In Memoriam - Andy Malekoff

Dear IASWG Community,

I am sending news of another great loss within IASWG: the passing of Andy Malekoff on March 28, 2024. Andy was the long-time editor of Social Work With Groups, and the Executive Director Emeritus at the North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, the leading children’s mental health agency on Long Island. As well, Andy was a board member of IASWG and contributed in many personal, practical, and inspirational ways to the organization.

As stated in his obituary, Andy “worked tirelessly for children suffering from depression, anxiety, abuse, bullying, suicidal ideation, drug addiction, and other crises. A hands-on activist, Malekoff often testified at county and state legislative hearings, bringing the need for support for mental health organizations to the attention of government leaders. Malekoff received numerous awards and accolades for his leadership in human services, including the NY State Social Work Education Association Social Work Practitioner of the Year award. Andrew was known for a remarkable blend of qualities: humility, patience, intellect, empathy, and a passion for political activism. He had a relentless appetite for cutting jokes and merciless humor but was happiest navigating the Long Beach boardwalk in the early morning.”

I will personally miss Andy’s compassion, his encouragement to all potential authors, and dedication to group work. 

Member Recollections about Andy Malekoff

We welcome you to share your memories, stories, and photos of Alex by emailing [email protected] to be shared with our community below.

Dear all, What a sad, sad news and big loss. I will miss his sharp observations and his sense of humor. Andy was also a poet. I want to share this poem. It is in Dutch, but for me, it is who Andy was and what he tried to do. - Hilda B.

Ik heb een steen verlegd,

in een rivier op aarde.

Nu weet ik dat ik nooit zal zijn vergeten.

Ik leverde bewijs van mijn bestaan. 

Omdat, door het verleggen van die ene steen,

de stroom nooit meer dezelfde weg zal gaan.


I have moved a stone,
in a river on earth.
Now I know I will never be forgotten.
I provided proof of my existence.

Because, by moving that one stone,
the stream will never go the same way again.


Hello colleagues and friends, my condolences to the whole IASWG membership as Andy has been instrumental in many of our accomplishments as an organization but also as members of this organization. Again my deepest condolences to his family and to everyone. - Mamadou

I have been fortunate to have worked with Alex Gitterman and Andy Malekof as members of IASWG. Andy was also a local colleague of mine on Long Island. Each of them brought an enthusiasm to their work that encouraged others. They  were always generous with their time and expertise in assisting me with writing and publications. They were wonderful role models for our profession. Some of my fondest memories of Alex are of watching the NY Yankees with him (he was a life-long,avid fan) while attending symposiums in Toronto and Boston. They have each left a lifetime of wonderful work and leadership for us all to build on and continue. May their memories be a blessing. - Loretta B.

Andy was a mentor, a colleague, a fellow social worker, a fellow child’s rights activist, and just a superb human being. His books and articles on adolescence and group work, as well as child mental health, have been my bibles throughout my career. After having studied his research and writings in graduate school at BU SSW since 20 years ago (class of 2004), and having seen him speak at conferences as it was often the draw for me to attend, I then had the wonderful privilege of meeting him in person back in 2015 at the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG) Symposium at Chapel Hill, North Carolina SSW. This time, he was attending my presentation, and I remember when I saw him in the audience, I couldn’t believe my eyes. After my talk, he came to me, introduced himself, and asked to mentor me in publishing. It was a dream come true, and a priceless opportunity I couldn’t refuse. Over the following couple of years, I went on to write a review for an eating disorders book as well as my own essay on my teen girls group. He then fell ill, and while he continued to do the wonderful work that he was so passionate about, he had to take some things off his plate. We stayed in touch via email and social media. He continuously encouraged me to write about my work and to publish, which have been goals of mine. He was an inspiration, and I feel so fortunate to have known him and his beautiful legacy that he leaves behind. With gratitude and much love, May his Memory be Eternal Always! - Marci E.