Jewish service groups joining forces, creating new network

Two international Jewish service organizations to which Jewish Family & Career Services belongs have announced they are combining to create a new organization.

For many years, JFCS has been a member of the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies (AJFCA) and the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services (IAJVS). In fact, local lay leaders Shelton Weber and Jane Goldstein have served as presidents of AJFCA, while Judy Freundlich Tiell has been president of the IAJVS.

Separately, AJFCA and IAJVS have provided JFCS access to networks of providers across North America and the world. They also offered grant opportunities that JFCS could not have pursued alone. For examples, the Mazon project for senior food insecurity came through AJFCA, and the Gateway Jobs Program came through IAJVS.

Now, the two entities are coming together to create the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, an international trade association for Jewish vocational and family groups as well as other Jewish human service agencies. Reuben Rotman, formerly executive director of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey, has been name the new entity’s CEO.

Judy Freundlich Tiell

Judy Freundlich Tiell

According to Tiell, executive director of JFCS, the new network will continue to provide the “value” on which her organization has come to rely while bringing other organizations into the network and create countless opportunities as well.

Tiell played a role in the consolidation. During her IAJVS presidency, she initiated a conversation among member agencies of AJFCA and IAJVS about joining forces. The meetings she co-chaired underscored the similar challenges and needs of the two entities, and the possibility of creating a new trade association that would be a leader in the human service and Jewish worlds.

These discussions were OK’d by the boards of both associations, leading to a formal consolidation process.

Tiell served as the first co-chair of the steering committee along with Jim Kahn, a past president of the JFCS in Philadelphia. The steering committee has been working with consultants on the project for nearly two years.

“Working with my colleagues from around the country, plus Canada and Israel, has been an amazing experience,” Tiell said. “We have put aside any differences, focused on creating a meaningful, relevant and sustainable organization and have been able to develop powerful relationships.”

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