Jewish Free Loan Gets New Leadership | Community


Jewish Free Loan announced the new members of its board that were installed at its annual meeting on May 19. The changes to the board are marked by the retirement of Tina Sheinbein as Executive Director and the rise of Ellen Friedman Sacks to that position. Sheinbein is the part-time coordinator of the International Jewish Free Loans Association in his Phoenix office.

“It’s great to know that the person following in your footsteps shares the passion and love I have for JFL,” Sheinbein said of Sacks and the leadership transition.

Founded by Jewish philanthropists in Phoenix in the 1940s and incorporated into a formal nonprofit in 1950, JFL has provided interest-free loans to the Jewish community for all kinds of needs including, but not limited to , medical and dental expenses, education, adoption and travel to Israel. Their mission is to help people achieve their goals without accrued interest penalties.

Debra Friednash, a new board member, said that in her 30 years of service in the Jewish community in Denver, Colo., She had never known JFL. Everything changed when she moved to Arizona. She got to know the organization in 2019 through Debby Finkel and Tina Sheinbein: “I fell in love with both,” she said.

New JFL Board Member Debra Friednash

So far, she has only attended meetings but has yet to “get her feet wet,” she said. In her new position, she looks forward to raising money for the board so that it can allocate more resources.

She hopes to be part of the loan committee in order to bring money to those who really need it. She also intends to let donors know how good they are doing. “I think the donors who give are the ones who really matter,” she said. “They don’t realize that every penny they give goes to the community. He stays here.

Jeff Stanlis, another new board member, is focused on expanding JFL’s exposure to the community. “A lot of people in the community are not aware enough of what we are offering,” he said. In his conversations with members of the Jewish community, he enjoys being able to enlighten them on the wide range of loans offered by JFL. Stanlis believes that one thing that keeps people from coming to JFL is awkwardness in discussing financial needs. However, he hopes he can help spread the word. “It’s a virtuous circle – the more we help people, the more there is an element of awareness to build for the future,” he said.

JFL’s 70th birthday seemed like a good time for what Sheinbein said she knew was a smooth power transition for Sacks and the board. “We thought it was a good time to step up to Ellie’s leadership in the middle of the celebration.” She joked that her birthday looked perfect too since this year, “I’m getting as old as JFL.”

“I am very excited,” Sheinbein said of the new board of directors. “It can go in different directions, but it will always go in the right direction. Having that confidence – knowing that the blood sweat and tears you put into something will not only be maintained, but will be better – is a good feeling to have.

Ora Zutler, Chairman of the Board of Directors of JFL, is also confident that the changes will be positive. Sheinbein has grown the organization exponentially, she said, and ultimately left behind a legacy of strong leadership, strong involvement and tikkun olam.

“I am confident in Ellie’s leadership and that she will continue to build on this legacy,” she said of Sacks. “Ellie brings a progressive and forward-looking perspective to the position, ensuring that we can continue to grow and meet the changing needs of our community. “

“I can say without a doubt that this board of directors and these volunteers are one of the best groups of people that I have had the privilege to work with,” said Sheinbein. “To be able to get into the pandemic and not miss a thing, even with increased demand and frustrations we have to do it differently – that’s when you know you have a strong core of professional staff and a group of committed volunteers. ” Jn


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