Executive Director and CEOdgoldman@jfskc.org | 913-327-8262
Don has a background in marketing, strategic planning, operations, and technology. He spent much of his career as an executive with Sprint and Birch Telecom. His most recent position in the for-profit sector was Chief Operating Officer at Birch Telecom. In the past few years Don decided to refocus his professional energy into the not-for-profit sector. Most recently, Don was the Director of Adult Jewish Learning at the Jewish Community Center. Don holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officercross@jfskc.org | 913-327-8294
Cindy's unique blend of strategic business skills, innovation, and solid CPA foundation supports the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in achieving JFS’s strategic goals. Cindy is responsible for oversight and leadership of all financial matters, day-to-day business operations and new agency opportunities. She has experience in innovation and business management leadership from Hallmark Cards and American Century Investments.
Richard Odiam, LCSW, LSCSW
Chief Program Officerrodiam@jfskc.org | 816-333-1172
Richard, now serving as Chief Program Officer, is responsible for program operations spanning Food, Shelter and Employment, Older Adult services and Mental Health. With a background in community mental health, he spent 10 years in a senior management position at Tri-County Mental Health Services. He holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas and is licensed as a clinical social worker in Kansas and Missouri.
Director of Marketingbalthouse@jfskc.org | 913-327-8263
Brenda brings a background of strategic and consumer marketing, having held marketing positions at Hallmark Cards, AT&T and in healthcare consulting. Prior to moving to Kansas City she served as the Development Director for a Chicago social service agency while completing her MBA in marketing and nonprofit administration. Brenda works with program staff to develop marketing and communication strategies, as well as the management team to implement overall agency strategies.
Director of Volunteer Engagementtfriedman@jfskc.org | 913-730-1445
Taly earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health at the School of Education at the University of Kansas. Taly has a background in non-profit work in the Kansas City area, including working as a Nutrition Educator and coordinating the nutrition education program at Harvesters-The Community Food Network and being the teen leadership director at BBYO, Inc. Taly has worked with volunteers both professionally and as a volunteer herself and enjoys connecting community members to meaningful volunteer opportunities.
Director of Older Adult Serviceslgilman@jfskc.org | 913-730-1441
Laura holds a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College, a master’s degree in clinical social work from University of Maryland and a master’s degree in Jewish Communal Service from Towson University. She has worked in the field of aging for over 10 years, specializing in meaning making in the later stages of life and aging in community. Laura serves as Director of Older Adult Services and feels honored that her job allows her to journey with clients as they age and bear witness to their resilience and strength.
Director of Food Pantryjhickey@jfskc.org | 913-327-8257
Jo has grown the JFS Food Pantry each year using her contacts in the Kansas City area non-profit community. Among other past positions, she served as Director of Operations at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. Jo has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Northwest Missouri State University. She looks forward to the relationships she continues to develop as she enhances the Food Pantry Programs in both Kansas and Missouri.
Food and Shelter Program Directormhaghirian@jfskc.org | 913-730-1750
Maggie Haghirian has a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Western State University in Criminal Justice. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas. She has worked in the field of assisting people of various backgrounds for over 17 years, specializing in persons experiencing mental illness, domestic violence, persons that have experienced trauma and oversight of sex offender treatment programs. Maggie is the Food and Shelter Program Director and is excited to be joining the JFS team! She is looking forward to this new journey with the amazing staff and working together to continue to support those that need support in the community.
Molly McGurk, LCSW
Director, Mental Health Servicesmmcgurk@jfskc.org | 913-327-8298
Molly, now serving as Director of Mental Health Services, is responsible for overseeing the Mental Health Counseling program and licensed clinical therapists, School Mental Health Campaign, "You Be You" and community outreach. With a background in community mental health, over thirteen years in Behavioral Health Services as a Senior Mental Health Counselor and a Program Coordinator with Division of Behavioral Health Services in Sacramento. She hold a master's degree in social work from California State University Sacramento and is a licensed clinical social worker.
Rabbi Jonathan Rudnick
Jewish Community Chaplainrabbi@jfskc.org | 913-915-7730
Rabbi Rudnick devotes himself to community care using his vast knowledge: with a BA degree from Claremont McKenna College, a diploma of International and Comparative Law of Human Rights from University of Strassbourg, a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, a master of arts degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University, a fellowship in education and policy at Mandel School for Educational Leadership and a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Studies from the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where he was ordained.
