By Isabel Pedersen

Joelle and Jerry Hamovit, between them, have the answers to questions many of us would like to ask.  But they are retired!

Jerry, after graduating from Rice and Harvard Law School, practiced law in Houston for five years and in Cleveland for three.  Between those two, he spent three years in the Tax Division of the Department of Justice.  In 1965 and 1966, he worked in the Tax Legislative Counsel’s office at the Department of Treasury, specializing in legislative and policy matters.  From 1967-1988, when he retired to Longboat Key, he was in private practice in Washington.  But do not ask him tax questions.  He is retired!

Joelle’s resume is more complicated.  After their retirement to Sarasota, she worked part-time as a social worker at Sarasota Palms Hospital (a psychiatric facility which is now used by Sarasota Memorial Hospital).  Between 1995 and 2000, she had a private psychotherapy practice here.

From their marriage in 1956 until their three children had grown a bit, Joelle’s life was PTAs and volunteering for political causes and charities.

Her first full-time job, in 1970, was with the Poverty Program in Washington, D.C.  A graduate of Smith College, she earned a master’s degree at the National Catholic School of Social Work in 1975.  Fourteen years at the National Institute of Mental Health as Chief Social Worker in the Human Genetics Laboratory of the Biological Psychiatry Branch ended when they moved here.  Clearly, she could give you trained guidance on your personal problems, but don’t ask.  She is retired!

Both Hamovits are Texans but they have been gone from that state so long that they no longer salute when “The Eyes of Texas are Upon You” is played.  Chevy Chase, Maryland, where they spent 43 years, was their longtime home.  Longboat Key and now Lenox, Massachusetts, have been second homes.

The volunteer activities of this pair have been time-consuming.  Jerry served on the Planning and Zoning Board of Longboat Key, helped found Pierian Spring Academy and served on their board, was a mediator for Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit, and tutored in math at Booker Middle School.  Joelle’s volunteer work in Sarasota has predominantly been for the Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

Their hobbies of reading, civic affairs and, for her, needlepoint, are about what might be expected of super-busy people.  As for raising three children and now five grandchildren, well, how did they work that in?

You will enjoy talking to the Hamovits—even if you ask no tax questions.