Services include community-based geriatric services, family counseling, crisis intervention, case management, child-centered mental health services, school consultations and domestic violence services, including but not limited to:
- Initial Consultation to Determine Needs
- Individual, Family, Marital, Group and Play Therapy
- Workshops and Discussion Groups on Topics of Concern
- Information and Referral
- Services for Special Populations – older adults, victims of domestic violence, children with special needs, holocaust survivors
- Casework, Crisis Intervention, and Home Visits
- Vocational Counseling
- Food Pantry
- Speakers Bureau – Community presentations available on a wide range of topics
Esther East, Executive Director
Dr. Mary Askew
Priya Bacchus, LCSW
Priya Bacchus graduated with her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University. She is skilled in a broad range of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral (DBT), Psycho-dynamic therapies, Family therapy, and mindfulness-based strategies. Priya has many years of trauma and crisis intervention experience with individuals exposed to domestic violence and sexual violence. She has worked with a large variety of populations including children, adolescents, adults, and families.
She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaina Bodenheim, LSW
SHAINA BODENHEIM, LSW
Shaina Bodenheim graduated from NYU’s School of Social Work, where she concentrated her training around issues pertaining to the geriatric population. Before joining JFS as the on-site coordinator of the Sequoia program, Mrs. Bodenheim worked for the Manhattan branch of Self Help Community Services Nazi Victims’ Program, a Claims Conference funded program whose objective is to assist Holocaust Survivors in securing European reparations and other grants that cover medical expenses. During her time there, Mrs. Bodenheim completed training in the areas of dementia and cognitive impairments. As part of a team of case managers, she also planned and oversaw regular social gatherings and events for seniors. She brings to Sequoia this valuable experience, as well as her love of working with older adults.
She can be reached at email@example.com
Tova Brody, LCSW
INTAKE AND CLINICIAN SERVICES
Tova Brody is a graduate of the Rutgers University School of Social Work. As an intake assistant, Tova is one of the first professionals to interact with incoming clients, partnering with them to help find their best therapeutic match. Tova has experience working individually with children, adolescents, adults, and families. She treats clients coping with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-esteem issues, trauma, and family challenges. Her background includes training in a broad range of therapeutic modalities, including CBT, DBT, play, narrative, and psychodynamic therapies. Tova also participates in Project S.A.R.A.H. and the Magen Yeladim (Aleinu) Safety Kid program, speaking to a variety of audiences on topics such as domestic violence, child safety, and healthy relationships. Tova brings warmth and compassion to her work with clients. Her empathic approach empowers clients to build emotional resilience and meet their individual needs.
She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Abbie has been working with Project Chizuk since its inception in 2008. Project Chizuk is a community program with Jewish Family Service that arose in response to an increase in unemployment in the community due to the severe economic situation. In 1999, Abbie began the Vocational Department at Jewish Family Services and later became the Director of Vocational Service for YACHAD and the National Jewish Counsel for Disabilities. Abbie has held previous positions as an Employment Specialist at Northampton Community College, Program Coordinator at 70001, and a Personnel Employee at Maimonides Medical Center. Abbie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and has also been trained in employment counseling, interviewing skills, and job placement by the New York State Employment Agency.
She can be reached via email at Abbie@ProjectChizuk.com
Nancy Cohen, MSW
Nancy is a graduate of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University where she earned her masters degree in social work. Nancy brings over 10 years of case management experience in a wide variety of settings with various populations. At JFS, Nancy assists clients who are in crisis. She helps her clients obtain government and private resources in order to maximize their entitlements. Nancy is also a Peer Leader Trainer for the workshop ‘Take Control of your Health” which is a government funded program.
She can be reached via email at email@example.com
Tamar Danzger, LCSW
Tamar graduated from New York University with her masters in Social Work. Tamar has experience with individual and family therapy and is skilled in therapy for both children and adults. Tamar likes to use therapy techniques that are eclectic, drawing on cognitive behavioral, dialectical, narrative, psychodynamic, positive and humanistic psychology and more. Tamar has lived in several countries and cultures, and she is fluent in English, Hebrew and Russian.
She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Toni Freni, MS, BC-DTR
Toni Freni, MS, BC-DTR, is a masters level, Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist and Psychotherapist with 30 years of professional experience. She is a graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York and has worked extensively in both inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities and hospitals. For 11 years, Toni worked in a Pediatric Oncology/Hematology Psychosocial Program, providing Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy services. Toni joined PALS (Domestic Violence Program) in JFS as a therapist in 2008, where she works with all age groups to provide family, group and individual therapy. She has additional training in mind/body approaches, stress reduction, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques. Her experience includes work with children with special needs and children with a history of trauma.
