Meet the leaders moving the needle on Holocaust survivor care.
We appreciate the talent and leadership of Mark Wilf and Todd Morgan, Co-Chairs of JFNA’s National Holocaust Survivor Initiative.
Shelley Rood Wernick is the director of the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care and is inspired every day by her Holocaust survivor grandparents An experienced staff member and advocate on Capitol Hill, she previously served as JFNA senior legislative associate and Washington director of the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies, where she conveyed critical policy priorities to Congress and the White House, and trained communities to advocate for the populations they serve. A committed leader, Shelley headed the 2011 Congressional initiative to install the Jewish Chaplains Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery and has held volunteer positions in Jewish Women International, JProDC, University of Florida Hillel, Israeli Dancing, and LearnServe International. She has an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and a BA in sociology and political science from the University of Florida.
Leah S. Bergen is the project manager of the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care. From 1999 to 2015, she dedicated herself to the field of refugee resettlement, working as a case worker at Church World Service-Joint Voluntary Agency in Nairobi, Kenya and as an employment advocate at Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area in Silver Spring, MD. She also worked for nearly seven years at HIAS — which aided her Holocaust survivor grandparents — as both a program manager and an advocate for refugees and asylum. Before graduating from American University’s School of International Service with a degree in international peace and conflict resolution, she processed asylum applications at the Arlington Asylum Office.
Michael Eisinger is the assistant project manager at the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care. While completing his Master’s in Holocaust and genocide studies at West Chester University, he participated in several international academic and research programs and was invited to speak at conferences, seminars, and symposiums on the subject of the Holocaust and genocide. After graduating, Michael deepened his knowledge of Holocaust survivor care as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit. There, he helped enhance services and outreach to local Holocaust survivors and developed and implemented a staff training program on survivor history.
Barbara Bedney, PhD, MSW, is director of program planning and evaluation at The Jewish Federations of North America. She helps Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care grantees with goal-setting, evaluation, and measuring impact, and works with Federation lay and professional leaders to identify trends in domestic human services and disseminate service models and best practices throughout the Federation Movement. Her areas of expertise include aging, family caregiving, and program planning and evaluation, and she has created numerous resource materials, issue briefs, trainings, and program models. Previously, Barbara worked at the University of Illinois-Chicago on an HIV prevention project for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; examined national long-term care needs and trends at the University of California, San Francisco; and practiced social work in New York City. Barbara is a member of the American Public Health Association, American Society on Aging, Gerontological Society of America, and American Evaluation Association, and has facilitated and presented at sessions for each of these organizations. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of California, San Francisco, her MSW from New York University, and her bachelor’s in psychology and sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles