Health & Wellness Coaches Support Staff

April 26, 2024

Health & Wellness Coaches Support Staff

L-R: Jen Leibowitz and Jody Goldfarb

Since the war in Israel began, the staff members at JF&CS have been supporting the community as much as possible, while coping with their own fears and difficult feelings about the current events. Self-care can often go by the wayside in times like these, but JF&CS staff had the opportunity to prioritize their own Health & Wellness in recent months — thanks to two generous volunteers.

“Our tireless professionals give of themselves each and every day to the community, and there is a level of compassion fatigue that comes with the work that they do,” said Lauren Harris, PhD, Leadership & Engagement Officer. “We are so privileged at JF&CS to have such generous volunteers share their expertise with us.”

Jen Leibowitz and Jody Goldfarb are both board-certified Health & Wellness coaches who operate their own successful businesses, JL Wellness Coaching and Intown Coaching, respectively. Like many, the terrorist attacks on Israel left Jen feeling helpless and seeking connection: “After October 7, I tried to come up with ways to give back to people however I could,” she said. “I know how much JF&CS does for the community at large, but I started thinking, ‘who takes care of the staff? How do they manage the stress and time they spend giving to others?’”

Jody was aligned with Jen’s desire to give back and felt that JF&CS was the place to do so. The women approached Lauren with the idea to offer their services (pro-bono) and soon, Jen and Jody were conducting weekly one-on-one coaching sessions, as well as weekly mindfulness meditations via Zoom and in staff meetings.

How Health & Wellness Coaching Helps

Health & Wellness Coaching is an all-encompassing approach to health which considers factors like sleep, relationships, stress management, meaningful work, exercise, and eating habits as equally important to overall well-being.

“People may have a sense that things are not feeling balanced, but don’t have the opportunity or the framework to explore what they want for themselves and how to break that down into small, doable steps to get them there because they’re so busy,” said Jody. “If you’re just looking at the end goal, that can be overwhelming. Sometimes you need someone to help you become clear about what you want and need.”

“It’s remarkable what humans can do when you give them space to work and think about themselves and what they’re capable of,” said Jen. “People want to know they have support, and that there’s someone in their corner. It’s motivational in a way where you’re not focusing on the past like you would in therapy, but coaching is more about what are we going to do now in the present moment, and how do we move that forward?”

“We always say, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup,’ and here is a group of people (at JF&CS) who are always giving and doing,” said Jody. “It can be very depleting if there’s not a real intentionality about how you’re going to care for yourself.”

Not only does Health & Wellness coaching help in the present, but it can also impact the future, too. “If you’re able to work with someone on building healthy habits it can actually prevent disease, raise self-esteem, and enhance quality of life,” said Jen.

“It was so helpful to work with Jody,” said Allison Holmes, Events & Special Projects Manager. “Even in only 20 minutes a week, she helped me learn to balance my responsibilities, and I’ve gained so many new tools to add to my ‘stress management toolbox.’”

“After working with Jen, I feel like I’m back on my own ‘to-do’ list,” said Rebecca Cochran, Communications Specialist. “My time with her was invaluable.”

Thanks so much to Jen and Jody for sharing your time and expertise with our grateful staff. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with all of our wonderful volunteers!