OUR MISSION

At JBBBS, we believe that everyone deserves to have someone in their life who wants to spend time with them and believes in them – call it a friend or a mentor. We seek to support and empower individuals and families to engage, to participate actively in the life of their communities, to live inspired and to inspire others. Through a holistic approach to supporting clients and families, we provide mentorship to children, teens and adults as well as financial support, holiday programming and referrals to other social service agencies. For this reason, we actively engage and serve children and adults across religion, race, gender, sexual identity and orientation, and ability.

OUR VISION

JBBBS is an innovative mentoring agency, driven by Jewish values, to serve and empower children and adults of all abilities throughout Greater Boston.

OUR HISTORY

Founded in 1919, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston (then the “Jewish Big Brother Association”), is New England’s oldest youth mentoring organization and one of the 12 founding members of the national Big Brothers Big Sisters movement. Today, JBBBS is among over 400 independent Big Brothers Big Sisters programs in operation throughout the United States.

What began as a War-era initiative to serve Jewish immigrant boys and their families at a time when Jews lacked access to or were actively excluded from receipt of social services, has expanded its reach from an inaugural program serving a few children to one that, today, and with financial support from CJP, The United Way, the Rodman Ride for Kids and various foundation grants, matches over 250 Jewish and non-Jewish children, boys and girls, from a variety of life circumstances and over 90 towns in eastern Massachusetts.

In 1992, the agency expanded further to include a first-of-its-kind friendship program for adults who have mild to moderate disabilities called Friend 2 Friend. The Friend 2 Friend program annually serves roughly 175 adults who benefit from the social interaction that the the program affords. JBBBS also serves as a co-sponsor of Yom Sport, a preeminent athletic event for adults of all abilities in Greater Boston’s Jewish community.

While much has changed for us in our over nine-decade history, the same values of family and community that inspired our beginnings sustain us to the present. For more information, contact us.

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OUR 2019 IMPACT

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Students recieved $245,000 - College Scholarships

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Campers recieved $78,000 - Camp Scholarships

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Supported matches in Children's and Friend 2 Friend programs

OUR STAFF

JBBBS staff are here to support our participants and their families through every step of their participation with us. Our staff are deeply involved in selecting the best matches for our participants and volunteers so that everyone will have a meaningful and impactful experience. JBBBS caseworkers are there throughout the process through monthly phone and e-mail check-ins and are always available to address any questions or concerns that may pop up. Our caseworkers remain available to help volunteers brainstorm activities and to field questions and concerns as they arise.

JBBBS clinical match specialists are all Master’s level clinicians who are experienced in supporting not only our participants, but also their families - making sure their collective needs are met.

Whether you are a volunteer or a participant, you are in good hands with the JBBBS staff.

Join our team: View career opportunities

Jeffrey Savit

BA, JD, MSW - President and CEO

Jeffrey is so proud and honored to return to JBBBS as the CEO and President of our beloved agency. Jeffrey attended Phillips Academy, Andover, in 1978. He holds a BA in American History from Harvard College, a JD from Boston College School of Law, and an MSW from Boston College School of Social Work. While working as a trust and estates attorney for almost two decades, Jeffrey immersed himself as a volunteer in the Boston Jewish Community, first having served as both Board and Endowment Chair of JBBBS, and as Board Chair of the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston. During the last decade, Jeffrey has served as the CEO and President of the Jewish Alliance (Federation and JCC) of Greater Rhode Island, and the Chief Development Officer of Prizmah, Center for Jewish Day Schools. Jeffrey is a champion of children and the vulnerable members of our community. In his spare time, Jeffrey loves theater, movies, reading, walking, eating and our Boston professional sports teams. The three apples of Jeffrey’s eyes are Lori, his wife of 28 years, his daughter Mollie, a hair stylist in NYC, and his daughter Chloe, a Junior at the Steinhardt School at New York University studying vocal performance, et al.

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Program Staff

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Laura Shulman Brochstein, MA, LCSW – Clinical Program Director

Laura is a social worker and Jewish communal professional with over 15 years’ experience working with children and families. She has worked both in program development at CJP on the Families with Young Children initiatives as well as in clinical roles at Aspire Early Intervention, Children’s Friend and Family Services and Jewish Family and Children’s Service in the Center for Early Relationship Support and CHAI Services with adults with disabilities. Laura has a BA from Bates College, an MA from the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University and MSW from Salem State University.

Laura is a Newton native whose past times include early morning walks around Marblehead Neck, boxing classes, compulsively cleaning up after her kids and reading the latest Brene Brown books.

