Our Team

 

Jeremy Burton, Executive Director

Jeremy Burton joined the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC) as Executive Director in October 2011, after playing leadership roles in many Jewish organizations as well as government and political campaigns. Under Jeremy’s leadership, JCRC has thrived as a national model for community relations, with a core mission of building a network of Jewish organizations that is a leader in the public square, connected through enduring partnerships beyond our community in service to Jewish concerns and the collective good.

Under his leadership, JCRC spearheaded a Jewish communal response to stand with our immigrant neighbors in the face of detention and deportation by creating a robust interfaith network to provide sanctuary, court accompaniment, pro bono legal assistance and bond funds to targeted immigrants. His vision for American engagement with and support for grassroots civil society activists laid the foundation for JCRC and CJP’s joint initiative, Boston Partners for Peace, an innovative model to promote the work of shared-society organizations in Israel and the Palestinian Areas and connect them with the Boston community.

Jeremy is a national thought leader, writing and speaking widely about the challenges and opportunities facing the Jewish community. As a Gay and Mexican-American Jew, he brings a unique and valuable perspective to the issue of inclusion across the diversity of our Jewish community. He has been published in the Boston Globe, JTA, Times of Israel, New York Jewish Week, Forward, Jerusalem Post, and the Washington Post. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has included his account, @BurtonJM, in their “Twitter 100” list of the most influential Jewish voices on Twitter.

Previously Jeremy was the Senior Vice President of Programs at the Jewish Funds for Justice, and Vice President of Programs at the Jewish Funders Network. Jeremy came to the Jewish community from a career in political strategy and public communications, having worked for New York Mayor David N. Dinkins, Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, the 1996 Clinton/Gore Re-Election Campaign, and the New York State legislature & Attorney General, among others.

Jeremy has served on several boards and in many volunteer leadership roles, including as a founding board member and then co-chair of Darkhei Noam, the first ‘partnership’ minyan in the United States, in New York City. He was a founding board member of Bikkurim, an incubator for new Jewish ideas that is now part of UpStart, and a founding national board member of Keshet, working for the full inclusion of all LGBTQ Jews in Jewish life.

Nahma Nadich, Deputy Director
As JCRC Deputy Director, Nahma Nadich focuses on interfaith and community relations, along with the oversight of an array of programs, focused on engaging Greater Boston’s Jewish community in the public arena. She also serves on the board of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO). Prior to joining the JCRC in 1999, Ms. Nadich worked as a clinical social worker for over two decades in the Boston area and served as chairperson of the Newton Human Rights Commission. She holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and an MSW from Boston University School of Social Work. She is married to David Belcourt and is the mother of two adult daughters, Rosina and Aliza, and the grandmother of Hana and Zev.

Erica Daniels-Strater, Director, Development

Erica Daniels-Strater has spent nearly 25 years in the non-profit sector, primarily in arts and culture. She recently finished her time as Executive Director at Victory Gardens Theater (VGT) in Chicago, IL. VGT is a theater committed to producing relevant, new work and is a leader in bringing stories to the stage that ignite social change and civic conversations for a better world. At Victory Gardens, Erica was the chief development officer and supervised the marketing and communications team, worked with the finance and operations team, and did strategic planning with the board and leadership. Erica is deeply committed to social justice, partnership building, and equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Previously, Erica was the Associate Artistic Director at Steppenwolf Theatre Company where she did the original casting for Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway production of Airline Highway, and the Broadway production of Edward Albee’s Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She also cast the original production of August, Osage County (also for Broadway, The National Theatre of London and Sydney Theatre Company) and the Broadway production of Superior Donuts, both by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts. Erica most recently served on the board of the League of Chicago Theatres and as board chair at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, a company devoted to cultivating women’s work in theatre. She as been a proud BIG with Big Brothers Big Sisters for over 8 years.

Jonathan Dudley, Director, Finance and Operations

Jonathan has been with the JCRC since March 2018 and is charged with advancing the fiscal and operational position of the organization. Prior to his work here, he worked in similar capacities in higher education in Boston, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.

