Posted by Jon Federman
In the late 1940’s, David Rosen was a student at the Boston University School of Social Work. He did his first student placement at the JF&CS youth office in the west end of Boston, doing field work with teens. He had just completed three and a half years in the army, including serving in the 82nd Airborne, liberating a German labor camp at the end of WWII. He recalls his first case at JF&CS when he was assigned to a teenage boy. He asked his supervisor what to do. “She said that the kid liked horror movies. So off we went to see some horror movies.”
More than six decades later, David Rosen has returned to JF&CS, this time as a participant at the JF&CS Memory Café in Waltham. Instead of going to movies, David gets to meet with renown artists who bring cultural programming to JF&CS while he and others experiencing memory changes enjoy coffee and conversation with new friends, including students from Brandeis University. “One [meeting was led by] a dancer, and I used to enjoy going to the ballet. I enjoyed it very much,” says David.
The youngest of four brothers, David was born and raised in Boston’s west end, near today’s Massachusetts General Hospital. He graduated from Boston Latin High School and followed his brother to college at Ohio State, from which he graduated in 1942. He credits WWII with temporarily saving him from figuring out what he wanted to do with his life after graduation.
Upon his return home from the army, he enrolled at the BU School of Social Work and started his placement at JF&CS. His first job after graduating from the BU program was in Chicago, at the Max Straus Jewish Community Center.
There, David met a young woman named Frances from Chicago’s west side. She was his boss’s secretary. He received a telephone call from her one day asking if he would be attending a UJA dinner that evening. Boldly, he asked if she would be there. She replied that she would, and he asked if they could do something after. David and Frances were married for more than 60 years and had four children. Unfortunately, Frances passed away two years ago. David is quick to note that he and his brothers had nine wives between them, two of his brothers having been married three times. He proudly proclaims that he was happy with his one wife.
After spending 20 years in Chicago, David’s colleagues started moving into academia. Needing a PhD, he applied to post-graduate programs. He was accepted to the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis. There he received his PhD and Frances became the Registrar. An internship at CJP resulted in a job offer and David was relieved that he wouldn’t have to uproot his family again. He started as CJP's Director of Planning and later he became its Executive Vice President.
Having come full circle at JF&CS, from a caseworker in the late 1940's to a Memory Cafe participant in 2014, David offers his opinion on his current connection with JF&CS: "I enjoy it very much."
Jon Federman is the JF&CS Staff Writer. A practicing attorney for more than 15 years, he is thrilled to bring his legal and persuasive writing skills to the JF&CS Marketing Communications department. Jon has a BA from Tufts University and a JD from Boston College Law School. In his spare time he is an exhibiting photographer and an award-winning cartoonist. Jon lived in London, England for five years before returning to Boston in 2011.