At the Annual Meeting in June, Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven welcomed five new members to its Board of Directors. Renee Drell, Jill Nathanson, Marni Smith Katz, Melanie Rausch, and Hedda Rubenstein bring a diverse set of skills and experience to the agency. JFS looks forward to having their knowledge, expertise and positive outlook as part of the family.
Renee Drell has spent her entire professional career in the not for profit sector. For the recent 10 years she was the Executive Director for HomeSharing, a social service agency that prevents homelessness by providing shared affordable housing to those seeking affordable housing and also to those who want to share their homes for additional income so that they can remain living in their home. She holds an MSW and a CSW. Her professional experience in Fund Raising, Event Planning, Board and Committee Development, Financial Management, and Advertising/Promotion will be very beneficial to JFS as a whole.
Jill Nathanson, a Hamden native, comes to JFS with knowledge of environmental issues. She is currently a member of the Hamden Tree Commission and Buy Green Realty Network, and is well-versed in energy efficiency and sustainable development. Jill graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Clinical Psychology and has experience as a foster care case worker. Her further education with the Professional Business Institute in Hamden adds to her versatility and JFS is already seeing Jill’s dedication as she volunteered this summer at the Food Pantry assisting clients.
Marni Smith Katz, a Woodbridge resident, comes to JFS as a seasoned non-profit board member who strives to give back to the community. Her experience includes six years on the executive board of Temple Beth Sholom and the Development Committee of Camp Ramah. Marni is currently the Manager of Business at Quick Center of the Arts in Fairfield and has experience as Development Director at Westport Arts Center and Ezra Academy. Marni has a great understanding of the nature of non-profits and brings a wealth of experience to our board.
Melanie Rausch is originally from Maine and has been practicing law in Hartford, Connecticut since 2006. She specializes in Non-Profit Law and Affordable Housing Development along with other specialties. She has served on the CT Senate Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights, on other local non-profit boards and been active in various Jewish organizations including the Jewish Federation of New Haven. Melanie is well-versed in the logistics of non-profit work and the agency is excited to have her talent on the board.
Hedda Rubenstein of Branford is a retired human resources executive, who has served in positions for corporations such as Otis Elevator, United Technologies, and Aetna. She comes to JFS with 15 years of prior board experience at the Neighborhood Music School, and previously served as their president. As a musician with a bright personality, Hedda is very involved in our local community, performing regularly with the Klemzer Ensemble, the Nu Haven Kapelye, and Congregation Mishkan Israel.
JFS is very grateful to all five board members and welcomes them to the JFS family.