Ahavah/Love by Howard Olshansky

We don’t often think of it in this way, but the Hebrew word Ahava has its roots in the concept of giving…giving at an intense level. And indeed, that is what love is really about. At our best, we show love by giving of ourselves at a level in which we put another first. The concept of Ahava as Giving really resonates with me both personally and professionally. I grew up and continue to be surrounded by family that truly embraces the value of giving. Giving is how we tend to demonstrate our “love” of each other.  We give of our time, financial resources and our emotions. My love is reflected through 33 years of marriage and the family we have built: 2 daughters, 31 and 27 and, of course, my 5 year old granddaughter. And our family’s love is also reflected in the caring of an 89 year old mother and 84 year old in-laws, for whom my family and I would give anything to ensure their safety and happiness.

Professionally, every day at JFS, I am awestruck at how much our staff give of themselves to ensure the needs of the people we serve are being met. Time after time they go beyond anyone’s expectation, pursuing every course of action to ensure JFS is responding to the needs of folks who are facing life’s greatest challenges. Of course, JFS is “the heart of our community” – and doesn’t love come from the heart?


Career social worker with over 30 years of non-profit leadership experience. Married for 33 years, two grown daughters and a 5 year old granddaughter. Howard is passionate about engaging in community initiatives that impact the quality of life for people, especially those in need, in our community.

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