Jennie earned her bachelors and masters degrees of physical therapy from Simmons College, and her doctorate in education from George Mason University. Prior to coming to JFS, Jennie worked as a professor of education at Nazareth College and oversaw the undergraduate Inclusive Childhood and Early Childhood Programs. Having served on many boards in the Rochester area, and through much community service of her own, Jennie is actively involved in the greater Rochester community.
Chief Program Officer of Child and Family Services
Betsy oversees a wide range of programs that serve children and families in our community. Betsy came to JFS with years of experience providing consultation and evaluation for programs that support children and families, primarily around early childhood, children’s mental health, child welfare, and parenting. She has a Master’s in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation involved a qualitative analysis of how children diagnosed with mental health disorders learn about and experience their diagnoses, and how parents can be supported in this process.
Chief Administrative Officer
After volunteering at several local non-profits, Barbara knew her calling was to work for a non-profit agency. Fast forward 25 years, Barbara is so very thankful to continue being part of the JFS Family. She is responsible for overseeing the administrative operations within the organization including human resources, marketing and policy oversite.
Chief Financial Officer
Kristen earned her Masters of Science in Accounting at the University of Buffalo in 2005. She was an auditor at Lumsden CPA of Buffalo, NY from 2005 until 2013 when she joined the JFS Family. Kristen lives with her husband and two boys on their micro farm with chickens, sheep, dogs and a couple of goldfish. She loves running, hiking and being outside with her boys. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve my community in my daily work and I love finding ways to stretch the greatest amount of good out of each dollar.”
Chief Program Officer of Aging, Essential and Inclusion Services
Dee is a licensed Master of Social Work as well as a certified advanced social work case manager. Dee has over 10 years of experience working at Jewish Family Service, previously as a care manager and then as a director. Dee believes that all individuals and families of all abilities should have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential. This is accomplished by developing and overseeing programs that promote compassion, inclusivity, trust, responsiveness, accessibility, and in partnerships with the community. Dee is a member of the Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly Program (GRAPE), and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
Geriatric Case Manager
Lauren is a licensed master social worker who provides geriatric care management to older adults. Lauren joined the Jewish Family Services (JFS) staff after graduating with her MSW from Roberts Wesleyan College. Lauren appreciates creating meaningful connections with her clients by completing thorough in-person assessments. Lauren enjoys discovering meaningful resources and referrals for the older adult population. Lauren is a member of GRAPE (Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly), NASW (National Association of Social Workers), and regularly attends education opportunities through the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center.
Danielle joined Jewish Family Services as an Administrative Assistant in the accounting department in early 2021. She brings experience from her previous positions at the Memorial Art Gallery, a local CPA firm, and time served with AmeriCorps with Upward Bound through the University of Rochester. Together it brings out her passion for service and the community. When Danielle is not in the office she can be found watching her daughter riding horses or following her son to all of his sporting events. In that small fraction of time when there is a break from life, she and her family spend time in their happy place, Old Forge.
Mental Health Therapist
Megan is a mental health therapist who graduated from St. John Fisher College. Megan provides crisis intervention counseling with children, adults, and families. She has had training in DBT, Reflective Parenting, Trauma Informed Care, and Infant Mental Health. She specializes in trauma, anxiety, and depression. Although the therapeutic approach varies per client, Megan uses evidence-based practices around cognitive behavioral, internal family systems, and dialectical behavioral therapy.
Dominique was an Executive Assistant to the Director of a national accredited career arts school from 2010 until 2019 when she started with JFS. Dominique lives with her fiancé and their two children. She loves to stay active, spend time with family and experience the great outdoors. “Working for JFS allows me to offer support to a very dynamic team who all share a common goal- to help meet the needs of our community. This experience has given me a deep appreciation for how the agency works to improve the quality of life for our region; one program at a time. It is such a rewarding feeling to be a part of the JFS family.”
Talya oversees the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) at Ellison Park Apartments. The NORC provides essential individual and group services that allow the senior residents to remain safely in their homes. Talya has training and experience working with survivors of trauma and deeply believes in the Person-Centered Trauma Informed approach as an important tool for promoting healing. She approaches the therapeutic process as a collaboration and works to help individuals and their families find comfort in difficult life circumstances. At the NORC, Talya‘s clinical focus is on improving the quality of life of the NORC residents who are facing chronic illness, pain, and frailty at the end of their life. Talya also facilitates the JFS weekly community bereavement support group. Before coming to JFS in 2009, Talya provided counseling to adolescents and their families in Rochester and Baltimore, MD.
Resource Manager & Special Needs Navigator
585-216-1887 ext. 1 or 585-506-3073
Sasha is a social worker currently working in two programs at JFS. Sasha is the Special Needs Navigator, working with individuals with special needs and their families. In this role, Sasha links families to resources and coordinates volunteer opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities within JFS programs. As a Resource Manager in an affordable housing complex, Sasha coordinates on-site programming and works with residents to provide support, referrals, and resources. Sasha has received training in Infant Mental Health and Reflective Parenting and facilitates parent groups at JFS. Sasha has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Daemen College and worked in the child welfare system for 15 years prior to her work at JFS.
