All in Jewish Family Service

The Other Jewish Austin: Meeting Critical Human Service Needs in a Booming Central Texas Economy

Buying into the stereotypical image of a wealthy Jewish community is relatively easy and even comforting to some of us in Austin. We are, after all, the people of the book, professionals and academics, accomplished in business and with a history of helping our own. Yet despite Austin’s bustling economy and laudable unemployment statistics (3.4 percent in December 2015 compared to 5.0 percent nationally), we have in our midst, believe it or not, an ever-increasing number of coreligionists in need of food, housing and financial counseling. Forty-seven people reached out to Jewish Family Service, a branch of Shalom Austin, in 2014 and fifty more in 2015 asking for emergency financial aid.