Jewish Social Services

6434 Enterprise Lane
Madison, WI 53719

Dawn Berney
P: (608) 442-4081
F: (608) 278-7814

Jewish Social Services is a nonprofit agency offering comprehensive assistance to people seeking to meet their basic needs. Jewish Social Services is a local beneficiary of the Jewish Federation of Madison, a partner agency of the United Way of Dane County, and a member of the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies. Half of its funding comes from individual donors. Jewish Social Services serves everyone, regardless of religion or income level.

Jewish Social Services supports and empowers families and individuals that who are struggling in Dane County. While specializing in serving the Jewish, immigrant, and refugee communities, JSS supports anyone in need. Due to its wrap-around nature, Jewish Social Services offers an integrated social service experience. Feel free to contact JSS for information and referrals, short-term advocacy, longer-term case management services or Jewish spiritual care. Navigating community resources and figuring out “next steps” during difficult life circumstances can be confusing and overwhelming. Think of Jewish Social Services as an ally, the team can help you to connect with community resources in order to meet your basic needs and keep safe and healthy. The JSS team will assess your situation; and help facilitate access to needed financial benefits and medical, mental health, and treatment services. Together you and Jewish Social Services can work towards secure housing and financial stability.

Elder and Family Support

If you or a family member are facing difficulties while growing older, contact Jewish Social Services to guide you through the complex web of social, emotional, medical and financial issues.

The Jewish Social Services case managers can assess the situation, develop an individualized care plan, advise and support elders and family members, help arrange in-home care or out-of-home placement and coordinate services. The team can even find assistance for an out-of-town loved one.


In 2016 the Irwin A. And Robert D. Goodman Foundation awarded a three-year grant to Jewish Social Services to meet the need in Madison for a Jewish Chaplaincy program. Our Rabbi serves as a spiritual resource for unaffiliated persons during challenging circumstances. Please call (608) 442-4081 for more information.

Adult Programming

We believe it’s important to live life to the fullest at any age, with dignity, independence and friendship.


Each year, more than 100 volunteers donate time to Jewish Social Services. Our volunteers serve the community in a variety of roles:

  • visiting nursing home residents, hospital patients, and homebound individuals - Bikkur Holim (Visiting the Sick)
  • language partners and ESL tutors · clerical and office support
  • legal and other pro bono professional services
  • assisting each Monday at Lechayim Lunchtime Plus Program
  • providing rides for seniors, people with disabilities, and immigrants
  • serving on the Board of Directors and program committees
  • Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Passover and other holiday outreach

If you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer, or you or your friend, family member may be in need of volunteer support, contact Paul Borowsky, Volunteer Engagement & Event Program Manager: (608) 442-4083 or

Adult Education, Social and Recreational Programs

Join us throughout the year for activities. Following are some of our regularly scheduled activities. The Jewish Social Services program schedule is in the Madison Jewish News, or contact us to be put on mailing list for notices and reminders for these and other activities. All of our programs are open to everyone.

  • Goodman Lechayim Lunchtime Plus, a program of Harry J. and Belle Goodman, parents of Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman meets on most Mondays from September through May. Come early if you like to socialize or take part in yoga from a chair before lunch. Following lunch there are educational or entertainment programs. Check our website at or ask to be on the JSS mailing list to receive the schedule. A reservation is required for lunch, though not for the program. Older adults (age 60+) pay for lunch on donation basis; all others are asked to pay a fixed price for their meal. Programs, activities, and information about health, resources, and nutrition are available at each meal. Lechayim is an official Dane County Senior Nutrition site.

If you have questions about this meal site or need to discuss transportation options, contact Paul Borowsky, Volunteer Engagement & Event Program Manager: (608) 442-4083 or

  • Shabbat - gatherings at Oakwood Village West, Capital Lakes Retirement, and Attic Angels featuring candle lightning, challah, music and Torah discussion.
  • Passover Seders - open to all to partake of traditional fare, music and ceremony
  • Holiday Outreach - volunteers spread the spirit of Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah and other Jewish holidays
  • Summer Outings - older adults go on day trips, to luncheons and to places of interest
  • Levy Summer Series - a six-part lecture series, a variety of social and cultural themes relating to Jewish communities. Participants register for speaker, followed by fine luncheon at Nakoma Golf Club, and optional salon (time for follow-up questions and discussion after lunch).

Visit, subscribe to E-Connect, Jewish Social Services’ electronic newsletter, or call (608) 442-4081 for dates, times, and locations on any of these activities. For further questions or suggestions, contact Paul Borowsky, Volunteer Engagement & Event Program Manager: 608-442-4083 or

Immigrant and Refugee Services

We understand the unique challenges facing émigrés from all corners of the world as they build new lives. We help them find housing and jobs, access medical, social service and legal assistance, learn English, fit into American culture and feel connected in the community.

In 2016, Jewish Social Services gained approval from the State Department to become a Refugee Resettlement Affiliate. As of mid-2017, JSS has successfully resettled 26 individual refugees and 4 Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVs). This program relies heavily on community participation through volunteers and donors.

Information and Referral


Where to get confidential help:

Jewish Social Services of Madison
(608) 442-4081
8:30 am –5:00 pm, Monday–Friday

For emergencies 24 hours per day you may call the following:

24 Hour Crisis Lines
Domestic Abuse Intervention Service
Local: (608) 251-4445
National: 1-800-799-SAFE

Dane County Department of Human Services
Elder Abuse & Neglect Helpline: (608) 261-9933
Child Protective Services Helpline: (608) 261-5437
After Hours Emergencies: (608) 255-6067 Publications

Our monthly electronic newsletter, E-Connect, will keep you apprised of our current programming and our most up-to-date information.

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