Jennifer Felberg

Jennifer Felberg, a woman with shoulder-length wavy hair and wearing a striped shirt, smiles confidently at the camera against a dark background. She is wearing blue earrings and has an unmistakable air of assurance.

Even as a Neveh Shalom preschooler, visiting the Home to sing and help with elder activities, Community Program Director Jennifer Felberg gravitated to our seniors.

“It’s innate,” said Felberg. “As a kid, I was always comfortable going up and talking to the seniors. I’ve always loved the Robison elders; they fill me with joy.”

Now, in the next step of her professional journey, Jennifer has applied and was officially accepted on February 6 by the Oregon Health Authority for administrator in training (AIT) at Robison Jewish Health Center/Harold Schnitzer Center for Living at Cedar Sinai Park. She is under the supervision of her registered preceptor Kimberly Fuson, Cedar Sinai Park chief executive officer.

Over the next year, Jennifer will complete the required 960 hours of the health licensing program, delving into five domains of practice, including resident care and quality of life, human resources, finance, physical environment, and leadership and management. She is currently learning nursing systems and functions.

“I kept saying ‘no’ to the idea of being an administrator because I was interested in a broader view of the organization,” said Felberg. “And then I realized that I can’t work on a broader view without knowing the basics. I felt like I needed some credentials to even sit at the table, and that I needed to learn the actual operations of a building.”

Jennifer returned to school in 2022, thanks to a Cedar Sinai Park Lucio and Irene Villa Memorial Scholarship. She graduated in December 2023 from Capella University, with a bachelor of science in healthcare administration.

“In addition to the nursing home licensing, it has also been suggested that I obtain my CNA license, so I’ll probably be pursuing that certificate, as well, this year,” she said.

Jennifer is a native Portlander. Her father was an auctioneer, and her grandfather was the inventor of charity auctions, and she worked with both in sales and entertainment. After receiving a bachelor of fine arts from the Southern Oregon State College, Jennifer sang with the Rogue Valley Opera Company, a traveling jazz troupe, and musical theater productions along the West Coast, often fitting in temporary jobs, such as at Nike and Adidas.

Moving to Seattle, Jennifer went to work as a client services coordinator for a recording studio, Bad Animals, and met Sony, a sound engineer. While at the recording studio, Jennifer was often asked to fill in for bands that needed background singers. One band, KMFDM, asked Jennifer to sing with them for an album called Mortal Combat; her song Juke Joint Jezebel went platinum, and also aired during an episode of 90210. She toured with KMFMD for three years, becoming engaged to Sony while on tour in Atlanta where he was doing sound for Pearl Jam.

Returning to Seattle in 2006, Jennifer became a licensed personal trainer for seniors. Shortly thereafter, she and Sony moved to Portland, and Jennifer was a personal trainer at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, supporting seniors and folks with special health needs like cancer and dialysis.

Jennifer began filling in for a colleague who worked at Cedar Sinai Park, and then joined the Home full-time, completing her Life Enrichment certification and Positive Approach to Care training.  She also championed the Home’s then-Greenhouse Project, training staff when the Robison households were remodeled and re-opened.

“The households are all about putting the residents in the center, and the people closest to them—the staff–should have a voice in how resident care is shaped. I am passionate about the residents and those that serve them, and I think the staff need to be supported, so they can always offer their best work.

“Jennifer is passionate about our residents, and those who serve them,” agreed Fuson. “The team is as thrilled as I am that Jennifer has chosen the path to become a licensed nursing home administrator. Her vitality and energy are so important to the leadership role she is pursuing. We need more leaders of her caliber in senior housing and healthcare, and it is my privilege to guide Jennifer on this next part of her professional journey.”

Jennifer and Sony will celebrate their 28th year of marriage in 2024. They have two children, Moses and Ginger, who have been volunteers and on staff at Robison throughout their childhoods.

“We want our residents to have a great experience when they are with us,” said Jennifer. “The details to the activities matter because our residents are always learning, growing, and giving.

“It’s really important to understand that about our elders, and also know how much the staff make a difference to that experience. The relationships our residents make with the staff are incredibly important.

“To see it firsthand, has changed my whole perspective of where I was, and now where I am going.”



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