Leadership & Board

To accomplish our mission JFS is led by a visionary group of community leaders from diverse backgrounds and education. Their commitment, passion and resourcefulness help guide our organization in collaboration with our gifted professional staff.

Executive Leadership

Ada Cheung, Ph.D., LCSW-S, RPT, EMDR Certified

Chief Clinical Officer

Dr. Cheung received her Doctoral and Master Degree of Social Work from the University of Houston. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and board certified Supervisor in Texas, a Registered Play therapist, and a certified EMDR therapist. She has years of experience working at various behavioral health, mental health and clinical settings serving children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric population for individual, couples, family and group therapy. She is an adjunct professor at University of Houston. She has also been selected as an outstanding field instructor by the University of Houston and Baylor University. In 2020, she has been selected as the Social Worker of the year from the National Association of Social Workers Texas Branch.

Chief Clinical Officer
Ada Cheung, Ph.D., LCSW-S, RPT, EMDR Certified
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Rachel W. Davis, MJS

Chief Development Officer

Rachel W. Davis joined JFS Houston in December 2006 as Chief Development Officer. With a background in business development and marketing, she has focused on building diverse revenue streams for the agency by highlighting the impact of its work to individual donors and foundations. At JFS, she oversees a talented team of professionals in fund development, marketing and volunteer management. Since her arrival, the agency’s budget has grown from just over one million dollars to nearly eight million dollars annually. She is particularly passionate about building a sustaining endowment to benefit JFS through conversations with donors about Legacy gifts for the Houston Jewish Family Foundation.

At JFS, she has also been instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Houston ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival.

In 2016, Rachel received the Hans Mayer Jewish Communal Professional Award.

Prior to JFS, Rachel was the founding Executive Director of the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce and also worked in the private sector promoting Israeli technology companies in the US market.  A former art gallery owner, she served in leadership in the Houston Art Dealers Association. Having served on the Boards of several non-profits, she volunteers as an advisor to small organizations on building their fundraising campaigns and leadership and is also a frequent speaker to both professional and lay fundraising teams.  

A native Houstonian, Rachel received her B.A. from Yale University and her Masters in Jewish Studies from Siegel College of Jewish Studies.

Chief Development Officer
Rachel W. Davis, MJS
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Tammy Hopwood, CPA, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Tammy Hopwood began her career in public accounting with Deloitte, followed by management and leadership positions with public companies American General Corporation and MMI Products, Inc.  After receiving an MBA from Rice University, she moved to non-profit leadership as Chief Accounting Officer with KIPP Houston Public Schools.  Prior to joining JFS she was Chief Financial Officer for The Monarch School and Institute.

Tammy has led accounting and finance functions for over 15 years.  With a collaborative management style, she has partnered with leadership on strategic long-range planning, budgeting, cash and forecasting, as well as cost and profitability analysis of programs and services.   She has been instrumental in accounting function remediation, efficient processing and significant audit result improvement.   With a strong background in reporting and analysis she has improved leaderships’ knowledge and understanding of financial results and brought key cost drivers in line with industry standards.

Tammy grew up in Austin Texas and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from St. Edwards’ University.  She is s a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas.  Outside of work, Tammy enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, art and dog rescue.

Chief Financial Officer
Tammy Hopwood, CPA, MBA
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Carl E. Josehart, MSW

Chief Executive Officer

Carl E. Josehart is an accomplished healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience. He currently serves as CEO of Jewish Family Service Houston. Past experience includes 11 years as CEO of TIRR Memorial Hermann, leadership experience in acute care, ambulatory care and earlier in his career as a clinical social worker. From 2018 - 2022 he served as COO of JFS Houston.

Carl’s career has been distinguished by a commitment to social justice and serving underserved or historically disadvantaged populations including individuals impacted by poverty, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination and promoting equality for the LGBT community.

Carl is a frequent speaker and lecturer in topics ranging from healthcare administration, social work and issues related to disability and access to equitable healthcare for historically underserved communities.

