Six years ago when we created Maggie’s Place, we knew that offering a mental and emotional wellness center housed inside of our spiritual community was a revolutionary and necessary step toward caring for the health of our community. In the last few years, the Jewish community has gained an appreciation for the importance of mental and emotional health support, and how synagogues can play an important role in this work. We are proud, grateful, and excited to share that Mishkan Chicago and Maggie’s Place have been awarded a JUF Mental Health Initiative Award in support of new and expanded mental health programming in 2023 and 2024.

With this grant, we plan to provide new mental health support for families and expand the work of our already-established mental health center, Maggie’s Place. Our goal is to offer direct services that improve individual mental health outcomes while continuing to foster connection and community.

Building upon the strong foundation of Maggie’s Place, we will expand our offerings to increase support for our community with a focus on families and children. What you can expect in 2023:

  • Expanding Build Your Village, a community-building experience for new parents of babies. We’ll also train our facilitators to connect new families with mental health supports and resources.

  • Increasing classroom aide hours at Mensch Academy, in support of neurodiverse students with social and emotional needs in the classroom.

  • Offering new support groups, peer mentoring, and pastoral support for parents of neurodiverse children.

  • Providing increased staffing support for mental health referrals.

  • An increased number of support groups throughout the course of a year, staffed by clinicians.

  • Raising awareness about mental health resources to our broader community.

If you want to learn more about the grant or our expanding services, please contact Seth or myself. We are also in search of clinicians with experience working with new parents or parents of neurodiverse children.

I am so grateful for everyone who supported the JUF 2022 Annual Campaign, which prioritized the expansion of our mental health services and made this grant possible.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Steven Philp, MSW