Our Approach

AgeWise Care: Integrated Support for the Journey of Aging

Planning and Navigating the Journey

  • Care management: health, housing, services

  • Bill paying, personal affairs assistance

  • Caregiver network liaison and support

  • Personal support and resiliency building

  • Meals on Wheels

  • Transportation

  • Medical appointment accompaniment

  • Kol Chai Crisis Prevention and Stabilization

Promoting and restoring mental health

  • Individual, Couples and Family Counseling

  • CNY PEARLS (evidence-based in-home depression care)

  • Learning Groups

  • Family Wellness Connections

  • Family Time with the Family Service: Wellness events

Supporting Brain Health and Living Well with Dementia

  • Social and Cognitive Stimulation

  • Mind Aerobics

  • M-Power U: A Learning Community for Early Memory Loss

    A Brain Health Community

    An Arts and Minds Community and the Arts and Minds Cafe

  • Depression Care

  • Learning Groups

  • Brain-Health Assessments

Empowering the Team: Families, Professionals, and Ancillary Services

  • Internship program with accredited colleges and universities

  • BeWell Institute workshops, courses, and consulting

  • PLANNING TO FLOURISH seminars and clinics

  • Caregiver support and consultation

  • Team planning and coordination (client, caregivers, professionals)


The BeWell Initative: Behavioral and Emotional-Cognitive Wellness Empowers Later Life

With its foundation in psychogeriatric wellness, SJFS has set itself apart from other providers dedicated to issues of aging. We have made it our business to develop deep expertise in the areas of mental and cognitive health as well as aging. We use this unique capacity to approach each individual and family holistically, with an eye to ensuring the maximum behavioral, emotional, cognitive and practical wellbeing possible.

The BeWell initiative integrates case management, therapy and counseling services, and family life and professional education through BeWell Learning Groups, CNY PEARLS, and the BeWell Institute.

BeWell Learning Groups

The groups are psychoeducational groups with a goal of promoting wellness and building social resilience, i.e., “the capacity to foster, engage in, and sustain social relationships and to endure and recover from stressors and social isolation." We use activities and discussion as opportunities for socialization and connection and for building skills to cope with normative challenges facing this this population. Group size is kept to 10-15 people to promote an interactive and comfortable experience.

The curriculum is heavily influenced by:

  • The work of Martin Seligman, whose book Flourish identifies the following elements as the foundation of well-being: positive emotion; engagement; meaning; positive relationships; and, accomplishment.

  • SAMHSA’s Wellness Initiative which identifies eight dimensions of wellness. While cognizant of all eight dimensions, this curriculum maintains a greater focus on the following: emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual and environmental.

  • Current research on the impact of mindfulness practices on positive life outlook.

Learning Groups are offered in select Christopher Community residences, at PACE, on the Menorah Park campus, and elsewhere. Community groups are welcome to approach us to bring Learning Groups to their locations.

Extra! Watch this website and other locations for new BeWell offerings brought to the community through Menorah Park's new Center for Healthy Living, piloting in early 2018!
Learn more...


The Program to Encourage Active Rewarding LiveS, is the region's only evidence-based geriatric depression program and is delivered to clients in their homes free of charge. (See more about CNY PEARLS.)

BeWell Institute

Does your agency staff or stakeholder population need information, knowledge, skill building or consultation regarding our community’s fastest growing demographic, adults over 60? The professional staff of Syracuse Jewish Family Service offers BeWell Institute workshops at your place of business, tailored to the needs of your organization’s staff and clients. SJFS specializes in working with older adults and their families and service networks . We have expertise in and can address a variety of topics from an individual as well as a family systems or service provider perspective: mental health issues, brain/cognitive health, case management, caregiving, and aging.

From one session to multiple sessions, one hour to full-day, we are available to help your organization build capacity and to consult on individual cases and issues. Please see the attached list of potential workshop topics, but feel free to ask if you have a particular topic that is not listed and we will be happy to see if we can accommodate your request. We can also tailor workshops specifically for your clientele and provide consultation in the learning context.

To discuss your needs, please email Ellen Somers, LMHC, or call her at (315) 446-9111, x. 225.

Fees vary by program and venue. We will work to keep our services affordable! Talk to us about ways to find sponsorship or other external monies to fund your inservice and public educational programs.

Upcoming Events

Center for Healthy Living/OASIS classes

Enroll through Syracuse OASIS at www.upstate.oasisnet.org
o Sundays, 1/19; 2/16; 3/22; and 4/26, from 3pm - 5:30pm: “Views on Aging: Through the Movie Lens”, with SJFS Director Judith Huober, MS

o Wednesdays, 226-4/1, from 1:30pm - 3:00pm, “Zen and the Art of Graceful Aging” with Peg Miller, LMSW (at Fayetteville Library)

o Tuesday, 1/28 from 3:30pm - 4:30pm, “A Taste of Mind Aerobics” with Ellen Somers, LMHC (free)
o Tues-Thurs, 2/25-5/14, 3:30pm - 5:00pm, "Mind AerobicsTM: Mind Sharpener with Ellen Somers. Pre-screening required; contact Ellen at 315-446-9111, x225

New! M-Power U Now Enrolling for Parkinson's Community

Enrolling now: M-Power U — A Learning Community for Early Memory Loss: A Parkinson's Community, on Tuesdays from 9:30am to 1:30pm at Menorah Park. Launching in January 2020. Contact SJFS Assistant Director Ellen Somers at x. 225 to make an appointment for screening and information!

Syracuse Jewish Family Service...

Building Well-Being in Central New York

For Generations Past, Present and Future