Our Staff

Shaina Sherman
Executive Director


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Shaina Sherman

Shaina Sherman, LSW, has devoted her career to supporting and empowering people of all ages and backgrounds. As Executive Director, she brings her experience in community engagement, strategic partnerships, and organizational development to JFS to best serve our neighbors in need in Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties. She is proud to lead our talented staff and dedicated board in their mission to preserve and strengthen quality of life for those of all backgrounds with renewed energy and a focus on dignity, inclusivity, and respect.

Prior to joining JFS Shaina worked for the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties in the position of Campaign Manager, and at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) as a Development Officer. She was the Director of Volunteer Services the for Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) and connected over 1,400 volunteers each year to projects ranging from food pantry support, pro-bono legal services, career counseling, social work internships, and more at the New York City based social service agency. She also worked for The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life in Greater MetroWest NJ as the Service Learning Coordinator where she inspired youth and teens to apply Jewish values of tzedakah (charity/justice) and mitzvot (good deeds/commandments) to their everyday lives.

Shaina holds a Masters of Social Work degree from Rutgers University with a certificate in Aging and Health and was a Rutgers Fellow in Aging, and an undergraduate degree from Rider University in Psychology, Social Work and Gender Studies. As part of her commitment to personal and professional growth in the nonprofit sector, Shaina is a Past President of New York Association for Volunteer Administration and she is pursuing a Certificate in Fundraising through NYU’s School of Professional Studies.

Elise Prezant
Career, Holocaust Survivors Program, Utility Assistance Coordinator


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Elise PrezantElise Prezant is the Project Coordinator for the Career Counseling, Holocaust Survivors Assistance and Utility Assistance programs. She has over 30 years of experience providing career and vocational rehabilitation services in New Jersey and Georgia.

Before joining JFS, she was the Manager of Career Services for Jewish Family and Career Services in Atlanta, Georgia and was the Executive Director of The Raritan Valley Workshop, an Easter Seal Facility in North Brunswick, NJ.

Debbie Gerber
Jewish Community Liaison


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Debbie GerberDebbie Gerber is a lifelong Jewish educator who is now working in the Ohr Tikvah / Jewish Outreach Program here at JFS. Debbie has taught for over 50 years and much of those years were devoted to Jewish education.

Debbie served as the head teacher for Hebrew schools in the US and abroad in Stockholm, Sweden where she lived for 27 years.

Debbie loves to bring both adults and children closer to Judaism with songs, stories and meaningful prayer moments.

Senior and Family Services

Sharon Chesir, MSW
Case Manager


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Sharon Chesir

Sharon Chesir received her Masters of Social Work from Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work and is a licensed social worker with more than twenty years of experience in a variety of settings. During the last fourteen years Sharon has been working almost exclusively with older adults and their families.

Prior to joining the staff here Sharon worked at Wilentz Senior Residence in Somerset as the Social Service Coordinator and she was a geriatric social worker/case manager for both Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey and Jewish Family and Counseling Service of Bayonne, Jersey City and Hoboken.

Debra Rimmer, LCSW
Senior Friendly Visitor Program Coordinator


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Debra RimmerDebra Rimmer, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in NJ and Texas. She received her (BSW) Bachelor in Social Work from SUNY/Albany, and Masters degree in Social Work (MSSW) from the University of Texas/Austin.

Throughout her 20+ year career as a Social Worker in the US. and Canada, Debra has worked with clients who have a variety of life challenges including mental health issues, adoption, post adoption, critical and chronic illness, dementia, abuse, anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, compassion fatigue, grief and loss and pet loss/bereavement. She has also created and facilitated a pet loss and bereavement group while in Austin, Texas.

Debra provides supportive counselling for youth, adolescents, families, adults, and elder adults. She is highly skilled, and works with her clients with a compassionate, kind and strengths based approach- striving to first understand their perspective, and then support and empower them to work towards comfort with growth and change.

Kate Gullo, LSW
Family Mentor Program Coordinator and Outpatient Therapist


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Kate GulloKate Gullo, LSW (she/her/hers) received her Master's in Social Work (MSW) from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Her experience as a social worker is collaborating with children, teens, adults, and families to confront the variety of life's difficulties and challenges with a growth mindset.

She works to engage strengths, support positive changes, and help move families and individuals along the continuum of well-being away from languishing and towards flourishing.

She uses a variety of evidence-based therapeutic approaches to promote client's progress towards goals including Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Attachment-Based Therapy.

Natalia Black
Senior Shopper Program Coordinator

Natalia Black

Natalia Black is the Senior Shopper Program Coordinator. She got her M.S. in Nonprofit Management from The New School for Social Research, New York, and her Degree in Pedagogy from Moscow State Pedagogical University. Natalia has over 20 years of experience working for local and international nonprofit organizations, including Doctor without Borders, TOLI, Center for Non-profits and Princeton Adult School. During her career Natalia has been working with seniors, children and families in need.

