Skip to content

JSSA Clinical Director Honored by FIDF

June 26, 2024

In the immediate aftermath of October 7, JSSA offered support to the Mid-Atlantic chapter of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF). For several staff members, that work has been ongoing.

Alex Hammer, JSSA’s Clinical Director of Operations in Mental Health Services, was recognized for his service to the community during a FIDF Mid-Atlantic Region fundraiser earlier this month. Alex, a social worker, has hosted monthly parent support group sessions for Lone Soldier parents (individuals in the U.S. who have children in the IDF) since late October with support from JSSA colleagues.

“It’s been my sincere honor to help parents and loved ones experiencing fear and trauma in this difficult time,” Alex said. “As a facilitator, I’m here to bear witness to their emotional needs.”

The initial support group meeting for Lone Soldier parents was held Oct. 26 as a partnership between JSSA and FIDF. Following that meeting, a smaller group of parents emerged that now meets monthly with Alex.

“[Alex] has given all of his love to these parents and created the space for them to dialogue and to share about the fears and to share about their pride and about courage,” Jennifer Scher, the FIDF MidAtlantic Region vice president, told Washington Jewish Week. “They’ve really bonded as a result, and they really felt supported by FIDF and by the community really deeply since Oct. 7.”

The FIDF event where Alex received his honors raised more than $1 million to support soldiers in Israel, according to Washington Jewish Week.

JSSA’s Mental Health services provide people of all ages with compassionate support as they navigate mental health challenges. We provide treatment, and we also coordinate care and support our neighbors’ overall well-being. Our approach is one of partnership, and our programs reduce stigma, so people feel confident and able to access the support they need when they need it.