- Avi Rose, Executive Director
- Anna Benvenue, Director of Immigration Legal Services
- Rita Clancy, Director of Adult Services
- Michelle Knapik, Senior Director of Finance & Administration
- Blythe Raphael, Director of Refugee Services
- Carol Singer, Senior Director of Programs, Director of Parenting & Youth Services
- Holly Taines White, Senior Director of Development & Community Engagement
- Kathryn Winogura, Director of Volunteer Services
Avi Rose has served as the executive director of Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay since 2005. Avi is a licensed clinical social worker with an extensive background in nonprofit administration, service delivery, and leadership, both within and outside of the Jewish community.
Avi received his B.A. from Brandeis University in 1976 and later earned an MSW from the University of Southern California and an M.A. in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College. Subsequent to his graduate education, Avi worked at Jewish Family Service in Los Angeles and later managed the pioneering AIDS program at Jewish Family and Children’s Services in San Francisco, for which he received the Louis Kraft Award for Outstanding Young Professional in Jewish Communal Service in 1988. Avi continued to work on HIV/AIDS issues for several decades, including a period serving as executive director of a national HIV treatment information and advocacy organization. He also worked extensively in the area of community-based health care for low-income people.
In 1989, Avi co-edited a groundbreaking anthology, Twice Blessed: On Being Lesbian or Gay and Jewish. He has been highly involved as a writer, speaker, and organizer with efforts to address LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues in religious communities and was a founding board member of the AIDS National Interfaith Network. In 1995, he was honored with KQED-TV’s Community Hero Award.
Avi was a longtime board member of the organization currently known as Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and has served on many other boards of directors and planning and advisory bodies for agencies, foundations, and communities. In 2008, Avi was awarded an honorary doctorate of Jewish Communal Service by Hebrew Union College, recognizing his more than twenty-five years of leadership in the Jewish community.
Anna is a passionate advocate who has spent her career dedicated to advancing the rights of immigrants. She supervises the Immigration Legal Services program, which provides quality free and low-cost legal representation to residents of Contra Costa and Alameda counties. Prior to joining JFCS East Bay, Anna worked for nine years as an immigration attorney who represented clients in deportation defense hearings, in applications before the Department of Homeland Security, and in written appeals and motions filed with the Agency and Circuit Courts. She has successfully argued more than a dozen cases before the Ninth Circuit and briefed many more, resulting in multiple victories in both published and unpublished cases. Before that, Anna was a judicial law clerk at the San Francisco Immigration Court as a part of the DOJ’s Attorney General Honor’s Program. Prior to law school, Anna spent three years teaching fourth grade in San Jose, California. Anna received her J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law, where she graduated with highest honors, and her B.A. from the University of Georgia magna cum laude. Anna is admitted to the bar in California.
Rita is a licensed social worker (LCSW) who served as JFCS East Bay’s Holocaust Survivor Services Program Manager for eight years prior to becoming Director of Adult Services in August 2013. She specializes in counseling with older adults, families, couples, and people who have experienced trauma. Rita has extensive expertise in Gerontology, including working with adults living with dementia, providing advice and support to family caregivers, advocacy in long-term care communities, and management of home care providers. Rita has over fifteen years of experience in medical social work and care management. Before becoming a social worker, Rita worked in clinical laboratory and medical sciences. Rita has a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley with a specialization in Gerontology and has been with JFCS East Bay since 2005.
Blythe joined JFCS East Bay in early 2018 as Intensive Case Management Coordinator for refugees and asylees. She was promoted to her current position in December 2019. Blythe has more than twenty-five years of experience serving refugees and asylees, with a particular focus on helping clients learn to navigate all the new systems they encounter. Previously, Blythe was the Refugee Health Screening Safety Net Coordinator for the Alameda County Health System, as well as serving as one of the leads of New Asylee Orientation for Northern California. Blythe also spent many years coordinating the East Bay Refugee and Immigrant Forum, where she developed many partnerships with other agencies in the region. Blythe is currently a publicly elected member of the California State Advisory Council for Refugee Services, which is tasked with statewide planning for the proper placement and reception of new refugee arrivals.
Carol oversees JFCS East Bay’s services for Children & Parents and works with the agency’s department directors on program evaluation, professional development, and other cross-departmental issues. Carol is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with children and families for more than thirty-five years. She received her MSW from UC Berkeley in 1983. Carol has expertise in child, individual, group, and family therapy, and she works extensively with parents on parenting skills and family dynamics. She has significant experience consulting to teachers and staff of preschoolers through high school age students. Carol is a graduate of the Harris Training Program and the Child Trauma Training Institute and currently specializes in parent-infant/child therapy and early childhood mental health consultation, particularly with children who have experienced trauma. She has extensive experience in program management and development and in clinical supervision. Prior to joining JFCS East Bay in 2001, Carol was a middle school therapist, as well as the director of a special education day treatment program serving severely emotionally disturbed children.
Holly oversees JFCS East Bay’s work in the areas of development, marketing, communications, and volunteer services. She stewards the agency’s efforts to engage community members in many ways–as donors, prospective clients, volunteers, supporters, and advocates. Holly writes proposals and manages grant tracking and reporting; engages individual donors in the agency’s work; leads the team that organizes our annual fundraising event, Art of Living; produces our publications and materials; manages the website and social media; assists with our advocacy efforts; and supervises the Volunteer Services program. An experienced grantwriter and editor, Holly is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she majored in English and minored in French. She spent twelve years working for local book publishers before bringing her writing, editing, and project management skills to JFCS East Bay. She joined the agency in 2006.
Kathryn has been with JFCS East Bay since 1998 and currently directs our Volunteer Services program. Her team works with about 400 community members a year who want to volunteer time with newly arriving refugees, people seeking immigration legal services, and seniors and Holocaust survivors. She also oversees our extensive in-kind donations program. Having received her degree from UC Berkeley in Peace and Conflict Studies, Kathryn originally worked in refugee resettlement in the 1990s. In 2016, she volunteered in refugee camps in Greece, working with mostly Syrian refugees. After coordinating our volunteer program for many years, Kathryn was promoted to her current position in 2019.