Volunteer Spotlight – March 2021: Judy Witebsky

This month’s featured volunteer is Judy Witebsky, who is one of the original founders of the “Keeping the Spirit Alive” Caregiver Conference that JFCS co-hosts. This year’s caregiver conference will be held virtually on Sunday, May 2. For more information on the event, click here!

What’s your current volunteer role at JFCS – and in what ways have you volunteered with JFCS in the past? 

I am on the 2021 “Keeping the Spirit Alive” Caregiver Conference planning committee, and also serving on the volunteers sub-committee. I have co-chaired the volunteer sub-committee with Marie Levitus for past conferences. I was a speaker at the Annual Mental Health Education Conference, along with Rita Kelner, talking about Alzheimer’s and caregiving. I have also helped to bag holiday gifts for the Hag Sameach program.

How long have you been volunteering with JFCS?

I have been part of the “Keeping the Spirit Alive” Caregiver Conference planning committee for four conferences and have volunteered with JFCS in other ways since 2013.

What motivated you to volunteer with JFCS?

Rita Kelner and I really wanted to have a caregivers conference for those caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease. We brought the idea to JFCS and the Twin Cities Jewish Community Alzheimer’s Task Force. The task force was supported by JFCS, and the decision was made to sponsor the conference.

Tell us about your volunteer experience with JFCS.

I have co-chaired the “Keeping the Spirit Alive” Conference twice. It was a wonderful experience co-chairing with Rita Kelner. We came up with the idea after attending the Annual Mental Health Education Conference. We were session speakers that year and thought we could have a similar conference for caregivers of those living with dementia. After co-chairing for two years, I served on the planning committee for two more years, including this year’s conference.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with JFCS?

I love making an impact on people that can change their lives in a positive way. More than 1,000 people have attended the conference over the years and it has impacted many more families and caregivers.

Anything else to share?

I enjoy working with JFCS staff and other volunteers.

Please join the “Keeping the Spirit Alive” Caregivers Conference on May 2. It’s free and open to ALL – register here!

For more information about becoming a JFCS volunteer, contact Dana Shapiro, Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator & Intake Counselor, at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org or 952-417-2112 or click here.