Our Clergy and Staff
Rabbi Rachel Weiss
Rachel Weiss joined JRC in August of 2016. Rabbi Weiss is known for her commitment to Jewish life that is creative, connective, and deep. She brings her warmth and energy to life cycle officiation and pastoral counseling, is an innovative teacher of Torah, and a passionate spiritual leader. Rabbi Rachel is a Spanish speaker, a proficient communicator in sign language, a skilled calligrapher, and a tremendous chef. Click here to learn more.
If you would like to contact Rabbi Weiss, please email our Clergy Assistant and Ritual Events Coordinator, Rachel Sherman. In the case of a death or other pastoral emergency, please text or leave a message at 847-409-1432 and a member of the clergy team will get back to you.
Cantor Howard Friedland
Howard Friedland has served as JRC’s cantor since 2001.
His caring and compassionate spirit, curiosity, and concern for people and his deep love for JRC inform all that he does for our community. Cantor Howard can talk with you about Jewish liturgical music, books, theater and SHOES! His collection of boots is impressive. Click here to learn more.
If you would like to contact Cantor Friedland, please email Cantor@jrctogether.org. In the case of a death or other pastoral emergency, please text or leave a message at 847-409-1432 and a member of the clergy team will get back to you.
Assistant Rabbi David Eber
Rabbi David Eber joined JRC after graduating from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2018. He brings with him a passion for teaching, a warm presence, and a desire to help others find meaning in Jewish wisdom and spiritual practices. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College he received the Joseph L. and Ann W. Pinkenson Prize in Rabbinics, and the Tikkun Olam Award in 2015 for his work with Philadelphia’s Emerging Religious Leaders. Click here to learn more.
Contact Rabbi David if you are looking for information on our Religious School, Youth Group or High School programs.
Phone: 847-328-7678 ext.2225
Executive Director Micky Baer
Micky has been JRC’s Executive Director since May 2020, and already her positive energy and attitude, and collaborative spirit have radiated throughout our community. With over twenty years as a not-for-profit leader, Micky has extensive experience managing operations, mentoring staff, and optimizing a sense of community.
Micky loves to hear from the JRC community for any reason! Contact Micky if you have a question about your membership, your financial account, the budget, finances for your committee, if you expect to enter into a legal agreement with another organization or vendor, if you want to include sales (i.e. tickets or books) at your event, or if you can’t find an answer to your question, or if you just want to say hello. Click here to learn more.
Early Childhood Center Director Shelli Patt
Shelli Patt is deeply committed to the field of Jewish Early Childhood and always goes above and beyond to create an enriching and engaging experience for the children in the JRC Early Childhood Center. Shelli has worked in the early childhood field for over twenty years as a program administrator, teacher, university instructor, and curriculum consultant and trainer. Click here to learn more.
Contact Shelli if you are looking for information about our Early Childhood Center.
Layhao Diep, Assistant to the Executive Director and Bookkeeper
Layhao Diep provides general administrative assistance in addition to bookkeeping support. Previously Layhao had been an office coordinator/bookkeeper at West Suburban Temple Har Zion for three years. She has worked as a professional organizer and moving coordinator, an office manager and bookkeeper, a marketing coordinator, and a photo stylist.
Contact Layhao if: you have a question about Religious School registration, making a donation, or if you have questions or changes to make to the Member Portal (contact info, yahrzeits, etc)
Max Sendor, Communications and Programming
Max Sendor comes to JRC as a North Shore native with a background in retail and entertainment communications. Max worked for various organizations, including managing flagship NYC retail stores and aiding as a Production Assistant at RSA Films, providing a wide range of media and customer experiences. His wide range of experience, enthusiasm, and creative spirit leads Max to JRC for communications, programming, event scheduling, logistics, and social media!
Max has a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and Chinese language from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He lives on the north-side of Chicago with a dog, a few fish, and a jungle of plants. He enjoys frequent walks along the Lakefront and is a member and business manager of Lakeshore Dynamics, a Chicago-based a cappella group.
“The diverse and involved members of JRC are inspiring to me. I love coming to work immersed in such a community-oriented, supportive and collaborative environment. Every day is exciting working with the Clergy, the office team, and all the congregation members that do their part to enable JRC to be the awesome synagogue it is today!”
Contact Max if you have any questions about communications, programming, upcoming events, scheduling event spaces, social media, etc.
Rachel Sherman, Clergy Assistant and Membership Coordinator
Rachel has been such a wonderful addition to the JRC family. Previously, Rachel worked as the Director of Business Services for the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce and as the Education Director of Emerald City Theatre. Rachel is a graduate of the University of Iowa where she holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Communication Studies. Outside of JRC, Rachel has guest lectured on arts administration at Kennedy King College and Harold Washington College and serves as the Director of Engagement for the Chicago Artists Chorale (CAC), where she sings with the Chorale and CAC’s Chicago Artists Ensemble.
Contact Rachel if: you are interested in learning about membership at JRC, you have a question relating to B’nai Mitzvahs or other ritual and lifecycle events, or if you would like to schedule a meeting with JRC’s Clergy.