Mindy Hoffman, LAC
Youth and Families Coordinator / Out Patient Therapist


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Mindy HoffmanMindy Hoffmann, LAC, received her B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and her M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Track from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She completed her internship at Rutgers University Behavioral Health (UBHC) in the partial hospital at Piscataway, New Jersey, in which she performed both group and individual therapy for adults and young adults with mental illnesses and substance use issues. In her work, Mindy employs mindfulness techniques, motivational interviewing, CBT, and DBT informed therapies to help her clients. In her free time, Mindy volunteers at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Mercer County, running large group events, such as parties, mini golf, bowling, and more, for individuals with mental illnesses.


Maris Chavenson, LCSW


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Maris ChavensonMaris Chavenson, LCSW received her Bachelor's degree from Temple University and her Master's degree in Social Work, with a certificate in aging services, from Rutgers, the State University. As a clinical social worker Maris provides psychotherapy services and supportive counseling to adults, couples, older adults, and groups on issues such as depression, anxiety, grief and loss, and the challenges of caregiving.

Prior to coming to JFS she was the project director for a Federal grant program designed to provide innovative, trauma-informed care services to Holocaust survivors and their family caregivers. Maris also has a diverse background working in non-profit human resource management as well as public health, where she coordinated programs for the NJ statewide asthma coalition at the American Lung Association in New Jersey.

Tova Friedman, LCSW


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Tova FriedmanTova Friedman received a B.A. in Psychology from Brooklyn College, an M.A. in Black Literature from CCNY and an M.S.W. from Rutgers, The State University with a specialty in Gerontology.

Tova is the former Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties and has over 20 years of experience providing psychotherapy services and managing programs and agencies. She has provided psychotherapy services to individuals, families, couples and groups. She has also managed and provided Employee Assistance Program services for many companies in Somerset County.

Mrs. Friedman has extensive experience working with special populations including immigrant families, the elderly and individuals dealing with difficult children.

Tova, a Holocaust survivor, shares her experiences in Auschwitz with many schools and organizations. She hopes that her stories will emphasize that prejudice and violence will destroy both the victim and the victor. Her story and that of two of her friends appears in the book, Kinderlager, edited by Milt Nieuwsma, and published by Holiday House in 1998.

Marnie Kean, LCSW


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Marnie Kean

Marnie Kean, LCSW, started her social work career in 1994 upon graduating with her BASW from Rutgers University. She worked 5+ years working with the severely persistent mentally ill population. Then went on to obtain her MSW at Fordham University in 2000.

She was trained for her MSW at JFVS of Middlesex County and was hired to facilitate the CAMEO and Elderday Programs, Holocaust Survivor Aide and Companion Program, Kosher Food Pantry and Holiday Packages and she started a social program for young Jewish adults with Developmental challenges as well.

Marnie Kean worked at Jewish Family Service of Central NJ as Older Adult Intake Coordinator and House Calls Social Worker for JFS of Metro-west. Her last position was at The Wilf Campus for Senior Living and she is happy to continue working in the Somerset area.

Marnie Kean comes to Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren with over 25 years experience as a social worker.

Kathy Larkin, LCSW



Kathy LarkinKathy Larkin LCSW received her Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University. She has over 30 years of experience working in non-profit agencies, and hospital settings. Kathy has extensive experience working with individuals who are coping with life-threatening Illness, as well as their family members.

She has led support groups for people diagnosed with cancer, family caregivers, and bereavement groups. Kathy has worked with people of all ages.

Early in her career, she worked in the family court system, a school for children with special needs, and coordinated a program to assist people coping with serious mental illness adjust to life in community settings.

Kathy's long career has enabled her to witness how people find strength to cope, and grow in the midst of all types of challenges. She employs a practical approach to help people discover the strengths they have within them.

Jenna RomaJenna Roma, MSW received her Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Jenna has experience working with pre-school aged children with developmental delays and behavioral issues in a school setting. During her internship with JFS, Jenna has provided individual therapy to children struggling with anxieties or mental illness. Jenna also co-facilitates social skills groups working with children, adolescents, and young adults on the autism spectrum and with social anxiety.

She works closely with families using a strengths-based approach in order to help them reach their goals.

Young-In Shin, LCSW


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Young-In ShinYoung-In Shin, LCSW, has B.A. in Public Health and a Master's Degree in Social Work from New York University.

She has years of experience advocating for children and families involved with Family Court and supervising volunteers in New York City. Young-In also has experience in providing intensive in-home therapy to youths and families.

Florence ZevinFlorence Zevin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works with individuals and couples ranging in age from adolescence to senior adults. Florence utilizes a strengths based approach to therapy which encourages individuals to identify their core strengths and use them to make positive changes in their life.

Florence has been trained in various therapeutic techniques including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, mindfulness and motivational interviewing. In addition, she has experience working with the LGBT community. Florence has worked as a psychotherapist for over nine years following an earlier career in information technology.