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I am pleased to be the director of Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley. This is a great community and I feel grateful to be here. With all the chaos in our world, I am even more firmly convinced about how important it is to have an agency that’s mission is to provide help for people going through transitions in their lives. JFS is all about the stories of those who need our services. Our goal is to help empower these individuals and families to deal in a more effective way with their lives.
Jewish communal work for me is probably a mixture of genetics and environment. My family of origin is composed of rabbis, social workers and other helping persons who have taught me about the value of Jewish family. I came to the Lehigh Valley after eight years of being the JFS director in Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This was an enriching experience and it helped prepare me for my position here. I have also been a social worker on the front lines, providing counseling for individuals and families with special needs, emotional challenges and financial challenges.
The mixture of happy and sad experiences throughout my life has had an impact on my identity as a person and professional. When people come to a Jewish Family Service, particularly since the economic downturn, it is hard to ask for help. I always tell them that by Jewish Family Service’s providing assistance to those in need, they are helping us demonstrate how vital these services are. Nobody ever knows when you might need the services of JFS. I am very lucky to have found a career where I can help others and in turn, this helps me to feel like I am making a difference in people’s lives.
I am so proud of what JFS does every day whether it be providing food for the hungry, counseling for individuals or families, assistance with access to benefits or information and referral. Please get involved in our work. We have opportunities for volunteers and special projects. I welcome your ideas and look forward to getting to know you better.