JFCS Mission Statement: Guided by the Jewish tradition of helping all people, JFCS empowers individuals and families toward self-sufficiency.

The Sarasota Jewish Community expanded very rapidly in the early 1970’s. With that growth came the need to provide social services. A group of dedicated volunteers, many of whom were retired social workers, directed their energies to “helping the elderly”. As the needs of the community grew, it appeared that a more comprehensive organization was needed.

In the early 1980’s, a committee led by Sidney J. Berkowitz, a retired Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Chicago, began the process of studying the feasibility of a local full-fledged family service agency. With the need demonstrated, Jewish Family Service became an autonomous agency with its own independent Board of Directors replacing the existing Jewish Federation Advisory Committee. Jewish Family Service was chartered, by-laws were developed, and Officers and Board Members were officially elected in July 1986. The first office for Jewish Family Service consisted of 250-sq. ft. of rented space.

On June 3, 1996, our name was changed to Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Sarasota-Manatee and a department for children and adolescents was officially launched.

In 1997, the Board of Directors undertook its first major capital campaign to build a permanent home for Jewish Family &Children’s Service. The agency moved into The Goldie Feldman building on The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg campus in August 1999.  And in November 2009, the 6,000 sq ft Schoenbaum Family Life Enrichment Center was dedicated providing a total of 14,600 sq ft of office space and meeting rooms at the main campus of JFCS.

In its short lifespan, Jewish Family &Children’s Service has more than proven and met the needs of the community. Both Jewish and non-Jewish clients continue to benefit from its many programs and services.


JFCS serves the following constituents in our community:

  • Seniors
  • Caregivers
  • Veterans
  • Adults
  • Children and Adolescents
  • Families
  • Financial Assistance and Homelessness Prevention
  • Jewish Programs
  • Cancer Support & Wellness Programs


  • Sarasota Campuses
    • The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Campus
      2688 Fruitville Road
      Sarasota, Florida 34237
      (941) 366-2982 Fax
      Facebook: JFCS.Sarasota.Manatee
    • Gloria & Louis Flanzer Campus
      1753 Ringling Boulevard
      Sarasota, Florida 34236
  • Satellite Offices
    • JFCS Venice Office
      By Appointment Only

      777 Shamrock Boulevard
      Venice, Florida 34293
      (941) 366-2224 x161
      (941) 366-2982 Fax
    • Glasser / Schoenbaum Human Services Center
      By Appointment Only

      1750 17th Street, Suite C-3
      Sarasota, FL 34234
      941-366-2224, ext 151
      941-312-6221 Fax
    • Manatee County
      By Appointment Only

      United Way of Manatee County
      1701 Tamiami Trail
      Bradenton, FL 34205
      (941) 748-2680
      (941) 746-0762 Fax
    • North Port Family Center – BSF
      By Appointment Only

      6919 Outreach Way
      North Port, Florida 34287
    • Punta Gorda – OMAP
      By Appointment Only

      514 E. Grace Street
      Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
    • Salvation Army VIP-ER
      1400 10th Street
      Sarasota, Florida 34243

Jewish Family & Children’s Service is a multi-function family agency serving The Suncoast of Florida. The services are based on the premise that personnel trained in understanding the behavior and environments of individuals, can help them with crises, problems, and growth issues to improve the quality of their lives.

The following is a list of the Past Board Chairs of Jewish Family & Children’s Service who have provided the lay leadership to guide the organization over the years:

Sidney J. Berkowitz* Although not a Past Board Chair, Sid facilitated the development of Jewish Family & Children’s Service during the early to mid 80’s.

Gerald Engman* 1984 – 1987
Norma Gordesky* 1987 – 1989
Raymond Brown* 1989 – 1990
Mace Levin* 1990 – 1992
Eugene Friedmann* 1992 – 1994
Richard Blumenthal 1994 – 1996
Alice Taich 1996 – 1998
Stacey Gillman 1998 – 2000
Eve Kommel 2000 – 2001
Charles Ackerman 2001 – 2003
Barbara Brizdle 2003 – 2005
Sue Jacobson 2005 – 2007
Bob Black 2007
Judy Cahn 2008 – 2009
Marie Monsky 2009 – 2011
Rich Segall 2011-2013
Joe Mendels 2013-2016
* Of blessed memory

Jewish Family & Children’s Service of the Suncoast, Inc. (JFCS) is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization. Our programs are in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.794, as implemented by C.F.R. Part 84, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12131, as implemented by 28 C.F.R. Part 35, and the Children and Families Operating Procedure (CFOP) 60-10, Chapter 4 entitled “Auxiliary Aids and Services for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  JFCS also complies to the  requirements of Chapter 415, F.S. set forth by 65D-30.004 Common Licensing Standards.We do not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission, access to treatment, or employment practices. If you need an accommodation, please let us know.