Getting to Know…Tammy Weinfield


Tammy Weinfeld


Music Facilitator

When did you start at JSDD?

Started in September 2023

What was your first impression of JSDD?

My first impression was that JSDD is a welcoming place, with beautiful artwork on the walls and a vibrant community inside.

What has most surprised you about working with JSDD?

How passionate everyone is about their work.

What 3 words best describe the WAE Center?

Inclusive, creative, and upbeat.

What challenges do you face in your role?

Structuring my music classes so that I can meet each member “where they are”, and trying to find musical activities that will interest and engage a diverse group of people.

What do you wish other people knew about JSDD?

First, I’d like other people to realize that JSDD even exists in our community! That this agency provides services which incorporate residential housing, creative day programming through the WAE Center, and therapeutic services for individuals in the community. I also would like people to know about and come visit the Heidi Gallery!

When your friends/family find out that you work at the WAE Center what do they say or ask?

When I describe my job as a Music Facilitator at the WAE Center to my friends and family, they immediately say that this job sounds like an excellent fit for me!

Tell me about someone who has influenced you while working at the WAE Center?

I would say WAE Center Director, Harry Klein. Harry exhibits a keen passion for his work at the WAE Center. As director, he has an intimate understanding of the needs of each member. Harry also has a clear vision of what he wants the culture of the WAE Center to be, and he is achieving that goal by creating a community environment that values each person’s uniqueness, creativity, and individuality.

What part of your job are you most excited about?

There are so many things. I am excited about exploring creative and new ways to help each member engage musically. I’m interested in researching community resources. For example, we are currently forming a relationship with the NJ Symphony. Next month a classical Duo from the Symphony will be coming to perform for our members and introduce them to various types of World Music.

I realized when I first started working at JSDD that many of our members had minimal prior exposure to instruments and cultural experiences (ie concerts, performances, musicals). I hope to bring many new and exciting musical experiences to the members at the WAE Center soon.

What is on your wish list for the next 5 years with JSDD?

Continued growth with creative programming. I look forward to working more collaboratively with the other Facilitators at the WAE Center. I would also like to explore ways to enhance my musical programming through new technology.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about working with JSDD?

Go for it! I would tell them that they would have the opportunity to work with very dedicated professionals who care about the people they work with. JSDD truly creates a lovely, supportive working environment. Each staff person is valued and is given the time and encouragement to figure things out creatively. Everyone just wants to do the best they can for the members, and no one loses that focus.

Before working at JSDD what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I can’t say that I’ve done anything unusual, but I found being a music teacher in the NYC public schools to be very eye-opening. It was exciting and interesting in many ways. I interacted with many diverse children, families, and teachers, and I learned how to make things work sometimes under challenging circumstances. There were always many moving parts and lots of personalities to deal with.

What is your favorite thing for Lunch around JSDD (or to bring in)?

I enjoy trying food from places nearby like Ike’s, Shake Shack, Mezza and Paris Baguette! There are so many local places to choose from! It is a great location.

Tell us something about you that is not on your resume?

I lived in Manhattan for almost 25 years. I have a 24-year-old son, a 15 year old daughter, and a one and a half year old Bernadoodle named Rocky.