MEET OUR STAFF
Rabbi Amy B. Cohen, LMSW
JFS Executive Director / Chief Social Services Officer
In her role as CSSO, Rabbi Cohen’s focus is primarily on capacity building, seeking out new funding sources and opportunities to collaborate with relevant organizations in the greater Austin community to ensure highly effective continuity of Shalom Austin JFS services while enhancing collaborations between Shalom Austin JFS and Central Texas Jewish organizations, schools and synagogues.
Prior to joining JFS, Cohen served as the associate rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom. At TBS, Cohen has overseen extensive growth in educational programs and partnerships throughout the campus, while acting as a full member of their clergy team.
Raised in Sudbury, Massachusetts, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work with a double major in Jewish history and civilization and a Master of Arts degree in social work from New York University. Cohen also earned master of religious education and master in Hebrew letters degrees from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She completed her ordination as a rabbi at HUC-JIR in New York. Cohen received her license in social work from the state of Texas.
New York University, BA, MA
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institution of Religion, MA
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Women’s Rabbinic Network
Emma Howitt, LPC-S, LCDC
JFS CLINICAL DIRECTOR
Emma brings more than ten years’ experience as a professional in non-profit organizations. Her counseling and therapeutic focus covers a range of needs, including individuals, couples and families dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, self-esteem, substance abuse, relationships, and life transitions. Emma is a person-centered therapist, which affords her clients a safe and non-judgmental environment to work on sensitive challenges. Emma works with clients to strengthen coping skills and advance goal achievement with compassion, support, and curiosity.
Originally from Houston, Emma earned her bachelor’s degree at Texas State University and her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Yeshiva University. Emma began her career working in a number of inpatient and residential treatment settings focused on psychiatric and substance abuse issues. She joined Shalom Austin JFS as a therapist in 2016 and became a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor in 2019, allowing her to cultivate the development of new counselors in the field. Emma took the position of JFS Clinical Director in 2020, a role focused on the expansion of JFS clinical services in our community.
In her professional life, Emma is passionate about working directly with clients, supporting clinical staff, and facilitating group therapy sessions. In her personal life, she enjoys spending time with her family, baking, reading, exercise, and being in nature.
Texas State University, BA
Yeshiva University, MA
Intimate and Family Relationships
Lee Rogers (Catherine E. Lee) LCSW
Lee works with individuals across the life span and creates a holistic and unique approach to support each individual’s needs. They use a person-centered and growth mindset orientation to provide a compassionate and open environment to explore all facets of life. Lee seeks to foster hope and empower their clients through a process of growth and healing.
Lee began their career working with children and adolescents in residential treatment settings to address behavioral issues and histories of abuse and trauma. Lee has since worked with clients of all ages in a myriad of practice settings including in-patient and out-patient with those experiencing trauma, grief and loss, anxiety and depression, mood disorders, interpersonal violence, substance abuse, and incarceration. Lee is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) trauma therapy and provides pro-bono services through Travis County Victim Services. Outside of direct clinical work, Lee is also passionate about teaching. They provide mental health education for the community and continuing education learning opportunities for other mental health professionals throughout the year. Lee is also proud to be a field instructor with their alma mater, the University of Texas Steve Hicks School of Social Work, in which they supervise and support the education of graduate students through their final field experience.
Outside the professional realm Lee loves spending time engaging in community activism, long-distance running, teaching mindfulness to children, and having impromptu dance parties at home.
Lee graduated from the University of Texas at Austin – Steve Hicks School of Social Work with a master’s degree in 2014. Lee also has a BFA in Painting and BA in Sculpture from Truman State University.
Truman State University, BFA & BA
University of Texas, MSSW
Grief and Loss
Rachel Moved to Austin 4 years ago by way of Colorado. She has spent the last 12 years working in various administrative roles and has loved them all. Rachel grew up at the JCC in Denver attending theatre camps every summer and then working for that same camp throughout her college years. She feels blessed to be able to be a part of the Austin Jewish Community. Working with the JFS team is a true joy and helping members of this amazing community in Austin is a dream come true.