SPRINGFIELD — After a yearlong national search, the board of directors at Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts (JFSWM) announced the hiring of a new CEO, Rabbi James Greene, who brings more than two decades of expertise in the Jewish nonprofit world from the interdenominational space of Jewish community centers (JCCs) and independent camps.
JFS’s current CEO, Maxine Stein, whose vision and leadership was responsible for the agency’s unprecedented growth and expansion during her tenure, will retire at the end of January 2023.
After 20 years of professional communal work, Greene sees the need for bringing core Jewish values to the work of building a stronger community and is excited by the challenge of empowering people to build better lives and growing organizational capacity to meet the needs of this unique moment at JFS. He spent nine years in the JCC movement, first as the program director at the Addison-Penzak JCC, and more recently as the assistant executive director for the Springfield JCC. In early 2020, he stepped into Jewish camping full-time as the executive director at Camp Laurelwood, where he successfully guided the agency through the pandemic, grew fundraising and grant revenue, took new programs from vision to successful execution in partnership with community agencies around the state, and oversaw the creation of a strategic vision to guide the organization into the future.
Greene has a bachelor’s degree in Holocaust and Judaic studies from Florida Atlantic University, and a master’s degree in Hebrew letters rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
“One of the important lessons of the last three years is the importance of having a community that reflects our values,” he said. “Jewish Family Service is an organization that is deeply committed to the most cherished values of the Jewish community and of the greater community in Western Massachusetts. It is an honor to be able to carry forward that work in the years ahead.”