March 2023 Volunteer Spotlight: Debbie Lieberman

Debbie Lieberman

Can you tell us about yourself and your background?

I’m in my second career, working in the non-profit sector as director of advocacy for Loaves and Fishes, a free meal program. Previously, I spent many years working in human resources, specifically as a compensation and survey analyst. I changed careers to work with people and not just data. I’m married to Bruce and am mom to three grown men, all of whom followed their careers to other cities. I just became Grami this year to a beautiful granddaughter.

I’ve been a volunteer since my high school days, finding numerous opportunities that have broadened my own world both in new experiences and the people I’ve come to know. I like to read and bake, walk and swim. And I always feel better after spending time outdoors.

What JFCS programs do you volunteer with and how long have you been volunteering with JFCS?

I started volunteering with Hag Sameach in 1998. I was a Jewish Big Sister (now called Jewish Youth Mentor) for a few years, starting in 2016. I started volunteering on JFCS’ community conference committees in 2017.

What does your current volunteer role consist of?

Currently, being a member of both the Keeping the Spirit Alive Caregivers Conference and Annual Conference on Mental Health planning committees, I work with the other members to plan and implement conferences open to the public each year. In addition, I work on sourcing and verifying applicable resources to share at each conference.

What motivated you to begin volunteering with JFCS? 

JFCS has been and continues to be a very important and needed social service agency in the Twin Cities, especially the programs for children and older adults, both demographic groups whose needs are important to me.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with JFCS and how has it impacted your life? 

The staff, volunteers and program participants have all added an important dimension to my life, one of caring, connection and support.

Do you have a memorable story about your JFCS volunteer experience to share?

While not one experience stands out, a number of experiences have taken me out of my comfort zone, encouraging me to grow and share in the pursuit of making the world a better place. While it might be difficult for one person to make a huge difference, I think giving your time and individual attention to another person will make a difference in their lives.

What would you say to someone who’s thinking of volunteering with JFCS?

Absolutely just do it, give it a try, and you’ll help to make the world a better place!

We hope you will join us for the Keeping the Spirit Alive Conference on Sunday, April 30, at Beth El Synagogue. Learn practical knowledge about navigating Alzheimer’s and dementia and how to care for the caregiver. Click here for more information and to register.

For more information about volunteering with JFCS, click here or contact Dana Shapiro, Community & Volunteer Engagement Manager at