Jewish Family Services
of Greenwich

JFS Staff and Board

Rachel Kornfeld, LCSW SBL
Chief Executive Officer

As a licensed clinical social worker and certified school administrator, Rachel has been providing quality mental health and education services in New York and Connecticut for over 20 years. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, a master’s degree in clinical social work from Columbia University, and second master’s degree in school building leadership from Mercy College.  Rachel began her career as a social worker in the New York City foster care system. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient mental health and hospital settings before assisting with the start-up of The New LIFE School a non-public special education setting, part of Lutheran Social Services of New York. Rachel functioned as the Director of Clinical Services, Principal, and Executive Director.

Rachel has years of post-masters training in various therapeutic modalities, and vast experience in the field of mental health and education services. Her goal at all levels remains the same, to provide a safe and nurturing environment for people of all ages to receive the care and compassion they need to change the trajectory of their lives.

A resident of Stamford and mother of two, Rachel enjoys bringing her passion and years of non-profit experience to those in lower Fairfield and Westchester counties. The opportunity to further support people in need of quality mental health care and support services in her community aligns with Rachel’s overarching goal of improving the lives of all those she encounters.

Melissa Knee, MBA
Office Administrator

Melissa comes to JFS with 18 years of experience as an accountant, private business owner and human resources manager. With a bachelor’s degree in accounting from SUNY Binghamton and an MBA from Pace University, Melissa takes multitasking to the next level.

After being a devoted stay at home mom to her two children, Melissa was drawn to JFS of Greenwich as a new challenge. Different from her work in the for profit world, she was looking for an opportunity which would bring depth of service to her community. Melissa enjoys being an advocate for those in need.

Her bubbly personality and ability to connect with those she encounters has brought great energy to the JFS office. Melissa is a phone call away to assist with almost anything that comes to mind!

Larry Stoogenke
Director of Community Engagement

Larry was born and raised in Stamford, CT.  After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in International Relations and Mediation, he worked in Washington D.C., Colorado and New York City.  In 1998 Larry returned to his hometown of Stamford where he managed a staffing agency for 13 years.  In 2010 Larry stopped working for several years to care for his son Harrison who had serious health issues in his early years.

Larry currently works part-time as the Director of Congregational Engagement at Temple Sinai in Stamford.  In his role as DCE he has created programs that have fostered inclusivity, acceptance and engagement for the congregation.  He has been instrumental in establishing meaningful connections amongst the congregants and a sense of belonging for the Temple Sinai community.

Larry’s time at home caring for Harrison sharpened his understanding of the importance of relationships. That, combined with his professional experience as a recruiter, connecting employees and employers, and as DCE at Temple Sinai makes him a natural fit to create “kehillah kedoshah – sacred community” at JFS.

Michael Garcia
Director of Case Management

Michael’s career spans over 30 years in the non-profit world, primarily serving youth and families in the New York foster care system.  During his career he has developed and managed the full spectrum of therapeutic residential services for at risk youth, as well as provided oversight of community recreation centers and home based waiver services in New York City.  Dedication to the mission of the organization and clients, program and staff development as well fiscal responsibility are among his most notable professional traits.  He has had the good fortune to collaborate with New York State and City stakeholders to improve and develop program and services.  A lifelong resident of Westchester County, Michael is a graduate of Fordham University with a Masters in Social Work Administration.  His passion for food and cooking along with his new found love of fostering rescue dogs allows him to live life with a low level of stress. 

Elyse Brown
Director of Supermarketing for Seniors

Elyse has BA degree in Philosophy from Emory University; she moved to Greenwich in 1980. Her zest for all things written led her to assist with the start-up of two business ventures in high tech consulting, where she enjoyed the editing and production of reports and business collateral. Elyse was introduced to JFS of Greenwich in the 1990s and became a devoted board member for many years. She volunteered for Supermarketing for Seniors as a shopper and found deep satisfaction assisting seniors in her community. Elyse became a caregiver and patient advocate when her husband developed ALS. Her expertise grew exponentially as she helped to navigate her husband’s care until his passing. It was a natural progression for Elyse to move into the lead role for Supermarketing for Seniors. Her commitment to improving the lives of others is evident in every aspect of her work. Elyse treats each client and their family with the utmost respect and care. She has become an advocate for all those in need in the Greenwich community and continues to make a positive impact daily.

Clinical Staff

Board of Directors

Lauren Gilbert Wels

Daniel Wichman

Sandy Soule

Chairperson of the Board
Nancy Peters

Executive Committee

Lauren Wels
Daniel Wichman
Willow Oberweger
Barbara D. Salop
Nancy Peters
Sandy Soule

Board Members

Steven Altman
Leslie Brandeis
Erica Buchsbaum
Meredith Curreri
Beth Cutler
Rita Edelston
Barbara Epstein
Josh Fields

Peter Furth
Caroline Hirschfeld
Sheila Kantor
Pamela Liflander
Ariel S. Manacher
Cheryl Probst
Deborah Rosmarin
Jonathan Tipermas
Nancy Zisson