- Robin Mencher, Chief Executive Officer
- Michael Chertok, Chief Advancement Officer
- Jonathan Wang, Chief Operating Officer
- Fouzia Azizi, Director of Refugee Services
- Rita Clancy, Director of Adult Services
- Kyra S. Lilien, Director of Immigration Legal Services
- Robin Shelton, Director of Finance & Administration
Robin leads JFCS East Bay’s efforts to envision a community where everyone can flourish with dignity. She builds civic and community capacity so that we can realize our mission of contributing to the resilience of communities, families, and individuals through advocacy and comprehensive support services at every stage of life.
Prior to JFCS East Bay, Robin served as executive director of KQED Education where she led the public media organization’s service to the education community in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond through providing free, high-quality open educational resources that deepen youth civic engagement, media literacy development and relevant, engaging real-world connections supporting college, career and community readiness.
A former classroom teacher and teacher leader in the East Bay and designer of leadership professional learning experiences for educators as program director at the San Francisco Education Fund, her work in education focused on media and digital literacies, youth voice, technology integration, teaching English learners, and educational equity. She served on several state-wide and regional education policy and implementation task forces, advisory councils to advance arts, STEM, and literacy education throughout California.
As an active member of the Jewish community, Robin worked for several years early in her career as an informal Jewish educator and for a national Jewish education organization. She has served on the New Generations and SF Bay Area regional board of directors of the New Israel Fund.
She currently serves on the board of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).
Mencher earned her M.A. in Education at Mills College and her B.A. in American Studies at U.C. Santa Cruz. She also studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies year program and attended Hebrew University for a year as an undergrad.
Michael brings a unique blend of resource development, philanthropic, program management and social entrepreneurial skills. He previously worked at the Jewish Community Federation as Sr. Philanthropy Advisor and at Silicon Valley Community Foundation as Vice President of Donor Experience and Engagement. Before that, he was a co-founder of Digital Divide Data, and served as their Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President of Impact. Michael was also a Program Officer for Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and co-founded the philanthropic initiative of a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He has a B.A. from Yale University, and an M.B.A. and Certificate in Public Management from Stanford University.
Jonathan oversees operations for the organization. Before JFCS East Bay, he served as the COO of FACES SF, which provides early childhood education, mental health, and workforce development services in San Francisco. He was also the Director of Finance and Administration at New Door Ventures, which serves transitional-aged youth with internships, job training, and education programs. Earlier in his career, Jonathan worked at the San Francisco Chronicle in IT, Human Resources, and Organizational Development. He also started out as a high school science and social science teacher in public schools. Jonathan received his bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine and has an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Fouzia is a refugee from Afghanistan who brings a wealth of professional and personal experience to her work serving refugees in our community. After she fled Afghanistan, she worked in Pakistan on educational programs and women’s rights, including on a project to create the educational curriculum for all the refugee girls’ schools in Pakistan. She was also involved in establishing schools for refugees in the northern border region near Afghanistan. Over the years, Fouzia worked with the UN High Commission on Refugees, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and the International Rescue Committee. After coming to the United States, Fouzia pursued further education, raised her children, and eventually served as a volunteer with JFCS East Bay.
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.
Kyra joined JFCS East Bay after working in immigration law for more than twenty years. She graduated from law school after many years of work as an immigration paralegal in both nonprofit and private law office settings. She has previously served as an associate attorney at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, the Director of the Immigration Services Program at Centro Legal de la Raza, an Asylum Officer at the USCIS Asylum Office in San Francisco, and as a staff attorney at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Kyra has also worked on human rights and refugee issues in Sierra Leone, Albania, and Mexico. During and after law school, Kyra worked with the UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center and with the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center to examine processes for witness and victim protection at the International Criminal Court in the Hague and the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Freetown. Kyra is fluent in Spanish, get by in French, and is always looking for opportunities to practice speaking Sierra Leonean Krio. Kyra received her Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley School of Law and her bachelor of arts from Smith College.
Robin brings over 25 years of Finance and Accounting experience. She oversees the finance department and strives towards creating a productive, welcoming, and friendly work environment, while providing the leadership team support with their budgetary and programmatic financial needs. Robin has varied experience in multiple accounting roles working in the non-profit, construction, and IT industries. Robin began her journey at JFCS East Bay as the Controller and has recently been promoted to the Director of Finance & Administration. Robin received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix. In her spare time, Robin enjoys dancing, hiking, reading, and theater. She lives with her husband and cat in Benicia.
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