By MYRON LOVE Sandra Novak is emblematic of the changing demographics of our Jewish community.
The newest addition to the Jewish Child and Family Service counselling staff was born and raised in Buenos Aires. While in school, she was accepted for the NAALE program in Israel – which offers teenagers from other countries a full scholarship to finish their high schooling in the Jewish State.
While studying in Israel, her parents – with her two brothers chose to make aliyah. The family subsequently moved again – this time to Winnipeg – and Sandra followed in 2006 after serving her time in the IDF.
To add to the family smorgasbord, Novak met her husband in Winnipeg, and the couple have one child.
“We appreciate the quieter atmosphere here in Winnipeg,” Novak says. “And people have been really friendly.”
Novak earned a B.A. (2010) – with a double major in psychology and criminal justice – and her M.A. in 2020 in marriage and family therapy. She began working at JCFS in 2016 as a support worker with clients with mental health differences, and then moved to a position as a mental health worker. She was appointed to her current position of Counselling Therapist in October.
The former case worker’s elevation to therapist, JCFS Executive Director Al Benarroch points out, reflects the increased demand for counselling services resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and social measures that were adopted in response.
“This is the first time in 20 years that we have had such a high demand for a therapist on staff,” Benarroch says. “In the recent past, we had been able to provide the counselling services that our clients required by contracting with therapists in private practice or through our on-staff therapist a couple of days a week. That person (Shelley Levit) retired, and we saw the need to hire Sandra at 4 days per week.”
Novak reports that she is available to work with individuals – both teens and adults – couples and families dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction, and more – to help them to better function at work, in their relationships and in their personal lives.
“It gives me a lot of satisfaction when I can help my clients overcome their problems and thrive,” she comments.
Benarroch adds, JCFS’s Counselling Services are available both for members of the Jewish and non-Jewish communities.
JCFS expands counselling program
Jewish Child and Family Service (JCFS) is proud to announce our JCFS Counselling Program has expanded. Did you know that we are available five days per week?
The JCFS Counselling Program is available to the community at large, regardless of religious or ethnic background. Fees for counselling services are charged on a sliding scale, based on family size along with income. Our goal is to be accessible and available.
Counselling at JCFS is delivered by highly skilled licensed therapists. The therapists are knowledgeable of a variety of treatment modalities. They can help with life challenges such as emotional stress, anxiety, depression, marital issues, relationship problems, self-esteem building, parenting, coping with life adjustment changes, bereavement, and more. JCFS Ttherapists always utilize a skills-based approach and encourage skill development of all clients. We’re here to help you better handle the challenges life can throw at all of us.
JCFS therapists are available to deliver services either in-person (at our office) or remotely. This hybrid model helps to meet people where they are at and reduces barriers to accessing support.
We’re here to help!
To book an appointment with the JCFS Counselling Program, please apply by contacting JCFS Intake 204-477-7430 or firstname.lastname@example.org