Press release from Jewish Family Services of WNC:
Jewish Family Services of WNC (JFS) is thrilled to announce the renaming of our Elder Club Group Respite Program to Faye’s Place Elder Club.
Faye’s Place provides joyful companionship for older adults, while participating in art, music, exercise and communal meals. This program offers meaningful respite for caregivers too.
Chicago-area natives and Asheville residents David and Susan Leader are passionate advocates and friends of JFS. Their family generously supported Jewish Family Services through a naming gift specifically for our group respite program, in honor of David’s beloved mother, Faye Leader.
Faye was a first generation American — her father Robert Heftel immigrating from England, while her mother, Sarah, immigrated from a less privileged background in Russia. Her father was a junk dealer, while her mother was into culture, passing on to Faye a love of music and song. “My mother’s piano and operatic contralto were brilliant, but she ended up going to nursing school in New York so she could have a more practical career,” said David.
She became a Captain in the Army Nurses’ Corps in World War II and became engaged when she was 24. Around that time, she fell ill with what was later diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis. After getting married, she became an operating room nurse and subsequently had children.
When Faye rejoined the workplace after having her children, she became a nurse in a doctor’s office. As her MS worsened, she became a receptionist at the doctor’s office before leaving the workforce. She led a life full of ambition and purpose – she helped countless patients, along with her husband, children, friends and other family members.
The values of Jewish Family Services, and of the group respite program, align with Faye’s values. She always had a story to tell, loved the camaraderie that came with playing Mah Jongg, and never lost her passion for music or her zest for life. She lived a life full of dignity, love and art.
We plan to continue upholding Faye Leader’s memory, remembering her story, and living her values, through the work of JFS.
Individuals interested in learning more about JFS or Faye’s Place Elder Club can visit