Our Team


Howard Olshansky - Executive Director

Howard joined Jewish Family Services of Greater Charlotte in 2016. He has an impressive 28 year background as a leader of both nonprofit and for-profit organizations in a variety of industries, ensuring mission fulfillment and sound financial viability.

Howard has expertise in organizational, operational, and management and has successfully led capital campaigns, endowment growth, donor cultivation and stewardship efforts. He brings vision, passion, and experience to take JFS to new heights of service to the Charlotte community.

Prior to coming to Charlotte and JFS, Howard led numerous organizations including Boys Town, Nevada, The Children’s Place at Home Safe in West Palm Beach, The Arc of the Piedmont in Charlottesville, Va. and The Arc of Palm Beach County. He was also executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Ostroff Group in Boca Raton, overseeing operations and providing consulting services primarily to Jewish nonprofits.

To reach Howard, please contact him at howard.olshansky@jfscharlotte.org or  704-364-6594.

Rachel Green, MSW, LCSW - Director of Programs and Services

As Clinical Director of Programs and Services, Rachel Green is responsible for guiding, managing and directing all aspects and functions of JFS’ programs and services, including program planning, development and delivery. She supervises all clinical and programmatic staff. She comes to JFS with an extensive background in community mental health and non-profit clinical management. As the Director of Mental Health Programs of South Bay Children’s Health Center, a non-profit agency located in Redondo Beach, CA, Rachel managed outpatient, in-home, and school-based mental health services.  Just prior to coming to JFS Rachel worked  as a Licensed Mental Health Clinician for Mecklenburg County Trauma Justice Partnership in the Child Development, Community Policing Program.

Rachel holds certifications in Triple P Parenting and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, both evidence-based therapy practices. She is a Diplomate and Certified Member of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. 

Rachel is a native of Greensboro, N.C. and is happy to be back in the Tar Heel state! 

Susan Meyer - Development Manager

Susan has a diverse background in building relationships, leading events and inspiring committees and staff in the successful execution of vibrant annual campaigns and in engaging fundraising events.

Susan, who is deeply committed and connected to the Jewish community she has lived in for the past 29 years, takes great pride in working with a variety of stakeholders to build and increase financial resources for JFS.

Her previous role at JFS, handling donations and processing tribute cards, combined with her passion for “doing good” in the community she lives in, makes Susan ideal for her current position.

Prior to coming to JFS, Susan honed her craft of developing relationships in the hospitality industry where she specialized in sales and marketing for over 20 years. 

Susan is a graduate of Georgia State University.



Kerry Porter - Finance and Administrative Services Manager

Bio coming soon!

Clinical Staff 

Courtney Lawrence, MSW, LCSW - Clinical Therapist

Courtney Lawrence earned her Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her experience includes work in community-based, outpatient, residential, and hospital settings addressing trauma, domestic violence, sexual violence, crisis intervention, depression, anxiety, grief, family conflict, and adjustment and life transitions. Courtney has been trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and she is rostered as a quality provider of CPT. She’s also been trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

 Courtney utilizes a person-centered, trauma-informed lens. She takes a collaborative approach as she believes people are the experts of their lives and she is a vessel to help with healing and provide a safe space to navigate life’s challenges.

Amanda Levine MSW, LCSW - Senior Engagement Therapist

Amanda Levine, clinical therapist, earned her Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Loyola University in Chicago. It was through her two internships working with memory impairment and kids and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities that she became passionate about working with older adults. 

With a specialization in Geriatric Mental Health, her primary focus is on the health issues specific to senior populations and the challenges associated with aging, such as life transitions, grief, loss, stress, depression, depression-related isolation, anxiety and managing family relationships. Using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a person-centered approach, she assists seniors with life decisions brought about during the aging process. 

Through an honest, non-judgmental and safe environment, Amanda is able to empower her clients to work on sensitive challenges, slowly working to get them where they want to be. Her approach is strength-based and solution-focused.  She feels that few people are prepared to deal with aging-related issues and views her role as one of educator, partner and advocate, assisting clients in navigating resources and encouraging them to become their own advocates. 

Sara Scheibner, MSW, LCSW - Clinical Therapist

Sara Scheibner earned her Master of Social Service from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research in Pennsylvania and her undergraduate degree in psychology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Sara completed training in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) at Duke University and is rostered as a quality provider of CPT for individuals who are experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sara is a credentialed TF-CBT therapist through the NC Child Treatment Program, certified to treat children and adolescents who have a history of experiencing trauma.

Sara’s experience includes working with adults, children, and adolescents in community-based and residential, inpatient, and outpatient treatment settings, providing individual and group therapy and case management and addressing a variety of concerns that include: domestic violence, crisis intervention, depression, anxiety, family conflict and adjustment/life transitions.  Sara utilizes a client-centered, trauma-informed model of care.  

