Thank You for Joining Us at JCRC Celebrates: GBJCL20!

Your presence and participation helped create a meaningful evening where we celebrated 20 years of the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy and supported all the work JCRC does in our community.


A special thank you to the recipient of the Barry Shrage Community Builder Award and longtime GBJCL volunteer, Mark Friedman. 

For over a decade, Mark has been a GBJCL volunteer as part of the Temple Emanuel Team, tutoring students at the William H. Ohrenberger Elementary School in West Roxbury.

The Barry Shrage Community Builder award is named in honor of Combined Jewish Philanthropies President, Barry Shrage, who inspires others to seek meaningful Jewish lives that are committed to tikkun olam (repairing the world).

We were honored to have Adam, the 4th grader Mark tutors at the Ohrenberger School join us at Celebrates.  His words about what Mark and GBJCL has meant to him are compelling:

I want to thank everyone for inviting me to speak about Mr. Friedman tonight. I feel lucky that I have the chance to work with Mr. Friedman. Other people don’t know how to read and they have other tutors. Before Mr. Friedman, I liked to read but I just wouldn’t read because I didn’t think it was as interesting as playing sports outside. After reading with Mr. Friedman, I became motivated to read more and now I am reading chapter books. This was really a surprise for me to start enjoying reading. Now, I want to surprise Mr. Friedman by sharing a few stories tonight about my work with him.

Mr. Friedman shared a story with me from his trip to Africa. There was a tiger and it was looking at a baby elephant to eat it. When it tried to charge the little elephant, the mom came and chased it off. I liked that it was a tiger fighting a mom. The mom knew the tiger was up to something bad and the mom went in front of the tiger and used its tusks to chase the tiger out. It was cool how the elephant was stronger and bigger to chase off a tiger. Mr. Friedman shared that story with me to teach me how animals can protect their family. My mom and dad protect my family and I am excited for them to meet Mr. Friedman tonight.

When I grow up, I want to be an NBA player or an MLB player. Mr. Friedman explained to me that you have to be smart to get into a sport because you have to get good grades to get a chance to play on a team. I feel lucky that Mr. Friedman works with me on my reading so I can prepare to be an NBA or an MLB player when I grow up. Mr. Friedman suggested I think about other careers too in case I am not a sports player so I would like to be an engineer as well.

Mr. Friedman, I want to say thank you for helping me to read. You’re a nice and fun person in my life and when I read with you we don’t just read. I like sharing stories with you about my life and I like talking with you about my ideas and dreaming with you about one day inventing something.

Events Committee/Host Committee
* indicates event committee member
** indicates event sponsor

Stacey G. Bloom*, Chair
Debbie Isaacson*, Co-Chair
Hans Strauch, Founders Circle Chair
Debby Freedman Belt*  and Erik Belt
Liz Brenner*
Joyce and Michael Bohnen
Lynda* and Jeff Bussgang
Valerie* and Mark Friedman**
Irene and Rabbi Ronne Friedman
Lauren and Bill* Gabovitch
Caroline Gammill and Nathan Rothstein*
Elisha and Sam Gechter
Beth and Scott Gilefsky
Shira Goodman and Rabbi Wes Gardenswartz
Lesley* and Ben Inker
Fredie Kay
Jill Goldenberg and Sidney Kriger
Emily Leventhal and David Rontal*
Barbara and Frank Litwin
Caren and Ben* Pearlman
Rachel and Joel Reck
Andrea Roberts and Mark Foster
Jill and Mitchell Roberts**
Nancy and Edward Roberts**
Shelley and Stuart Rossman
Ruderman Family Foundation (Jay and Shira Ruderman and Sharon Shapiro)
Ben* and Gabrielle Sigel
Jill Smilow and Howard Brick
Hope and Adam Suttin
Sue Tafler and Chuck Koplik*
Georgi J. Vogel Rosen
Lisa and Neil Wallack**
Jennifer and Amiel Weinstock
Nancy Zimmerman and Andrei Shleifer**


For questions about JCRC Celebrates, please contact Lisa Kessel Freedman.