Meet JoAnne Forman, our MHI Program Coordinator

Dear Rodef Sholom community,

I am thrilled to be working with my new role as the Mental Health Initiative (MHI) Program Coordinator.  I attended the JCC preschool and Brandeis Hillel Day School (now Brandeis Marin), became bat mitzvah at Rodef Sholom, and was lucky enough to travel to Israel as a teen with my Midrasha community.  After graduating from the University of Michigan, I lived and worked and lived in Boston, MA, and returned to the Bay Area, to earn graduate degrees in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and later in Counseling Psychology.   Among other work, while interning at Family Service Agency of Marin, I helped run a program called TeenScreen which provides emotional and mental health screening to middle and high school students.  My husband and I now have two daughters, ages 4 and 7, who are finding their own places within the Rodef Sholom community.    

In my meetings with the clergy I've heard them talk passionately about supporting their congregants in new and deeper ways, about integrating mental health into all aspects of the work we do, and about the deep and meaningful teachings that Judaism has to offer us in our journey towards healing and acceptance.  I've heard congregants' personal stories of struggle, individuals who felt personally reached out to and touched by Rabbi Friedman's 2014 Kol Nidre sermon, and who are now working to develop networks of support for fellow congregants. 

I look forward to continuing to lend my own experience, voice and commitment to this meaningful work.  If you would like more information or to get involved in the Mental Health Initiative, I invite you to contact me at [email protected] or 415.479.3441 ext. 3011, and to join one of our teams.



the REAL mental health initiative at rodef sholom is supported by the lazlo n. tauber family foundation