YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood

Welcome Aboard!

With the start of a new year comes changes. Recently, the Y has made some additions to the Youth department staff to create the best youth programming possible. We are pleased to introduce Alan Scher, our new Managing Director of Youth and & Family Services and Day Camp Director, and Jon Zeftel, our Supervisor of Youth Enrichment Programs. Alan and Jon both bring much experience and energy to their new rolls, and we hope you are as excited as we are for them to join the team. To help you understand better who their are and what they are about, here is a brief biography on each of them. Of course, we encourage all of you to come in to the Y and meet them for yourself!

Alan – Alan never sat straight enough for his kindergarten teacher, but managed to make something of himself, nonetheless. In his new role as Managing Director of Youth & Family Programs, her supervises programming at the Y that include after school, camp, teen, and youth enrichment. Alan has a master’s degree in education, and a bachelor’s from the prestigious University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Alan is also an alumnus of Bend the Arc’s Jeremiah Fellowship, the JCC Association’s Merrin Teen Professional Fellows program, and was the 2011 recipient of the Helen Diller Family award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Most importantly, Alan has begun pronouncing the “t’s” in such words as diverse as “mountain” and “fountain,” despite growing up in New Jersey. It’s the little things, truth be told, that bring him joy: Doing a spot on Otis Redding at karaoke, keeping his house plants alive, and roller skating on his birthday. The highlight of his week is almost always celebrating Shabbat with his daughter. He likes it when she slouches. “This fall begins a new chapter in the storied and impactful history of youth and family programming at the Y here in Washington Heights. I am deeply honored to be serving in this new leadership role here, and fostering a holistic, organic and comprehensive vision for our agency to support and empower young people across our diverse community. Please join me in helping to craft this strategic plan! I can be reached at ascher@ywashhts.org, and value dialogue and community contribution. As a new Washington Heights resident, along with my wife and daughter, I look forward to partnership and collaboration across the neighborhood. B’shalom.” 

Jon – Jon was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and transplanted to New York City three years ago, following his graduation from Pennsylvania State University in 2009. Jon has worked in a variety of educational settings, including teaching English at a high school in southern France, supervising Sports Programming at New Country Day Camp of The 14th Street Y, and leading a team of talented staff members at Manhattan Youth’s After-School Program.  Jon joined the Y of Wash Heights as a full-time employee of The Youth and Family Services Department this past May.  He spent the summer of 2013 as the Counselor Director at Camp Yomawha.  He is excited to transition into his new role at The Y, as Supervisor of Youth Enrichment Programs.  Jon already loves the neighborhood and has plans to leave his apartment in Brooklyn for a new home in Washington Heights before the end of the year. “What makes our youth programming special is how it is really an organic part of the Washington Heights/Inwood community.  The Y is a community center in the truest sense.  It is a melting pot of everything and everyone that makes Washington Heights special.  Our counselors and staff were once campers and Y kids. They are so loyal to The Y and have such a strong connection to the center and its programs.  I have only been here since May, but it is already clear to me how unique the Y is.  I am so honored to be a part of the team moving the organization forward.”

Patrick – Coming to the Y of Washington Heights & Inwood as director of the Summer Youth Employment Program has brought Patrick full circle to his programming roots. From 1886 – strike that! 1986 – to 1994, Patrick worked for the NYC Department of Youth Services (a precursor to the current Department of Youth and Community Development). During this period Patrick oversaw the SYEP for the entire Northeast Bronx, stretching from the Bronx River Parkway to the shores of City Island. As the dust settles from the summer of 2013, Patrick looks to build upon this year’s successes and establish the Y as the premier Summer Youth Employment Program provider in all of NYC! “The Summer Youth Employment is a natural progression of youth development programming for the Y. Many of the young people whom we hired this summer have experienced first-hand the continuum of services that the Y provides: the nursery and after-school programs, as well as Camp Yomawha. My goal is to make the SYEP more than just a ‘place to pick up a paycheck’. I will continue to encourage our worksite partners to create outstanding, life changing, career influencing experiences. I felt most gratified this summer when several of our local youth shared that this summer unveiled for them the careers they would pursue.”

About the Y
Established in 1917, the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood (the Y) is Northern Manhattan’s premier Jewish community center — serving an ethnically and socio-economically diverse constituency — improving the quality of life for people of all ages through critical social services and innovative programs in health, wellness, education, and social justice, while promoting diversity and inclusion, and caring for those in need.

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YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood

Welcome Aboard!

With the start of a new year comes changes. Recently, the Y has made some additions to the Youth department staff to create the best

Read More »