Each year, JCRC and the Massachusetts Association of Jewish Federations celebrate the contribution of our partners in government, advocacy and the community. Awardees are chosen based on their leadership and contributions to our shared priorities.
#LegRec16is pleased to honor Women in Leadership:
Excellence in Leadership Award Treasurer Deb Goldberg Currently in her first term as State Treasurer, Deb previously served for six years on the Brookline Board of Selectmen including two years as Chairwoman. Prior to her career in public service, Deb worked in retail operations, buying and consumer affairs at The Stop & Shop Companies, Inc., a business her family grew from a small grocery store in the North End into a $1.2 billion New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) company with 50,000 employees. Deb has worked with numerous non-profit initiatives that have empowered women, children and families. She has leveraged public-private partnerships to offer creative, high-impact policy solutions to combat societal inequity. She is the President of Adoptions with Love, a non-profit adoption agency, and also serves on the Advisory Board of the Greater Boston Food Bank. Deb was one of the Founders of Berkshire Hills Music Academy, a school for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and has been the Senate President’s appointee to the Commonwealth Covenant Fund in the Treasurer’s office since its inception.
Legislative Leadership Awards Senator Karen Spilka
Massachusetts State Senator, 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk District Senator Karen Spilka was elected to the State Senate in 2005 where she currently serves as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means overseeing the budget and finances of the Commonwealth. Previously she served notably as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and Joint Committee on Children Family and Persons with Disabilities. Senator Spilka strongly supports JCRC’s legislative agenda by promoting economic opportunity, inclusion for people with disabilities and independence for seniors.
Representative Patricia Haddad
Massachusetts House of Representatives, 5th Bristol County State Representative Patricia Haddad has been a member of the House since 2000 and currently serves as Speaker Pro Tempore. Representative Haddad is a prominent member of Speaker DeLeo’s leadership team, is a leader on women’s issues and a tremendous ally to JCRC. She has filed legislation to increase gender parity on corporate boards, enhance treatment for mental health patients, and improve special education.
Excellence in Advocacy Award Raffi Freedman-Gurspan
White House Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is an Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel at the White House. She is the first member of staff in the Obama White House who is openly transgender. Before working at the White House, Raffi worked as a Policy Advisor at the National Center for Transgender Equality, where she coordinated the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative, focusing on social policy priorities for transgender people of color and those living in poverty. Prior to moving to Washington, DC, Raffi worked for three years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a Legislative Director for former state representative Carl Sciortino. She was the first openly transgender legislative staffer to work in the Massachusetts State House, and she played an instrumental role in helping pass the 2011 Massachusetts transgender civil rights bill through the legislature. Raffi was adopted as an infant from Intibucá, Honduras, and grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. Her birth family is indigenous Lenca and her adoptive family is American Jewish. She simultaneously identifies as an indigenous Central American, a Latina, and as an American Jew.