From March 14, 2014 edition of www.jstandard.com “Community Service” by Joanne Palmer

There are times when a person’s background, training, aptitude, and passion —in fact, her entire life — make her a perfect fit for a job.

imageAnd there is a time when an agency has to reevaluate, reorient, and perhaps even reinvent itself.

When the person and the agency come together, the future beckons.

In this case, the person is Susan Greenbaum, and the agency is Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson.

As of March 5, Ms. Greenbaum, who lives in Teaneck, is JFS’s new executive director. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Ms. Greenbaum grew up in Lynn, a crumbling industrial town north of Boston. Her parents sent her to a “tiny little day school, which is now called the Eli and Bessie Cohen Hillel Academy, in Swampscott,” she said. And it really was tiny — her grade at its peak had eight students, and it was the school’s largest. Once she had graduated and moved to the local public high school, she went to the Prozdor afterschool program in what was then called Hebrew Teachers College. Growing up in a town with few Jews, she made her deepest Jewish connections at camp. “Camp did it for me,” she said.

Her next stop was Brandeis University. “It was like going to camp,” she said, fondly. (To be fair, many students say that. Many say it with great fondness. Others don’t.) Junior year was at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. When she graduated from Brandeis, she went to Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work on a full scholarship. The terms of the scholarship called for two years of work at a JCC.

Read the full article in the Jewish Standard Online Edition

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