Avi Cohen, LCSW – Clinical Match Specialist

Avi has a Bachelor’s in psychology and sociology from Brandeis University and an MSW from Boston College School of Social Work. Prior to joining JBBBS, Avi worked as a clinician at Walden Behavioral Care, providing therapy to individuals recovering from eating disorders. While pursuing his MSW, Avi worked in the Wentworth Institute of Technology counseling center and at a therapeutic public high school in Brookline. Avi is a former big brother through JBBBS and has been hanging out with his little for the last 8 years. In his free time, Avi can be found spending time with his wife, watching Boston sports, playing board games, and relaxing in Maine.

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Jenny George, MSW, LICSW – Clinical Match Specialist

Jenny holds a BA from Brown University and an MSW from Simmons School of Social Work. Jenny has worked as a researcher in the field of behavioral medicine, specifically studying smoking cessation; as a clinician in Inpatient Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital Boston, providing family-centered services to children and families in crisis; and as a school social worker, supporting children in a Boston public elementary school. Jenny completed post-graduate training at the Family Institute of Cambridge in Narrative Family Therapy, and has been significantly influenced by a strengths-based approach to the field of social work. Jenny enjoys spending time with her family and her large household of pets, reading, hiking, playing tennis and singing.

Tania Gutman Gray, BS, JD – Director of Community Engagement & Outreach

Tania has a diverse background as a program manager, as a business consultant, as an attorney, and as an active volunteer in Jewish school based programs. For over twenty years, she organized, led, and promoted impactful programs and projects that have greatly enhanced the lives of Jewish young people and their families. She has a BS in Psychology from Union College and a JD from New England Law. She loves traveling (especially to Israel), hiking, practicing yoga, and reading. Her favorite pastime is spending time with her husband and four children.

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Lorraine Helfand-Garcia, MSW, LICSW – Team Lead / Clinical Match Specialist

Lorraine has happily joined the JBBBS Team after a varied professional life. She has been a Big Sister with the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston since 1994 and won the Big Sister of the Year award in 1998. The experience with her Little Sister continues to be mutually rewarding to them both as they now grow older together as friends.

Lorraine graduated from Boston College School of Social Work in the 90’s and quickly found her passion delving into family, community and social justice concerns. Over those 20 years, Lorraine was a director of home-based family therapy programs which allowed her to empower youth and families all throughout Massachusetts. Additionally, she has been an Adjunct Professor at Simmons College, a consultant, and the director of a foster care program. As a group leader she led a 2 1/2yr group for LGBTQ+ teens and Latino clinicians and parents. When she is not working, she is restoring her soul and energies with loving friends and family. Yoga, meditation, indoor gardening, reading, kayaking, attending concerts, plus traveling far and wide, all inspire much adventure, self-discovery & awe. All these experiences while living in Chicago, New York, Ecuador and now MA have all steered her focus towards doing her part to foster diversity and inclusivity wherever she goes.

Lauren Korn, BA, JD – Director of Philanthropy

Lauren holds a JD from Boston University School of Law. After working in litigation for several years, Lauren began volunteering at various non-profits in Boston which focused on the needs of parents and children. Lauren also taught Legal Writing and Research at Boston University School of Law for nine years to international students receiving their LLM. Lauren worked at Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh helping with the new National Mikveh Network. Most recently, Lauren worked at Temple Beth Avodah in Newton on a multi-million dollar capital campaign. In her free time, Lauren loves spending time with her husband and three sons. She also is a mahjong teacher and avid tennis player.

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Jan Plager, LICSW – Clinical Match Specialist

Jan brings to JBBBS decades of experience in the Boston area, working with children and adults with disabilities and their families. Her experience includes many years working at Cambridge Family and Children’s Service in their Family Support Program, then employment at Newton Wellesley Weston Committee for Community Living, Inc., a small residential provider in Newton, and most recently in the Services for People with Disabilities Program at Jewish Family and Children’s Service in Waltham. Her career focus has long been to facilitate community integration and acceptance of people of differing abilities.

Jan’s other interests include gardening, baking, calligraphy and spending time with friends and visiting family in the Berkshires, as well as enjoying as much time out of doors as possible.

 Stacey Schneiderman, MSEd – Team Lead / Clinical Match Specialist 

Stacey has always had a passion to support people with different abilities. She focused her studies in the field of Special Education earning degrees from Lesley University and Simmons College. Her professional adventures brought her to teaching in a variety of settings ranging in grade levels from the urban public schools, behavioral health hospitals, and specialized programs for students with mild to moderate as well as more intensive special needs. Her experiences in the mentoring field began as a volunteer for the Friend 2 Friend program in 2007. She has also worked as a mentoring specialist at Partners for Youth with Disabilities, with a focus on youth involved in the juvenile justice system. She loves to go running with her dog and spend time outdoors with her husband and kids.

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Giselle Silberman MSW, LCSW – Clinical Match Specialist

Giselle holds a B.A from Brandeis University and an MSW from the Boston College School of Social Work. Prior to starting at JBBBS, she worked for Riverside Community Care as a program coordinator for their online behavioral health screening program. While pursuing her MSW, she also worked at Brighton High School as a school social worker and at the Office of Prevention and Education at Northeastern University as a social work intern, specializing in BASICS and Motivational Interviewing. In her free time, Giselle loves spending time with her husband, visiting her family in New York and Israel and spending too much time at the Brookline Booksmith.

