The JCFS Associates Board: Engaging the Next Generation

JCFS Chicago Associates Board

The JCFS Chicago Associates Board is a dedicated and enthusiastic group of young professionals that are passionate about strengthening the Chicagoland community. Directed and organized by Marisa Smith, Senior Development Officer at JCFS Chicago, the Associates Board promotes the work of JCFS, while striving to help redefine what’s possible in service of the social and emotional well-being of children, teens, adults, and families. We are proud of the Board and their accomplishments and look forward to highlighting their development.

Over the past year, the Associates Board defined their priorities and made a commitment to volunteer their time and resources to benefit the welfare of the community. Through advocacy, leadership development, fundraising, volunteerism, and service projects, the Board hopes to act as ambassadors, encouraging younger generations to become more involved with JCFS. “We believe in the importance of social service and giving back to the community. We are proud to become ambassadors for the next generation of JCFS leaders and are excited to share everything we have in store,” says co-chair Karly Worth.

In November, after learning about the foster care and family support services at JCFS, the Associates Board planned a fundraising event which raised more than $5,000.

“We’re proud to work with JCFS, which does so much to keep our community active and strong. We’re excited to engage our generation and give back to the community we grew up in.” -Rebecca Friedman, Associates Board Co-Chair

To engage in meaningful volunteer opportunities, the Associates Board started working with Joshua Rosen, Development Associate, Volunteers and In-Kind Giving at JCFS. Their first opportunity involves volunteering twice a month for Shabbat dinners at Heichal, part of our Residential Supports program, and home to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Hosted by the residents, the first dinner was held at the beginning of March. Two Associates Board members, Rebecca Friedman and Adam Ketai, led Kiddush, while the residents prepared and cooked dinner. The night was filled with socializing, Jewish enrichment, and all-around fun. More dinners are planned, and both the Associates Board and the Heichal residents are excited about continuing to come together as a community.

In their upcoming meeting, the Board will learn more about Response for Teens, which provides support, counseling, education, and many resources to teens and their families. Moving forward, the Board will continue to support JCFS and develop as community influencers.


JCFS Associates Board members at their inaugural fundraising event. Pictured top left to right: Mari Weiss, Caroline Schwartz, Adam Ketai, Sarah Dorfman, Becca Friedman, Karly Worth. Bottom left to right: Sammie Klein, Casey Richter, Stephanie Keeshin, Morgan Bartelstein.