Staff

Shira Burns, Senior Marketing and Communications Associate
Shira oversees JCRC's digital and print communications, and is passionate about crafting engaging stories and working for social justice. Prior to joining JCRC, Shira was the Communications Associate for Keshet and has interned in publishing at SF's Quiet Lightning, Levellers Press in Amherst, and Vista Magazine in Florence, Italy. Shira graduated Cum Laude from Smith College with a BA in English Literature and Italian Studies, where she served as Vice President of Labrys Literary Magazine. Shira is currently pursuing her MA in Communication from Johns Hopkins. 

Shoshana Edelson, Manager, Development and Operations
Shoshana is the Development and Operations Manager. In addition to working at JCRC, Shoshana is also a volunteer with their Reading Buddies team through the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy (GBJCL). In her free time Shoshana is also volunteers as a Big Sister with Jewish Big Brother Big Sister (JBBBS) and is a group fitness instructor teaching BODYCOMBAT, BODYJAM, and BODYPUMP.

 

Lisa Kessel Freedman, Executive Assistant and Board Administrator
Lisa is actively involved in Boston’s Jewish Community. She is a 2015 Chai in the Hub award recipient and longtime volunteer and leader for Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, a programs for adults with disabilities. Lisa holds a B.A. from Syracuse in English and Textual Studies & Anthropology. She loves to travel and lives in Brookline with her husband Josh and two-year-old son Jack.

Yael Langer, Director, Government Affairs
Yael leads efforts to advocate on behalf of the organized Jewish community’s legislative priorities, including economic justice, civil rights, and defending democracy. Yael brings almost a decade of experience in government, policy, and research to the role, having previously served the Massachusetts State Legislature as Legislative Director for Senator Anne M. Gobi, Research Director for the Joint Committee on Election Laws under the leadership of Representative John J. Mahoney, and Legislative Aide for Representative Ruth B. Balser. Yael holds a B.A. in Jewish Studies with a minor in Government from Smith College and is currently pursuing a certificate in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Yael grew up in New York City and is the daughter of Israeli immigrants. In her free time, Yael enjoys practicing yoga and trying to find good halva, rugelach, and cheese bourekas in close proximity to her home in Somerville.

Rachel Lewis, Director, Synagogue Organizing
For the past seven years, Rachie has worked to engage synagogues in campaigns focused on gun violence prevention, affordable housing and increasing investment in renewable energy. More recently, she has been working to engage our community to support and accompany with our immigrant neighbors. Rachie is heartened by the creativity and dedication that so many in our Jewish community have displayed as this work has developed, across denominations and generations. She is an alumna of the AVODAH Service Corps and the Jewish Organizing Fellowship. In her spare time she enjoys playing trombone in her community brass band and writing mystery novels as commentary on the dynamics of the American Jewish community.

Emily Reichman, Director, Community Engagement
Emily Reichman supervises JCRC’s service programs, which enable thousands of members of the Jewish community to engage in service to the broader community and live out core Jewish social justice values. In addition, Emily manages Holocaust educational programming connected to the New England Holocaust Memorial, overseeing remembrance programs throughout the year, educational tours of the Memorial, and advocacy around Holocaust and genocide education. Emily holds a Master of Science degree from Northeastern University in Urban and Regional Policy, with a focus on non-profit management, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont, and is active in local politics.

Rebecca Shimshak, Director, Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy
Becca is a Jewish communal professional with many years of experience working locally and nationally in Jewish non-profit education, with pluralistic organizations such as the Foundation for Jewish Camp and Gann Academy. Becca began her education career designing a mentoring tutoring program for Goddard Riverside Community Center in New York City and later managed professional development programs for the Department of Literacy in the Office of Curriculum and Professional Development at the NYC Department of Education. Becca holds a degree in Psychology from Harvard University. In 2015, Becca co-founded Uprooted: A Jewish Response to Fertility Journeys. She and her husband Steve live in Needham with their twin toddlers Zoe and Isabella and their dog Lucy.