About JFS

Jewish Family Services of Ottawa (JFS) is a full service, non-sectarian agency serving residents of the greater Ottawa area – located at 2255 Carling Avenue, Suite 300. We offer more than 65 programs and services to children, youth, adults and seniors, be they individuals, couples, families or groups.

Our Vision

Through Jewish traditions, values and culture, to build a community where people can learn to care for themselves and each other with dignity, respect and compassion.

Our Mission

In the spirit of “Tikkun Olam,” our mission is to strengthen Jewish individual, family and communal life, and to strengthen individual, family and communal life in the greater Ottawa community. The mission is accomplished through direct social service, partnership, and advocacy.

Administrative Team

Executive Director
Sarah Caspi, MSW, RSW
613-722-2225 ext. 246
Associate Executive Director
Andrea Gardner, MSW, RSW
613-722-2225 ext. 321
Director of Finance
Laurie Chochinov, CPA, CGA
613-722-2225 ext. 344
Director of Development
David Dern, CFRE
613-722-2225 x 325
Director of Counselling and Mental Health
Michael Gershuny, M.Ed, MSW, RSW
613-722-2225 ext. 410
Director of Human Resources
Karen Ruyter
613-722-2225 ext. 248
Director of Senior Services
Laura Thomas, RSSW 
613-722-2225 ext. 313

Program Management Team

Manager, Diverse Seniors Support Services Unit
Esperance Umutesi
613-722-2225 ext. 325
Clinical Manager, Senior Services & Manager, Services for Holocaust Survivors
Iris Beer
613-722-2255 ext. 311
Manager, Thelma Steinman Seniors Unit
Ranit Braun
613-722-2225 ext. 411
Manager, The Counselling Group
Wendy Cotton, MSW RSW
613-722-2225 ext. 414
Clinical Manager, The Centre for Couples and Relationships
Jennifer Goldberg
613-722-2225 ext. 301
Manager, The Tikvah Program
Shelley Rivier, MSW RSW
613-722-2225 ext. 323
Clinical Manager, The Walk-in Counselling Clinic
Shannon Sweeting-Woods
613-722-2225 ext. 395
Manager, Refugee and Vulnerable Newcomers
Carmen G. Urbina, M.Ed, RP
613-722-2225 ext. 245

Board members

Aviva Ben-Choreen
Dr. Mark Luden
Vice President
Dr. Alan Karovitch
Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth
Ariella Mintz
Past President
Steven Morgan
Board Member
Christopher Adam
Board Member
Kanika Arora
Board Member
Matt Connelly
Board Member
Jeremy Rudin
Board Member
Erica Sher
Board Member
Laila Wex
2021-2022 Member
Nancy Werk
2021-2022 Member
David Weinstein
2021-2022 Member
Joel Weiner
2021-2022 Member
Elaine Weiner
2021-2022 Member
Terry Smutylo
2021-2022 Member
Jenny Shinder
2021-2022 Member
Esther Rossman
2021-2022 Member
Allan Moscovitch
2021-2022 Member
Wayne Moore
2021-2022 Member
Jan Michaels
2021-2022 Member
Sol Meyer
2021-2022 Member
John Lunn
2021-2022 Member
Mitch Charness
2021-2022 Member
Daniel Bierstone