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.
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.
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.
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 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. Dr. Cheung is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work. 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.
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.
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.
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 11years 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 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.
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.
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.