Healing Spirit


Leslie Saffer


Tara Anenkaya

In the community

Leslie/ Courtesy of Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Jim Collins, Photographer

Leslie's communicative spirit thrives when engaging with others in building community through activism and creative activity. For more than two decades, she served as a mediator with New Haven-based Community Mediation, Inc. (CMI). Many other community-based and school mediation programs have been inspired by and modeled after CMI. The organization recognized Leslie on two separate occasions for her outstanding contributions in mediating a wide range of disputes. In addition to coaching mediation trainings, she has co-led adult and peer mediation workshops for elementary and secondary school youngsters and served as a court mediator.

On the heels of her work with neighbors to curtail crime and build community involvement, New Haven's City-Wide Block Watch Association presented Leslie with an award for outstanding work on behalf of the community. During 20+ years of making music with the accomplished Civic Orchestra of New Haven, she played principal horn; she also performed chamber music and played with the Victoria, British Columbia and Madison, Wisconsin Symphony Orchestras.

Currently, she's a member of the horn sections of the the Atlantic Wind Symphony in South Lancaster, MA and the Worcester-based Wachusett Community Band. In addition to her professional entertainment and music therapy work with seniors, she occasionally indulges her love of the drum by playing the West African djembe.

In 2006, with the help of the Regional Environmental Council, the City of Worcester and neighbors young and old, Leslie started Bread & Roses, an urban flower and herb garden.
She continues her involvement with other community efforts to support improvements to the area's quality of life.