Posted by JF&CS
We sat down with Gail Schulman, our new CEO, to learn more about her and what drew her to JF&CS.
Why did you decide to work in human services after working in high-tech for over 20 years?
It sounds corny, but I really want to make a difference in the world. I feel blessed in many ways, and I want to use my talents to improve people’s lives. At the end of the day, there is nothing more important.
What drew you to JF&CS?
JF&CS’s reach is extraordinary—where else can you help babies, older adults, people with disabilities, and those struggling with poverty all under one roof? I especially appreciate the innovation and the heart embedded in the programs. JF&CS isn’t just a social services agency; it’s a place with emotions, relationships, and soul. I do think that heart comes at least partly from JF&CS’s foundation in Jewish values, which are core to my own life. I feel inspired by the agency even at this early stage, and I hope I can inspire others as well.
Which JF&CS program, initiative, or event are you particularly excited about?
My early enthusiasm focused on Family Table and Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms® because of my own experiences—as a volunteer for Family Table, and as a recipient of support by a Rubin Visiting Mom. Now that I'm on board, I love that our CHAI Works day and employment program for adults with disabilities is right in our building, reminding us of our mission every day. In fact, every time I encounter a new program, I get a renewed jolt of inspiration.
What are you most looking forward to as CEO?
I'm looking forward to having an impact. JF&CS does life-changing work in so many areas. I’m excited to play a key role to enable that work.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
That a key part of leading is creating a forum where people trust each other and will share their ideas openly. Leaders have access to deep knowledge through employees, volunteers, recipients of services and the community, and there's truth in that age-old story that we have two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Our work at JF&CS is to make sure that we constantly listen to the needs of the community, and that our services evolve to meet those needs.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like spending time with my two eighteen-year-olds and my husband. I also like to run. I’m training for a marathon in February, so if you see me hobbling around, you’ll know why my legs are tired.
Recommend a book.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
If you’re interested in getting involved with JF&CS, visit our Volunteering page!