Below are the materials submitted by Jewish Family Service for the 2020 Joint Agency Annual Meeting edition of Community Review, including a State of the Agency report, Tribute to Barry Stein, and Board List.
2020 STATE OF THE AGENCY
As I start my second year as Board President at JFS, I am humbled to be serving at a time of important transitions in the life of the agency. Our most significant transition is the retirement of Barry Stein and the welcoming of Steven Schauder as JFS’s new Executive Director.
The Board of JFS wants to thank Barry Stein for his service to the agency, as well as wish him and Susie well in his retirement. We pay tribute in writing to Barry below. While Barry planned to retire sometime in 2021, he chose to retire earlier after contracting coronavirus and narrowly surviving. We are all grateful to see Barry recovering from his illness and we are equally glad to know that Barry and Susie will remain part of our Harrisburg Jewish community.
After Barry fell ill, I worked with our past-president, Marty Rogoff, to assume an Interim Executive Director role. Marty, in particular, (along with other Board members including Frank Fleishman) was instrumental in steering JFS during this transitional period and leading the search committee for our new Executive Director, Steven Schauder.
Prior to joining Harrisburg’s JFS, Steven spent his 31-year career in nonprofits, with 26 years in Jewish communal service and 15 years as an Executive Director. He previously led a JFS, when he served as the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill. He also worked in agencies providing a full range of mental health, children/youth, family, senior services, and Jewish family programming. Steven, with his strong commitment to Jewish values, diversity and inclusion, is the right man to lead JFS in the future.
Other important highlights include:
- Rachel Kuhr recently celebrated her 17th year with the agency with 15 years as one of our directors. Rachel serves as the Director of AdoptionLinks and Foster Care and has helped move the agency forward in so many ways—even during the coronavirus crisis, three private families and two new foster families were recently approved for service and three placements made during quarantine.
- A sold-out audience participated in our Annual Fundraising Event at Beth El Temple which featured author Mitch Albom sharing his story of adopting a young Haitian refuge, Chika, and how he and his wife nursed Chika during her terminal illness.
- Under the able leadership of Wendy Halperin, JFS is strengthening its Family-Based Mental Health Services (FBMHS) program. FBMHS is an incredibly important program, providing intensive team-based counseling that is offered to families with children or adolescents who are at risk for removal from the home due to severe emotional or behavioral problems.
- Myndworks continues to provide the highest quality mental health counseling to members of our community. JFS thanks our former Myndworks Director, Malinda Myers, for successfully growing the program.
- We are grateful to Chudney Lewis, our very talented Business Office Manager, for streamlining numerous administrative and billing functions to create much greater efficiencies and increase productivity at JFS. Chudney was also instrumental in aiding myself, Marty, and other Board members during the challenges we faced during Barry’s absence as he fought the coronavirus.
- Over 50 community members have received financial assistance and case management through Project Lift and the Back on Track Initiative.
- JFS is proud to report that even during the COVID crisis, it did not experience any gaps in service for the Finkelstein – Cohen Kosher Meals on Wheels (KMOW) Program. We want to express our deepest appreciation to the steadfast volunteers who have served as packers and delivery people before and during the COVID crisis.
Fiscal year 2021 will be unlike any we have known before, but JFS is fully prepared to meet our mission to help individuals and families meet life’s challenges. We remain committed to being a forward-thinking mental health and social service agency dedicated to helping people achieve their fullest potential while honoring choice, diversity, and Jewish values through every stage of life. If you or anyone you know needs our services, please contact our office at 717-233-1681.
We thank our loyal staff, our devoted volunteers and our generous donors who continue to propel us forward to better the lives of those in Greater Harrisburg who come to us seeking help and support.
President, Board of Directors for JFS of Greater Harrisburg
A TRIBUTE TO BARRY STEIN
The Board of JFS wants to thank Barry Stein for his service to the agency and wish him and Susie well in his retirement. We pay tribute to Barry Stein—for his vision, his leadership, and his strong commitment to the Jewish and Greater Harrisburg community. Under Barry’s leadership JFS saw significant growth in the following areas:
Barry was acknowledged as a strategic thinker who could always focus on “the big picture”- during his tenure, Barry developed new services and raised the profile of JFS to the broader community. Barry had a keen eye for hiring talented staff and a caring heart that was always focused on helping the most vulnerable members of our community. Barry had the vision to create the Back on Track Fund, which was made possible through the generosity of the Geduldig Family. The Fund provides emergency financial support for community members teetering on the edge. The Back on Track Fund is complemented by another initiative Barry launched, “Project Lift.” Project Lift provides case management to help those who might “fall between the cracks” of the social services network. It is designed to help people find therapists for mental health needs, caregivers for child or elder care, entitlements for ongoing financial support, and everything from housing to food for basic needs. While launched by generous support from Alyce and Morton (z”l) Spector and Connie and Gail Siegel, it has subsequently been supported through a grant awarded by the Martin M. Sacks Memorial Fund of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC), and other donors including Michael Brenner, Bennett and Inez Chotiner, Michael (z”l) and Ellen Geduldig, Peggy Grove, Bill Lehr, Harold Rabin, Daniel and Patty Schwab, and The Dorothy B. and S. Lawrence Koplovitz Foundation, as well as supporters Erick and Robyn Chotiner, Jay and Nancy Krevsky, and program facilitator Elaine along with her husband, Elliot Strokoff.
Barry also had a deft hand at creating successful and creative programming events that both educated and inspired the community. We are indebted to Barry for creating many events, including ones featuring Patrick Kennedy, Ron Suskind, Dr. Rachel Levine, and Mitch Albom. The most recent event with Mitch Albom saw a sold-out audience raptly listening to Albom’s story of adopting a young Haitian refuge, Chika, and how he and his wife nursed Chika during her terminal illness. It was deeply inspiring to hear a presenter speaking about the importance of foster care and adoption—two of the core services provided by JFS.
Barry was a tireless leader of JFS who was motivated by a heart filled with compassion and an intellect continually focused on the tasks at hand. He was deeply committed to JFS’s mission and his ongoing desire to make JFS and its staff the best it could be for meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. Barry worked closely and effectively with the Board of Directors to insure that JFS remained vibrant, viable, and relevant.
In short, Barry was and remains a mensch who took the mission of Tikkun Olam to heart, and fulfilled that mitzvah in both word and deeds. For that and so many other things, JFS is grateful for his time leading the agency on a day-to-day basis.
2020 – 2021 Board of Directors
Bob Wolff, President
Ruth Moore, Vice President
Oren Yagil, Vice President
Frank Fleishman, Treasurer
Dr. Jordan Klein