In 2021, Carl received Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies Extraordinary Professional Leadership Award. In 2018 Carl was named Humanitarian of the Year by The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship – Houston Galveston, and in 2017, Carl was named a distinguished Alumnus of the Brown School of Social Work. He is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum Houston /Gulf Coast Chapter, a graduate of the Center for Houston’s Future Business& Civic Leadership Forum and in 2003 was named a Health Ethics Trust Fellow.

Carl is active with many community organizations, served as Board Chair of Holocaust Museum Houston, is active with The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship – Houston Galveston. Carl also serves on the Finance Committee for the American Leadership Forum Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter and previously served on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League– Houston and Congregation Emanu El.

Carl holds a Bachelor’s Degree Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.

Chief Executive Officer
Carl E. Josehart, MSW
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Leadership

The leadership of JFS Houston- both past and present- have allowed JFS to serve the community for more than 100 years.

Sandi Wolf

Sandi Wolf

Sandi is a native Houstonian. A natural leader, who measures success in terms of values, not merely growth and profit, Sandi joined the JFS board in 2013. Since that time, she has been a transformational influence on the organization, particularly in the areas of fundraising, network expansion, and board development.

After studying at Emory University and University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a Business degree in Finance, Sandi worked as a financial consultant at Merrill Lynch. She left to support her husband in the family business, Helfman Dealerships, and to raise their three children.

Sandi brings to JFS a long history of passionate community involvement. Sandi was a tireless volunteer for many years at her children’s schools - Hunters Creek Elementary School, The Emery/Weiner School, and The Kinkaid School. Sandi deeply cares about Jewish causes; she has chaired: Collage for the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston twice, an innovative fashion show for Congregation Emanu El, and committees for Congregation Beth Israel. Through her life, she has also worked with DePelchin Children’s Center, Houston Heart Ball as an auction chair, Julia C. Hester House, where she has been honored, and Ronald McDonald House Houston. She and husband, Steven, were the 2021 recipients of the Joan Alexander Chesed Award. Sandi credits the example of her parents, Elaine, and Jack, of blessed memory, for her love of philanthropy and making a difference in the world.

Sandi Wolf
President
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Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander
Sasha Alexander
Assistant Secretary
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Phil Cohen

Phil Cohen
Phil Cohen
Vice President of Development
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Jay Epstein

Jay Epstein
Jay Epstein
Vice President of Administration
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Vikki Evans

Vikki Evans
Vikki Evans
Secretary
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Carolyn Kaplan

Carolyn Kaplan
Carolyn Kaplan
Vice President of Program Services
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Marcy Margolis

Marcy Margolis
Marcy Margolis
Board Engagement
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Michael Mazvinsky

Michael Mazvinsky
Michael Mazvinsky
Assistant Treasurer
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Jonathan Risch

Jonathan Risch
Jonathan Risch
Treasurer
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Philip Tenenbaum

Philip Tenenbaum

Philip Tenenbaum, Senior Partner of Mercer has 40years of human resource consulting experience and currently serves as client relationship manager for several of the firm's clients. Philip's focus is alignment of business and HR strategy.

Philip is a frequent speaker at conferences and has co-authored several articles, including "Taming the Talent Pipeline" in American Gas Magazine, a Mercer White Paper titled "Strategic Management of Human Capital in the Energy Sector and a Mercer Point of View titled "Managing Human Capital Assets During A Market Disruption“.  In 2016, Philip was named a Top 25 Consultant by Consulting Magazine for Excellence in Energy.

Philip currently serves on the Boards of three Houston non-profit organizations: Jewish Family Service of Houston (current Board President), Ronald McDonald House of Houston and Congregation Emanu El.

Philip has a BA in Mathematics for Actuarial Science, with honors, from the University of Florida and a Master's degree in Actuarial Science from Georgia State University.