Clinical Social Worker
Leslie is a clinical social worker who offers individual counseling for all ages 18 and up, specializing in older adults. She has been practicing for over 30 years and received her geriatric certification from Lifespan in 2010.
Licensed Social Worker
Rachel is a licensed master social worker who provides services to adolescents, adults, and groups with a diverse range of concerns. Rachel believes in a strengths-based approach and is particularly interested in adolescents’ emotional and behavioral difficulties and related parenting, family, and school issues. She is trained in CBT, EMDR, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy and uses a combination of these research supported methods to promote growth in her clients.
Linda has over 25+ years of administrative experience, previously working as a transcriptionist in the Pathology Department at Rochester General Hospital. Linda has provided administrative support to JFS staff for over 17 years and has watched the agency grow in leaps and bounds as a valued Agency of the community. She is a native Rochesterian and has been a Fairport resident for 42 years. She looks forward to more new horizons for JFS!
Director of Housing & Literacy Services
585-216-1887 ext. 2
Mandy oversees holistic programming that JFS provides at a local affordable housing complex, as well as JFS’ literacy program. She builds partnerships, guides programming, coordinates volunteer opportunities, and assists clients in need of resources. Mandy has over 30 years of experience in nonprofit work and is passionate about working with people. She is a Certified Care Manager, has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Master’s in Public Administration from SUNY Brockport.
Manager – Brighton Your Wardrobe
Julie is the manager at Brighton Your Wardrobe (BYW) and assistant coordinator at Brighton Food Cupboard (BFC.) Julie is a retired CPA who started at JFS as a volunteer. Julie’s mission is to connect JFS clients with food and clothing and to work with students, staff, and parents in the Brighton Central School District. Under Julie’s leadership, a popular annual event is held for high school students called BHS, Say Yes to the Dress. After a need for formal wear at no cost to BHS students was noted, Julie and her team planned and executed this daylong event to provide students with formal wear for prom, ball and graduation. Julie is also instrumental in providing clothing to Veterans at the annual Town of Brighton Veterans Day luncheon and has secured thousands of new Bomba socks to distribute to BYW clients.
Director & Case Manager – Brighton Food Cupboard
Esti is a licensed master social worker and is the Director and Case Manager of the Brighton Food Cupboard. She graduated from the NYU School of Social Work in 2011 and has been part of the JFS team for 8 years. As a case manager, she offers support and resources to the clients of the Brighton Food Cupboard. In addition, she oversees the volunteers, coordinates food delivery and ordering, performs community outreach and writes grants. She is passionate about reducing food insecurity in Rochester, offering healthy food to the food cupboard recipients, and providing kosher food options for the Jewish community. She enjoys bringing innovative ideas to the table related to food insecurity. This includes adding hydroponics machines to grow lettuce indoors and developing a software to manage the food delivery process.
Program Coordinator – Baby Safe Sleep Coalition
Cathy offers education to parents, grandparents, and caregivers in the area of safe sleep education. She utilizes her training in Infant Mental Health and Reflective Parenting to connect and reinforce to parents the importance of safe sleep practices.
Nurture Coordinator – Parenting Village
Shawna Peterson, LMSW is a Licensed Master Social Worker who coordinates Parenting Village’s Nurture Program. Shawna’s passion to support families was fueled by her own personal parenting journey and has grown by her participation in the following areas: DONA Postpartum Doula training, Infant Mental Health training, Maternal Mental Health training, and Reflective Parenting training. Shawna loves to connect parents with one another and to the many wonderful resources that exist in the Rochester community.
Program Director – Pencils & Paper
Amy finds value in connecting resources to create a more equitable learning experience for all students in our community. Amy works with teachers, administrators, and community members to ensure students have the tools they need for learning. As a Kids In Need Foundation affiliated partner, she networks continuously to expand the support Pencils and Paper provides to our local teaching workforce. Amy and her team of volunteers treasure seeing the countless smiles on the faces of the students who receive no-cost school supplies. Amy is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied Fine Arts and Elementary Education.
Madeleine is a mental health counselor who has worked primarily but not exclusively with adolescents and young adults in Rochester, NY since 2008. Her work is informed by Mindful Self-Compassion, a program in which she has received extensive training. Madeleine holds the approved clinical supervisor credential (ACS) through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Madeleine completed her doctoral studies on mental health professional wellness and avoiding compassion fatigue through increasing self-compassion.
Director of Inclusion & Accessibility
585-506-3062 or 585-461-2000 ext. 290
Sharon is a inclusion specialist, parent advocate, and a Judaic educator who works with the various affiliated Jewish organizations in our community to improve and expand inclusion and accessibility practices. Sharon is also collaborating with other peer organizations, both locally and nation-wide, in learning, planning, and developing meaningful inclusive programs that support members of our community of all abilities. In her role, Sharon directs and leads the Jewish Living program for Jewish adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, who reside in non-Jewish group homes across Monroe County, and their families. She also coordinates the JFS Accessibility & Inclusion Advisory Board – a group of volunteers from the disabled/caregivers’ community, professionals, and leaders from the various local Jewish organizations.