Connect to...Margie Stern

When you join Engage, one of the first people you’re likely to connect with is Margie Stern, Volunteer Management Team Leader. This group is responsible for on-boarding all new Engage volunteers, helping them register for the program, and talking to them personally in order to match them with opportunities that mesh with their skills and interests. Margie feels this personal touch is crucial to effectively pair volunteers with programs that will appeal to them and make them feel valuedsomewhat like a job interview, but without any of the tension and anxiety.  

This position is, in fact, a perfect match for Margie, who spent the first part of her career in Human Resources in the corporate world. After several years in HR, Margie switched to the nonprofit arena and spent over 20 years at UJA-Federation in fundraising. Upon retiring in 2011, Margie became an active volunteer. She joined UJA-Federation’s Caring Commission, and serves on their Task Force on Aging, reviewing proposals from UJA-Federation partners seeking funding for their programs. One of the proposals that came across her desk was for Engage at JCC Manhattan, and she immediately decided to try and ensure its future. “So many people like myself are looking for a place not only to share their professional skills, but to find a sense of community and social network that tends to disappear once they are no longer full-time employed.” Margie was particularly intrigued by the proposed structure of Engagehaving professional lay people use their skills in program development and implementationand she got in on the ground floor, creating the recruitment and on-boarding processes now in place.

Looking ahead at 2015, Margie is very optimistic.  As Engage continues to grow, the Volunteer Management Team will be critical to ensuring that new recruits find their niche, and retaining current Engage members. “Engage has truly fulfilled both of my needsthe desire to continue employing my professional skills, and the development of a new network of personal friendstwo important benefits at this stage of my life.”  

If you are new to Engage or feel that you haven’t yet found your perfect project or community niche, please attend one of Engage’s monthly orientation sessions, where you’ll meet Margie and her team, and get detailed information about the variety of opportunities available. Or, if you have an idea for a program not currently offered by Engage that you would like to see implemented, please contact Rabbi Brian Fink, Director of Engage, at or 646.505.4408.