Senior Staff - Agency Leadership - About Us - Jewish Family & Children's Service
Caring for Generations

Senior Staff

Get to know the agency's senior leadership.

Gail Schulman — Chief Executive Officer

Gail Schulman Gail joined JF&CS in January 2020. She previously worked as the Chief Operating Officer at Gann Academy, Greater Boston’s independent Jewish High School. There she was responsible for all of Gann's business functions, including finance, human resources, marketing, facilities, and operations. Gail also oversaw and implemented strategic initiatives at the school. Prior to joining Gann in 2016, Gail spent more than 20 years leading complex businesses in the high tech sector, serving as CEO and COO for businesses of 500+ staff and over $200 million in revenue. As a passionate volunteer leader, she has served as the board chair of Kesher Newton, led committees focused on youth and education at Temple Reyim, and served as fundraising and recruitment chair at Teen Voices. Gail graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University. She lives in Newton with her husband and two children.

James Cohen - Chief Philanthropy Officer

Anne James joined JF&CS as Chief Philanthropy Officer in 2021. His previous position was as Chief Development and Communications Officer for Keshet, the leading organization for LGBTQ equality in Jewish life. He holds the CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) certification and is a Senior Fellow of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. James serves on the Board of Directors of Second Nurture, an organization that promotes community-based foster care and adoption, and as Co-President of the Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston. He lives in Newton with his husband and is the proud parent of two young men. 

Karen Silverman — Chief Marketing Officer

Karen joined JF&CS in July 2021. Before JF&CS, she served as director of communications and partnerships at Education Resource Strategies, a national nonprofit that partners with schools and districts to transform how they use resources in pursuit of educational excellence and equity. Karen was also a founding member of the national educational advocacy organization, 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now, building its communications arm, and worked on the communications team for the Save Darfur Coalition. Her first jobs out of college were as a journalist with Government Executive Magazine and the PBS NewsHour. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and received a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where she was awarded an Irving B. Harris Fellowship. Karen lives in Newton with her husband and three children, where she is an active member of Temple Reyim. She enjoys keeping in touch with old friends and visiting her native Pacific Northwest.

Meredith Joy, MSW — Director, Center for Basic Needs Assistance

Meredith Joy Meredith has been with JF&CS since 2004. Meredith is the Director of the Center for Basic Needs Assistance. She is a graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work and has spent close to 30 years addressing social issues through her work at a variety of institutions. Meredith has worked in an adolescent residential treatment program, in-patient psychiatric hospital settings, and community-based youth and arts programs before joining JF&CS in 2004. Outside of work, Meredith is very active in the Temple Beth Zion community and enjoys gardening, walking, and anything that involves being in nature. She lives in Brookline with her partner and stepdaughter.

Kathy Burnes, M.Ed. — Director, Services for Older Adults

Kathy BurnesKathy has been with JF&CS since 2007. Prior to coming to JF&CS, she worked in academia as a senior research associate at Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship and at the National Center on Women and Aging at Brandeis University. Kathy also worked for AARP and Operation ABLE of Greater Boston. She has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a M.Ed. in rehabilitation counseling from Northeastern University. Kathy is the president of the Mass Gerontology Association (MGA) and the chair of the Minuteman Senior Services Advisory Committee. Kathy sings with the Somerville Community Chorus, loves to swim, and lives in West Medford with her husband and older son.

Sara Freedman, MSW — Director, CHAI Disability Services

Sara FreedmanSara joined JF&CS in 2006 as an intern in the CHAI Works day program. Throughout her time at JF&CS, Sara has held numerous jobs in CHAI Services, including job coach, residential support specialist, Director of Community Programs, and Associate Division Director. Sara’s passion for supporting individuals with disabilities and their families has motivated her to help launch new programs in CHAI Services, as well as expand and grow existing programs. Sara has a bachelor’s degree in human development and psychology from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in social work from Boston College. Sara lives in Arlington with her husband and family.

Anne Bentley Waddoups, PhD — Director, Center for Early Relationship Support®

Anne Anne Bentley Waddoups has over 15 years of experience in early development and parenting — focusing on infant development in challenging circumstances, attachment, home visiting programs, and parenting beliefs and engagement. She has led programs and projects at non-profits such as Jumpstart and Families First; researched early development at Tufts University and Boston Children’s Hospital; and consulted globally on early childhood development in Central America, the U.S., and Australia. Most recently, Annie held an appointment as an assistant professor of child development at Southern Virginia University, taking a leave of absence to complete a postdoctoral appointment at Global TIES for Children at NYU Abu Dhabi, where she worked on a project to support early relationships and improve early childhood development in humanitarian settings. She has a PhD and a master’s degree in child development from Tufts University and was a national ZERO TO THREE fellow. Annie lives in Andover with her husband, has three grown children, and loves hiking, travel, writing, and movies.

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