoing group provides a space for connection and relationship building. We encourage members to share their story in a supportive group context.  
Group meets Tuesdays, 2:00 – 3:00 pm at the JCC. Facilitated by Erin Tarica, MSW. Preregistration required by calling (505) 348-4451. Free.  
Grief and Loss Support 
Grief is a natural process that can often be eased through sharing with others who have experienced the loss of a loved one or any other significant loss.  
Group meets Fridays, 12 Noon – 1:00 pm at the JCC. Facilitated by Dorothy Schwiedergoll. Free. 
Managing Chronic Illness / Seeking Wellness 
Are you managing a visible or invisible chronic illness? Balancing wellness with responsibilities can feel impossible. Join others who understand first hand, the isolation and challenges faced on a day-to-day basis.  
Group meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, 6:00 – 7:00 pm at the JCC. Facilitated by Dawn Halperin, LPCC, NCC, CRRP. Preregistration required by calling (505) 331-7081. Free.
Retirement Support 
Transitioning into retirement not only changes the structure of daily life, but it can deeply affect one’s identity and relation¬ships. This group will address the expectations, dreams, and realities involved in this complex developmental stage.  
Group meets the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at Congregation Albert. Facilitated by Robert Lewis, MA, LMFT. Preregistration required by calling (505) 400-1786. Free. 

Visits to Jewish Seniors Living in Facilities

Provides one-on-one visits to Jewish seniors living in assisted living and independent living facilities. The visits will include educational, emotional, and spiritual elements of Jewish life. Family members will be made aware of each visit and will be welcome to join.

Erin Tarica, MSW, MAJCS is the Social Worker for the Jewish Care Program.

Her Jewish values and passion for supporting the well-being of others is reflected in her previous positions in the nonprofit sector.

Prior to joining the Jewish Community Center, Erin served as the Recruitment Manager at Coro New York Leadership Center in New York City and as the Program Director at Community Health Resource Center in San Francisco.

She received her master’s degrees in Social Work and Jewish Communal Service from the University of Southern California and Hebrew Union College in 2001.