Philip Tenenbaum
Immediate Past President
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Sara Brook

Board Member
Sara Brook
Board Member
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Dee Dee Dochen

Board Member
Dee Dee Dochen
Board Member
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Marla Feldman, DDS

Board Member
Marla Feldman, DDS
Board Member
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Rori Feldman

Board Member
Rori Feldman
Board Member
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Lauren Segal Foster

Board Member
Lauren Segal Foster
Board Member
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Emily Freedman

Board Member
Emily Freedman
Board Member
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Willie French*

Board Advisor
Willie French*
Board Advisor
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Caroline Rosen Funk

Board Member
Caroline Rosen Funk
Board Member
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Ellen Brodsky Gaber

Board Member
Ellen Brodsky Gaber
Board Member
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Gretchen Gemeinhardt

Board Member
Gretchen Gemeinhardt
Board Member
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Lainie Gordon

Board Member
Lainie Gordon
Board Member
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Roslyn Fuchs Haikin

Board Member
Roslyn Fuchs Haikin
Board Member
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David Harris

Board Member
David Harris
Board Member
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Larry Jacobs

Board Member
Larry Jacobs
Board Member
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Pablo Kurewosky

Board Member
Pablo Kurewosky
Board Member
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Gregory Lewis

Board Member
Gregory Lewis
Board Member
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Rabbi Daniel Masri

Board Member
Rabbi Daniel Masri
Board Member
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Jan Zuber Miller

Board Member
Jan Zuber Miller
Board Member
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Susan Farb Morris

Board Member
Susan Farb Morris
Board Member
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Marc Oster

Board Member
Marc Oster
Board Member
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Michael Richker**

Board Member
Michael Richker**
Board Member
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Ellen Robinson

Board Member
Ellen Robinson
Board Member
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Elizabeth Rubinsky

Board Member
Elizabeth Rubinsky
Board Member
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Susan Schneider

Board Member
Susan Schneider
Board Member
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Michael Segal

Board Member
Michael Segal
Board Member
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Susan Smith

Board Member
Susan Smith
Board Member
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Deborah Sopher

Board Member
Deborah Sopher
Board Member
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Clay Spitz

Board Member
Clay Spitz
Board Member
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Kim Trimble

Board Member
Kim Trimble
Board Member
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Evan Varadi

Board Member
Evan Varadi
Board Member
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Aileen Weycer

Board Member
Aileen Weycer
Board Member
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Jamie Wolf

Board Member
Jamie Wolf
Board Member
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*Board Advisor
**Lifetime Board Member

Philip Tenenbaum

2019-2021
Philip Tenenbaum
2019-2021
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Joy Kaplan

2017-2019
Joy Kaplan
2017-2019
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Mark Brookner

2015-2017
Mark Brookner
2015-2017
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Debra Cohen

2013-2015
Debra Cohen
2013-2015
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Steve Robinson

2012-2013
Steve Robinson
2012-2013
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Eric Mayer

2010-2011
Eric Mayer
2010-2011
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Donald Freedman

2008-2009
Donald Freedman
2008-2009
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Larry Reader

2005-2007
Larry Reader
2005-2007
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Carol Goldberg

2002-2004
Carol Goldberg
2002-2004
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Jacob Leon

2000-2001
Jacob Leon
2000-2001
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Madeleine Appel

1996-1999
Madeleine Appel
1996-1999
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Bob Reader

1994-1995
Bob Reader
1994-1995
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Lorraine Brown*

1991-1993
Lorraine Brown*
1991-1993
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Frances Dow Friedman

1988-1990
Frances Dow Friedman
1988-1990
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Marc Grossberg

1986-1987
Marc Grossberg
1986-1987
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George Stark

1983-1985
George Stark
1983-1985
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Leon Weiner*

1981-1982
Leon Weiner*
1981-1982
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Shirley Warshaw

1979-1980
Shirley Warshaw
1979-1980
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Ruth V. H. Lack*

1977-1978
Ruth V. H. Lack*
1977-1978
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Barry Goodfriend, M.D.

1975-1976
Barry Goodfriend, M.D.
1975-1976
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Harry Zuber

1973-1974
Harry Zuber
1973-1974
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Jay Plotkin*

1971-1972
Jay Plotkin*
1971-1972
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Alfred Neumann, Ph.D*

1969-1970
Alfred Neumann, Ph.D*
1969-1970
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Bernard Farfel, M.D.*

1966-1968
Bernard Farfel, M.D.*
1966-1968
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Arthur Schwarz, Jr.*

1964-1965
Arthur Schwarz, Jr.*
1964-1965
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Raymond Cohen, M.D.*

1961-1963
Raymond Cohen, M.D.*
1961-1963
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I. Ronald Sonenthal, M.D.*

