JFCS Executive Director to Retire in December

The Tiell era at Jewish Family & Career Services will come to an end in December when Executive Director Judy Freundlich Tiell will retire. “I joined the staff in 1979 and had been a part of the management team for many years,” comments Judy. In 2004, when the Executive Director’s position opened up, her husband, Bob Tiell, former head of the JFCS Career Services, remembers, “I urged Judy to throw her hat into the ring, truly believing that she was much more than a worthy candidate. I think time has demonstrated that it was a wise decision. “

“I was privileged to meet Judy when I interviewed her for JFVS in 1979. It was clear then that Judy was a remarkable social worker, committed to the organization’s Jewish values,” comments Jane Goldstein, former president of JFVS (predecessor to JFCS). “She was an excellent hire who has been an effective leader in positioning JFCS as a vital part of our community,”

Judy has her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and has two masters’ degrees – an MSW from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts in Jewish Studies from the Baltimore Hebrew University.    Her social work practice has specialized in areas of adoption, infertility, and intermarriage, and she has impacted numerous families in our region by helping them to build families through adoption.

Judy is passionate about the opportunity to help facilitate change in people’s lives. She has helped to create programs and services that enable people to develop their skills, manage transitions and move forward in strengthened and positive ways. Her vision for JFCS has always been that the organization serves the entire community through a Jewish lens and works for Tikkun Olam – the repair of the world.  Toward this end, Judy has been instrumental in creating LHOME, a certified community development financial institution, and other financial empowerment programs benefitting individuals and families.

Not only has Judy contributed to the success and wellbeing of JFCS, but she also has brought her skills and leadership to the Jewish communal field. “Your involvement with the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services and the Association of Jewish Family and Children Agencies helped to define our work for more than a decade. Your leadership helped birth the newly formed Network of Jewish Human Services, an organization that meets the needs of our field today,” praises Linda Burger, CEO of Jewish Family Service in Houston, TX.

Judy feels a great sense of pride about her role in starting a local chapter of Resolve, a support group for people dealing with infertility and the development of numerous support networks within the Jewish community that reflected people’s desires to connect with one another.   Some of them included groups for people dealing with substance abuse, for the LBGT community, and for interfaith couples.   She has mentored and coached numerous young social workers and has created an organizational culture which allows for the growth and development of many young professionals.

Former head of Louisville’s Metro United Way, Joe Tolan, praises Tiell. “I have said that we are blessed with some great talent at the helm of some key agencies, and Judy has been an exemplary and gifted leader.  I consider myself quite fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her, and I wish her all good things as she embarks on this new stage of her life.”

As a first-generation American herself, Judy is passionate about ensuring that refugees and immigrants find their place in our community.  Many of the programs that have been developed at JFCS under Judy’s leadership focus on creating pathways for refugees and immigrants to move forward in their careers.   Judy began her social work career while in college, working with refugees, helping them with job development and cultural competencies.

“Over the years, Judy has touched so many people with warmth, understanding and kindness. She has helped interfaith couples navigate the start of their lives together with support and understanding. She has worked with young couples adopting children. She has guided substance abusers to the help they need. She has ensured that services and support are available for refugees and immigrants, giving them a fresh start in Louisville,” lauds Sara Wagner, CEO of the Jewish Community of Louisville.

Judy is most proud of her family.  She and her husband, Bob, have been married for 37 years and have two sons, Scott and Jeff and their respective partners, Lindsay and Kendra.  In recognition of Judy’s long-standing financial commitment of JFCS, the JFCS Board of Directors announces the establishment of the Judy Freundlich Tiell Family Strengthening Fund to honor her commitment to ensuring that families have the parenting skills, economic means and social connection that build strong families. For information about contributing to this fund, contact Beverly Bromley at 452-6341, ext 223 or [email protected]

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