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Taking on a Big Role (with just a little anxiety…)
May 27, 2011
Taking on a Big Role (with just a little anxiety…)

Posted by Jackie Weinstein, JF&CS Board President

Just about week ago, I was installed as the President of the Board of Jewish Family & Children’s Service. It is a tremendous honor and privilege for me to be entrusted with this role but I have to admit to feeling more than a little bit nervous.

After all, my professional experience is as a litigation attorney, not a social worker or a human services expert. As is typical with the all-too-common phenomenon of “imposter syndrome,” the insecure part of my brain kept asking, “Do they know yet???” Thankfully, the more grounded and rational part reassured me that I wouldn’t have been asked to do a job for which I was unsuited or unqualified.

Over the past year, as President-Elect, I have become deeply engrossed in the workings of JF&CS and even more familiar with the agency’s most important asset: its staff. Although I have been a Board member for more than a decade, I am still consistently impressed and inspired by the exceptional work of this agency and the amazing people who run it. There is so much to learn but it is all so impressive.

I have also spent the past several months meeting personally with the 36 individual members of the Board of Directors of JF&CS - all bright, dedicated, and compassionate individuals who are deeply committed to our agency’s mission of improving people’s lives.

So what can I add? How will I make my own mark on an institution that has run innovative, outstanding programs and has served the vulnerable members of our community for more than a century and a half? I hope to help maintain continuity during the shift in executive leadership from Sy Friedland to Rimma Zelfand in October so that JF&CS transitions seamlessly and without missing a beat. Our agency has long prided itself on the unique partnership that exists between executive and lay leadership and I am confident that relationship will continue to prosper and grow. I look forward to leading our Board to govern the agency with even more thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and strategic wisdom as we implement an ambitious and exciting new strategic plan. And I will try to make the best possible use of my occasional jitters by fully embracing the challenge to make JF&CS stronger and more successful than ever before. I can’t wait.

Jackie Weinstein has served on the JF&CS Board since 2000, taking on an increasingly important leadership role at the agency that earned her the President’s Award in 2010. With a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from New York University School of Law, Jackie practiced law in New York City for 10 years, including a partnership at Alkalay, Handler & Robbins.

At JF&CS Jackie is currently chair of both the JF&CS Disabilities Committee and the Board Governance Committee and serves as a member of the Executive Committee and the Nominating Committee. In addition, Jackie served on the 2012-2014 Strategic Planning Committee and she and her husband Alan co-chaired the 2007 CHAI Event.

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