She can be reached at email@example.com
Rochelle Glatter, LCSW
Rochelle graduated from New York University with Masters’ degree in Social Work and Public Administration, as well as a Master’s Degree in General Theoretical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Rochelle incorporates psychodynamic and cognitive approaches, while collaborating with clients to best serve their needs. She has extensive experience working with adolescents, adults, families and couples. Rochelle’s compassionate demeanor and commitment to her clients allows her to skillfully assist them in meeting their treatment goals.
Rochelle has completed several training programs, including:
Two years of post- Graduate training in relational counseling at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. Emotionally Focused Therapy Training Externship Program, June 2015
40 Hour Rachel Coalition Domestic Violence Training Program, June 2014
Take Control of Your Health certified Peer Leader, December 2013
Magen Yeladim Child Safety Program certified instructor, December 2013
She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gali Goodman, LSW, MSEd
Lauren Halpern-Klahr, LCSW
Lauren Halpern-Klahr is a graduate of the Touro University School of Social Work. Her background includes training in a broad range of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral (DBT), play, narrative, and psychodynamic therapies. Lauren enjoys working with clients from all different backgrounds and walks of life, and has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. As a certified Sibshops facilitator, Lauren runs the Sibshops program at JFS, which provides siblings of children with special needs an opportunity to meet other siblings, have fun, laugh, play games and talk about the positive aspects, as well as challenges, of having a sibling with special needs. Lauren also facilitates multiple-family social skills groups and works as a certified peer leader for the “Take Control of Your Health Groups”. Additionally, she participates in Project S.A.R.A.H. and the Magen Yeladim Safety Kid program. Lauren brings warmth and fun to her sessions, which helps her connect with her clients and tackle their individual needs.
She can be reached via email at email@example.com
Martha Hay, LSW
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shani Hochstadter, LAC
Shani Hochstadter graduated from the Touro Graduate School Mental Health counseling program with a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling. She currently holds A license in NJ. Shani has experience working with individuals, couples, and families. She has training in a variety of approaches including CBT, DBT, The Nurtured Heart Approach, and other Psychodynamic approaches and theories. Shani uses empathy and warmth to connect with her clients and help them get in touch with themselves to grow and find peace. She uses a client centered approach and works with the client to find the modality or combination of modalities to best help them.
Shani is a project SARAH team member and specializes in working with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. She also co-facilitates the women’s support group for project SARAH for women in challenging or abusive relationships. Shani often speaks and gives trainings on behalf of project SARAH in the community educating, creating awareness, and promoting preventative tactics for domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Batsheva Hofman, LSW
Batsheva Hofman graduated Summa Cum Laude from Long Island University’s School of Social Work. Batsheva has experience working individually with children, adolescents and adults, as well as with families. She treats clients coping with anxiety, depression, trauma, illness, learning disabilities, self-esteem issues and family challenges. Batsheva partners with her clients in helping them access their strengths to build emotional resilience and regain life vitality. Her empathic approach empowers clients to work through their challenges. She has training in CBT, DBT, IFS and psychodynamic therapies.
She can be reached at email@example.com
Suzanne Miller, LCSW
Mrs. Miller graduated from Simmons College in 1966 with a Master’s degree in Social Work and she brings almost 50 years of experience with families and children to her clients. She has expertise in working within the educational system and has done extensive advocacy and counseling for families in the special education area. A gifted supervisor, with training in many treatment modalities, Mrs. Miller also coordinates the special needs advisory committee.
She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Zipora Levi, LSW
She can be reached at email@example.com
Shlomo Ovadia, LSW
He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Pollack, LSW
Rachel graduated from Columbia University School of Social Work, where she focused her studies on the elderly population. She has since worked in hospice, as well as with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. She brings additional experience as a life coach to JFS, where she specializes in the elderly population and those living with chronic illness. Rachel enjoys working in such a caring and collaborative environment that allows her to help foster change on a daily basis.
Shira Pomrantz, LCSW
Shira Pomrantz is a graduate of the Rutgers University School of Social Work. She has extensive training in the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model which is an empowering and nonjudgmental approach of psychotherapy. She is experienced in working with children, adolescents, and adults in the context of both family and individual sessions. As a family therapist for PALS (Domestic Violence Program), Shira helps youth and their families recover from past traumatic experiences and build healthier family relationships. She co-created and coordinates the M&M Social Skills and Bullying Prevention school programs, which were developed to address religious and cultural sensitivities. Shira also serves as an educator for Project S.A.R.A.H., speaking to a variety of audiences on topics such as domestic violence, healthy relationships, and child safety. Fluent in Spanish and English, Shira adds the warmth, creativity, and emotional sensitivity required to help address her clients’ social, emotional, and behavioral needs.
