After 25 years of helping people, Barbara says goodbye

By Barbara Rudnick • JFCS Family Life Education Program Manager


I will be retiring at the end of June. Having worked at JFCS for the last 25 years, I want to share with you some things I know for sure:


My work has given me the privilege of helping people during difficult times in their lives. What I know for sure is that even when dealing with sadness, loss, illness, and so many other challenging life situations, people are courageous in spite of their fears, find inner strength at their greatest moments of vulnerability, possess incredible resilience despite their pain and are determined and dedicated to do their healing work.


Having worked with families and our community on accepting, understanding and including interfaith families, LGBTQ folks and adults and children with disabilities, what I know for sure is that change is possible and our community has made major strides. Our “village” is more sensitive, inclusive and welcoming than it was 25 years ago. We are not perfect and the work needs to continue, but we can all feel proud of the accomplishments so far.


I have been part of the JFCS Crisis Response Team. This has been an incredibly humbling experience. Even though we hope that we are never called, sadly we have been needed in the Jewish and secular communities numerous times – and sadly, the need will continue. What I know for sure is that in a crisis, our community pulls together. Our differences become irrelevant, we work together and we support each other.


I have greatly admired and respected so many of the clients I have worked with. What I know for sure is that people want what’s best for those they love. Whether it’s raising children, being newly engaged or married/partnered for many years, caring for a loved one who is ill, helping a friend; people want to “do the right thing” and are willing to seek advice and help in order to gain understanding and learn new ways of doing things.


I have been fortunate to work with clergy and educators from every denomination in our community. What I know for sure is that our diversely talented clergy and educators care deeply about the entire community. This is not the case in other communities around the country and it is a blessing for all of us.


Twenty-five years is a long time and I have been so lucky to have worked with wonderful, talented colleagues and mentors who have supported, guided and encouraged me to grow both professionally and personally. As I embark on my next adventure, (and I don’t know what that is yet), what I know for sure is that change is exciting, scary and hard. But I am grateful to have had such a rich experience and I will always keep the heart of JFCS in my heart.


Hazak, Hazak, ve-Nit’Hazek – Be strong! Be strong! And let us strengthen one another!…….Barbara


Click here to read a Q&A with Barbara about her time at JFCS and what she enjoyed most about her position.