At the end of August, I am retiring from my position as CEO at Jewish Family Services.
It has been my honour and privilege to serve JFS these past 5 years. I am humbled that you have entrusted me with guiding this agency which plays such a critical role in our community. We’ve gone through remarkable change in this short time, encountering the full measure of the affordability crisis here in Vancouver, with its impact spreading beyond the traditional borders of our community.
JFS tries to keep our key stakeholders, our clients, at the center of everything we do. Our clients are real people of infinite worth, each with their own unique talents and stories. If we practice empathy by putting ourselves in their places, lean into their words, and lift up their voices—than we can understand the profound impact we have on their lives. The person who is in turmoil today may be the one who will redeem the world tomorrow.
I’m so proud of the ways in which our talented and competent leadership team at JFS adapted to meet the growing needs of our community, whether it be creating new food security and housing initiatives, low-cost counselling services, a client advisory committee, or an expanded seniors home support program. Much of this was accomplished by developing strong organizational and donor partnerships.
With the significant needs that continue to emerge, JFS offers our community a vision of what is possible when we all work together—to be part of something bigger than our individual selves.
I am especially grateful, during my tenure, to have worked with you -- our donors, supporters, synagogues and agencies -- whose commitment as partners in our enterprise helped us to expand and strengthen services to our more vulnerable community members. We are reaching more people than ever before in new and innovative ways. Thank you for believing in us and the importance of our work.
I’ve learned and received far more from the Vancouver Jewish community than I could ever give back. As I reunite with my wife and family in Seattle, I will always feel like I have a second home here in Vancouver. May the JFS and the Vancouver Jewish community go from strength to strength.
With deep gratitude,
Richard Fruchter, CEO