The Jewish Social Service Bureau was created in late 1936 through the merger of five local beneficiaries of the Federation of the Jewish Philanthropies of Pittsburgh: the Jewish Family Welfare Association, the Girls’ Bureau, the Jewish Big Brother Association, the Service for Foreign Born, and the Bureau for Jewish Children. The merger was an attempt to expand social services in the Jewish community by reducing duplication. As described in its constitution, the Jewish Social Service Bureau was created to “aid and assist Jewish families, children, young men and women, and immigrants, who may be in need of material or other assistance or advice, with a view of promoting and conserving individual and family life, and improving standards of living.”
The Jewish Social Service Bureau changed its name to Jewish Family & Children’s Service in 1950 and then to Jewish Family and Community Services in 2017.
Among its many activities through the years, the Jewish Social Service Bureau has provides services to children and elderly, counseling services, and vocational training. It was the lead agency locally involved in resettling Jewish refugees to Pittsburgh from Central Europe during the 1930s and 1940s and from the former Soviet Union from the 1970s through the 1990s and expanded to provide these services for other communities.