Judy Friedman-Rudzki Elected Board Chair of Los Angeles Jewish Health

Connections to Care Mobile Hero
Home / News & Events / Newsletter

Judy Friedman-Rudzki Elected Board Chair of Los Angeles Jewish Health

Jul 2, 2024

One of Los Angeles Jewish Health’s most significant strengths is its lay leadership—women and men who give generously of their time and expertise by serving on the organization’s various boards. This July, we are extremely fortunate to welcome Judy Friedman-Rudzki as incoming Chair of LAJH’s Board of Directors. It’s the continuation of a long and fruitful collaboration during which Judy has worked tirelessly to make life better for seniors across our community.

LAJH first came onto Judy’s radar in 2007, when her beloved great aunt, who was grappling with early onset dementia, moved from her own apartment in L.A.’s Fairfax District to LAJH’s Grancell Village campus.

“The care and support were absolutely incredible. As my aunt’s dementia progressed and her needs changed, LAJH was right by her side, ensuring she received the very best of everything,” Judy recalls. “I was impressed and decided to get involved in helping the organization advance its mission, joining the board in 2009. I haven’t looked back since.”

Over the past 15 years, Judy’s service to LAJH has been expansive. She has been an active participant on the board’s Strategic Planning Committee and chaired its Budget and Finance Committee and in-residence Boards for both the Grancell Village and Eisenberg Village campuses of LAJH. In addition, she has served on the Board of the Annenberg School of Nursing. Her new role as Chair of the Board of Directors—making her only the second woman at LAJH to occupy this position—will span a two-year term.

“As CEO of LAJH, I am delighted to welcome Judy as our new Board Chair. Her deep commitment to our mission and her exemplary leadership qualities will undoubtedly continue to steer us towards even greater achievements in senior care and community health. Together, we look forward to continuing our legacy of compassionate service and innovative care for all those we are privileged to serve,” said Dale Surowitz, LAJH’s president and chief executive officer.

In her professional life, Judy is a director and senior treasury officer at Bank of America, giving her a critical perspective on LAJH and how it seeks to achieve its objectives.

“In my position at Bank of America, I work with companies, understanding their business model, their sources of revenue, and business processes. I bring that same lens to the nonprofit world. LAJH does rely on the community for support, but I think it’s also essential to take a look at what we can do to help support ourselves, just like any business. Being fiscally responsible is of paramount importance,” she says.

As her term kicks off, Judy has set herself a number of key goals. “There are four main things on my radar as chair,” she notes. “First is supporting LAJH’s leadership. Dale has aligned a great team and vision; I see my job as supporting him to do his. I’m also excited to engage with the broader community, working with donors and enhancing LAJH’s visibility and impact. My third area of focus will be sharing the organization’s plan for growth—spreading the word, for instance, about how we plan to bolster care for seniors citywide through an expansion of our PACE facilities like the Brandman Centers for Senior Care. And finally, I’ll be concentrating on evaluation and continuous improvement. Regularly assessing how we’re doing is the fiduciary responsibility we have to our donors.”

Settling into her role as chair will be made easier by the support she has from the leadership at Bank of America. “The bank encourages volunteerism and community engagement. I am grateful for their commitment to better the communities where we live and which we serve,” she says.

Judy traces her commitment to working on behalf of the Jewish community to her upbringing as the child of a Holocaust survivor. Her dad fled Poland as a child, living in five different countries before making his way to Canada. When Judy was young, her family immigrated to the U.S. with $100 to their name, ultimately settling in Los Angeles.

“I grew up with very little, but my parents modeled a life with Jewish values, and it’s made me so thankful for what I have—and dedicated to finding ways to pay that forward,” she says. “That’s what’s so special about LAJH: We involve the entire community in building a place our elders can rely on now and in the future. Knowing we’re establishing this legacy, from generation to generation, is powerful and is something that keeps me going every day.”
 

Friedman-Rudzki and other guests at the Fall 2023 Reflections Gala 

Sign up for the Los Angeles Jewish Health newsletter, Connections.

Recent Articles

Jul 9

Local Business Leader Judy Friedman-Rudzki Elected to Chair Los Angeles Jewish Health Board of Directors

