CT News

Miriam Brander joins Jewish Family Service management team

WEST HARTFORD — Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford (JFS) has announced the appointment of Miriam Brander as director of operations and community programs.

A resident of West Hartford, Brander previously served as director of community impact and evaluation at the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, where she managed allocations and evaluations of the organization’s beneficiary agencies. 

At JFS, Brander will be responsible for national reaccreditation, licensing, grant writing and administration, and supervision of several community programs.

“I am thrilled to join JFS and I am looking forward to making an impact in my new role, “ said Brander. “From feeding the hungry to reducing the stigma of mental illness across the community, the mission of Jewish Family Services has always been close to my heart. I am thrilled to take my next career step to manage the agency’s operations and support the essential work they do in our community.”

Brander replaces Joan Margolis, who retired on Nov. 1 after 28 years of service.

During her tenure at JFS, Margolis created and grew the agency’s Holocaust Survivors Program, a program designed to cover the unmet needs of Holocaust survivors. Launched 20 years ago with a $30,000 grant, Margolis, who served as program coordinator, was instrumental in increasing the grant to $1.25 million.

In recognition of her service to JFS, the organization has created the Joan Margolis Fund for Holocaust Survivors. 

“The highlights of my career have been serving JFS clients and their families,” said Margolis. “Assisting them has been a pleasure and a true honor. Retiring is bittersweet because I love JFS, I love my job and my colleagues, but I know I am leaving everyone in good hands.”

JFS Chief Executive Officer Anne Danaher lauded both women.

“Joan and Miriam are two exceptional compassionate women,” said Danaher. “Our agency has benefited from Joan’s dedication, strength and wisdom for more than two decades. We will miss her every day. At the same time we are fortunate to have Miriam join our team. Her management skills and previous experience will be key to our continued success. I am looking forward to her contributions to the agency and to the community at large.”

Brander holds a master’s in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert Wagner School of Public Policy, and a graduate certificate in Jewish Philanthropy from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She is a board member of Mikveh Bess Israel and holds a leadership role at Young Israel of West Hartford, where her husband Rabbi Tuvia Brander is senior rabbi. The couple are parents of a two-year-old daughter, Amalya.

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