Through her work, Sara has been able to serve her clients with full awareness of the context in which they are expected to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.  While sensitive to many of the inequities that clients face, Sara is neither defeated nor overwhelmed, but rather attempts to apply what she knows about society, educational institutions and families to help empower clients to make progress despite these obstacles.

Emily Jones, MSW, LCSW-A - Clinical Therapist

Emily Jones earned her Master of Social from Arizona State University. Her experience includes work in community mental health, school based therapy, and working with clients with a range of mental health needs. Emily has worked extensively with children, teens, and adults and believes in the power of a collaborative therapeutic relationship, where clients can feel heard, understood, and empowered. Emily has a passion to support individuals on their journey to mental and emotional well-being. Emily’s specialties include cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and solution-focused therapy. Emily’s approach is tailored to the client’s unique needs blending evidence-based techniques within a compassionate and non-judgmental space. Emily is deeply committed to client’s progress and passionate about helping them unlock their full potential.

Senior Engagement Staff 

Sheryl Gerrard - Senior Engagement Manager

A former psychologist with experience in hospitals, schools and private practice, Sheryl is the Senior Engagement Manager for JFS, responsible for developing and executing all programs and services delivered to senior adults geographically dispersed throughout the greater Charlotte area. She ensures the diversity of offerings and integrity of Jewish experiences for seniors living on their own or in a residential community and for local area Holocaust survivors and their family members. 

As an expert in community resources, Sheryl provides support, information and knowledgeable direction for those planning care options for senior family members or for themselves. 

Sheryl graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Psychology; a Masters in Clinical Psychology from The New School in NYC and she holds a Post-Masters Certification in School Psychology from Montclair State University. She recently graduated with a Certificate in Gerontology from UNC-Charlotte, is now part of the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners and is an Alzheimer’s Association Community Educator.

Ruth King - Senior Engagement Specialist/Case Manager
After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in psychology, Ruth came to Charlotte and started an almost 20 year career at a skilled nursing facility where she fell in love with working with seniors. She started there in activities, moved into social services, and finally worked in the admissions department where she was able to work more with the community as well.  Following the pandemic, Ruth decided she needed a change and to take time with her kids. She continued her work with seniors part time at an estate planning attorney’s office assisting families with making health and financial decisions for the future. Ruth enjoys meeting new senior members of the community each day and being able to assist them with during this stage in their life.

Tracee Morrissette - Senior Engagement Specialist/Case Manager

Tracee graduated from North Carolina Central University with a BS in Health Education and concentration in Public Health. Shortly after graduating, she worked as an Eligibility Specialist with Mecklenburg County for ten years in Adult Medicaid helping clients living in Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living communities. Tracee then worked for three years as Director of Social Services at a Rehab facility in Charlotte where she continued to serve as an advocate for seniors and their families. Prior to joining the JFS team, Tracee worked another ten years with Union County aiding residents to qualify for disability and Adult Medicaid. Both positions gave her the opportunity to work with seniors and the disabled, two areas of focus she finds particularly rewarding.

Administrative Staff 

Julie Dalli – Administrative Support Specialist

Julie Dalli is our Administrative Support Specialist, providing overall assistance to JFS management and staff. She helps make sure the day-to-day operations of our office are running smoothly and efficiently.

Julie has lived in the Charlotte area and has been part of our Jewish community for about fourteen years. She is familiar with the agencies and people of Shalom Park through the time she spent working at Temple Beth El in various roles.

Julie is excited to be supporting the good work that Jewish Family Services does in our community and beyond.

Julie Loftis - Marketing Specialist

Bio Coming Soon!

Roberta Rodgers - Community Liaison

Roberta Rodgers joined Jewish Family Services of Greater Charlotte in 2017 as the Community Liaison. She is responsible for the vision and strategic direction of the volunteer program, assisting with JFS’ collaborative events in the community and representing JFS with other agencies, schools, organizations and stakeholders. She also ensures and oversees the smooth running of the JFS Food Pantry.

Roberta has lived in Charlotte and been involved in the Jewish community for more than 20 years serving in many different capacities. She is a Registered Nurse, earned her MBA from Fordham University and her Bachelors of Science degree from the University City of Vermont.

Milli Plifka - Accounting Assistant

Bio – Coming Soon!

Lori Trapani - Client Services Specialist


Bio Coming Soon!





Executive Director’s Message

Welcome to Jewish Family Services’ website. I hope whether you are visiting our site to access support, interested in helping out or just looking to gain more information about JFS that you are able to easily find the information you need.

Jewish Family Services of Greater Charlotte has been serving our community for 40 years. With the support of our community, JFS is providing critical services to members of our community. We are committed to raising awareness around social issues impacting our community as well as celebrating Jewish culture and traditions.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are unable to access the specific information you need or if you have further questions. JFS staff are here to help.

Thank you for your interest in JFS!

Howard Olshansky

Executive Director

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