New JFS director

Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton CEO Cathy Gardner announced on April 20 that the Federation has hired Tara Feiner to serve as director of Jewish Family Services beginning May 1.

Feiner, a native of Philadelphia, takes over from JFS Director Mary Ann Hemmert, who retires on May 7.

For 15 years, Feiner worked for the School District of Philadelphia, most recently as executive director of its federal programs. She also served the district as executive director of Title I grants compliance, and Title I coordinator.

Tara Feiner
Tara Feiner

She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and her master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and her principal certification from Drexel University.

Feiner was an active volunteer with Philadelphia’s Jewish Family and Children’s Services, which trained her as a para-chaplain for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She also coordinated the JFCS Youth Mitzvah Corps, supervising Bar and Bat Mitzvah students for their service learning projects.

Since she and her husband, Dr. Adam Feiner, arrived in Dayton in August 2014, she has volunteered with Hillel Academy on development projects, and in the Child Life Unit at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

“We didn’t intend on hiring a director until the JFS strategic planning process was completed,” Jewish Federation CEO Cathy Gardner said. “However, a gift arrived at our doorstep and we had to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Tara Feiner is a strong leader and can help us mold our vision and work with the staff, board and community to make that vision a reality.”

An agency of the Federation, JFS launched its strategic planning process in December to determine how best to serve the needs of Dayton’s Jewish community. Gardner anticipates JFS will complete its needs-assessment by the end of June.

-Marshall Weiss

To read the complete May 2015 Dayton Jewish Observer, click here.

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