Linda Burger, Board of Directors – Co-Treasurer
Linda Burger, Treasurer
Recently retired, Linda L. Burger’s professional life has been devoted to leading and shaping a robust resume of work in the Houston Jewish community, most recently in creating significant social service programs as CEO of Jewish Family Service of Houston. Since becoming CEO in 2005, Linda and her team have instituted game-changing initiatives that have transformed and expanded the agency’s ability to respond to basic needs and community emergencies and focus on erasing stigmas associated with disability and mental health issues. Linda’s inspiring leadership on inclusion of and advocacy for people with disabilities and the prevention of suicide and substance misuse has received national recognition. In addition, her leadership work related to seniors, employment and Behavioral and Mental Health Services have made JFS a premiere agency in the region. This includes an emphasis on being a teaching institution for the helping professions.
Prior to her JFS position, she served in senior management at the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston for 17 years and then as Executive Director of the Houston Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. Linda received her undergraduate and Master of Science in Social Work degrees from the University of Texas in Austin.
The deep expertise and contacts Linda gained along her professional journey aligned in life-changing ways when reoccurring floods devastated the Houston community. Jumping into immediate action, and even though she and many on her team were personally affected, Linda and the JFS Disaster Services Response Team wasted no time. They showed up with outstretched hands, offering everything from immediate basic needs to long-term recovery services. As a result, the agency was recognized by both the United Way and the Jewish community as a leader in helping those impacted by flooding in southwest Houston. This, in turn, gave donors and funds the confidence to commit over $10 million in aid and disaster case management resources to JFS in the first few months following Harvey.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Linda has led the agency team to continue to provide professional and compassionate assistance without an interruption of service, even as the agency transitioned to virtual therapy.
Linda’s impact in the human service arena is felt both local and nationally. In Houston, she served on the City of Houston Redevelopment and Drainage Task Force, the Cultivating Families Advisory Board and is past chair of the Network of Behavioral Health Providers. She serves as Treasurer on the national board of RespectAbility and serves on the board of the University of Texas at Austin Hillel board and recently completed her service on the board of the Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies.
Linda is a recipient of four prestigious Houston community awards: The Hans Mayer Award for Communal Service, Joan Alexander Chesed Award, the National Council of Jewish Women’s Women of Influence Award, and the Betty and Bernard Farfel Award. In 2020 she was selected as one of Houston’s Most Admired CEO by Houston Business Journal and under her tenure, in the same year, the agency was selected as a Best Place to Work, also by HBJ.
Linda is known as a visionary leader, whose exceptional personal characteristics have endeared her to her staff, her agency leadership and the leadership of Houston’s finest helping agencies.
Linda is married to her husband, Andy Burger who serves as executive director of Congregation Beth Yeshurun. They are proud parents of Allison and Michael Burger and, Lauri and Ryan Doyal. They are thrilled to be grandparents of Ellie and Emmet Burger and Asher Doyal.