Meet Harriet Zaretsky, a 2014 Jewish American Heritage Foundation Local Hero
"For more than two decades, Harriet has been a persistent and dedicated CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer. Aside from actually representing thousands of LA foster children as an advocate, Harriet has dedicated herself to making significant advances in the way foster, neglected, abandoned and other vulnerable children are treated in our local systems." Janice Kamenir-Reznik, Jewish World Watch (nominator)
- Became a CASA in 1996 when her two young children were in school; has a background in special education, a degree in law and is an advocate for children in need.
- Instrumental in requiring that a CASA information sheet be part of the social worker training manual. One of the original peer coordinators recruited for a pilot program two years ago and supervises 3 CASA's
- Spokesperson for CASA; co-authored report for L.A. County's recently established Blue Ribbon Commission.Helped initiate direct communications with DCFS which has changed the way CASA interacts with social workers and the DCSF.
- Will be receiving Lifetime Achievement Award from CASA in May, 2014
- President of DHF which partners with other non-profits to work locally and around the world to improving the lives of others as well as working on environmental issues affecting the planet. DHF has provided 60 scholarships to college bound seniors.
- On the Board of the non-profit Jewish World Watch, which is dedicated to stopping genocide, currently focused on Darfur and the Congo.