By Deb Silverthorn
|JFS’ Special Needs Partnership and Programs has found new leadership in its new director, Dallas native Lorraine Friedman.
Friedman, who has recently returned to Dallas after three decades of making a difference in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia areas, is a former member of the BBYO Zesmer chapter and a graduate of Hillcrest High School. She was also raised at Temple Emanu-El.
“It’s great to be back home, to the city I grew up in, and to be meeting so many people in our community, which has grown so much,” said the daughter of Barbara and Will Friedman, and mother of Cameron and Jared Goldstein. “This city and our Jewish community has grown and extended itself so much, and while I’m reconnecting with old friends, I’m making so many new ones.”
Friedman graduated from UT Austin, as well as Georgetown Law School. Over the past 30 years, she has been providing legal support through the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and serving children with disabilities for D.C.’s Protection and Advocacy system.
“Lorraine brings years of experience in creating connections, leading advocacy efforts and identifying creative solutions to everyday challenges for those with special needs,” said JFS CEO Cathy Barker. “Her passion for breaking barriers and improving access, combined with this experience, makes her the right person to lead JFS’ Special Needs Partnership.”
Friedman is founder and director of The DreamDog Foundation, a nonprofit which supports at-risk children. Having created “Kids Empowering Kids” and “Kids Making a Difference,” as well as the “Family Links” program that connects teen mothers and necessary resources (now directed by SCAN, Stop Child Abuse Now), she received Alexandria, Virginia’s 2015 Salute to Women Youth Community Services and 2016 Living Legend of Alexandria awards.
“Lorraine is incredible and she is helping us all as individual organizations, and as a whole community, work together for the good of those we serve,” said Dallas Friendship Circle Director Leah Dubrawsky, who works closely with Friedman, as well as with her son Cameron who volunteers as a Teen Buddy with Dallas Friendship Circle. “She’s very supportive and she understands what we want to do, what we need to do, and I’m sure she’s going to help us reach out further.”
Friedman is the creator of two award-winning book/music CD series, “Jazz the DreamDog” and the “DreamDog Kids,” to help children discover the superhero inside and believe that the real magic to solving problems lies within oneself. She also created “The Adventures of CiCi & Ace,” a unique multi-sensory product combining a storybook, music CD and web fun and games. Friedman is excited about children themselves becoming published authors through the “Book of My Own” program she designed.
“I’ve lived many lifetimes since I left Dallas, and I believe my role at JFS is allowing me to bring it all together and to make a difference for many,” Friedman said. “It takes a village to help and support our people, and this community is an incredibly giving and loving village.”
Lorraine Friedman can be reached at 972-437-9950 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.