She can be reached via email at email@example.com
Anne Marie Ramos, LCSW
DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES
REGISTERED PLAY THERAPIST & SUPERVISOR
Anne Marie Ramos has 32 years of post-Master’s degree experience working with families and children in a variety of settings, including family service agencies, mental health, and school settings. In her role as Director of Children’s Services, she provides clinical supervision to staff and interns and administers weekly skills training programs on play therapy, parent training, and CBT/DBT skills with adults and children. Additionally, she advises schools on childrens’ needs, and most recently she has developed and implemented Multiple Family Groups for Social Skills for boys and girls aged 7-12. She is the Clinical Coordinator of PALS (Domestic Violence Program) for children, which is run in conjunction with the Passaic County Women’s Center.
She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yisroel Reich, MS LAC
He is a National Certified Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Shragi Reiss, MS LPC
Hila Revah, LCSW
Hila graduated with her Masters in Social Work from Touro College. She uses an eclectic and psychodynamic approach in her sessions. Every session is geared toward to the client’s specific needs and some of the therapeutic modalities include: Dialectical Behavioral therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), and Internal Family Systems (IFS). Hila uses mindfulness-based as well as strengths based approaches. She has worked with individuals exposed to domestic violence, sexual abuse, and specializes in substance use as well as self esteem issues. She has worked with a large variety of populations in different stages and ages, including adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Hila is a Project S.A.R.A.H. presenter, and she trains and presents preventative safety programs in schools, camps, and synagogues.
She can be reached via email at email@example.com
Dr. Harvey Rice, MD
Dr. Rice is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and has completed residencies in child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. He served in the U.S. Public Health Service and was stationed at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. While at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington D.C., he worked on the adult acute care service, the psychiatric emergency room, the Area D Community Mental Health Center. He has served for many years as a psychiatric consultant to Gallaudet University. Additionally, he was the Chief Medical Officer at D.C. General Hospital, as well as the Director of the Consultation Liaison Service and Renal Dialysis and Kidney Transplant Program. Recently, he completed a fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry at the Beth Israel Hospital, University Hospital and Manhattan Campus for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.
At JFS, Dr. Rice is directing a new program for geriatric psychiatric services . The program’s approach is comprehensive, personalized and evidenced based, with an emphasis on maintaining good health and general well-being for our senior clients.
Pearl Ricklis, LCSW
DIRECTOR OF GERIATRICS, SUPERVISOR OF SEQUOIA WELLNESS CENTER, SUPERVISING CLINICIAN
Pearl earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University in 1973. Before coming to JFS, Pearl worked as the Director of Social Services at the Geriatric Center of Workmen’s Circle in Elizabeth, NJ.
At JFS, Pearl counsels on marital issues, domestic violence and parental guidance on both group and individual bases. She sees clients with depression, anxiety, phobias and other challenges. Pearl acts as a supervisor to the social work interns, administers the Holocaust survivor grant and coordinates the Klara Markowitz Kosher Meals on Wheels program. In the past, Pearl has run the bereavement support group and the support group for children caring for elderly parents.
Pearl enoys working at JFS because she feels this is a place where miracles happen. The environment at JFS is molded by the intelligent, caring and capable therapists and Pearl loves the support of her fellow co-workers as they all work towards the common goal of helping their clients attain their goals.
Pearl wants to help her clients achieve their goals and function well in their lives. She is exhilarated by the progress she sees in her clients and is touched by the transformations she is privileged to witness. She finds that every day is meaningful and she feels fortunate that her dreams of having a meaningful career turned into her reality.
