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2016-06-17 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


June 17, 2016  RSS feed
Social Services

Text: T T T

Gulf Coast Board Chair’s Message

Jay Miller Jay Miller Reflecting on my tenure as Board President of Gulf Coast JFCS, these past two years have been touched by sadness and prideful accomplishment. Eighteen months ago, we lost our CEO, Rochelle Tatrai-Ray, as a result of domestic violence. Rochelle served our agency for nearly 12 years and was a passionate advocate for the vulnerable populations that we serve. Our agency survived this organizational crisis while continuing to provide essential services to over 30,000 vulnerable individuals and families around the state of Florida. I am grateful for the leadership of our interim CEO, Eric Feder, who guided us through a difficult transition.

As a result of a national search conducted by our Board of Directors, in March of this year, Dr. Sandra Braham joined our agency as its new CEO. Dr. Braham is well suited to ensure that Gulf Coast successfully executes its mission as the needs of our community continue to evolve.

Gulf Coast JFCS is one of the largest Jewish family services agencies in North America. That is an accomplishment for which our community should be immensely proud.

In the last year, we provided assistance (in the form of direct economic assistance, educational scholarships and counseling) to over 300 struggling Jewish families, in addition to supportive services for over 240 registered Holocaust survivors throughout West Central Florida. Through the William and Sally Israel Food Pantry, we served 1,787 local families suffering from food insecurity.

The agency’s reach extends far beyond our local and regional Jewish community. Gulf Coast is one of the leading providers of child welfare services in Central Florida, helping to protect children living in families in crisis. Our behavioral health and elder care programs enable thousands of Floridians to live independent and productive lives. In Pinellas and Pasco counties, we continue to provide in home services so that seniors can remain independent and in their homes. As a legacy to our successful Refugee Resettlement program that brought hundreds of Soviet Jewish families to resettle in the Tampa Bay area during the 1980s, our agency continues to help refugees fleeing persecution in nations around the world to resettle in Florida.

It has truly been an honor and a privilege for me to serve as the Board Chair of such an important community asset as Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services. I thank our Board of Directors, staff, donors and volunteers for your commitment to help our agency make a difference in the lives of so many.

Warmest regards,

Jay Miller

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