Image of Dawn and husband Ed standing in front of water

Dawn Berney

Executive Director

Dawn went to graduate school in Public Administration at Syracuse University specifically because of her love of social policy and budgets. During the 15 years that she has lived in Madison she has volunteered for JSS, and has been president of Congregation Shaarei Shamayim. Dawn lives on the near westside with her husband Ed and her children Sammy and T. You can often find her running and biking around Madison. Feel free to contact Dawn at

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Rabbi Renee Bauer

Director of Chaplaincy and Outreach

Rabbi Bauer began her new position at JSS in November. As Director of Chaplaincy and Outreach, Rabbi Bauer provides the Jewish Social Services community with a Jewish spiritual presence. She also coordinates outreach and training for the new Jewish Social Services Refugee Resettlement Program. Rabbi Bauer earned a B.A. in history and Judaic Studies from Brown University. She was ordained as a rabbi by Reconstructionist Rabbinic College in 2005. Rabbi Bauer has significant experience through her work as a rabbi for six years at Congregation Mayim Rabim in Minneapolis and internships at a Jewish nursing home and the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center. Additional experience comes from working as the executive director of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice for the past nine years.

  • Phone: (608) 424-4033
  • Email:
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Paul Borowsky

Volunteer Coordinator

Paul Borowsky began as our new volunteer engagement coordinator on November 29th. Paul was the director of the West Madison Senior Center where he recruited over 100 volunteers. More recently he has done extensive outreach with Second Harvest Food Bank and the FreshMobile. Paul has masters’ of Education and Social Work degrees from the University of Illinois-Urbana and a master’s of Cultural Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Phone: (608)442-4083
  • Email:
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Maya Garbuz, MSSW, CISW

Case Manager

Maya Garbuz holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Lobachevsky University in Russia and Master’s Degree in Social Work from UW-Madison. For the last 10 years Maya worked as a Lead Case Manager at Bridges for Families, providing services to families with children with disabilities.

Maya began working as a case manager for JSS in November 2016. She provides services to seniors supporting them in applying for benefits and housing, assisting with referrals to community agencies, and advocating with landlords, various benefit programs and utility companies.

Maya also holds certification in Sleep Consultations for children, adolescents and adults that she received a few years ago and she enjoys giving presentations on developing healthy sleep habits for people of all ages.

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Marian Herzog

Communications Coordinator

Marian is very excited to begin working with Jewish Social Services. Having grown up in the Madison Jewish community, she loves the chance to be able to give back. She also teaches at Congregation Shaarei Shamayim.

  • Email:
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Jim Mackman

Executive Assistant

Jim has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with additional two years of graduate-level training in human medicine at the UW Medical School. He has worked at JSS since 2015. In his spare time Jim enjoys hiking and biking in natural areas. He loves gardening and has fun planting/maintaining the flowers in front of the Max Weinstein Jewish Community Building. He also loves doing carpentry and woodworking projects. If that wasn’t enough, he also does volunteer psychiatric case management.


Image of Caren smiling

Caren Minkoff, MSW

Case Manager

Caren is a native of Madison and returns to Madison after 10 years of working as a social worker in Chicago. Caren earned her masters in social work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois- Chicago. Caren most recently worked as a school social worker for a public charter school in Chicago. She looks forward to reconnecting to her Madison roots and hopes to provide quality, supportive services to those served through JSS.

Gretchen Patrisio

Preferred Communities/Refugee Social Service Case Manager

Gretchen joined JSS in March 2019 as a case manager for the new Preferred Communities Program, expanding refugee support services within JSS.  She has worked in social services with diverse populations in Madison for over 13 years.  She earned her B.S. in Human Services from Edgewood College.  Gretchen has a passion for working with refugees, immigrants and serving the community.  She enjoys running, yoga, travel and bubble baths.  She is married and has 3 children who keep her on her toes.  She strives to be a self-care guru and believes that laughter is the best medicine.

Phone: (608) 442-4087

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Becca Schwartz

Resettlement Coordinator

Becca joined JSS in January, 2017 to head up the new Refugee Resettlement Program. She is a Middleton native who recently moved back to the area after over a decade working in various parts of East and West Africa. She earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa and an MBA from Drexel University before joining the Peace Corps where she started working in small business development. Since then she has worked in renewable energy, social enterprise and non-profit management. Becca has lived in Senegal, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria and has a working knowledge of French and Wolof. 

  • Phone: (608) 960-7883
  • Email:

Chris Shanahan

Associate Director

Chris started with JSS as in independent accounting contractor in July of 2015, through her accounting firm, Computer Services, that is focused on a not for profit client base. After working and becoming more familiar with the programs and services offered by JSS, she wanted to be more involved with the mission and delivery of those services to the clients of JSS in some capacity, and came on board as the Finance and Human Resource Director in January of 2018, and is more committed to the JSS mission, programs, and developing programs. Chris graduated with degrees from SIU-E.

In addition to her work with JSS, her other interests include baking, or anything food, floral arranging, and being a fantastic grandma!!





Rihab Taha

Resettlement Case Manager, Arabic Translator

Rihab Elmujamar Taha has a Bachelor of Science and a Medical Doctorate of Medicine and Surgery from Ain-Shams University in Cairo Egypt. She has worked in numerous countries as a Surgeon and Physician such as UAE, Egypt, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. She joined Medicine San Frontiers and volunteered with them at Nuba Mountains /Sudan. She lived and enjoyed the arts in Chicago for 9 years. She loves children and worked as a certified pediatrician for almost a decade. In her spare time, Rihab enjoys spending time with her family, laughing and enjoying life with her friends, and most importantly smiling. She loves Arts, Yoga, gardening, hiking and  camping.

On her weekends she loves listening to music.   For her, enjoying life and seeing the beauty in all things is of the upmost importance in life.