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Tara Watkins photoKesher, the congregational social work outreach program of Jewish Collaborative Services, is pleased to offer services at Temple Emanu-El! Kesher is generously funded by the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, as well as private donors, and offers a variety of services tailored to the unique needs of its member congregations. Currently Kesher also exists at Temple Sinai in Cranston, Temple Torat Yisrael in East Greenwich, and Congregation Beth Sholom in Providence.

Tara Watkins, LICSW, is the Temple Emanu-El Kesher social worker. Tara has extensive experience in community social work, most recently with Somerville Cambridge Elder Services. She works with Rabbi Fel and Rabbi Zerin to design an outreach program that suits Temple Emanu-El's needs.


Short term supportive counseling

Need to talk it out? For short term counseling and crisis management Tara can meet with you in person or over the phone to listen. If you think you can benefit from longer-term counseling, Tara can help locate someone.


Looking for something? Housing needs? Homecare? Eldercare? Food programs? As a Kesher social worker Tara has access to the greater Jewish community, the specific programs through Jewish Family Service, and social service agencies throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


Are you interested in learning more about a particular subject? Kesher has experts on many topics of interest within our network and may know where to find a speaker to address specific topics of interests. Workshops at other synagogues have included programs on eldercare and resources for the adult children of aging parents; stigma and mental illness in the Jewish community; parenting challenges; adoption in the Jewish community; the adolescent brain; substance abuse in the Jewish community; and caring for aging parents.


In addition to the services offered at Jewish Family Service in Providence (long-term counseling, case management, Lifeline emergency medical alert system installations and monitoring, adoption, homecare, kosher nutrition and Meals on Wheels) Tara can help you find the referral you need. This may include therapy/counseling, transportation assistance, food and fuel assistance or elder care services (including rides, home health services, financial assistance.

Connection to the larger Jewish community

You know someone who knows someone who knows someone... sometimes having an intermediary ask for you can give you the privacy and anonymity that you need. If you are curious about resources, please remember that you have the benefit of confidentiality when working with Kesher.


We are grateful to the Jewish Alliance for finding the Kesher Program. Please be assured that all contact with the Kesher social worker is confidential and not reported back to the Alliance.

Tara Watkins can be reached at 401-527-7772 or Also, please feel free to contact Rabbi Fel at 401-331-1616 to learn more about this program and how you may benefit from it.

Thu, July 25 2024 19 Tammuz 5784