Jewish Residential Services
Deborah Friedman – Executive Director
The first and only E.D. of JRS. Debbie has been involved with all aspects of the agency and provided the vision and leadership in the development of each of its service programs. Trained as a physician assistant at the Medical College of Wake Forest University, Debbie practiced in in-patient and out-patient psychiatric settings. When she and her family returned to Pittsburgh, she worked first at the Parental Stress Center and later for Oakland Planning and Development Corporation. Her affiliation with JRS has provided her with the unusual opportunity to weave together her two strongest (and somewhat disparate) professional interests. Debbie has been awarded the Doris and Leonard Rudolph Award for Jewish Community Professionals in 2002 and the PA Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services, Distinguished Career Award in 2009.
Linda Lewis – Director of Operations
BA. MS. ED. - Linda has extensive experience with adults with both psychiatric and intellectual disabilities. Responsible for the quality of JRS programs and services, Linda oversees the residential and supportive living programs and all direct service positions. Under her direction, JRS staff and programs have risen to a new level of professionalism and efficacy. Linda is the 2014 recipient of the Agency for Jewish Learning’s Special Needs Distinguished Service Award.
Paula Pagnotta – Office Manager
Paula earned an Associate Degree in Business Management and studied network administration. She has a background in Office Management, Accounting, Benefits Administration and Facility Coordination. Paula also serves as JRS’s network administrator, Chair of the JRS Health and Safety Committee and was the first recipient of the JRS Health and Safety Award.
Jill Pawlowski – Director of the Howard Levin Clubhouse
MS. ED. NCC - With degrees from Point Park University and Duquesne University, Jill was hired in 2014 to lead the Clubhouse. Previously she worked at Turtle Creek MH/MR as an IDD/MH Supervisor. Jill has experience working with a range of disabilities and with a broad knowledge of the community system of services.
Audra David-Thomas – Director of Residential Support Services
B.S.- Audra has fostered a work atmosphere that promotes best practices, teamwork and professionalism. She has been in the field of supporting individuals with disabilities and guiding support teams for many years. Audra ushered in a heightened level of support services moving away from a “custodial functioning model to a supportive person-centered model”.
Cindy Paganico – Controller
B.S.- Cindy is the CFO of sister agency Jewish Family & Children's Service and also provides a wide range of financial and business services to JRS. Cindy coordinates both the financial and audit committees. She has forged a great partnership between JRS and the JF&CS fiscal office, providing outstanding financial support and leadership to JRS.