1959-1960
I. Ronald Sonenthal, M.D.*
1959-1960
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Leslie Moses*

1956-1958
Leslie Moses*
1956-1958
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I. Mark Westheimer*

1954-1955
I. Mark Westheimer*
1954-1955
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J.L Zuber*

1952-1953
J.L Zuber*
1952-1953
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I.S. Brochstein*

1950-1951
I.S. Brochstein*
1950-1951
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Selma Roos Levy Scheps*

1948-1949
Selma Roos Levy Scheps*
1948-1949
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Leo Gaber*

1946-1947
Leo Gaber*
1946-1947
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Sam Levy*

1943-1945
Sam Levy*
1943-1945
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Harry Susman*

1940-1942
Harry Susman*
1940-1942
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Melvin Rouff*

1937-1939
Melvin Rouff*
1937-1939
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Alexander Sidman*

1935-1936
Alexander Sidman*
1935-1936
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Alfred Alexander*

1932-1934
Alfred Alexander*
1932-1934
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William M. Nathan*

1931
William M. Nathan*
1931
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Louis Daily, M.D.*

1929-1930
Louis Daily, M.D.*
1929-1930
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Herman Grossman*

1928
Herman Grossman*
1928
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N.D. Naman*

1926-1927
N.D. Naman*
1926-1927
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Sidney Strauss*

1925
Sidney Strauss*
1925
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O. N. Weil*

1922-1924
O. N. Weil*
1922-1924
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S.J. Westheimer*

1921
S.J. Westheimer*
1921
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A.A. Bath*

1919-1920
A.A. Bath*
1919-1920
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Sam Lewis*

1918-1919
Sam Lewis*
1918-1919
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Emil Lipper*

1917-1918
Emil Lipper*
1917-1918
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Jules K. Jacobs*

1916
Jules K. Jacobs*
1916
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Abe Levy*

1915
Abe Levy*
1915
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Sidney Meyers*

1914
Sidney Meyers*
1914
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*May their memory be a Blessing

The board and senior leadership of JFS celebrates the legacies of our former CEOs who blazed the trail and laid the foundation for our agency to grow to be what it is today - a premiere social service agency dedicated to transforming the lives of individuals, families and communities. Their vision, passion and commitment continues to inspire us to tackle the most pressing issues of our day by responding to individual needs and seeking systemic solutions to the challenges that our community faces. Please take a moment to read their biographies and be inspired by their accomplishments.

Linda L. Burger, MSSW

Linda L. Burger, MSSW

Linda transformed the agency by adding services and professionalizing departments to a new level. Under her leadership, the agency became a premier social service agency, providing high level evidence based human service practices and providing innovative solutions in a variety of areas, particularly mental health wellness and suicide prevention, disability advocacy and services, financial assistance and literacy and disaster response. Linda deepened and expanded community, city and national partnerships, especially with the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and United Way of Greater Houston.

Linda L. Burger, MSSW
2005-2022
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Mary Jean Weston

Mary Jean Weston

Beginning as a clinician at JFS in 1981, Mary Jean took the helm at a time of tremendous change in the social fabric of the family and created related family education program. She opened services to more diverse populations and strengthened services for families and seniors.

Mary Jean Weston
1999-2005
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Sol M. Brownstein

Sol M. Brownstein

The consummate professional, Sol focused on the Mental Health Services at JFS, developing both therapeutic counseling and psychiatric support and oversaw settlement of Jews from the former Soviet Union. He fostered a close relationship with United Way of Greater Houston, a long-term partner of the agency.

Sol M. Brownstein
1977-1999
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Ruth Hutton Fred

Ruth Hutton Fred

A beloved leader of JFS, she elevated social work and mental health services across the city through JFS, the development of UH School of Social Work, and a partnership with Baylor College of Medicine Psychiatry Dept. “Ask Ruth,” her radio show, dealt with everyday mental health and family dynamic concerns. She helped scores of families adopt children.

Ruth Hutton Fred
1939-1977
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Would you like to help the community through partnering with JFS?

JFS Houston is only able to do its work because of the partnership between dedicated leadership, volunteers, staff and supporters. Everyone involved gives of themselves in order to make JFS a place where people can receive care, guidance, coaching, resources or counseling.