Seekers of Meaning Podcast: Marla Myers, Executive Director of Samost Jewish Family & Childrens Service of So. Jersey

First of a three-part series about Samost Jewish Family and Childrens Service of Southern New Jersey

On this podcast, we begin a three-part report on the services offered by Samost Jewish Family & Childrens Service of Southern New Jersey, with a conversation featuring Marla Myers, executive director of JFCS.

About the Guest

Marla is a social service leader who has devoted her entire career to building a stronger and more vibrant community.  Marla graduated from Rutgers University School of Social Work in 1991 with an MSW and later took coursework at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

She was recruited by Hillel of Greater Philadelphia in 1991 where she served as Program Director, Associate Director, and then Director of Temple University Hillel. In 2003, she accepted the position of Director of Institutional Advancement for Hillel of Greater Philadelphia spearheading the advancement and development program for 10 schools in the Philadelphia region, raising the annual campaign from 1M to 3M.  She was promoted to Associate Executive Director in 2009.

In 2013, Marla began a new chapter in her career by accepting a position as the Executive Director of Samost Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Southern New Jersey an agency that assists 10,000 individuals annually.  During her time at JFCS, Marla has instituted numerous new initiatives for our communities most vulnerable members,  including Right In Our Backyard (an interactive panel presentation for parents and teens on the critical topic of drug addiction in the suburbs), Take the Wheel (veteran peer to peer driving service), The Life Counts, (teen suicide prevention program), Repair the World (a social justice curriculum for high school students), a safe house, ‘Charlotte’s Place,’  for victims of domestic violence, a VISTA program to assist Holocaust Survivors and a successful corporate philanthropy program.

Marla has served as a board member for the Tri-State Jewish Communal Professionals Association, the Shusterman International Hillel Foundation, and the Katz JCC.  She has developed curriculum for social service professionals, has served as a Steinhardt Scholars mentor, has been a leader for the Jewish Campus Service Corps helping to train fellows and supervisors, and has been a guest lecturer at the Temple University School of Social Work as well as the Rutgers University School of Social Work.  She is currently chair of the NJ Association of JFCS organizations and a member of the Camden County Addictions Task Force Board as well as the Cherry Hill Human Relations Task Force.

Equal to her passion for the community at large is her love for her family which includes husband Dan, children Jordan and Josh and Persian kitty Ms Zoe of Godiva.

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