Friedman-Rudzki brings passion and experience to leading nonprofit focused on senior care (RESEDA, CA – July 5, 2024) Los Angeles Jewish Health has appointed long-time supporter Judy Friedman-Rudzki as chair of its board of directors. Friedman-Rudzki, a prominent Los Angeles-based director and senior treasury officer at Bank of America, will serve a two-year term beginning July 3rd.In her new leadership role, Friedman-Rudzki—only the second woman to occupy the position—will collaborate with senior leaders of the organization as well as colleagues and the broader community to advance the mission of LAJH, one of the nation’s foremost leaders in the provision of care and living options for seniors.“LAJH is a pillar of our community, helping elderly men and women age in comfort and with respect and dignity. I look forward to bringing my professional experience to bear in building on the organization’s incredible vision and ensuring it upholds its fiduciary responsibility to donors,” Friedman-Rudzki said.As board chair, Friedman-Rudzki will spearhead and coordinate the efforts of diverse board professionals whose volunteer service helps strengthen LAJH and ensure its ongoing ability to provide high-quality care for seniors across the Los Angeles area. She will also work in tandem with LAJH executives to meet key strategic objectives such as expanding the organization’s capacity to serve the growing number of older adults  through programs like the Brandman Centers for Senior Care PACE, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.Friedman-Rudzki has served in a broad array of leadership capacities at LAJH dating back to 2009. Previously a member of the board’s Strategic Planning Committee, she has also chaired its Budget and Finance Committee and in-residence boards for both Grancell Village and Eisenberg Village campuses of LAJH. In addition, she has served on the board of the Annenberg School of Nursing.“As CEO of LAJH, I am delighted to welcome Judy Friedman-Rudzki as our new board chair. Judy’s deep commitment to our mission and her exemplary leadership qualities will undoubtedly continue to steer us towards even greater achievements in senior care and community health. Together, we look forward to continuing our legacy of compassionate service and innovative care for all those we are privileged to serve,” said Dale Surowitz, LAJH’s president and chief executive officer.   ### About Los Angeles Jewish Health: Founded in 1912, Los Angeles Jewish Health (formerly Los Angeles Jewish Home) is the largest non-profit, single-source provider of comprehensive senior healthcare services in the Los Angeles area, serving nearly 4,000 people each year. At Los Angeles Jewish Health, thousands of seniors benefit from community-based and in-residence care and services. Programs include independent living; assisted living; senior behavioral health; short-term rehabilitation; skilled nursing; Brandman Centers for Senior Care (PACE); hospice and palliative care; and geriatric and memory care. Los Angeles Jewish Health is also home to the Annenberg School of Nursing
Read More
Jul 2

Judy Friedman-Rudzki Elected Board Chair of Los Angeles Jewish Health

One of Los Angeles Jewish Health’s most significant strengths is its lay leadership—women and men who give generously of their time and expertise by serving on the organization’s various boards. This July, we are extremely fortunate to welcome Judy Friedman-Rudzki as incoming Chair of LAJH’s Board of Directors. It’s the continuation of a long and fruitful collaboration during which Judy has worked tirelessly to make life better for seniors across our community.LAJH first came onto Judy’s radar in 2007, when her beloved great aunt, who was grappling with early onset dementia, moved from her own apartment in L.A.’s Fairfax District to LAJH’s Grancell Village campus.“The care and support were absolutely incredible. As my aunt’s dementia progressed and her needs changed, LAJH was right by her side, ensuring she received the very best of everything,” Judy recalls. “I was impressed and decided to get involved in helping the organization advance its mission, joining the board in 2009. I haven’t looked back since.”Over the past 15 years, Judy’s service to LAJH has been expansive. She has been an active participant on the board’s Strategic Planning Committee and chaired its Budget and Finance Committee and in-residence Boards for both the Grancell Village and Eisenberg Village campuses of LAJH. In addition, she has served on the Board of the Annenberg School of Nursing. Her new role as Chair of the Board of Directors—making her only the second woman at LAJH to occupy this position—will span a two-year term.“As CEO of LAJH, I am delighted to welcome Judy as our new Board Chair. Her deep commitment to our mission and her exemplary leadership qualities will undoubtedly continue to steer us towards even greater achievements in senior care and community health. Together, we look forward to continuing our legacy of compassionate service and innovative care for all those we are privileged to serve,” said Dale Surowitz, LAJH’s president and chief executive officer.In her professional life, Judy is a director and senior treasury officer at Bank of America, giving her a critical perspective on LAJH and how it seeks to achieve its objectives.“In my position at Bank of America, I work with companies, understanding their business model, their sources of revenue, and business processes. I bring that same lens to the nonprofit world. LAJH does rely on the community for support, but I think it’s also essential to take a look at what we can do to help support ourselves, just like any business. Being fiscally responsible is of paramount importance,” she says.As her term kicks off, Judy has set herself a number of key goals. “There are four main things on my radar as chair,” she notes. “First is supporting LAJH’s leadership. Dale has aligned a great team and vision; I see my job as supporting him to do his. I’m also excited to engage with the broader community, working with donors and enhancing LAJH’s visibility and impact. My third area of focus will be sharing the organization’s plan for growth—spreading the word, for instance, about how we plan to bolster care for seniors citywide through an expansion of our PACE facilities like the Brandman Centers for Senior Care. And finally, I’ll be concentrating on evaluation and continuous improvement. Regularly assessing how we’re doing is the fiduciary responsibility we have to our donors.”Settling into her role as chair will be made easier by the support she has from the leadership at Bank of America. “The bank encourages volunteerism and community engagement. I am grateful for their commitment to better the communities where we live and which we serve,” she says.Judy traces her commitment to working on behalf of the Jewish community to her upbringing as the child of a Holocaust survivor. Her dad fled Poland as a child, living in five different countries before making his way to Canada. When Judy was young, her family immigrated to the U.S. with $100 to their name, ultimately settling in Los Angeles.“I grew up with very little, but my parents modeled a life with Jewish values, and it’s made me so thankful for what I have—and dedicated to finding ways to pay that forward,” she says. “That’s what’s so special about LAJH: We involve the entire community in building a place our elders can rely on now and in the future. Knowing we’re establishing this legacy, from generation to generation, is powerful and is something that keeps me going every day.” Friedman-Rudzki and other guests at the Fall 2023 Reflections Gala 
Read More
Jul 2