Caitlin White, MSW, LCSW – Clinical Match Specialist

Caitlin worked in Corporate Finance for many years before making a career change into the field of Social Work. A lifelong volunteer, Caitlin discovered her passion for helping children and families through volunteering. In 2013, she left the financial sector and accepted a positon at The Boston Ronald McDonald House as the Day Manager and Volunteer Coordinator while attending Simmons School of Social Work. At Simmons, Caitlin interned at an elementary school where she provided counseling to students, support for families, and facilitated groups. Caitlin has also interned, and was hired part-time, as a Clinician with Needham Youth & Family Services where she provided outpatient therapy services for youth and families, substance abuse counseling, school-based workshops and groups, and community-based work. In addition to an MSW from Simmons School of Social Work, Caitlin holds a BA in Voice from New Jersey City University.

In her free time, Caitlin, a New Jersey native, loves exploring all of what New England has to offer, as well as crafting, and spending time with friends and family. Caitlin was a Big Sister herself with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City and is excited to be a part of such a wonderful agency!

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Development and Operations Staff

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Elyse Hyman, MA – Director of Major Gifts and Endowment

Elyse has worked in the Greater Boston Jewish community for the past 30+ years. She worked at Hebrew College as part of the team who brought MEAH to the community and then moved to CJP as the Director of Community Outreach and Director of JEMS (Boston’s Jewish Emergency Management System). Elyse comes to JBBBS from Temple Beth Avodah where she was Executive Director. She earned her Master’s in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University and is an accredited Business Continuity Professional. Elyse lives in Ashland, loves to play golf and has two grown sons.

Zack Malenfant, BS – Director of Operations

Zack first joined JBBBS in early 2017 to manage the annual gala. He comes from a background in interpretive education, teaching children of all ages. He’s also truly passionate about conservation and spends much of his free time in the outdoors. Zack is currently matched in the Friend 2 Friend program.

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Joan Blackman, BA – Administrative & Scholarship Specialist

Joan’s career began in Retail Management, on both the Merchandising and Finance sides. In recent years, her involvement with causes joined to at-needs children led to her transition from the corporate to non-profit sector, and to an opportunity to serve the JBBBS team in their mission. Joan holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Brandeis University, where she also discovered a love for writing. That continues to this day, as does a passion for reading and political discourse. She cherishes her family, not only her husband and daughter, but her three siblings, one of whom provides an excuse for travel to Israel.

Heather Trites, BA – Marketing & Development Specialist

Heather holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Emmanuel College in Boston. In her previous role, she worked as a development intern for Project Citizenship, a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship. Heather is passionate about advocating for immigrant and LGBTQ+ rights. In her free time, Heather enjoys reading, crafting, roller skating, and hiking, and is also a Fenway Park security guard.

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OUR BOARD

JBBBS Board of Directors play a critical role in defining vision and acting as the governing body for policy. Additionally, and most importantly, our Board is the pivotal driver behind our fundraising efforts. For more information about the JBBBS Board of Directors, including how you might contribute, contact our President and CEO.

Jeffrey Maimon

Chair of the Board of Directors
Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Steven Sisselman

Treasurer of the Board of Directors
COO and Co-Founder, Itera International Energy, Chair of Finance Committee-Retired

Andy Friedman

Secretary of the Board of Directors
Attorney, Outside GC, LLC

Members at Large

David Franklin
(Immediate Past Chair)

Danielle Ain
Account Executive, New England at Rapid7

Peter Antoszyk
Partner, Proskauer Rose, LLP

Jake Bronstein

Robin Cohen
Director of Development and School Partnerships, Fenway High School

Adam Eisenberg
Research Analyst, Real Estate Group, Fidelity Investments

Jeff Ganz
Senior Partner, Riemer & Braunstein, LLP

Jeff Karp

Daniel Klein
Partner, Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw’s Boston Office

Elyse Marsh
Realtor, Pinnacle Residential Properties

Stephen Rosen
Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Investments

Marc Rubenstein
Partner, Ropes & Gray, LLP

Judy Shankman
Nurse, Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Stephen Silk
Owner, A.G. Silk Inc.

Jessica Solomon Sanders
Pediatric Neurologist, Boston Children’s Hospital

Jonathan Soyt
Operations Project Manager, Automation Engineering, Inc.

Beth Tuck
Senior Project Manager, Coravin

Marissa Wainwright

JBBBS Endowment Board Members

Joe Morgart, Board Chair

David Bamel

Larry Green

Bob Haber

Betsy Jacobs

Jack Kadis

Carolynn Levy

Allen Sheldon

Karen Sisselman