JF&CS News Fall 2012

Klickstein Family"Busy people get things done," said JF&CS supporter Barry Klickstein. "It's the busiest people who have the capacity and time to help." Barry knows what he's talking about. He and his wife Linda have built a life around family, work, travel, and community service that would leave most of us breathless.

Barry, who grew up in Marblehead, is a partner in a large Boston law firm's commercial litigation department. Linda, from Swampscott, works as a travel agent. The couple, married at 21 when Barry got out of the army, has two children, two grandsons, and a wide circle of family and friends on the North Shore. They travel the world, most recently visiting Vietnam and Cambodia. They are also JF&CS Board Members and active volunteers.

Despite their intense schedules, Barry and Linda have contributed hours of their time, talents, and resources to helping others. It's a family tradition that began with Barry's grandmother, Bessie. Soon after she came to the US from Russia around 1915, Bessie worked with local women to found Jewish Family Service of the North Shore, making sure families had enough food, money for rent, and other basics.

"My grandmother was a very important part of my connection to my community. She was a deeply religious woman who believed in the value of tzedakah," said Barry. "We grew up seeing it was part of the fabric of our lives."

Both of his parents were board members of JFS, and Barry served as president of the board of directors in the 1980s, as a board member of the North Shore Federation, and as treasurer.

Linda was invited to become a board member of JFS North Shore when their children were young and for many years has served as an empathetic volunteer, dynamic fundraiser, and savvy event planner. When JF&CS introduced its award-winning Lauren and Mark Rubin Visiting Moms® program on the North Shore, Linda quickly offered her help. She was one of the first women trained and is the first to have a client. This is partly due to her giving nature and partly because the mission of Visiting Moms – to help new mothers make the adjustment to parenting – resonates with her. She remembers that as a new mom she lived in New York without local family and "a husband who worked six to seven days a week."

"I surrounded myself with friends and I managed, but it was lonely. It would have been wonderful to have something like this. This is perfect for me. I'm now a mother and a grandmother; I have something to pass along," she said. "I think Visiting Moms is a fantastic program for the North Shore. It will grow as more women are trained and more mothers in need come forward."

Barry was called back to JFS in the 1990s when the agency was going through difficult times. When JFS North Shore and JF&CS merged last year, Linda joined the JF&CS Board of Advocates and Barry joined the JF&CS Board of Directors. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Jewish Family and Children's Agencies where he is now finishing a two-year term.

"The mission of JF&CS is a fundamental part of our Jewish tradition – to take care of those in the community that require help," said Barry. "We're facing very challenging times. We need to be nimble and responsive and continue to provide a safety net for needy and disabled people, to be aware of new services where needed, and to maintain a constituency of people who believe in that."

Every month the couple spends one Sunday at JF&CS Family Table, the largest kosher food pantry in eastern Massachusetts, packing bags of groceries and making deliveries. "To physically bring the food that the community has provided puts a human face on everything we do," said Barry. "I enjoy my work but it doesn't give me the same internal sense of doing good that working for JF&CS does. It gives you a glow inside that lasts for days."

For more information, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or email your questions via our contact us page.