Leadership Team

, Chief Executive Officer

Robin Mencher joined JFCS East Bay as CEO in December 2020.

Prior to JFCS East Bay, Robin served as Executive Director of KQED Education, where she led services to the education community through providing free, high-quality resources that deepen youth civic engagement and media literacy. She first joined KQED in 2006 to build a unified education strategy, bringing together a series of projects that extended KQED’s television broadcast into the classroom. She then took on the leadership role for all of KQED’s education services focused on early childhood, K-12, and adult/ESL education, expanding and building a community-based service that utilizes public media to connect learners to the world beyond their classrooms and see themselves represented in the curriculum. In 2015, as Executive Director, Mencher launched the strategic expansion of KQED Education to empower and recognize learners and educators to find and evaluate the knowledge they need to make informed decisions, engage in civic dialogue, create and share their own stories, and thrive in our media-rich world.

Robin’s work in education has focused on media and digital literacies, youth voice, technology integration, teaching English learners, and educational equity. She taught high school and served as a teacher leader in the East Bay. As Program Director at the San Francisco Education Fund, she designed professional learning experiences for educators, led grantmaking for teacher innovation, and worked district-wide on education initiatives, including a task force to launch small schools by design. While at KQED, she served on several state-wide and regional education policy and implementation task forces, as well as advisory councils to advance arts, STEM, and literacy education throughout California.

As an active member of the Jewish community, early in her career, Robin worked for several years as an informal Jewish educator and for a national Jewish education organization. She has served on the New Generations board and San Francisco Bay Area regional board of directors of the New Israel Fund.

Robin earned her M.A. in Education at Mills College and her B.A. in American Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She also studied for a year at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and attended Hebrew University for a year as an undergrad. A lifelong Californian, Robin has lived in the East Bay for more than two decades.

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, Director of Refugee Services

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. She joined our staff in December 2017 as a resettlement case manager and moved into leadership of the Refugee Services department in 2020.

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, LCSW, Director of Adult Services

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.

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, Director of Immigration Legal Services

Kyra joined JFCS East Bay in July 2021 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.

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, Chief Operating Offier

Jonathan joined the JFCS East Bay team in July 2021 to oversee 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.

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, Senior Director of Development & Community Engagement

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.

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