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.
Phone: 847-328-7678, ext. 2224
Education Director Lauren Reeves
We are thrilled to welcome Lauren Reeves to JRC and Kehillah in July. With years of experience in educational leadership, Lauren is passionate about Jewish life and children, and dedicated to developing energetic, high quality Jewish learning experiences that are creative, interactive, and experiential. Lauren believes that Judaism is meaningful and accessible to learners of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Lauren has a BA from Emory University and an MPA from Georgia State University. She, her husband Rabbi Frederick Reeves, and their children are often reading, biking, or exploring the neighborhood.
Contact Lauren if you are looking for information about Kehillah, teen programming, or young family engagement (or if you just want to say hello and welcome her to JRC!)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (will not be active until July 1, 2023)
Phone: 847-328-7678, ext. 2225,
Rachel Sherman, Clergy Assistant and Events Manager
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 have a question relating to B’nai Mitzvahs or other ritual and lifecycle events, if you would like to schedule a meeting with JRC’s Clergy, or if you have any event related questions, like facility set-up, calendar availability, or rental inquiries.
Alison Stolberg, Communications and Marketing Coordinator
How do we tell our story? Alison plays a critical role in developing the JRC voice in brand messaging across all communications platforms, and providing helpful information to members and prospective members. Prior to joining the JRC team, Alison enjoyed a freelance career helping her clients share their stories and engage new customers with her unique approach to marketing and graphic design. A proud member of the Associate Board of The Chicago Lighthouse since 2010, Alison has supported the organization through multiple events and often includes her twin daughters in fundraising opportunities.
Contact Alison to add information to the JRC newsletter or for press inquiries .
Anna Zeisel, Business and Administrative Assistant
Anna plays an integral role in supporting general JRC operations. She recently moved from Minnesota where she worked as a Development Coordinator at History Theatre in Saint Paul, managing many aspects of their administrative operations. Anna is a graduate from Macalester College in Saint Paul where she got a BA in Cultural Anthropology with a concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism. Outside of JRC, Anna is a 200-hour trained Yoga Instructor and INELDA trained Death Doula working towards her Masters of Divinity to become an Interfaith chaplain. Anna was raised in a Reconstructionist synagogue in Bethesda, MD and feels passionately about celebrating the Jewish holidays through food and ritual with her friends and family.
Contact Anna if: you have a question about making a donation, if you’d like to add someone to the Refuah Sheleymah list, or if you have questions or changes to make to the Member Portal (contact info, yahrzeits, etc).
Phone: 847-328-7678, ext.2220
Alex Ellett, Kehillah Administrative Assistant
In this part-time role, Alex works to ensure smooth operations and excellent customer service for all Kehillah families, and they are our resident tech wiz! Alex recently moved to Chicago to live with their girlfriend and “too many cats.” Prior to joining the staff at JRC, they served as a front desk receptionist for various JCC’s both in Chicago and Utah. As a child of a military father, Alex grew up all over the country. Outside of work, you can often find them gardening, quilting, and creating all kinds of art.
Miguel Abonce, Head Custodian
Frank Delgado, Facility & Event Assistant
Mike O'Neill, Facility & Event Assistant
Who to Contact for What…
- JRC Membership: Micky Baer at email@example.com
- Early Childhood Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Support with a Program or Event, Including Facility Usage: Rachel Sherman at email@example.com
- Submissions to the Newsletter: Alison Stolberg at firstname.lastname@example.org
- B’nai Mitzvah: Rachel Sherman at email@example.com
- Contact Our Clergy: Rachel Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Add a Name to the Refuah Sheleymah List: Anna Zeisel at email@example.com
- Emergency Pastoral Care: Call 847-409-1432 and one of our Clergy Team will get back to you
- Life Cycle Events (baby namings, weddings, funerals, etc.): Rachel Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rentals: Rachel Sherman at email@example.com
- Kehillah Religious School and Youth Programming: Rabbi David Eber at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kehillah Admin: Alex Ellett at email@example.com
- JRC Financial Account: Anna Zeisel at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Press, Marketing, or Communications: Alison Stolberg at email@example.com
- High Holidays: the High Holiday Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rachel Sherman at email@example.com
Everything else: email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 847-328-7678 and we’ll find the right person for you to talk with!