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

Together, we create stronger and healthier communities where everyone can live with dignity and respect.

Our Mission

JFS Ottawa is a multi-service community agency helping individuals and families across generations and cultures to achieve stability, independence and belonging.

Core service areas include mental health and wellbeing, social supports, and services for seniors, newcomers, and diverse communities.

Our work is grounded in Jewish values and we seek to build a community through the pursuit of social justice and inclusivity.

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

Clinical Manager, Children, Youth and Families
Katherine Marr
613-722-2225 x395
Manager, Settlement Support Unit
Anat Kidron, MA, LLB
613-722-2225 ext. 329
Manager, Diverse Seniors 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
Manager, The Tikvah Program
Shelley Rivier, MSW RSW
613-722-2225 ext. 323
Clinical Manager, The Walk-in Counselling Clinic
Irina Balabanova
613-722-2225 ext. 433
Manager, Refugee and Vulnerable Newcomers
Carmen G. Urbina, M.Ed, RP
613-722-2225 ext. 245

Board members

Aviva Ben-Choreen
Vice President
Matthew Conley
Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth
Joanne Gorenstein
Past President
Dr. Mark Luden
Board Member
Harland Tanner
Board Member
Shereen Miller
Board Member
Cecile Bensimon
Board Member
Dr. Alan Karovitch
Board Member
Kanika Arora
Board Member
Jeremy Rudin
Board Member
Laila Wex
2022 Member
Nancy Werk
2022 Member
Terry Smutylo
2022 Member
Gary Stein
2022 Member
Sherill Besser
2022 Member
Cecile Bensimon
2022 Member
Stephen Aronson
2022 Member
Jenny Shinder
2022 Member
Esther Rossman
2022 Member
Allan Moscovitch
2022 Member
Wayne Moore
2022 Member
John Lunn
2022 Member
Mitch Charness