New hires at Shalom Village and Jewish Social Services

April 2019
Abigail Cukier

After working in community and acute care settings, Renee Guder found her passion in long-term care.

“This is where I really belong. My passion is care for seniors. I am thrilled to be supporting seniors in the Shalom Village community,” says Guder, who became CEO of Shalom Village in November 2018.

Married with two children, Guder grew up on Hamilton’s east Mountain and has lived in Dundas since the 1990s. She graduated as a registered nurse in 1996 from Mohawk College and also earned her Masters of Arts in Leadership from the University of Guelph.

“I am enjoying learning about the Jewish community and culture, its customs and stories. Everyone has gone out of their way to make me feel welcome and I really appreciate that,” Guder said, adding that Shalom Village staff look forward to continuing to provide the range of services they have for many years and finding innovative ways to build on those services.

These include long-term care, with 24-hour nursing and personal care led by registered nurses and a staff doctor. Its At Home approach to care aims to help residents maintain their quality of life and continue to participate in activities that are meaningful to them. The Club Fitness Centre is designed for seniors and is open to Shalom Village residents, as well as all community members over age 70 with the goal of helping reduce falls and improve mobility. Goldie’s Place is a day program for adults living in the community who have physical or cognitive impairment, providing a secure, friendly environment with social and recreational activities. Goldies2Home is a day program for patients returning to independent living at home after discharge from acute care or rehabilitation and includes nursing, physiotherapy, recreational activities and at-home support.

“We have a terrific board of directors and team of volunteers. We are looking to the future and setting our strategic direction to ensure the campus is positioned well in light of government changes and healthcare system reform. We are working to be ready to respond to function in whatever the new environment looks like,” said Guder.

“We feel great pride in being that place to come home to and to come together and I look forward to continuing to build a relationship with the Jewish community. I feel like I am part of the Shalom Village family. It didn’t take long for Shalom to capture my heart.”

Hustle 4 Health
The 18th Annual Shalom Village Hustle 4 Health takes place on Sunday, May 26 at 9 a.m. Participants can run, walk or jog to raise funds to support Shalom Village health and wellness programs and the Club Fitness Centre. Celebrate the people and programs that make Shalom Village the Jewish Community’s gift to all Hamilton area seniors. For information, visit


Hamilton Jewish Social Services is delighted to welcome Alexis Wenzowski as its new executive director.  Wenzowski comes to JSS with extensive experience working in education, and child and family services, as well as a passion for family-centred care. 

Born and raised in Hamilton, Wenzowski has extensive experience in the field of social services. As  a program supervisor with ROCK (Reach Out Centre for Kids),  she was integral to the success of  programs that championed family-centred care. 

Prior to this, Wenzowski worked as a teacher on an Aboriginal reserve in northern Saskatchewan, where she developed partnerships with national publishers to create a community literacy program, a scholastic improvement program, and increasing overall high school graduation rates.

Wenzowski, who starts working at JSS on April 22, said she is excited to carry on the legacy of longtime executive director, Carol Krames. 

“I’m delighted with this opportunity. Hamilton Jewish Social Services has been active in supporting the Jewish community for so many years and continues to be a vital player. The programs they offer are all signs of a caring responsive community.”

JSS president Susan Roth said, "We are thrilled that Alexis will be joining Jewish Social Services. Alexis is a creative thinker, filled with love and enthusiasm in her work with  people of all backgrounds. She is excited to begin her new role and to network with the Jewish community at large."

Wenzowski believes that a community model of care is necessary for supporting families. "Far too often, the expertise of the family is overlooked in our current system, and it’s disheartening. By empowering families to utilize their formal and informal supports in conjunction with each other, truly transformational things can happen.”  

Wenzowski looks forward to meeting members of the Jewish community at the JSS office in Dundas.  "I want to hear your  ideas on what issues matter most to you and your families so that we can ensure that JSS remains vibrant and responsive to the community. Let’s begin this dialogue.”