Older Adult Care Manager and PRIYA Family Consultantsalbin@jfskc.org | 913-730-1425
Sarah has worked with older adults in varied settings since 2007. Most recently, she worked for the Area Agency on Aging on the Missouri side, coordinating the volunteer ombudsman program, providing community outreach on aging issues, and doing case management with older adults. Sarah earned her M.S. in social gerontology from the University of Central Missouri in 2011 and previously graduated from Truman State University with a B.A. in communications.
Wendy Anderson, MSW, LMSW
Child and Family Therapistwanderson@jfskc.org | 913-327-8253
Wendy is a Licensed Master Social worker. She has helped clients in a variety of settings, including residential treatment programs, community outreach, schools and outpatient clinics. Her focus has primarily been with children and families, with an emphasis on family systems, cognitive behavioral and play therapy approaches. In all of these she strives to help people learn how to help themselves. Wendy earned her bachelor’s degree in Social work at the University of Kansas, and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver.
Director of Administration & Human Resourcescaronoff@jfskc.org | 913-327-8246
Celeste returns to JFS after four years of living abroad. She previously served as Director of Communications until 2014, and is now back overseeing a wide range of internal operations, as well as human resources. She has a strong background in non-profit organizational development and leadership, and has been engaged in human resources for more than 30 years. She holds a degree in public communications/film from Boston University of Kansas, and spent three years in Jerusalem studying the Hebrew Bible.
Operations Manager, Older Adult Initiativessatherly@jfskc.org | 913-327-8265
Sondra, who began at JFS as a volunteer, manages Help@Home and JET Express. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies at San Francisco State University. After working in telecommunications management for 25 years and moving to Kansas City, she changed directions and moved into the non-profit sector. She enjoys helping older adults remain independent and active.
Ruth Baum Bigus
Community Relations Directorrbigus@jfskc.org | 913-707-7746
Ruth has been part of the Jewish Family Services team since 2008 handling media and public relations. She works closely with JFS’ CEO, marketing director and program staff to promote the events, program and services of the agency. She has spent more than 25 years working in the nonprofit community including 14 years with the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in radio-television education from the University of Michigan, Ruth worked in broadcasting followed by six-and-a-half years as the managing editor of The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. Ruth also hosts a weekly radio program, KC Cares, focusing on the nonprofit community.
Event Planneriblock@jfskc.org | 913-730-1470
Ilyssa is joining JFS as the event planner for all special events. She has a background in event planning having been responsible for the annual fundraiser at Spay & Neuter KC since 2011. Prior to moving to Kansas City, she worked in Brand Management and Product Development in New York City. Ilyssa will be working on the spring Friends of the Family event as well as initiating two new events through the year. She hopes to grow these events from a fundraising standpoint while maintaining the tradition of the Friends events. Ilyssa holds an MBA from Fordham University and BA from The George Washington University.
Manager, Jewish Employment Servicescboasberg@jfskc.org | 913-730-1449
Cari is a Career Coach and Administrative Coordinator for Jewish Employment Services. Cari, a certified teacher and employment specialist, has an extensive background in providing support and guidance with all aspects of a successful job search. Cari has worked in the non-profit sector for most of her career and is leading a younger job seeker initiative with KU Hillel, partnering with them in a Professional Development series. Cari holds a BS in Journalism from the University of Kansas.
Paola Capra, LMSW
Licensed Therapistpcapra@jfskc.org | 913-730-1416
Development Managertchestnut | 913-730-1429
Russian-Speaking Care Managerschao@jfskc.org | 913-730-1444
Sarah has a Bachelor's in Russian from St. Olaf College and an MA in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Kansas, and worked for over 5 years in the field of education. Her expertise has brought her to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and finally back to the US as a teacher and facilitator. At JFS, Sarah works directly with Russian-speaking clients in our Older Adult Care Management program and assists with Russian Language facilitation across all programs. Her most recent efforts have been in the areas of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and Mindfulness, on which she leads working groups and training sessions for JFS staff, community partners, and clients.
Vicki Cohen, LCSW, LSCSW
Licensed Therapistvcohen@jfskc.org | 913-730-1411
Vicki is a licensed clinical social worker with over 25 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families. Vicki works with clients who face challenges around anger management; anxiety and depression; divorce; eating disorders/self-harm; family conflict; grief and loss; peer/work relationships; parenting; and relationship issues.
