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.
Layhao Diep, Business and Administrative Assistant
Layhao Diep is an integral part of JRC’s Religious School and our synagogue staff team. While her primary role involves administrative and business support, Layhao’s favorite element of working at JRC is getting to know our students and their families. Layhao has years of experience managing and organizing offices, and brings her upbeat, helpful presence to support all Religious School programming.
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.