Updates at JFS from our CEO & President, Jennie I. Schaff

JFS Announces New President/CEO


ROCHESTER, NY- Jewish Family Service of Rochester, NY is pleased to announce that Jennie Goldman Schaff has been chosen by its board of directors as the new President/CEO.  Schaff, an educator, nonprofit leader, and avid social justice advocate will take the helm on September 1, 2018, replacing Janet Sunkin who is retiring after a forty-year long career at JFS, serving as its President/CEO since 2007. 
JFS Board of Directors Chair Elyse Gilman said Schaff is the ideal person to continue JFS’s dedicated work assisting people in need with person-centered social services throughout our community.  Sunkin notes, “Jennie Schaff is a passionate leader and tireless advocate who will bring great integrity to JFS’s important community work.  As JFS of Rochester approaches its milestone 100th anniversary, I can think of no stronger visionary to begin the next phase of our work using dignity and kindness to create a better community”.
Schaff grew up in the Rochester community and after earning her bachelor's and master’s degrees in Physical Therapy from Simmons College and her Ph.D. in education from George Mason University returned to her hometown to raise her family.  She has worked as an associate professor at Nazareth College for the past 13 years where her research and writing has focused on topics including social justice and civic engagement, bullying, discrimination and harassment, inclusion and disabilities, and engaging and empowering youth.
In the Rochester community, Schaff has served on many Boards of Directors including The Jewish Community Center, The ARC of Monroe County, and Young Women’s College Prep.  Additionally, Jennie has served on The Jewish Federation CHAI Committee, has led multiple trips with college students, Holocaust survivors and community members to Germany and Poland in an effort to study The Holocaust, co-chaired the first Jewish Federation Ramim program pairing American and Israeli young professionals and chaired The 100 Year Project run through The Jewish Federation.  Jennie is an active member of the Greater Rochester Community and Rochester Jewish Community who in her free time has inspired civic engagement among her three children (ages 16, 14 & 9) and their friends by organizing youth-led campaigns in the aftermath of natural disasters.  Most recently, following Hurricane Harvey, she coordinated a group of over twenty kids ages X – 21 in the planning and implementation of a barbeque fundraiser to support victim relief.  Within just a three-week span, this group had successfully rallied the support of numerous local food providers to donate components of a barbeque meal that they assembled and sold, generating over $13,000 in revenue.  This was Schaff’s third such youth-led natural disaster relief effort.  She is excited to begin her new position at Jewish Family Service!