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

Linda L. Burger, MSSW

Chief Executive Officer

Linda L. Burger’s entire professional life has been devoted to leading and shaping a robust resume of work in the Houston Jewish community, most recently in creating significant social service programs as CEO of Jewish Family Service of Houston. Since becoming CEO in 2005, Linda and her team have instituted game-changing initiatives that have transformed and expanded the agency’s ability to respond to basic needs and community emergencies and focus on erasing stigmas associated with disability and mental health issues. Linda’s inspiring leadership on inclusion of and advocacy for people with disabilities and the prevention of suicide and substance misuse has received national recognition. In addition, her leadership work related to seniors, employment and Behavioral and Mental Health Services have made JFS a premiere agency in the region. This includes an emphasis on being a teaching institution for the helping professions. 

Prior to her current position, she served in senior management at the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston for 17 years and then as Executive Director of the Houston Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. Linda received her undergraduate and Master of Science in Social Work degrees from the University of Texas in Austin. 

The deep expertise and contacts Linda gained along her professional journey aligned in life-changing ways when reoccurring floods devastated the Houston community. Jumping into immediate action, and despite the fact that she and many on her team were personally affected, Linda and the JFS Disaster Services Response Team wasted no time. They showed up with outstretched hands, offering everything from immediate basic needs to long-term recovery services. As a result, the agency was recognized by both the United Way and the Jewish community as a leader in helping those impacted by flooding in southwest Houston. This, in turn, gave donors and funds the confidence to commit over $10 million in aid and disaster case management resources to JFS in the first few months following Harvey. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Linda has led the agency team to continue to provide professional and compassionate assistance without an interruption of service, even as the agency transitioned to video therapy. 

Linda’s impact in the human service arena is felt both local and nationally. In Houston, she serves on the City of Houston Redevelopment and Drainage Task Force, the Cultivating Families Advisory Board and is immediate past chair of the Network of Behavioral Health Providers. She also serves as Treasurer on the national board of RespectAbility and is an advisor for the Center for Future Planning Advisory Council of the National ARC.  

Linda is a recipient of three prestigious Houston community awards: The Hans Mayer Award for Communal Service, Joan Alexander Chesed Award, and the National Council of Jewish Women’s Women of Influence Award.  In 2020 she was selected as one of Houston's Most Admired CEO by Houston Business Journal and under her tenure, in the same year, the agency was selected as a Best Place to Work, also by HBJ.

Linda is known as a visionary leader, whose exceptional personal characteristics have endeared her to her staff, her agency leadership and the leadership of Houston’s finest helping agencies.   

Chief Executive Officer
Linda L. Burger, MSSW
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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 Operating Officer

Carl E. Josehart is an accomplished healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience. He currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for 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.

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 including currently serving on the board of Holocaust Museum Houston, 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 Operating Officer
Carl E. Josehart, MSW
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Board of Directors

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
President
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Jay Epstein

Jay Epstein
Jay Epstein
Vice President of Administration
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Sandi Wolf

Sandi Wolf
Sandi Wolf
Vice President of Development
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Carolyn Kaplan

Carolyn Kaplan
Carolyn Kaplan
Vice President of Program Services
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Vikki Evans

Vikki Evans
Vikki Evans
Secretary
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Phil Cohen

Phil Cohen
Phil Cohen
Assistant Secretary
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Jonathan Risch

Jonathan Risch
Jonathan Risch
Treasurer
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Marcy Margolis

Marcy Margolis
Marcy Margolis
Assistant Treasurer
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Joy Kaplan

Joy Kaplan
Joy Kaplan
Immediate Past President
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Sasha Alexander

Board Member
Sasha Alexander
Board Member
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Jonathan Baliff

Board Member
Jonathan Baliff
Board Member
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Fred Buckwold, MD

Board Member
Fred Buckwold, MD
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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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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Rabbi Barry Gelman

Board Member
Rabbi Barry Gelman
Board Member
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Gretchen Gemeinhardt

Board Member
Gretchen Gemeinhardt
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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Benjy Hershorn

Board Member
Benjy Hershorn
Board Member
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Pablo Kurewosky

Board Member
Pablo Kurewosky
Board Member
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Sandy Light

Board Member
Sandy Light
Board Member
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Michael Mazvinsky

Board Member
Michael Mazvinsky
Board Member
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Jan Miller

Board Member
Jan 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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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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Eugene Tunisky

Board Member
Eugene Tunisky
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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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

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.