History: A Tradition of Care and Compassion


Jewish Family Service of Colorado's origins began in 1872 with the founding of the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society. Our progenitor helped meet the social service needs of Denver's 300 Jewish pioneers.

One of our celebrated founding members and early presidents, Frances Wisebart Jacobs (1843-1892), was one of the co-founders of the United Way of America. Known today as the "Mother of Charities," Mrs. Jacobs dedicated her life to serving people in need, regardless of race, faith, income, or ability. She has been honored with induction in the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Under her visionary leadership, our organization was a founding member of the Charity Organization Society in Denver which was formed as the Community Chest in 1887, the forerunner of the United Way.

In 1947, JFS merged with the Denver Coordinating Committee for Immigrants in response to the growing need for refugee resettlement in the wake of World War II, becoming Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and now Jewish Family Service of Colorado.

Through our many transformations over the years, Mrs. Jacob's legacy of community service has been a constant guiding beacon. Today, Jewish Family Service of Colorado honors its tradition of serving all people in need by offering one of the most comprehensive continuums of care available along the Front Range. The agency serves thousands of individuals and impacts more than 15,000 people of all faiths, races, ages, incomes, and abilities every year.

Jewish Family Service is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonsectarian human service agency and an equal opportunity employer.