JFS Navigatorwdavison@jfskc.org | 913-730-1751
Whitney is pursuing a Masters in Social Work from Widener University in Chester, PA, and recently completed her first of two required internships at JFS. Her focus after graduation will be clinical mental health services, so she feels helping with the You Be You program for teens is an exciting opportunity. Whitney holds a Masters in Library Science from Emporia State University and worked as a library administrator for more than 10 years before deciding to become a social worker.
Rebecca Dragon-Freiden, LCSW/LSCSW
Licensed Therapistrdragonfirstname.lastname@example.org | 913-327-8277
Rebecca attended Northwestern University as an undergraduate and doubled majored in Psychology and Spanish. She later went on to pursue a Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago. After moving to Kansas City, Rebecca worked at Gillis as a Family Focus Therapist, providing therapy for boys and their families as they re-entered their homes from a residential facility. She later worked as a Bilingual Therapist at The Family Conservancy in the “Dame La Mano” Program. She provided Spanish-speaking therapy for individuals, couples, families, and adolescents. Rebecca utilizes a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy in her work with clients. She considers it a privilege to be invited into the lives of clients to help them in their journey towards healing and self-discovery.
Missouri Food Pantry Coordinator/Disability Services Case Managerpelkins@jfskc.org | 913-730-1474
Porsche received a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Based Services from Doane University. Passionate about serving those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, she has over ten years of experience in providing quality supports and case management in various capacities. Her background includes work in education, for-profit and non-profit sectors as well as work in State and County government. She has a valuable network of community resources and is involved in many philanthropic efforts in the community.
Missouri Office Managersevans@jfskc.org | 913-327-4683
Sarah Link Ferguson
Mental Health Coalition Coordinatorsferguson@jfskc.org | 913-730-1452
Sarah Link Ferguson graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in International Studies. She has worked at an array of nonprofits, ranging from social services to the arts, in Lawrence and Kansas City since graduating from college. Sarah is passionate about mental health and reducing the stigma around mental illness in the Kansas City community. She is thrilled to be working with teens and school administrators on the You Be You teen mental health campaign, an initiative of the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition and SPEAK UP. Outside of work, Sarah is involved with numerous nonprofits in Kansas City including Jewish Vocational Services, where she serves on their young professionals board and Congregation Kol Ami, where she serves as Vice-President.
Older Adult Care Managerjfielder@jfskc.org | 913-730-1473
Jana is a Licensed Master Social Worker whose passion is working with older adults. She graduated from University of Nebraska with a Bachelor in Family Science and went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Jana spent 15 years working as a Service Coordinator in two affordable senior housing communities in the Kansas City area through Phoenix Family. Jana comes to Jewish Family Services with a wealth of resources for senior adults. Jana enjoys meeting new clients and connecting them with community resources to help them achieve independence and improve their quality of life.
Lauren Glass, LCSW
Licensed Therapistlglass@jfskc.org | 913-730-1414
Lauren Glass is a licensed clinical social worker in Kansas & Missouri. She completed both her BSW & MSW programs at Florida Atlantic University. Lauren has many years of experience working with older adults, children & families. She gravitates towards Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Solution Focused Therapy in her work with clients. Her favorite techniques to use involve breathing, mindful movement & other short meditative practices that clients can freely access whenever they need to no matter where they may go.
Director of Priya: A Fund for Jewish ReproductionAGlickman@jfskc.org | 913-735-9242
Annie received her B.A. in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies and her M.A. in Jewish Education from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She is a graduate of the Senior Educators Program of the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, teaching children and adults in both New York City and Dallas. As a recipient of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Seeds of Innovation grant, she founded Priya, meaning “fruitful” in Kansas City which is in partnership with Jewish Family Services and The Jewish Community Foundation. She also serves as Director of School Services for The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning.
Food Pantry Driverggomez@jfskc.org |
Jennifer Hawkins, LPC
Licensed Therapistjhawkins@jfskc.org | 913-730-1423
Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University and master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University. She has over 15 professional year’s experience working with children and adults. Her professional background includes a history with KCMC Head Start program as the mental health/disabilities manager, Truman Behavioral Health as a qualified mental health professional, Catholic Charities of KC-St. Joseph as the educational coordinator and therapist. Jennifer offers confidential and compassionate care to individuals, couples and families from a family systems and attachment style perspective. Professional Certifications: Licensed Professional Counselor, National Board of Certified Counselors, Stephen Ministry, Prepare/Enrich Facilitator (marriage).
