Sylvia was born in Brooklyn, NY, was raised on Miami Beach, Florida, and is now living in Aventura with her husband Neil and dog, Ziggy. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Miami.
For nearly 37 years, Sylvia has devoted herself to the delivery of quality social services at Jewish Community Services which has not only greatly benefited South Florida’s Jewish community, but the community at large as well. After joining Jewish Vocational Services in 1981 as Project Coordinator of its Homemaker Referral Services, her strengths were quickly realized. Sylvia demonstrated her leadership skills, and by 1996 she was appointed the organization’s Chief Executive Officer. Five years later, JVS merged with Miami’s Jewish Family Services and the Community Council for Jewish Elderly to form Jewish Community Services of South Florida. Sylvia assumed the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer position of this $11 million human services agency which now has a $20 million annual budget, with nearly 45 programs and more than 200 full-time employees. In addition to overseeing all aspects of programmatic operations, Sylvia has spearheaded the agency’s successful efforts to maintain CARF International accreditation status for nearly 30 years.
Sylvia is a stalwart advocate for the clients served by JCS and has held a number of volunteer positions including serving as President of the Community Committee for Developmental Handicaps, Miami-Dade’s lead agency; and was on the Executive Board of the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, and the Board of Directors of the International Association of JVS.
Sylvia’s dedication to the community has been widely recognized by a number of organizations. She received the Michael Goodman Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation from FARF; the Claudia Fogel Award from the Association of Jewish Vocational Service Professionals; and in 2011, the Distinguished Service Award from The International Association of JVS. In 2006, Sylvia was inducted into the Miami Beach Senior High School Hall of Fame. Throughout her career, Sylvia sought to preserve the legacy of her parents; Holocaust survivors who taught her to help others, be grateful and improve the Jewish Community.