Thalia Sanchez, LAC
Peter Schessler, LCSW
Peter Schessler is an experienced therapist, with over thirty–five years of practice in Jewish communal service agencies. He is trained in the understanding of personality development as well as the dynamics of marital and relationship interactions. Peter has had many years of providing clinical supervision for students and professional staff. In addition he has been responsible for conducting in-service training seminars within agency based practice. As component of his fifteen year private practice in Bloomfield, Peter was a clinical consultant for a hospital based mental health department and a free standing mental health agency.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carmit Schmutter, MSW
COMMUNITY CASE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM – SOMAICH ACHIM SUPERVISOR
Carmit graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. from Yeshiva University in 1994 and Summa Cum Laude with an MSW from Wurzweiler School of Social Work in 2000. Carmit brings over 13 years of experience in crisis intervention with families and children. She has worked with a large variety of populations including geriatrics, minorities and inpatient psychiatric clients and she has done extensive support work and advocacy on behalf of many local families. In addition to supervising the Somaich Achim Community Case Management Program, Carmit handles her own caseload of clients, works as a certified presenter for the Aleinu Child Safety Program and participates in other Project S.A.R.A.H. awareness programs. Carmit has served on several JFS committees and is instrumental in coordinating events, obtaining grants for clients and fundraising for the agency.
She can be reached via email at email@example.com
Rebecca Schochet, LSW
Rebecca comes to us with over a decade of experience in the helping profession. Immediately prior to her arrival at JFS, Rebecca served with distinction at Alaris Health at Rochelle Park, where she assisted residents and liasoned on their behalf with the medical and support staff. She has extensive experience in the Medicare and Medicaid programs (including Social Security benefits). Upon graduation from Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University in 2004, Rebecca worked at Mt Sinai Hospital in Queens as a discharge Social Worker, ensuring the safe re-acclimation to the community for patients. In both positions, Rebecca was awarded “Employee of the Month.”
At JFS, Rebecca serves on our case management team as well as serving as a Support Coordinator for the Division of Development Disabilities assisting individuals with disabilities to access services as well as providing a warm and supportive process for their families.
Rabbi Selengut, LSW
A graduate of Touro College School of Social Work, Rabbi Selengut has extensive experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), supportive therapy and play therapy. Rabbi Selengut joined the JFS team after two decades working as an educator and dean of students in Jewish education. He has experience working with children and adults struggling with depression, anxiety, social issues, OCD, ADHD, anger management and relationship/marriage issues to help meet their treatment goal.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allison Spranger, MA
CLINICIAN, CASE MANAGER
Allison received her Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. A member of the JFS staff since 2012, Allison specializes in treating children and adolescents using a variety of modalities. She is a facilitator for the Social Skills – Multiple Family Groups offered at JFS. Allison uses her background in forensics to provide therapeutic services to juveniles involved in the justice system. She manages the Homeless Prevention Grant and works as a case manager for our Somaich Achim program, helping clients gain access to much needed resources.
She can be reached at email@example.com
Elke Stein, LCSW
DIRECTOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ABUSE SERVICES
Elke obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University in 1999. She brings years of experience in the field of family violence to JFS. Elke has been the director of Project S.A.R.A.H.(Stop Abusive Relationships At Home) since 2000 and has facilitated the growth of the program to a statewide, federally funded national model for serving undeserved populations. She is a recipient of the Wynona M. Lipman Empowerment Award for her work with abused women. She has been trained as a forensic examiner in Child First/Finding Words. Elke has additional training in family therapy, CBT, DBT, trauma focused therapy, and marital therapy.
She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Wellikoff, LCSW
Michele graduated from Hunter University School of Social Work with a concentration in group work and community organizing. Michele started working with Jewish Family Service in 2004 as the On-Site Director of the Senior Program and as a Community Case Manager. In 2014, Michele became the Director of PR and Special Events, and in 2017 she was promoted to Director of Business Development. Michele uses her talent, skills and responsibilities to increase agency presence within the community, obtain grants, supervise volunteers and help cultivate JFS’s many programs. Additional, Michele is the director of the food pantry that services struggling families in the community.
She can be reached via email at email@example.com
Sharon Zwickler, LCSW
INTAKE COORDINATOR, CLINICIAN
Sharon Zwickler is a graduate of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University, where she earned her Master’s degree in Social Work. As the Intake Coordinator at JFS, Sharon is the first connection that clients make when they seek help and she works extensively to ensure that each client meets with the therapist most well-suited to address their needs. Sharon also serves as a clinician on staff at JFS, seeing clients in a therapeutic setting. Collectively, Sharon has more than 15 years of experience working with nonprofit institutions and finds her role at JFS to be both personally and professionally rewarding.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Office Staff
Marisol Alvarez: Ext. 133
Maureen Gaccione: Ext. 138
DATA MANAGEMENT, CREDENTIALING, PRACTICE MANAGER FOR MARY ASKEW, APN, DNP
Robyn Reiken, Ext. 132
INSURANCE & BILLING SPECIALIST
Alice Kayzerman: Ext. 156, email@example.com
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Mark Ricklis: Ext. 148
Board of Directors
Francesca Liechenstein, Board President