On April 1, 2022 Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey A. Gopen became the new President & CEO of Jewish HomeLife following the retirement of longtime CEO Harley Tabak. The move follows the announcement in January that Tabak would step down in April, becoming the CEO Emeritus, before fully retiring at the end of 2022 after 18 years with the organization.
This transition ensures continuity of the leadership of an essential resource serving the senior population in Metro Atlanta since 1951.
A graduate of Boston University and the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, Gopen was recruited to Jewish HomeLife in a national search five years ago as part of the organization’s long term succession planning. His vast clinical experience and his tenure leading similar senior care organizations in the Boston area made him a standout candidate to serve as Jewish HomeLife’s then newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, with the hope that his success would eventually lead to a carefully planned transition to the CEO role.
“Jewish HomeLife is fortunate to transition from strength to strength – from Harley’s two decades of leadership to Jeffrey Gopen who was recruited to Jewish HomeLife in a national search as part of our long-term succession planning more than five years ago,” said Jeff Berman, Chair of Jewish HomeLife’s Board of Directors. “As we hoped, Jeff fit into the Jewish HomeLife family quickly, and in the past five years has enhanced the organization from the inside out, building an even stronger foundation to serve future generations.”
Tabak will stay on as CEO Emeritus through the end of 2022 to provide ongoing coaching and knowledge transfer to the Jewish HomeLife senior leadership team. He will also assist with ongoing fundraising efforts and larger projects such as securing financing for the renovation of The Jewish and The Zaban Towers, which is expected to begin later this year. A retirement tribute event is planned for November in his honor.
Gopen’s hands-on leadership style, clinical experience, and approachable and affable demeanor have enabled a seamless transition for staff, residents, families, volunteers and donors. He has a deep understanding of both federal and state regulations, and the actual delivery of care and service. At different times during his tenure as COO, Gopen served as Interim Executive Director of the organization’s two assisted living communities, its home care agency and its skilled nursing and rehab center. Through his professional lens as a clinician (Doctor of Physical Therapy-DPT) and as a licensed nursing home administrator (LNHA), he has played a critical role in helping the organization navigate the ever-challenging world of health care, particularly during the pandemic.
Additionally, Neelam Rahatekar, Jewish HomeLife’s current Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer. Rahatekar has served the organization for 17 years and is a deeply experienced financial and operational leader.
Rahatekar will be supported by a newly created Controller position that has taken on many CFO duties. The senior leadership team is rounded out by Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Shari Bayer, who has been with the organization for 11 years; Chief Development Officer Stephanie Wyatt, a longtime Jewish communal service professional who has served three years at Jewish HomeLife and for eight years at Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta; and Chief Human Resources Officer, Angela Williams Fountain, who recently joined Jewish HomeLife after a long tenure in health care, most recently in Human Resources for Emory’s Dekalb Medical Center.
“Jewish HomeLife has a strong leadership team with longevity in their experience and dedication to this organization,” said Berman. “We are grateful for the legacy Harley created and excited about the future under Jeff’s leadership.”
A Boston native, Gopen and his wife Melinda live in Marietta. He is an avid motorcyclist and birder. His exotic bird photographs, taken all over the world, adorn The Rich Foundation Training Center at The William Breman Jewish Home. Gopen has one son, Noah Gopen, 26, President of Honua Music in Los Angeles, where he produces music and manages a growing list of national acts, with multiple gold and platinum-certified compositions to his credits.
About Jewish HomeLife
Jewish Home Life Communities (DBA Jewish HomeLife), supports every stage of the aging journey through our network of nine at-home care services and residential communities. Open to all, Jewish HomeLife includes The William Breman Jewish Home, Aviv Rehabilitation Center, Berman Commons, The Cohen Home, The Zaban Tower, The Jewish Tower, The One Group, JHL Medical Services and Weinstein Hospice. For more information visit www.JewishHomeLife.org.