Giving back to the community has always been important to Barbara Bellin Janovitz.
“It’s a valuable life lesson that was instilled at me at a very young age,” said Janovitz, a partner at Reminger Co., and a councilwoman for the city of Beachwood. “My parents really encouraged us, not just by talking about it but by leading by example. My father, who was a guidance counselor, supervised cleanup programs. He also would accompany me and my sister in picking up trash along Chester Avenue. My mother was a social worker, who helped people deal with the challenges in their day-to-day lives. It was always impressed upon us early on that this was part of what you do. Be grateful to have what you have, and if you have the ability to help others, then do it. My community involvement is so gratifying because the people I work with are amazing. By working on boards and volunteering, you meet other people that think the way you do.”
Janovitz said she wanted to follow her parents’ lead, and raise children who walked the walk, and didn’t just talk the talk.
“It’s a generational thing, passed down from my parents and now from me,” she said. “I didn’t want to just tell them, I wanted to show them. I wanted to raise children who were socially responsible, who helped others, who were thankful for what they had and willing to help others. I wanted to show them by my actions, not just my words, how important that was.”
Outside of her career in estate planning, Janovitz makes her top priority her position as a member of the Beachwood City Council, because it is an elected, rather than volunteer position. Even then, she still finds time to volunteer elsewhere at a local level, because being able to see the results firsthand is very satisfying.
“I really enjoy getting positive feedback and seeing the changes that I’m able to make by the work I do,” she said.
She said she joined the board of Rose Centers for Aging Well because she wanted to help organizations that weren’t huge, and wanted to volunteer somewhere in which her actions could make a difference.
Janovitz added that often when someone battles an illness, such as cancer, that person is motivated after their illness to work with a foundation and help others in similar situations. Although this was not the case with Janovitz and the Rose Centers, she was impressed with the meal delivery and other services for seniors that the organization provides.
“Rose Centers is an agency where it is hard to get people involved, because no one sees themselves in that situation,” she said. “But Rose Centers takes care of people who don’t have anybody to help them.”
She said this is why being on the board of Rose Centers for Aging Well remains close to her heart, due to the impact on the lives of the seniors that she knows Rose Centers has.
“I’ve been on that board for more than 15 years,” she said. “That board is nearest and dearest to me for that reason. It is an essential service that the seniors genuinely appreciate, which is why it is so rewarding.”