Marketing Coordinatortherman@jfskc.org | 913-730-1469
Community Connector for TribeKCmolly@tribekc.org | 913-353-6779
With a Bachelors and a Masters in Art History, Molly spent six years working at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where she developed a vibrant teen program. Molly made the transition to Jewish non-profit in the fall of 2016 and hasn’t looked back. She has a passion for connecting young Jewish professional to new opportunities, to each other, and to Kansas City.
Susan D. Hurst
Director Family Life Educationshurst@jfskc.org | 913-327-8259
Susie is the Adolescent Specialist for C.H.A.I. (Channeling Healthy Adolescent Interaction). She offers preventive education workshops and individual consultations for adolescents, parents, educators and youth workers. In addition, she serves as the Director of Family Life Education, offering a variety of education and support programs across all age groups. Susie holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in Psychology from the University of Missouri Kansas City. She also attended the One Year Program of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Susie earned the local Jewish Teacher of the Year award and the national Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.
Volunteer Engagement Coordinatorvjohansen@jfskc.org | 913-327-8279
Vicki earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education at the University of Nebraska. Her professional background includes education, insurance sales, customer service and owning an employment service. She looks forward to connecting community members to meaningful volunteer opportunities and expanding the work JFS is able to do through volunteer engagement.
Program Coordinatorkjohnson@jfskc.org | 913-730-1749
Kelly G. Loeb
Older Adult Care Managerkloeb@jfskc.org | 913-327-8278
With a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri, Kelly loves both sides of the state line; but, will always call Los Angeles home. Prior to JFS, Kelly traveled the 105 counties of Kansas as an educator for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, helping Medicare beneficiaries understand and use their benefits. She’s worked as an outreach coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association – Heart of America Chapter, and fervently hopes for the day when Alzheimer’s disease is just a memory. During a favorite summer adventure in Antigua, Guatemala, she used her Spanish fluency to interview older adults about quality of life and to reminisce.
Lead Office Managercmyler@jfskc.org | 913-730-1451
Career Coachdschwartz@jfskc.org | 913-981-8814
Dana is a Career Coach for CSC. She designs and facilitates workshops and provides individualized coaching for clients offering a comprehensive as well as customized approach. This can result in a client reaching their career goal with greater control, confidence, and contribution. Dana brings many skills to her position including leadership coaching, client relations, performance consulting, curriculum design, facilitation, research and analysis, along with training & development capabilities. Dana has a M.S. from Loyola University Chicago and a B.A. in Psychology, Business concentration from Indiana University.
Food & Shelter Social Workermsnir@jfskc.org | 913-981-8816
Moshit started at JFS as an intern while getting her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Avila University. She was hired in 2018 as a Food and Shelter Social Worker and is excited to be joining JFS as a team member and engaging with clients.
Family Empowerment Coordinatorlstadler@jfskc.org | 913-730-1751
Laura has worked with individuals and families over the past 8 years in the areas of domestic violence, support for those experiencing mental illness, supportive services for children with disabilities and families that are in need of community referral support. Laura is joining the Food and Shelter team and will be in the role of our Family Empowerment Coordinator working with our families in the Shawnee Mission School District that are homeless or at high risk to be homeless. She has a degree in Human Services from Washburn University in Topeka.
Lead Community Handyman|
Seroj provides minor home repairs and computer troubleshooting. He holds bachelor degrees in math and English from the University of Kansas and is experienced in many facets of home construction and repair. Previously, he worked as a technical writer and process analyst for Sprint before leaving the company to start his own remodeling and handyman business.
Food Pantry Coordinatorsterwilliger@jfskc.org | 913-730-1475
Administrative Assistanthwilson@jfskc.org | 913-730-1469
Kesher KC Case Managerryost@jfskc.org | 913-730-1740
Ryan is pursuing a master’s degree in social work at the University of Kansas while continuing to work with Kesher KC clients at JFS. As a JFS intern, Ryan worked with Kesher KC clients as well as older adults in the Tech Connect pilot as part of his foundation practicum. Prior to JFS, he worked as a project manager and an emergency dispatcher.