Q&A with Outgoing Chair Andrew Berman

As Andrew Berman completes the final of his three two-year terms as Chair of the Los Angeles Jewish Health Board of Directors, we sat down to ask him some questions about his experiences over the past years and his hopes for the future of LAJH: How, when, and why did you become involved with Los Angeles Jewish Health?I became involved with LAJH approximately 10 years ago, thanks to friend and fellow Board Member Danny Rosett. At the time, I was serving as president of another nonprofit where Danny also sat on the board. Every time I saw him, he would tell me more wonderful things about LAJH. One day, former CEO-President of LAJH Molly Forrest gave me a tour, and that was it. I was so incredibly impressed. I knew I wanted to get involved to support this great organization dedicated to seniors. I have a deep passion for seniors and want to do everything I can to help in supporting their needs.When you started this journey with LAJH, did you imagine one day being named chair and also serving for an unprecedented three terms?At first, I just knew I wanted to participate as a volunteer. However, I really enjoy leadership positions, and I consider myself a good fundraiser and problem solver. As I learned more about the needs and how I could help, I became extremely motivated to lean in and work on the ongoing success and sustainability of this wonderful organization.What was it like working, first with Molly, and then with Dale as everyone was called upon to navigate successfully through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic?When COVID-19 emerged, we quickly recognized it would take an all-hands-on-deck approach to address this threat to the health of our seniors and our staff. Understanding the devastating toll COVID-19 could have on the elderly, we got out in front of the problem quickly. The executive team and volunteer leadership met and strategized constantly, adjusting plans as needed and doing whatever it took to keep everyone safe. Especially in the early days, you needed to think outside of the box when it came to locating the needed personal protective supplies. For instance, I reached out to  several synagogues, and they donated yarmulkes that could be used as facemasks. I also contacted Milken Community School, and they actually used their 3D printers to manufacture needed plastic face shields for us. I am so proud of the job done by everyone at LAJH in keeping our seniors safe throughout the pandemic.What was your greatest challenge during your time as chair?There were a few major challenges, including COVID, of course, but I always say it’s easy to lead when it’s the best of times and things are going smoothly. It’s when times are difficult that you must call upon your leadership skills and experience to take on the tough work required in order to reach the goals and results you desire.What are you most proud of during your three terms?Again, getting us through COVID, but also being part of the team that hired Dale Surowitz as CEO/president of LAJH. Replacing Molly after her retirement was a monumental task, but we certainly succeeded when we chose Dale as the next CEO. I am also proud of the hard work we did to ensure LAJH is more financially sound to become a stronger organization able to meet the needs of our seniors. Other important work was spearheading the rebranding of LAJH. It was time, and the new name better reflects where we are and where we are going as an organization. It did not come without concern by some at first, because change after so long can be challenging, but life is change.I am so proud to have served as an ambassador of LAJH, participating in many of the events and functions over the years. And I’m pleased we have made progress with those who are becoming involved in volunteer leadership roles. We have diversified the board, focusing on more intergenerational membership, and I am so proud to be passing the chair of the board baton to Judy Freidman-Rudzki, who I believe will only be the second woman chair in our history.What words of advice do you have for Judy Friedman-Rudzki as she takes the torch for LAJH?Be a great ambassador for the organization and be an inspirational and motivational leader. Lead with integrity, passion, and complete transparency. Don’t do what may be the popular thing; do what you feel is the right thing.Do you plan to stay involved with LAJH moving forward?Yes, of course. I will always be a volunteer. Specifically, in addition to my role as immediate past chair of the board, I am serving as endowment co-chair along with Dick Ziman and Jeff Glassman. In addition, I will serve as Co-chair of Generation to Generation (G2G), a donor support group. I will also continue leading my weekly gathering of the men’s discussion group from the Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer Medical Center. Each week, we meet in the courtyard and talk about current events and other stimulating topics. It’s always great to hear from those who have blazed the trail for all of us.If you had one wish for Los Angeles Jewish Health, what would it be? My greatest wish would be to establish a very healthy endowment fund. To continue to ensure long-term success and sustainability, we must have a healthy endowment. It is important that we have this financial cushion because it takes the weight off us as we continuously work to meet the needs of a rapidly growing senior population who will rely on us in even greater numbers in the future.I believe in this organization, in fact, I call it my passion. I see the results of everyone’s hard work and dedication every time I visit the campus. Berman led by example throughout the COVID-19 pandemicBerman leads the JEK men's discussion groupBerman was honored at the 2023 Circle of Life Gala
Read More